College Program



Each year students who were not awarded a National NROTC Scholarship are provided the opportunity to apply for the NROTC College Program. A College Program Midshipman does not receive scholarship benefits or attend summer training, but is otherwise treated and held to the same standards of conduct and participation of a scholarship student. The goal of the College Program is to help qualified Midshipmen earn a 4, 3, or 2-year scholarship, or Advanced Standing.

Application Submission

Completed applications can be sent to the address below or scanned via email to

Freshmen Advisor – College Program
NROTC Unit Iowa State University
2519 Osborn Drive
Room 3 Armory
Ames, IA 50011-3035

After reviewing the candidate’s application, our staff may select the individual for an interview if additional information is required.  An interview will be conducted by an active duty member of the NROTC staff to evaluate the candidate’s maturity, confidence, knowledge of the military, and career goals.

Once all interviews are completed candidates are then evaluated against each other and invitations are sent to the selected candidates. Candidates not selected will also be notified.

If a candidate is accepted, he or she will be required to provide a sports physical, using the attached form, clearing the student for physical activity prior to the first day of NROTC Orientation. During orientation, students will be required to perform a Navy or Marine physical fitness test. This test is intended to familiarize the student with the physical standards required. An unsatisfactory result on this initial test will NOT result in disenrollment from the program.

Application Instructions

What are the requirements to apply for the College Program at NROTC Iowa State?

All applicants must meet the basic requirements for the program. These requirements are summarized below:

  • The applicant must be admitted to or be a current student at Iowa State University. There are no exceptions to this policy.
  • Must be an American citizen or be in the process of becoming a naturalized American citizen.
  • Must not be older than 27 years old by December 31st of the year in which graduation and commissioning are anticipated.
  • The applicants already in college must be in their Freshman or Sophomore year.
  • Must meet the Navy height and weight standards and must be able to be physically qualified for admittance into the armed forces.
  • Navy options must pass the Navy Physical Fitness Test, Marine options must pass the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test.

If I meet all the basic requirements am I guaranteed acceptance into the College Program?

No. Acceptance into the College Program is a competitive process. The NROTC staff at Iowa State carefully reviews each application in order to evaluate whether the candidate is likely to complete the program and be selected for a 4, 3, or 2-year scholarship, or Advanced Standing. Competition for the College Program is keen.

What credentials do I need in order to make myself a competitive candidate for the NROTC College Program at Iowa State?

We evaluate our applicants using the same criteria as the 4-year National Scholarship Board. In general, successful applicants at Iowa State (Note that these are NOT minimum requirements, only suggestions to be competitive):

  • Participated in one or more varsity sports in high school and demonstrate exceptional physical fitness
  • Have a high school GPA of 3.5 or greater on 4.0 scale
  • Achieved SAT scores of 1150 or above (math and verbal sections only) or a composite ACT score of 26 or above
  • Have a track record of leadership and participation in extracurricular activities
  • Are knowledgeable and motivated about a career in the Navy or Marine Corps
  • Are pursuing or will be pursuing an engineering or technical major (i.e. Tier 1 or Tier 2) or a critical language (Russian, Arabic, Chinese, ect.), major. This does not rule out students pursuing a non-technical major with strong math and science skills. There is no major restriction for Marine College Program applicants.

What is the process for applying for the College Program at Iowa State?

The application period opens April 1st and closes on July 1st. College Program Application Packages submitted outside this time period will be considered on a case by case basis. COLLEGE PROGRAM APPLICATION AND MEDICAL HISTORY PDF FORMS WILL NOT OPEN USING IN BROWSER PDF VIEWING. ADOBE ACROBAT READER OR SIMILAR PROGRAM IS RECOMMENDED FOR VIEWING AND EDITING THESE PDF DOCUMENTS.

A complete College Program Application Package will consist of the following:

  • Completed College Program Application Form
  • Completed Drug Statement for Naval Reserve Officer Corps Application
  • Completed Accessions Medical History Report DD 2807-2
  • Navy Options: Completed Applicant Fitness Assessment Sheet (Refer to the Fitness Assessment Instructions.)
  • Marine options: Completed Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test Scoring Sheet.
  • High school or college transcript (students who have completed one year at the host institution need not submit HS transcripts)
  • Full body-length photo (Polo shirt, khaki pants, and closed toed shoes.)
  • Two essays (each essay, maximum one page, single-spaced) that answer the following questions:
    • Why are you considering Iowa State University and the NROTC Program?
      • Navy Option Applicants:
        • What Unrestricted Line (URL) community do you wish to commission into and why?
      • Marine Corps Option Applicants:
        • Why do you want to be a Marine Corps Officer?
  • A copy of SAT or ACT results
  • Candidate “resume” or list of accomplishments (one-page maximum)
  • Minimum of one Letter of Recommendation, a maximum of three letters.
  • Sickle Cell Trait Test Results are required prior to NROTC New Student Orientation. Acceptable laboratory tests are as follows:
    • Hemoglobin solubility: Positive result requires follow-up testing via Hemoglobin electrophoresis.
    • Hemoglobin electrophoresis.
    • High pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC).
    • If tested for sickle cell trait at birth, these results can be used in lieu of the above.

    When do College Program midshipmen become eligible to apply for scholarships?

    During their freshman year, College Program Midshipmen may apply for a 4-year national scholarship. At the end of each academic year, College Program Midshipmen apply for a 3 or 2-year scholarship. If awarded, a 3 or 2-year scholarship provides the same benefits as the 4-year National Scholarship for the specified period of time. Candidates for these scholarships are evaluated based on the same criteria as the 4-year scholarship students with college GPA and aptitude as primary factors.

    Freshmen in college (provided they have achieved less than 30 college credit hours) are eligible to re-apply for the National 4-year Scholarship even if they were previously denied! It is HIGHLY recommended that each Midshipman apply if he or she has less than the 30 college credit hours.

    What happens if a College Program Midshipman is never awarded a scholarship?

    All College Program students must either be on scholarship or be accepted into the “Advanced Standing” by the start of their Junior year in school. If not, that student is required to be disenrolled from the NROTC program. Students selected for Advanced Standing do not receive tuition benefits but do receive a monthly stipend and participate in one summer of training before graduation. Advanced Standing students commission in the Navy as Ensigns and have the same active duty obligation as scholarship students.