nicklepickle

2+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2017
8
7
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi everyone! I'm in the process of having schools look at my applications and it looks like I'll most likely get in to all of them with my grades (3.9 370 OAT). Not trying to show off or anything, it may be useful info to answer my question. I have a meeting with an army recruiter in the next week or so, and I'm wondering if I'm late to apply to HPSP? Do I have the grades to be able to get a 3 year scholarship if I'm applying sort of later in the cycle?

If anyone knows, what is AMEDD BOLC like? From what I gather the air force COT looks like more schooling and the army BOLC looks like more combat zone applications. Just sort of curious about this.

Would serving in the military for 3 or so years make my resume look good coming out of the armed forces to land me a good civilian job? I've seen some gripes from people who say they have a ton of debt and could only get an 80k/year job.

Any info is appreciated, thanks!
 

monica__t_

2+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2016
64
19
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi everyone! I'm in the process of having schools look at my applications and it looks like I'll most likely get in to all of them with my grades (3.9 370 OAT). Not trying to show off or anything, it may be useful info to answer my question. I have a meeting with an army recruiter in the next week or so, and I'm wondering if I'm late to apply to HPSP? Do I have the grades to be able to get a 3 year scholarship if I'm applying sort of later in the cycle?

If anyone knows, what is AMEDD BOLC like? From what I gather the air force COT looks like more schooling and the army BOLC looks like more combat zone applications. Just sort of curious about this.

Would serving in the military for 3 or so years make my resume look good coming out of the armed forces to land me a good civilian job? I've seen some gripes from people who say they have a ton of debt and could only get an 80k/year job.

Any info is appreciated, thanks!
i don't think you're late in applying since you need to be officially accepted by a school before you can do that so you should be good. I was actually gonna ask a question about the army scholarship maybe you can answer- it says they have 1,2,or 3 year scholarships... do those directly correlate to the number of years you have to serve? or is it 3 years no matter if you only get a one year scholarship?
 
OP
N

nicklepickle

2+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2017
8
7
Status
Pre-Optometry
i don't think you're late in applying since you need to be officially accepted by a school before you can do that so you should be good. I was actually gonna ask a question about the army scholarship maybe you can answer- it says they have 1,2,or 3 year scholarships... do those directly correlate to the number of years you have to serve? or is it 3 years no matter if you only get a one year scholarship?
i don't think you're late in applying since you need to be officially accepted by a school before you can do that so you should be good. I was actually gonna ask a question about the army scholarship maybe you can answer- it says they have 1,2,or 3 year scholarships... do those directly correlate to the number of years you have to serve? or is it 3 years no matter if you only get a one year scholarship?
I believe it's 3 years no matter what but I could be wrong
 
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optsuker

10+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2008
383
52
Status
Optometrist
I did the Army HPSP program 20 years ago and have no regrets.
After 4 years on active duty, bought an existing practice and now employee 3 more OD's.
Coming out of school with no debt was a huge asset in getting financed to buy a busy practice instead of starting cold or in a commercial setting.

Can search my old posts for more details (some things have changed since I went through).
The advice I give to all is that if you're only doing it for the $$$, you'll be miserable for the duration, but if looking for a chance to serve, and have some nice incentives for doing it, it can be a great experience.
 
OP
N

nicklepickle

2+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2017
8
7
Status
Pre-Optometry
I can guarantee the money isn't my only reason. I went to the Naval Academy for my freshman year but after learning it would be nearly impossible to pursue medicine, and definitely impossible to pursue something less sought after like optometry, I decided to leave to pursue a health career. I miss the idea of serving, so when I saw this scholarship was available I got excited, but it seems like it's kind of shrouded in mystery compared to the academy.
 

optsuker

10+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2008
383
52
Status
Optometrist
I can guarantee the money isn't my only reason. I went to the Naval Academy for my freshman year but after learning it would be nearly impossible to pursue medicine, and definitely impossible to pursue something less sought after like optometry, I decided to leave to pursue a health career. I miss the idea of serving, so when I saw this scholarship was available I got excited, but it seems like it's kind of shrouded in mystery compared to the academy.
Definitely talk to a health professions recruiter. The recruiting station at the mall will know little/nothing about HPSP
All tuition, fees, books, equipment (which you get to keep), plus a monthly stipend are covered.
Some chances to get paid while doing your 4th year rotations at a military base.
O-1 while in school O-3 upon graduation.

