Ask ARCH-ie is a Q&A series answered by the AIA Colorado Emerging Professionals Group. Have a question? Members can reach out with issues in an anonymous format. Ask ARCH-ie today! 




I’m struggling with pursuing licensure this summer. Between the stress of the pandemic and the financial hardship it has caused, I’m lacking motivation, not to mention having difficulty coming up with the fees. Can you help?






Kaylyn Kirby

Kaylyn Kirby, AIA, Chair of the AIA Colorado Emerging Professionals Working Group and AIA Colorado Secretary


It seems as though people are finding all sorts of ways to fill their time during the pandemic—baking bread, doing yoga, runs at lunch—but what about studying for the ARE?

When I put my head down for a 7-month sprint to complete all six ARE exams, I struggled to suppress the social butterfly in myself. I wanted to go have a craft beer at my favorite brewery with friends, I wanted to go to dinner, or I wanted to zone out after getting home from work. I eventually adjusted to my new schedule—what is it, 30 days to a “habit?” Yet it was still a struggle.

I was lucky to have the support of my significant other on the home and social front, and my office for the financial, but not everyone is that lucky. Last month, AIA Colorado announced the new Licensure Advancement Fund, which allows Assoc. AIA members experiencing economic hardship to apply for up to $500 in financial support towards exams, study materials, or keeping your NCARB record current. In our current state, this is a huge opportunity to help offset costs associated with getting your license.

On top of that, if the pandemic is good for anything, it is helping you stick to a study schedule without the allure of a bunch of social gatherings. I encourage anyone struggling economically to not lose sight of licensure goals and apply for this opportunity. Take 2020 back and make it the year you scratch some AREs off your list. It may even be better than mastering your sourdough recipe.



About the AIA Colorado Licensure Advancement Fund

AIA Colorado is proud to introduce the Licensure Advancement Fund, supported by our launch sponsor, The Architectural Education Foundation. Associate AIA members in Colorado facing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for financial assistance to continue their paths to licensure. Funding will assist with various costs associated with achieving licensure, including things like ARE exam fees and DORA licensing fees. Learn more and apply.