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 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.
ACADEMIC FEE WAIVER CRITERIA
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 of accreditation, or recognition as an academic institution, from a recognized national, regional, state, or local authority at the applicant's location.
• 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 confirming official, organized U.S. military group status visiting for specific professional military education
• A statement confirming authorized home school status. Home schools may be granted fee waivers based on the course of study following the procedures above, as long as they meet their state's requirements for home schools.
2. Educational Purpose of the Visit
Applicants must provide a written statement confirming that the visit supports a specific curriculum/class for which academic credit is offered.
3. Relevance of Park Resources or Facilities
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.
HOW TO APPLY FOR AN ACADEMIC FEE WAIVER
If you meet the criteria above, complete the Fee Waiver Application and submit one of three ways:
1. Download, fill out, print and sign the completed application and fax to 301-432-4115
2. Download, fill out, print, sign and scan the completed application and email it to: Alann_Schmidt@nps.gov
3. Download, print, sign the completed application and mail it to:
Antietam National Battlefield
Fee Waiver Applications
P.O. Box 158
Sharpsburg, MD 21782
Fee Waiver Application, editable PDF version, 87k
Fee Waiver Application, Word version, 18k
Please be aware…
• If your group is using a commercial tour company, the group (not the company) must apply for the fee waiver.
• Fee waivers are not available at entrance stations. Requests for fee waivers must be received by the park at least two weeks prior to the planned visit.
• Academic fee waivers do not include camping, licensed tour guide, or any other activity fees.
• Academic fee waivers cannot be granted for hardship factors.
• Service, civic, or fraternal organizations, such as Scouts, Rotary, and Elks, do not qualify for an academic fee waiver unless the group meets the specific criteria above.
• "Blanket" academic fee waivers for all national parks are not issued or accepted. Groups must submit separate requests to individual parks for approval. A list of parks and contact address is at www.nps.gov.
If your request is approved, your application will be signed and returned to you and will serve as your fee waiver. Please present a copy of the approved fee waiver at the park visitor center when you arrive.
If your request is denied, you will receive a letter from the park explaining why your group does not qualify.
If you have any questions, please contact the Visitors Center (301) 432-5124.