The ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program, in effect since April 19, 2022, will cover the one-time $35 application fee for new amateur radio license candidates younger than 18 years old for tests administered under the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) program.
“We are thrilled that we are able to provide this opportunity to our youth candidates,” said ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM.
The $35 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) application fee will be reimbursed after the ARRL VEC receives the completed reimbursement form and after the new license has been issued. The reimbursement check will be mailed to the fee payer. Also, candidates younger than 18 years old would pay a reduced exam session fee of $5 to the ARRL VEC team at the time of the exam. The $5 fee is for all candidates under the age of 18, regardless of the exam level taken. Proof of under 18 status is required at the session.
The ARRL Board approved the Youth Licensing Grant Program at its July 2021 meeting in Hartford, Connecticut, expanding on the scope of the original motion proposed by ARRL Southeastern Division Director Mickey Baker, N4MB.
The Board believes the recruitment and training of young amateur radio operators is a necessary and proper mission of the ARRL and subsidization of the $35 fee will reduce the number of new amateurs that would otherwise be lost from these groups. Initially the new program would serve up to 1,000 new license applicants under 18 years old. The program length is indefinite; it may be renewed or terminated by the Administration and Finance Committee or by the Board of Directors.
Visit the ARRL website for the program instructions and reimbursement form at www.arrl.org/youth-licensing-grant-program.