If you left the Academy on good terms, you should be a shoe-in for getting the scholarship
 
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N

nicklepickle

2+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2017
8
7
Status
Pre-Optometry
I talked to an HPSP recruiter from the Army and we scheduled a meeting, and I also reached out to the air force, but their recruiter takes a really long time to answer his emails. I understand he needs all this paperwork to determine if I am eligible, which I should be, but I feel like I'm kinda late in the game to apply this year, and he's not making the process go any faster.
Either way, if I didn't get my applications in on time this year, since the scholarship is max 3 years could I just apply again next year?
 

optsuker

10+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2008
383
52
Status
Optometrist
I talked to an HPSP recruiter from the Army and we scheduled a meeting, and I also reached out to the air force, but their recruiter takes a really long time to answer his emails. I understand he needs all this paperwork to determine if I am eligible, which I should be, but I feel like I'm kinda late in the game to apply this year, and he's not making the process go any faster.
Either way, if I didn't get my applications in on time this year, since the scholarship is max 3 years could I just apply again next year?
When I applied, it was a 3-year program as well, so I applied during my first year of optometry school and had them pay for my final 3 years.
The only down-side is that you buy a lot of your equipment during your 1st year, so more of it would have been covered if I already was in HPSP.

The application process is slow because selection is made by a board that only meets a few times.
Also dependent on the need of the Army/Navy/AF for that year, which depends a lot on retention of the 1st tour OD's:
Those whose 3 year hitch ended July, 2017 often wait until they've found a new position before declaring that they are not re-upping. It takes a few months for this to register, transfer OD's to new locations, and then determine how many spots need to be filled. These numbers don't arrive on the recruiter's desk until they know if the budget allows filling all spots.

IMO, now is a great time to be applying.
 
Sep 14, 2017
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi everyone! I'm in the process of having schools look at my applications and it looks like I'll most likely get in to all of them with my grades (3.9 370 OAT). Not trying to show off or anything, it may be useful info to answer my question. I have a meeting with an army recruiter in the next week or so, and I'm wondering if I'm late to apply to HPSP? Do I have the grades to be able to get a 3 year scholarship if I'm applying sort of later in the cycle?

If anyone knows, what is AMEDD BOLC like? From what I gather the air force COT looks like more schooling and the army BOLC looks like more combat zone applications. Just sort of curious about this.

Would serving in the military for 3 or so years make my resume look good coming out of the armed forces to land me a good civilian job? I've seen some gripes from people who say they have a ton of debt and could only get an 80k/year job.

Any info is appreciated, thanks!
Hello nicklepickle. You have very impressive scores! Currently this year for the Army, we have 3 years, and 2 year scholarships. So in order to qualify for the 3 year scholarship, you would need to be in your 1st year of optometry school already, or will be starting before the board starts. And you would need to be in your 2nd year to qualify for the 2year scholarship. The board starts in January. Which kind of sounds like you are just applying this year and are matriculating into optometry school 2018 correct? If that is the case then you have plenty of time. You can get the process started now, but like i said you have PLENTY of time to wait it out since paperwork can get lost and recruiters change pretty frequently. I hope this helps, and send me a private message if you want to speak more in depth about the program. As my name says it all, I am a AMEDD recruiter here in Boston.
 
May 18, 2017
4
2
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hello nicklepickle. You have very impressive scores! Currently this year for the Army, we have 3 years, and 2 year scholarships. So in order to qualify for the 3 year scholarship, you would need to be in your 1st year of optometry school already, or will be starting before the board starts. And you would need to be in your 2nd year to qualify for the 2year scholarship. The board starts in January. Which kind of sounds like you are just applying this year and are matriculating into optometry school 2018 correct? If that is the case then you have plenty of time. You can get the process started now, but like i said you have PLENTY of time to wait it out since paperwork can get lost and recruiters change pretty frequently. I hope this helps, and send me a private message if you want to speak more in depth about the program. As my name says it all, I am a AMEDD recruiter here in Boston.
I inboxed you
 
OP
N

nicklepickle

2+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2017
8
7
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hello nicklepickle. You have very impressive scores! Currently this year for the Army, we have 3 years, and 2 year scholarships. So in order to qualify for the 3 year scholarship, you would need to be in your 1st year of optometry school already, or will be starting before the board starts. And you would need to be in your 2nd year to qualify for the 2year scholarship. The board starts in January. Which kind of sounds like you are just applying this year and are matriculating into optometry school 2018 correct? If that is the case then you have plenty of time. You can get the process started now, but like i said you have PLENTY of time to wait it out since paperwork can get lost and recruiters change pretty frequently. I hope this helps, and send me a private message if you want to speak more in depth about the program. As my name says it all, I am a AMEDD recruiter here in Boston.
I just started working with a recruiter and he told me that if I got the 3 year scholarship I would be able to use that towards my first year of schooling, where if I got the 2 year I would have to wait. Is he wrong about being able to apply the 3 year to my first year of school? Yes I am planning on entering the 2018 class.
 
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