The best and longest-lasting benefit of being a member of the Highty-Tighties is the friendships you establish beginning on your first day.
The Corps of Cadets and the regimental band produces leaders of character and integrity for the commonwealth and the nation in all fields — business, industry, agriculture, and the military. Leadership is forged in an team environment built on camaraderie, esprit de corps, and academic excellence. There is no other organization at Virginia Tech that fosters friendship that last across the decades like the Highty-Tighties. By the end of your fist day in the band you will know at least the 40 or so other cadets of your class. Within a few weeks, you will know everybody in the band by name. By the end of your first year, you will probably know several hundred of your classmates and upperclass cadets other units of the Corps.
Incoming cadets who join the regimental band may be awarded a $1,000 Highty-Tighty Alumni stipend, named in memory of Jim Schaeffer based on their audition and desire to be in the Highty-Tighties. Recipients earn $500 each semester of their first year.
All incoming cadets, including Highty-Tighties, can compete for an Emerging Leader Scholarship. That’s $12,000 over four years for an out-of-state cadet, and $8,000 over four years for an in-state cadet. This is in addition to the Highty-Tighty Scholarship you can earn, and both can be applied toward the total cost of attendance.
These scholarships are proof of the lasting value of your experience as a cadet and as a Highty-Tighty at Virginia Tech because they are funded by a $27 million endowment raised by cadet alumni.
Virginia Tech recognizes the practical leadership experience that all cadets gain in the Corps. Virginia Tech is the first land grant university in the nation to successfully combine the leadership development elements embedded within a corps experience together with existing ROTC curriculum to produce a program of study so rigorous it has been recognized by the award of a minor in leadership studies. The Rice Center for Leadership's primary mission is to train you to lead while it fosters the growth of leadership-related programs and initiatives at the university.