Application | Eligibility | Benefits | Schooling | Miscellaneous
Q: When is the earliest/latest that I can submit my application?
A: Complete and qualified applications (must include ACT/SAT scores) can be submitted as early as possible, but not later than 1 July. Personnel submitting applications early will have an advantage over those submitting late, because they will be able to review for any discrepancies, and will have sufficient time to correct their discrepancies.
Q: What can I do to improve my package?
A: Click here
Q: When is the latest I can take the SAT/ACT exam?
A: Certified SAT or ACT Assessment test scores must be included in the application and received by NSTC no later than 01 July of application year. As it normally takes 4 to 6 weeks to obtain test results, early registration and testing are essential. The STA-21 applicant is responsible for ensuring test scores are included in the application and received by NSTC by the application deadline.
Q: What is the minimum SAT score I need to apply?
A: In order to be considered for the STA-21 Commissioning Program, applicants must have minimum SAT test scores of 500 Math and 500 Critical Reading (or ACT test scores of 21 Math and 20 English). Note: Applicants for the Nuclear Option must have minimum of 1140 SAT (combined) or 50 ACT (combined Math/English). These scores are not waiverable.
Q: Should I include my Enlisted Evaluations (evals) with my application?
A: Certified copies of the last five (5) observed evals must be submitted with the STA-21 application. Include Not Observed (NOB) evals for continuity. In other words, if you had a normal observed eval, followed by an NOB, followed by another normal observed eval, submit all three (3) evals. If you have never received an Observed Eval, then simply submit any NOB evals you have. Special Evals are not required for the STA-21 Application. Ensure copies of both sides of the evaluation are provided.
Q: Why do I need SAT/ACT scores when I am already enrolled in a college?
A: SAT/ACT scores are used to assist in determining a student's ability to complete a baccalaureate degree. Additionally, scores may be used to assess an individual's ability to successfully complete calculus and calculus-based physics.
Q: How can I obtain a waiver for an eligibility requirement?
A: You should address any requests for waivers in your personal statement. Your Commanding Officer must address your waiver request in his/her endorsement and make a recommendation for approval. NSTC, and in some cases, option community managers will determine whether a waiver may be granted.
Q: Does my Commanding Officer have to complete the Commanding Officer's Recommendation Form in addition to his/her endorsement?
A: Yes, the Commanding Officer's Recommendation Form is a required document for your application.
Q: Can my CO utilize officers from other branch of service on my Interview boards?
A: Yes. When insufficient naval officers exist at the command, your CO can request a waiver for board composition in his/her First Endorsement. The officers must be O3 or above and at the bottom of their Appraisal sheet, in addition to their signature, must include RANK and JOB/BILLET TITLE.
Q: When will the selection board convene?
A: The selection board will be conducted at NSTC Pensacola in September of the application year.
Q: What is a copy, and how do you certify a copy?
A: Click here
Q: Can I have Limited Duty Officers on my interview board?
A: Limited Duty Officers in the appropriate restricted line community may serve as board members for applicants to the Target option communities.
Q: When should I submit my physical forms?
A: You will be required to submit your physical forms after you have been notified of your selection to the program.
If you plan to apply for aviation (Pilot or NFO), you are strongly encouraged to complete a student naval aviator physical prior to application to ensure you are fit for aviation duty.
If you plan to apply for the Nuclear Option, you are strongly encouraged to complete your physical prior to application and have it approved by the Undersea Medicine personnel.
Above action will expedite requesting PCS orders for selectees.
Q: If I am selected for the STA-21 Core option, what does that mean?
A: Qualified STA-21 CORE Option selectees are not assigned to a specific
officer community upon entering the program. CORE Option selectees will
compete for an Unrestricted Line Community (URL) designator in their senior
year of college. The URL includes communities of Aviation warfare (Pilot or
NFO), Submarine and Surface warfare, EOD, and SEALS.
Q. Will the time I spend in school count towards my retirement?
A. As per Section 6328 of title 10, United States Code, time spent in Seaman to Admiral Program - The months of active service in pursuit of a baccalaureate-level degree under the Seaman to Admiral (STA-21) program of the Navy of officer candidates selected for the program on or after the date of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 shall be excluded in computing the years of service of an officer who was appointment to the grade of ensign in the Navy upon completion of the program to determine the eligibility of the officer for retirement, unless the officer becomes subject to involuntary separation or retirement due to physical disability. Such active service shall be counted in computing the years of active service of the officer for all other purposes.
Q: OPNAVINST 1420.1(series), Chapter 8, Paragraph 5k states: "Must have passed a PFA test taken within the year of application obtaining a GOOD HIGH or better. However, the website states: "Must have PASSED the last two PRT/PFAs within year of application with a grade of GOOD". Which is correct?
