Apply for a Radio Club of America scholarship for an opportunity to join these recipients

Dan Friedrichs, K0IPG Stephen Sciarini, KC8IDJ Robert J. Rodgers, WA3KOI.

From left: Daniel A. Friedrichs, K0IPG; Stephen M. Sciarini, KC8IDJ; Robert J. Rodgers, WA3KOI

Dan Freidrichs, K0IPG; Stephen Sciarini, KC8IDJ; and Bob Rodgers, WA3KOI, are among hundreds of students who have received scholarships from the Radio Club of America. A gift of $10,000 in 1977 from Capt. William G.H. Finch, best known for his electronic facsimile transmission inventions, started the Radio Club’s scholarship program. Additional contributions since then have boosted the scholarship endowment to more than $400,000. The Radio Club spends interest earned at about 4 percent per annum on its scholarship recipients.

The Radio Club of America gives all of its estimated $17,000 in available annual scholarship money to institutions, not directly to students. Several attributes of the program result:

1. RCA does not accept applications for the money. Students must submit applications for the money to the institutions. Most of the institutions are colleges and universities.

2. RCA might intend that a grant to an institution should go to one student, but institutions may split the money among two or more students. Some RCA members want the Club to make fewer grants for larger amounts, but sometimes when RCA takes that step, institutions split the money and distribute smaller amounts, anyway.

3. Most of the money is given to specific colleges and universities, so only students enrolled there may apply. There is one exception.

Because of these attributes, most potential recipients would benefit little if RCA were to publicize the availability of grants on a national basis. For most of the money, applications must be made through specified administrators at colleges or universities that RCA targets for the money. At the local level, these administrators disseminate scholarship details and application requirements to students at these institutions.

The exception involves money administered on RCA’s behalf by the Foundation for Amateur Radio (FAR). The Foundation accepts applications for RCA scholarship money from mid-December to the end of April each year to use during the following academic year. Students enrolled or who have been accepted for enrollment in any accredited college or university may apply. Overall, FAR administers as many as 60 amateur radio-related scholarships, including three from RCA.

FAR administers three RCA scholarships that pay $1,000 each. Applicants must pursue studies in electronic engineering or electronic technology toward a bachelor’s degree and must be U.S. citizens. Applicants normally must be in their junior or senior year of studies, but exceptions have been made, and some freshmen and sophomores have received grants. Preference will be given to applicants taking courses in wireless communications. An applicant must have an amateur radio license at a minimum grade of General class.

Additional information and an application form may be requested by letter or QSL card sent to:

FAR Scholarships
P. O. Box 831
Riverdale, MD 20738

Applications are also available electronically upon request to

Institutions that receive RCA scholarship money.

If you know a potential applicant who could be be enrolled at a college or university that receives scholarship money directly from RCA, you need the following list. RCA has selected these institutions of higher learning in past years to receive scholarship money.

University of Texas at Austin
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Blacksburg, Virginia
University of Cincinnati
Capitol College, Laurel, Maryland
Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey
Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey

In past years, the following individuals served as administrators for the RCA scholarship money:

UT − Michelle Mansolo
UCLA − Vijay K. Dhir, Ph.D.
Virginia Tech − Leslie K. Pendleton, Ph.D.
Capitol College − Richard Beall
U. of Cinncinnati − Hal Carter, Ph.D.
Polytechnic University − Henry Bertoni, Ph.D.
Montclair State − Thomas Gencarelli, Ph.D.

The Radio Club of America encourages students to apply for its scholarship money, and the odds of receiving a grant may be better than you might have guessed. For example, more than half of the students who apply for scholarships administered by the Foundation for Amateur Radio receive grants.


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