Friday, March 13, 2009

From the Vault: Camp Scholarships

Spring break and summer vacations are coming around soon. I wrote this piece last year, about camp money for kids.

Many camps --Spring Break mini camps, after-school camps and Summer Camps-- offer a wide variety of program discounts. But in some cases, there's a big catch: You have to ask.

I've had directors at expensive, private day camps, inform me that registration fees and tuition costs can be waived for families that need help. But that information is sometimes whispered or delivered in very hushed tones.

(A private camp may not want to be swamped with scholarship requests or may lack the staff to review inquiries.) But there are full scholarships, partial fees, sibling discounts, early-registration fee cuts and other discounts. There are also resident, neighborhood or membership-only tuition breaks.

Some camps award financial packages based on standardized forms and "needs test." Other camps only ask for letters requesting scholarships or discounts. "There's no child left behind,"said one camp director. But he acknowledged that although fee-discounts are available, the burden is on each family to request assistance. --This piece originally ran in March of 2008.

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