Rec Program Scholarships

Kids drawing

We offer assistance to eligible San Francisco residents through our Recreation Scholarship Fund. Eligibility in our Scholarship Program entitles needy residents to at least a 50% discount and as much as 100% off program registration. Families can enroll by meeting income level restrictions or by submitting documentation of enrollment in other subsidized programs. Scholarships are offered to all of our programs, including Cultural Arts Programs; Community Service Programs such as Tiny Tots; Athletics Programs such as Girls Sports, and Leisure Services Programs such as Aquatics or Outdoor Recreation.

In 2007 the Recreation and Parks Commission established a scholarship program in an effort to ensure that San Francisco residents are not denied the benefits of public recreation due to the inability to pay. The Recreation and Parks Commission believes that every resident should have the opportunity to take part in public recreational programs and classes, which foster human development, promote health and wellness and increase cultural unity.

The scholarship policy establishes the eligibility requirements and determines scholarship levels criteria, which applies to all San Francisco Recreation and Park Department programs for which a fee is charged. The Scholarship Program will serve children, youth, adults, and seniors.

Scholarships and/or financial aid may not be applied to Camp Mather camping reservations, facility rentals or point of sale items, except for aquatic script tickets.

Eligibility for scholarships and/or financial aid may only be determined by any designee(s) of the Recreation and Parks General Manager. Once eligibility has been established, a household’s account will reflect that eligibility. Eligibility for scholarships must be established annually by meeting eligibility and verification requirements. Scholarship eligibility will be valid for one fiscal year.

Who is eligible?

1. Applicants must be San Francisco residents, or own property in San Francisco.

2. Applicant’s household must have an income equal to or less than 200% of the current federal poverty level, as determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Federal Poverty Guidelines.

How do I Apply?

You can fill out an application and show income documentation at any recreation center or at the McLaren Lodge Registration Desk. You will need to provide proof of residency and show documentation verifying your income. You will be contacted within 1 week of applying to inform you of your scholarship status. Scholarships are not retro-active.

Only Support Services staff at the McLaren Lodge Registration Desk can approve 50% scholarships. For requests over 50%, please call Lillian Bautista, Scholarship Coordinator, at 415-831-2717 for more information.


1. Residency:  Applicants can prove eligibility by providing a picture identification matching the name on a utility bill.

2. Low Income Determination: Applicants can prove eligibility by providing one of the following documents:

Household Income Verification

Documentation confirming income as follows:

  • Prior year income tax return
  • EITC or Working Families Credit receipt
  • Child care subsidies or vouchers from contracted community based agencies by the SF’s Dept of Children, Youth, and their families

Public Assistance Program Verification

Documentation confirming participation in any of the San Francisco Human Services Agency (H.S.A.) administered programs as follows:

  • Medi-cal – provide current Notice of Action letter
  • CalWORKS – provide current Notice of Action letter
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) statement
  • Food Stamp – provide current Notice of Action letter
  • Public Housing Authority – provide rent receipt

For each member of a qualifying household, programs will be subsidized accordingly, based on request and determination by the Scholarship Coordinator of the appropriate scholarship level. Scholarship recipients may be withdrawn from the program and become ineligible for future scholarships due to excessive or unexcused absences as determined by the Scholarship Coordinator.

Level 1 – 50%

Extends fifty percent (50%) off all programs to households who meet the Income Eligibility Requirements.

Level 2 – 75%

Extends seventy-five percent (75%) of individual program cost to households who meet the eligibility criteria; the household participants are in two or more government subsided programs; and the selected recreational program is a health and wellness program that enhances and/or supports physical fitness and mobility. Course registration is through Scholarship Coordinator only and attendance is mandatory in order to maintain scholarship eligibility.

Level 3 – 100%

Extends a one-hundred percent (100%) of program cost to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria; the household participants are in two or more government subsidized programs; and the scholarship recipient is either a child under the age of 18 years old or a senior citizen over the age of 65. Course registration is through the Scholarship Coordinator only and attendance is mandatory in order to maintain scholarship eligibility.

Recreation and Parks is grateful for the tremendous support of Mayor Edwin Lee, the Recreation and Park Commission, the San Francisco Parks Trust and our many other friends for enabling us to offer access to all San Franciscans to our recreation activities through the Recreation Scholarship Program. No applicant will be turned away for lack of funds.