Frequently Asked Questions

What ages do you accept?
Applicants must be at least 16 and no older than 18 years of age on the start date. Applicant age is determined on the day of in-processing, (no exceptions are made for those applicants 15 and younger or 19 and older ).

Is there a cost for the program?
No – The program is funded by the State of Hawaii and the Federal Government. Although parents are not required to pay tuition for  the program, some personal items may have to be purchased prior to and during the class cycle.

Is military service required upon completion of the program?
No – Although the Youth Challenge Academy is ‘quasi-military’ in structure, Cadets are not obligated nor are they expected to join a military service.

Will Cadets receive their GED or high school diploma?
Cadets will earn a high school equivalency diploma through the C-BASE program.  This program is very similar to the GED program and has five unit exams and one mastery exam. There is no physical difference between the GED and the C-BASE diplomas.

Can a student return to high school after completing the 22 week residential phase?
Not normally. Once a cadet completes the program and receives their equivalency diploma, they are encouraged to continue on to college. The academy assists with the college application process and even offers a limited number of earned scholarships, if the graduate so chooses.

  • Students who were classified as special education students prior to their arrival at the Youth Challenge Academy may be eligible to return to their high school and complete a high school diploma under certain circumstances. Please see your individual high school counselor for clarification of this opportunity.

What items do I bring?
Cadets only need the items noted on the packing list, which is received upon acceptance into the program via email or USPS. Only the items included on the packing list should be brought to the academy. All non-packing list items will be returned to the guardian on in-processing day.

  • Items on this list include hygiene items, letter right materials and undergarments. Most other items required will be provided by the Youth Challenge Academy

Does YCA have a wellness policy?
Yes.  Please see this link: hawaii-national-guard-youth-challenge-academy-wellnes-policy