Apply for a Scholarship

We offer assistance to eligible San Francisco residents through our Recreation Scholarship Program. Eligibility in our Scholarship Program gives low income residents to at least a 50% discount and as much as 100% off program registration. Families can enroll by meeting income level restrictions and 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 every 2 years by meeting eligibility and verification requirements. Scholarship eligibility will be valid for 2 years from the date of inception.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

  1. Applicants must live in San Francisco.
  2. Applicant’s household must have an income equal to or less than 250% of the current federal poverty level, as determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Federal Poverty Guidelines 2021.


HOW DO I APPLY?

New applicants can apply by downloading an application, filling it out completely, and submitting the application with the supporting income documentation via email to lillian.bautista@sfgov.org or mailing the application with the supporting documents to:

Lillian Bautista, Scholarship Coordinator

McLaren Lodge, Golden Gate Park

501 Stanyan Street

San Francisco, CA 94117


Download a scholarship application:

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Please fill out the application completely by including all family members’ information and the person who is filling out the application. If there are more than four (4) household members, please add the additional family members to a second application form. You will be required to provide proof of residency and show documentation verifying your income.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, we are currently not accepting in-person applications by walk-in to McLaren Lodge.  Please contact Lillian Bautista at 415-831-2717 or at lillian.bautista@sfgov.org for assistance with hard copy applications.

HOW DO I RENEW?

Renewing applicants can resubmit verification documents through the online portal or email the signed Scholarship Agreement and Liability Waiver Form with scanned copies of their income and eligibility verification to lillian.bautista@sfgov.org or mailing the application with the supporting documents to: 

Lillian Bautista, Scholarship Coordinator

McLaren Lodge, Golden Gate Park

501 Stanyan Street

San Francisco, CA 94117


You will be contacted within one week of applying to inform you of your scholarship status. Scholarships are not retroactive. 

Scholarship Agreement Forms:

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ELIGIBILITY


  1. Residency:  Applicants can prove eligibility by providing a picture identification matching the name on a utility bill.
  2. Applicants can prove income eligibility by providing:
  • Prior year income tax return
  • Current SSI (Supplemental Security Income) statement

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 scholarship due to “no show,” excessive absences, and/or excessive late withdrawals as determined by the Scholarship Coordinator.

Level 1 – 50%

Extends 50% off all programs to households who meet the Income Eligibility Requirements. 

  • Attendance is mandatory in order to maintain scholarship eligibility
  • Maximum of 2 programs per person per season
  • Summer day camps are available for the entire summer

Level 2 – 75%
Applicant must provide two Public Assistance Program verifications
Extends 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. 

  • Attendance is mandatory in order to maintain scholarship eligibility
  • Maximum of 2 programs per person per season
  • Summer day camps are available for the entire summer

Level 3 – 100%
Applicant must provide two Public Assistance Program verifications 

Extends 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. 

  • Attendance is mandatory in order to maintain scholarship eligibility
  • Maximum of 2 programs per person per season
  • Summer day camps are available for the entire summer

VERIFICATION

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

  • MediCal— provide current Notice of Action letter
  • CalWORKS— provide current Notice of Action letter
  • Food Stamp— provide current Notice of Action letter
  • Public Housing Authority— provide rent receipt
  • Foster Care— provide court order letter
  • Homeless— Homeless Coalition/Homeless Advocate/Homeless Prenatal Care or other agency’s letterhead verification letter


Recreation and Parks is grateful for the tremendous support of the Mayor's Office, 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.