Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks requires Academic Fee Waivers for all groups of students traveling with adult chaperones/teachers. Groups without Academic Fee Waivers will be charged on a per person or per vehicle basis. Academic Fee Waivers are not available at entrance stations and must be applied for in advance. Please allow up to two weeks for processing time.
The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA), Public Law 108-447, provides the National Park Service statutory authority to allow outings conducted for non-commercial educational purposes by accredited academic institutions to obtain a waiver of park entrance fees. Commercial enterprises are not eligible for fee waivers, but school groups using a commercial vehicle for transportation only may apply for a fee waiver.
Criteria for Applicants
National Park Service (NPS) regulations allow school groups and other bona fide national and international academic institutions to obtain a waiver for park entrance fees, provided that the visit is for educational credit or scientific purposes, and the resources or facilities the group proposes to use support those purposes.
Academic fee waivers are not granted automatically. Applicant groups must show they qualify for the waiver. There are three criteria the group must meet to qualify for an academic fee waiver: eligibility, educational purpose, and relevance of park resources or facilities. These criteria are detailed below:
Applicants must prove they are a bona fide academic institution by submitting one of the following:
- A statement confirming educational or scientific tax-exemption from the IRS or the applicant's national, state, or local tax authority; or
- A statement, from a bona fide academic institution, confirming that the group is visiting for the purpose of providing transferable educational credit based on a curriculum; or
A statement of accreditation, or recognition as an academic institution, from a recognized national, regional, state, or local authority at the applicant's location.
Educational Purpose of the Visit
The park visit must support a specific curriculum for which academic credit is offered. Commercial enterprises are not eligible for fee waivers, but groups using a commercial vehicle for transportation only may apply.
Relevance of Park Resources or Facilities
The course curriculum must be relevant to and supported by natural or cultural resources found in the park. Applicants must identify these resources and/or facilities in Section 5 of the application.
How to Apply
If you meet the criteria above submit the following to the address below. Please allow three weeks for processing.
- A signed and completed copy of the Education Reservation Request Form (formerly known as the Academic Fee Waiver Application). If your group is using a commercial tour company, the group (not the company) must apply for the fee waiver and must state how the tour supports the curriculum.
- Current, official documentation of eligibility such as described above. It is insufficient to merely state or imply this on the application. Your fee waiver request cannot be approved without one of these documents.
Email your completed fee waiver request at least two weeks before your visit to email@example.com (e-mail us) or mail your request to:
Education Fee Waiver
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
47050 Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA 93271
If you have questions, please call (559) 565-3341.
Home schools may be granted fee waivers based on the course of study following the procedures above, as long as they meet your state requirements for home schools. A copy of your state's department of education requirements may be requested if you are out-of-state.
If your group does not meet the three requirements listed above, it may be considered a Non-Commercial Organized Group.
Groups that do not qualify for an academic fee waiver will be charged the entrance fee for non-commercial organized groups, which is $20 per person for each person 16 years of age and older. Youth 15 years of age and younger are exempt from entrance fees. Sequoia and Kings Canyon Annual Pass, Interagency Annual, Interagency Senior, Interagency Access, Golden Age, and Golden Access Passport holders and their immediate family members (parents, spouse, and children) will not need to pay the entrance fee.
The number of adult sponsors or faculty included in a fee waiver is limited. Please use a guideline of one adult sponsor or faculty per 5 elementary school students; 10 high school students; 20 college students. Specific district, local or state policies and safety standards will be considered.
Adults and/or vehicles not included in the fee waiver will be required to pay the per vehicle or per person fee, depending on vehicle size.
Please provide a copy of the approved fee waiver for each vehicle in the group.