Special Notice: The ARRL Foundation Scholarship Program is Now Accepting Applications

The ARRL Foundation is the separate non-profit “giving” arm of the
League, administering some 100 plus scholarships provided by generous
donors, and awarding grants every year to deserving and talented young
radio amateurs. This year the Foundation awarded many scholarships,
ranging in value from $250 to $5,000. The new cycle for the 2020-2021
academic year is now underway. Young hams seeking scholarships for
post-secondary education may apply to the ARRL Foundation Scholarship
Program for one, or more of the many grants it administers, between
September 1 and December 31, 2019, 11:59 PM EST, for the 2020-2021
academic year. Requirements for each award vary, with some offered only
to residents of certain ARRL divisions or pursuing certain academic
majors. It is important for applicants to read through the specifics for
each scholarship! Detailed information is available at
http://www.arrl.org/scholarship-program. There is also a list of
Northwestern Division specific scholarship opportunities on our Division
website: < https://arrlnwdiv.org/scholarships/>

Below are some hints for applicants and their parents I gained as an
ARRL Foundation Board member this year vetting applicants for awards.
These are my thoughts for you, and do not come from the Foundation:

  1. All of the scholarships require the recipients to be licensed hams,
    with at least a Technician Class license. The higher the license level,
    the higher the chance of winning a scholarship, as some of the donor
    scholarship requirements actually dictate that preference is to be given
    to General and Extra class licensees. If at all possible, upgrade!
  2. Read and understand the requirement documents for each award you are
    applying for! Nothing is worse than an applicant not taking the time to
    actually READ all of the requirements, and just blindly applying for
    everything in sight. If the scholarship requirements document states
    that the applicants need to live in Alabama to qualify for a particular
    award, do NOT apply if they live in Washington or some other state. If
    the requirement document outlines a requirement for a General Class
    license or above, do not apply if the applicant only holds a Technician
    Class license and cannot upgrade in time. I can’t tell you how many
    times I saw this while vetting applicants for scholarships this year,
    and I do check the current license status of every applicant for every
    scholarship I’m reviewing using information provided on QRZ.com!
  3. Speaking of QRZ.com, one of the things I do in vetting applicants is
    a review of ham radio activity using that popular website as a gauge.
    It’s not just about GPA, how active is the applicant in amateur radio,
    and how long have they been licensed? Some of the requirement documents
    want the scholarship to be awarded to an ACTIVE amateur, actually
    engaged in the hobby and not just a ham “in license only” looking
    for scholarship money. A hint I can provide you here is to recommend
    that applicants at least get a profile up on QRZ.com describing their
    activities in amateur radio. The more active, the better!
  4. Even though each applicant can only be awarded one scholarship each
    year, the Foundation always awards applicants the highest dollar value
    scholarship they win. This could mean the difference between $500 and
    $5000! Don’t be afraid to apply for as many scholarships as you
    qualify for.

Study the scholarship requirement documents, apply for those you qualify
for, and good luck!

ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: Michael T Ritz, W7VO

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