A: At the present time, the website is correct. A change has been submitted to change the Instruction.
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Q: How many years in service do I need to have to apply to STA-21?
A: Unlike many of the previous Fleet Commissioning Programs, STA-21 has no minimum time in service requirement. In other words, all enlisted personnel from the junior Sailor in 'A' School to the seasoned Chief Petty Officer can apply, so long as the applicant meets the minimum age requirement set by the program they desire to enter (see Program Options). Note: The STA-21 CEC Option requires a minimum of four (4) years of active duty (of which at least three years were in an other than formal training environment), as of 01 September of the year of enrollment.
Q: What happens if I am selected for an option, but after my physical I am found not physically qualified?
A: You must be found physically qualified for the option in which you are selected. If you are not found physically qualified, your selection must be withdrawn.
Q: Suppose I want to get laser surgery done on my eyes in order to be found physically qualified for aviation, how will that affect my selection status?
A: You must be found fit for duty and physically qualified by NAMI before you can receive orders to participate in the program.
Q: What if I become pregnant after I am selected for STA-21 program?
A: Pregnancy does not restrict a selected STA-21 applicant from school matriculation. Units follow the guidance of the “Guidelines concerning Pregnant Servicewomen” Instruction OPNAVINST 6000.1(series) which states:
c. General Limitations
(1) After confirmation of pregnancy, a pregnant servicewoman
shall be exempt from:
(a) Physical readiness program (PRP) during pregnancy & for 6 months following delivery. However, if the servicewoman desires, she may participate in an exercise program approved by her OB health care provider.
Q: Can a single parent apply for STA-21?
A: Yes they can, as long as they have complied with the requirements specified in OPNAVINST 1740.4(series), “Family Care Plan”. STA-21 selectees will reside in BEQ while attending an eight week course at the Naval Science Institute (NSI), Newport, RI. Dependents are not allowed at NSI.
Q: Am I eligible to apply for STA-21 if I already have a Baccalaureate Degree?
A: No. As stated in OPNAVINST 1420.1(series), individuals who have already obtained their baccalaureate degree are not eligible for STA-21 and should apply directly for OCS. OCS application procedures are found in Chapter 4 of 1420.1(series).
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Q: Am I eligible for advancement while in the program?
A: Yes, while participating in the STA-21 Commissioning Program, all Sailors are eligible for normal enlisted advancement.
Q: Will I qualify for base housing?
A: Yes, students in the STA-21 Program will remain on active duty, so they will maintain all associated benefits. This includes base housing, health care, exchange/commissary privileges, etc. Living in base housing is not a guarantee, as it depends on availability and other unique aspects of the area near the university selected.
Q: Can I use Tuition Assistance or the Navy College Fund while participating in STA-21?
A: No, STA-21 students are not eligible for TA, or NCF while participating in STA-21. However, you do not lose the benefits. They can be used for higher education after commissioning. In addition, the VA has authorized the use of the benefits (Chapter 30 of Title 38) to pay for courses after the service member's STA-21 funds are exhausted, as long as payment is for different courses and not combined to pay for the same course (please call 1-888 GI Bill 1 for additional info).
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Q: What colleges can I attend?
A: Participants in the STA-21 Program can attend any NROTC affiliated university (including cross-town schools). Exceptions to this rule are Nurse, Nuclear, and Civil Engineer Corps Options, which must attend specific schools (see Education). NSTC determines university assignments for STA-21 Sailors based on a number of factors including their application request, NROTC Unit openings, etc.
Q: What is my affiliation with the NROTC Unit while I'm in school?
A: Participants in the STA-21 Program are members of the NROTC Unit associated with the university they attend. They are strongly encouraged to hold positions within the Unit, will drill with the Unit, and will participate in all NROTC Unit activities. The only exceptions to this rule are (1) the Naval Science courses already completed at the Naval Science Institute (NSI) will not be taken while attending college, and (2) STA-21 officer candidates will not participate in midshipman summer cruises.
Q: Do I participate in midshipmen summer cruises?
A: No, because of the year-round studies, summer cruises will not be available for STA-21 Sailors.
Q: Are application fees refundable?
A: Yes, your application fees to the school to which you are assigned can be considered a reimbursable expense. Receipts must be shown in order to liquidate your claim. However, if you apply to more than one university, you may only claim one application fee.
Q: Will I be eligible for grants and other scholarships offered by the schools?
A: Yes, you may apply and receive grants, scholarships and student loans offered to you by other sources. You should contact the university financial aid office for eligibility requirements.
