Fort Monroe, Va. (Aug. 10, 2010) -- More than 2,500 young men and women will begin their college careers this fall with help from the U.S. Army.

The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps has awarded 2,579 four-year scholarships to incoming members of the class of 2014. The scholarships for these future Army leaders will be worth almost $51.2 million based on tuition rates at the colleges and universities the awardees will attend, according to U.S. Army Cadet Command officials.

ROTC is the largest source of Army officers, commissioning more than 60 percent of new officers each year for the active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard. Cadet Command awards its ROTC scholarships on a "whole person" concept and officials look for what they term the "Scholar-Athlete-Leader." They explained this includes a strong academic record, good active mindset with mental and physical toughness, selfless motivation and demonstrated willingness to be involved in and a leader among peers in student or community organizations. It also includes a desire to take on challenges and strive for excellence, they said.

The profile of this year's scholarship winners shows that the average high school grade-point average was 3.5, and the mean college board test score was 1186.

In addition: 39 percent were in the top 5 percent of their classes; 74 percent were in the top 25 percent of their classes; and 96 percent were in the top 50 percent of their classes.

About 12 percent were student-body or senior-class presidents; 34 percent held other class offices; 41 percent were National Honor Society members; 8 percent were club presidents; 28 percent took part in Junior ROTC; 17 percent were involved in Scouting; 77 percent were varsity-letter winners; and 53 percent were varsity team captains.

Army ROTC awards four-, three- and two-year merit-based scholarships which cover full tuition and fees, include an annual textbook payment, and pay a monthly stipend to awardees. Some awardees may choose to receive funding for room and board in lieu of the tuition. These scholarships can be used at any of its 273 host programs - plus more than 1,100 partnership or affiliated universities - located in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Guam.