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Scholarships For Outstanding Airman To ROTC (SOAR)

SOAR offers active duty enlisted personnel the opportunity to earn a commission who can complete all bachelor degree and commissioning requirements in 3 to 4 years as an AFROTC cadet.  Applicants must have at least 12 hours of graded college course work with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA and have a minimum ACT composite score of 22 or an SAT combined Reading and Math score of 1100 or an AFOQT Academic Aptitude score of 39. Applicants with 24 graded college coursework or more do not need to submit an ACT or SAT but need to meet the minimum AFOQT scores.  Applicants are not authorized to pursue a second bachelors or graduate degree. Degree plans should be in full year increments (ex., 2, 3, 4 year academic plan).  If approved any degree plan that require an extra semester (ex., 2.5, 3.5 year academic plans) will not receive scholarship entitlements unless they are in a Secretary of the Air Force approved 5 year major (Ref: AFROTCI 36-2011 4.28. –, and Attachment 8).  Any summer courses taken will not be authorized entitlements unless it is a mandatory course required for the degree and the course is only offered in the summer. 

Note:  Applicants within 1 year (96 credit hours) of completing their bachelor's degree, with a bachelor's degree or desiring to earn graduate degrees may not participate in this program. They should seek commissioning through OTS. 

Those selected separate from the active duty Air Force, join an AFROTC detachment and become a full-time college student. The Air Force provides them with a tuition/fees scholarship of up to $18,000 per year, an annual textbook allowance, and a monthly nontaxable stipend. This scholarship will be awarded for 2 to 4 years, depending on how many years you have remaining in your bachelor's degree program. Upon graduation and completion of the program, you will be commissioned as a second lieutenant and will then be returned to active duty with a military obligation of 4 years active and 4 years reserves. 

Note:  Applicants selected are not guaranteed enrollment allocations to enter the Professional Officer Course (POC).  All AFROTC cadets compete against their peers for enrollment allocations.  

Students awarded a scholarship must have 24 semester/36 quarter hours of math/physical science or 4 semesters/6 quarters of a foreign language (must be the same language) before they commission. 

Note:  Technical majors must be ABET-approved at the university the applicant plans to attend and are limited to a maximum of 4 years. 


How Does the Selection Process Work? 


A selection board is held once a year. SOAR is a commander's program to select top-flight enlisted members for commissioning. Selections are made at the MAJCOM level for most Airmen.  Those assigned to Field Operating Agencies (FOA) and Direct Reporting Units (DRU), are selected from a Small Units selection board that meets at HQ AFROTC at Maxwell AFB, AL.  There are 51 SOAR allocations. The following table shows the distribution of SOAR allocations:






















All Other (Small Units Board)



The MAJCOM/FOA/DRU/Small Units boards utilize the "whole person" concept to evaluate applicants. As part of the board process, applicants will be evaluated on their ability to put their package together in the proper format in accordance with the ECP Package Checklist and directions on this site.  It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the package is complete. While the board considers all documents in an application package, they typically focus on the applicant's academic performance, the commander's recommendation, and the airman's duty performance history to determine the applicant's eligibility. Airmen selected will receive instructions and be required to complete additional post selection actions.  Once all actions have been completed they will be authorized to separate no earlier than 10 days prior to their class start date the following fall term. 

MAJCOMs/FOAs/DRUs set application deadlines to bases/wings under their command. The Base Education Office should contact their respective MAJCOM as application deadlines can vary by commands. ALL waiver requests are due to HQ AFROTC/RRUE NET 1 September and NLT 15 October each year.  Each MAJCOMs/FOAs/DRUs (and the Small Units board) submits the nomination packages for their SOAR winners NLT 15 October each year to HQ AFROTC/RRUE.  Late packages or late waiver requests will not be accepted

Note:  The applicant is ultimately responsible for the completeness and accuracy of their package. The Base Education Center may assist the member in an advisory capacity ONLY.




Note:  Not all requirements are listed.  For a complete list ref: AFI 36-2013 AFROTCI 36-2011, AFI 36-2002 and AFI 36-2005.  

  • Be a United States citizen.
  • Meet the Age requirements.
    • IAW Title 10 U.S.C., Section 2107, Financial Assistance Program for Specially Selected Members, applicants who apply for ASCP or SOAR must be under age 31 on December 31 of their graduation year to earn a commission. (NOT WAIVERABLE
  • Have at least 1 year Time-In-Service (Waiverable).
  • Have at least one year Time-On-Station at board convening date (Board is held in December) (Waiverable).
  • Have served at least half of an overseas tour one month prior to class start date (Waiverable).
    • Overseas Long Tour.  Applicants serving at overseas long tour locations must submitt application before the 25th day of the 8th month before DEROS (Waiverable).
  • Be recommended by your immediate commander on the AF Form 56.
  • Must be able to complete their degree in 2 to 4 years and be considered a full time student by the university. 

Note:  Degree plans that require an extra semester (ex., 2.5, 3.5 year academic plans) will not receive scholarship entitlements unless they are in a Secretary of the Air Force approved 5 year major. 

  • Be admitted to a school offering Air Force ROTC (including cross-town schools) in the academic major you desire to study.
  • Earn Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) scores of 15 or more on the Verbal scale and 10 or more on the Quantitative scale.  
  • Pass all components of the Air Force Physical Fitness Test.
  • Must not be selected for reassignment prior to application submission date.
  • Must be medically qualified for continued enlistment, commissioning, and cleared for worldwide duty.
  • Must not be PRP decertified or disqualified (Waiverable).
  • Must not have any restrictions (AAC, ALC, O, UIF, etc) other than an AAC code 5 (Waiverable).
  • Must not have an IEB/SRB within the present enlistment (Waiverable).
  • Meet retainability requirement.  The earliest selects will be authorized to separate is 30 days prior to class start date.  If the applicant does not meet this requirement, they must request an extension through their normal base channels.
  • Meet all the requirements for commissioning (physical, moral, fitness, etc.) listed in AFI 36-2013, AFROTCI 36-2011, AFI 36-2002 and AFI 36-2005.  

Note:  Waivers are not guaranteed. Waiver requests must reach HQ AFROTC/RRUE NET 1 September and NLT 15 October each year. 


How Do I Afford This Program? 

If selected, you will separate from the Air Force. You will no longer be collecting military pay and benefits and will be living on the civilian economy like any other college student.

How Do You Apply? 

Check out our program
application page

60 West Maxwell Blvd, Bldg 835
Maxwell AFB, AL, 36112