Q: Will the STA-21 program provide me with a personal desktop computer?
A: No, any computer needs may be provided by the university or ROTC unit.
Q: When will I be issued orders to begin the program?
A: You will receive orders once you have submitted an acceptance letter, valid degree plan, HIV results, and been determined physically qualified by BUMED.
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Q: Can my OIC endorse my application?
A: Yes. However, the OIC must have written authorization from the "Reporting Senior or CO". This authorization must be included as an enclosure to the OIC's First Endorsement.
Q: What is my service obligation for STA-21?
A: Upon receipt of PCS orders to STA-21, each selectee will be required to acquire a six (6) year active service obligation by extending or reenlisting. Upon commissioning, five (5) years of active commissioned service are required of all STA-21 officer candidates except Pilot and Naval Flight Officer option participants (see Program Options). Additional obligated service may be incurred as a result of special training received following commissioning.
Q: What if I fail out of the program?
A: If disenrolled from STA-21 at any time (including Drop on Request), students will be issued Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders to new assignments to complete five years of enlisted service from the date of program disenrollment or the remainder of their current enlistment, whichever is longer. Those who complete degree requirements but fail to be commissioned will be obligated for five (5) years of enlisted service from the date of program disenrollment.
Q: When will I receive my officer candidate uniforms?
A: You will be issued officer candidate uniforms during NSI orientation.
Q: Can my dependents accompany me to NSI?
A: Members attending NSI will be required to stay in the barracks during training and are not authorized to bring dependents.
Q: If I am selected for the STA-21 Core option, can I compete for any officer community during my junior year of college?
A: No, STA-21 Core option selectees can compete for Unrestricted Line (URL) communities only.
Q: I want to be a SEAL, but was not chosen for the STA-21 Special Warfare Option. Is there any other way, I can become a SEAL?
A: Yes, if you are selected for the STA-21 Core Option, you can apply for Special Warfare during your senior year. If not selected for Special Warfare, you will be placed in one of the other URL communities.
Q: I want to become a doctor/dentist; can I get a medical degree through STA-21?
A: Yes, you are allowed to pursue a Medical Degree through STA-21 by completing a Baccalaureate Degree (Bachelor of Science), acceptance to Medical school, and completion of a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy Degree. Specific information is provided under Program Options (Medical Corps).
At this time, STA-21 does not allow you to pursue a Dental Degree. However, you can get your degree on your own, and then apply for a commission through OCS.
Q: Can you please advise the Tattoo and Piercing Policies for STA-21?
A: Tattoos should not be visible while in military uniform; however, if visible, they will not convey any racial epithets, gang symbolism, drug preferences, political statements, or other statements contrary to good order and discipline. Tattoos will not be positioned on the body as to detract from military appearance. i.e., on the face, ears, or head. The number and size of tattoos shall conform to appropriate Navy Regulations. For further guidance, refer to NAVADMIN 110/06 or Uniform Regulations. Piercing policies are governed by the piercing provisions of the Navy Uniform Regulations.
Q: Can I apply for STA-21 if I have an approved shaving waiver for PSEUDOFOLLICULITIS BARBAE (PFB), by my Commanding Officer, per BUPERSINST 1000.22(series)?
A: Yes, as long as you comply with Uniform Regulations and Enclosure (2) of BUPERSINST 1000.22(series), is properly completed and approved by your Medical and Commanding Officer.
Q: What does ADSD mean?
A: It is your Active Duty Service Date and it is entered as MM/DD/YYYY. See your Personnel Office for the correct date.
Q: I have forgotten my password how do I reset it?
A: Go to the STA-21 homepage click the down arrow on "Application Process" located at the top of the page and select "Apply", go toward the bottom of the page and click on "LOGIN". The next screen will have two boxes, select "Returning Applicant", enter your SSN (no dashes) as indicated and click the blue hyperlink "Forgot Password?". Next screen will be "Reset Password", enter your SSN again and ADSD MM/DD/YYYY format, click <Continue> create a password (8 - 12 characters long), and <Save> your password. If you are still experiencing problems, please call (850) 452-1714 for assistance.
Q: I have never registered on line, what do I do?
A: Go to the STA-21 homepage click the down arrow on "Application Process" located at the top of the page and select "Apply", go toward the bottom of the page and click on "LOGIN". The next screen will have two boxes, select "New Applicant", you will see the next screen "Registration", you will have to enter your SSN, Date of Birth (MM/DD/YYYY), Active Duty Service Date (ADSD) MM/DD/YYYY, create a password (8 - 12 characters long), and confirm your password. If you are still experiencing problems, please call (850) 452-1714 for assistance.
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