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What is an Experience Scholarship?

This application process applies to membership, swim lessons, youth sports, and partial-day preschool only.

  • For assistance through our Before & After School Division, email
  • Assistance for our Full Day Child Care, Day and Overnight Camps is provided through each of our branches individually. Please contact the location that you wish to register for directly. 

As a cause-driven organization with a deep commitment to the community, the Y strives to provide the most thorough consideration and assistance to those experiencing financial hardship and who need it most.

Every dollar raised and generously donated to fund our Experience Scholarship Program is thoughtfully considered when determining how to measure and forecast scholarship funding accurately, ensuring that it’s allocated responsibly and that it remains available year-round. Experience Scholarship rates provided are the very best possible within the program’s guidelines so we can continue to provide all the benefits our members have come to value so much.

Am I Eligible?

Our mission is to provide Experience Scholarships for individuals and families who live at or below 300% of poverty, based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines, to reduce monthly rates. Awards are determined on a sliding-scale basis, dependent on household size and accurate supporting documentation being provided and verified for each member in the household.

Examples showing a few of our most common Passport Membership types at their lowest possible rates:

  • $27.65 – Adult
  • $33.30 – Individual Parent
  • $37.80 – Family

The examples above show only 3 membership categories of the many we offer, including ROC City Memberships. Rates are subject to change.

If approved, rates provided are the very best possible within the program’s guidelines while continuing to offer all the benefits our members have come to value so much. 

Our Commitment to You

We are grateful for the opportunity to support you and want to provide you with the best customer service possible. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Allow 30 days for us to process your application: If you have not seen an email from us within 5-7 business days of your application date, search your email inbox and spam folders for the subject line “Experience Scholarship” using the same email address indicated in your application. We understand many are eager to start a membership, however high volumes of status inquiries and duplicate submissions only delay the process for everyone. Thank you for your understanding!
  • Submitting more than one application: Applications are processed based on the date of submission and only your most recent application will be considered. Submitting multiple applications will push your application date further out and delay an award determination.
  • Carefully consider each application question: Membership type, category, home branch and awards are determined based on the information provided being accurate. Any information that cannot be verified or found to be inaccurate, will result in a delay in approval or ineligibility.

  • Extension or change requests are prohibited. Each application is based on an annual membership and receives our fullest attention in the order they are received. Expired rewards or request to change a membership type are subject to a waiting period of up to six (6) months to ensure all other applications are fairly processed in succession and without interruption. 

  • Outstanding balances from a previous membership: We require any prior unpaid balance on an existing account be paid in full before we can process an application or award an Experience Scholarship.

Our Process

Here’s what to expect during the application process:

  • Submit your application: You will receive an email right away confirming your application has been received. If you don't see one, please check your spam folders and save the email address as a contact to ensure you receive all future status updates.
  • Look for another email within 5-7 business days for updates: You may be asked for more information and supporting documentation. Monitor the email used for Scholarship communications often as to not miss any staff updates.
  • Submit all supporting documentation if requested: All adults in the household must be included in the application and supporting documentation, even if they will not be included in the membership you are applying for. Any missing information for adults in the total household will delay in a determination.
  • If you’re approved: You will be emailed an Award Letter and Membership Agreement along with instructions explaining how to activate your scholarship and start your membership. You will receive keytag(s) and have any photos taken or updated on your first visit at your designated home branch. Don’t hesitate to ask for a tour if you’re a first-time Y member!

If you accept an Experience Scholarship, you agree to actively use your membership, which means you or anyone on your membership visit the Y at least one time within a 3-month period. 

Frequently Asked Questions

I applied and haven’t heard anything. What is the status of my application?

Please allow 30 days from the time we received your application and all supporting documentation to be processed. If you've submitted your required documentation according to the guidelines provided in the request, your application is in the queue to be processed. If your application is still pending after 30 days, it’s likely we are awaiting additional information specifically requested. Please search your email inbox and spam folders for the subject line “YMCA Experience Scholarship”, using the same email address indicated on your application.

Why hasn’t my application been processed yet?

We require 30 days from the date of submission to obtain and verify any supporting documentation that may be required and determine eligibility based on the information provided. The following factors will generally delay our application process:

  • Duplicate applications - Applications are reviewed in the order they are received. Your current place in the queue will be replaced using the most recent submission date
  • High volume of requests for status updates, through multiple channels
  • Providing information inconsistent with original application (ie; application submitted under different name in household, maiden/hyphenated names, shortened/nicknames, multiple email addresses, etc)
  • Unclear or inconsistent information provided regarding household members or membership type requested
  • There is an outstanding balance on your account
  • You've previously been awarded an Experience Scholarship within the last 12 months and did not redeem the award within the redemption window
  • Partial or inaccurate total household income information that cannot be verified

Why do I have to start my membership at a certain branch when I chose a Passport Membership?

Every member has a designated “home branch”. This simply tells us where you initially set up your membership, who handles your billing and payment plan, and generally where you’re likely to visit most. If you have a Passport Membership, you are free to use any of our locations after your membership is set up at your determined home branch.