Fee Waiver Requirements


For All School Groups

Entrance-fee waivers are granted to bona fide academic institutions that are using the park to study park resources. In accordance with 36 CFR 71.13 (d), there are three criteria to qualify for an academic fee waiver:

  • eligibility,
  • educational purpose,
  • and relevance of park resources or facilities.

1. Eligibility

National or international applicants must prove they are a school or bona fide academic institution by submitting one of the following types of documentation:

  • A statement confirming educational or scientific tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the applicant's national, state, or local tax authority; or
  • A statement, from a bona fide academic institution meeting one of these eligibility standards, confirming that the group is visiting for the purpose of providing transferable academic credit based on a curriculum; or
  • A statement of accreditation or recognition as an educational institution from a legitimate international, national, regional, state, or local authority for the applicant's location. *school can identify which organization has accredited them, which can be confirmed on that organization’s website.

2. Educational Purpose of the Visit

Applicants must provide a written statement (documentation) verifying that the visit supports a specific curriculum for which academic credit is offered. Academic credit must be earned by students attending the trip.

3. Relevance of Park Resources or Facilities

Relevance to park resources must be described. Applicants must provide a written statement identifying the park resources and/or facilities that will be used to support the educational purpose of the visit, and how they are relevant to that purpose. Be as specific as possible as to what locations in the park will be visited and why. A clear, detailed lesson plan indicating credit being earned may support both #2 and #3.

To request an entrance fee waiver for your primary, secondary, university, or college school group, fill out sections 1,2 and 5 of the fee waiver application. Sections 3-4 can be left blank. Email documentation of the three criteria above and the application to jotr_education@nps.gov or mail to:

Education Specialist
Joshua Tree National Park
9800 Black Rock Canyon Road
Yucca Valley
, CA 92284

In most cases your application must be received at least 30 days prior to your proposed visit. If approved, the application will be signed and returned to you.

Applications cannot be approved at the park entrance stations or visitor centers. Verbal waivers will not be granted.

Each vehicle must have a hard copy of the waiver in their possession during their entire visit. Students arriving without the waiver will be charged an entrance fee.

Last updated: February 16, 2023

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