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In the face of rising tuition costs and the increased importance of scholarships to meeting its commission mission, the Army designed a new scholarship program, known as the tiered scholarship program because it offered four different scholarship values (called tiers). Under the new program, enrollments at public colleges increased modestly and the Army controlled the total scholarship cost. But as feared, many fewer of the nation's most academically able students enrolled in ROTC, and the programs at the nation's most prestigious private colleges and universities were facing the prospect of closure. Based on these findings, the authors recommended and the Army implemented a high-value scholarship targeted to some prestigious private colleges. The study also analyzes several complete scholarship programs to replace the tiered scholarships. The analysis supports plans that continue to offer high-value scholarships at some prestigious private schools, while offering lower values at other schools. Although it would entail some significant tradeoffs, the authors have also presented a plan that would offer greater values to in-state students at public schools — a large potential market, especially if tuition increases in the private schools do not abate in the decade ahead. These offers would require congressional approval because the law currently prohibits the use of scholarships for room and board, which constitute the largest portion of these in-state students' expenses to attend college.

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