The U.S. Coast Guard is the only branch of the military that does not offer an ROTC program. Students who are attending or attended a minority-serving institution who are also interested in becoming a Coast Guard officer can apply for the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative or the Loan Repayment Program. Students who don’t fit these criteria but are interested in the Coast Guard may consider attending a service academy or a senior military college. Those with prior education may be able to direct commission or attend Officer Candidate School.


College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative

Students who are accepted into this program will immediately be enlisted into the Coast Guard and proceed through basic training over the course of a summer. While in school, students will participate in Coast Guard activities and wear their uniform. During breaks, students will receive further training necessary to become members of the Coast Guard. After graduating, students will attend a 17-week Officer Candidate School after which they will receive their commission as an officer in the Coast Guard.

  • Qualifications: This applies to sophomores and juniors who are interested in joining the Coast Guard following the completion of their degree. Students must be attending an accredited Historically Black College or University, Hispanic Serving Institute, or one of the Tribal Colleges and Universities.
  • Award amount: Students can receive up to two years of funding to cover full payment of tuition and fees as well as books. The Coast Guard will also pay a full-time salary to the students, complete with a housing allowance and medical benefits. On average, this comes to $75,000 per student.
  • Eligibility:
    • Must be a U.S citizen between 19 and 28 years old and be eligible for Secret Clearance.
    • Must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA and pass a medical physical, a fitness test, and a swimming test.
    • Must have scored at least an 1100 on the SAT (reading and math), a 23 overall on the ACT, or a 109 General Technical score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.
    • Must not have a 30% or higher ratio of debt to income or have filed for bankruptcy in the past 10 years. Additionally the student must disclose the amount and status of any student loans.
    • Cannot have more than two dependents, or, if single, cannot have primary custody of any dependents.
    • All tattoos must be disclosed and reviewed by a recruiter to determine if the tattoos are allowed by the Coast Guard’s tattoo policy.
    • Must agree to accept commission as a Coast Guard Officer and serve three years on active duty.

College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative Loan Repayment Program

Students who are accepted into this program will immediately be enlisted into the Coast Guard and proceed through basic training over the course of a summer. After graduating from school, students will attend orientation at the Coast Guard Recruiting Command then spend four months with a Coast Guard unit to receive further training. Finally, students will attend a 17-week Officer Candidate School after which they will receive their commission as an officer in the Coast Guard.

  • Qualifications: This is available to college seniors, recent graduates (within two years), or graduate students who are attending (attended) minority serving institutions. Students who are currently serving or who have served in any branch of the military are not eligible for this program.
  • Award amount: The Coast Guard will repay up to $10,000 of student loans each year for up to six years in exchange for the student’s acceptance of a Coast Guard commission.
  • Eligibility:
    • Must be a U.S. citizen between 21 and 31 years old and eligible for Secret Clearance.
    • Currently enrolled students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 and provide an official letter from their college or university certifying their GPA and their expected graduation date. Recent graduates must provide their diploma and transcripts showing their cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. The student must also pass a medical physical, a fitness test, and a swimming test.
    • Must have scored at least an 1100 on the SAT (reading and math), a 23 overall on the ACT, or a 109 General Technical score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.
    • Must not have a 30% or higher ratio of debt to income or have filed for bankruptcy in the past 10 years. Additionally the student must disclose the amount and status of any student loans.
    • Cannot have more than three dependents, or, if single, cannot have primary custody of any dependents.
    • All tattoos must be disclosed and reviewed by a recruiter to determine if the tattoos are allowed by the Coast Guard’s tattoo policy.
    • Must agree to accept commission as a Coast Guard Officer and serve five years on active duty.

Page last updated: 02/2017