• Sun beginning to set at Harpers Ferry, as seen from Maryland Heights. Photo by NPS Volunteer Buddy Secor.

    Harpers Ferry

    National Historical Park WV,VA,MD

Education & Fees Frequently Asked Questions

What groups are considered education groups?
Any K-12, university, or teacher group is considered an education group. Given that a reservation is in place, these groups are provided with an orientation upon arrival to the park. Education groups may also sign up for ranger-guided curriculum programs if the date of visit is available.

What groups are eligible for education fee waivers?
K-12, university, and teacher groups are eligible for education fee waivers. Other groups may qualify for a fee waiver provided that the group is a 501(c)3 educational organization. Check your organization’s tax exempt paperwork to ensure eligibility or call our fee department at 304.535.2904.

What is the suggested chaperone to student ratio?
The suggested chaperone to student ratio for educational groups visiting Harpers Ferry NHP is 1:3 for PreK-4th grades, 1:5 for 5-8th grades, and 1:10 for 9-12th grades. Please note that exceeding these ratios will result in the extra chaperones being charged the per person park entrance fee. For exceptions, please contact us at 304.535.2904 or 304.535.6456.


What is the education reservation process?
The education reservation process begins with a K-12, university, or teacher group leader submitting an education reservation via the online system or by downloading and faxing in a reservation. The information the group leader provides in this first step is very important to securing a reservation so please provide the most complete information as possible. To start this process, please see the Education Reservation page.

After the education office receives a reservation, we add you to our orientation schedule. If you have requested a program, we will try to fit you into our schedule depending on how many groups have signed up for that day. We may call or email you for clarifying information as needed. Next, we will send a confirmation with your date of visit and program information via email or fax.

Save your confirmation for your records and bring it with you to the park on the day of your visit.

What is the education fee waiver process?
The education fee waiver process differs depending on the age of the students. K-10 grade groups provide information about learning objectives and area of study on the education reservation sheet. If this information is omitted, we will ask for it to be provided. If the information is not provided, the chaperones will be assessed the $5 per person entrance fee for the park.

11-12 grade, university, and teacher groups should submit a fee waiver request to the fee department in addition to their education reservation sheet. To assist with writing a request, a checklist has been attached to the bottom of the education reservation sheet and a link has been provided within the online reservation system. The fee department will notify you of the status of your request.


Why should I fill out the education reservation? (Why does the park need this information from our group?)
By filling out the education reservation sheet, our staff of park rangers and volunteers are better able to serve you! Knowing the time of your arrival allows us to have staff available to provide a brief history and safety orientation to your group so that you may have a more enjoyable and safe visit to your national park.

Submitting a reservation is also your way to request ranger-guided curriculum programs. Program slots fill up fast so groups without reservations will be self-guided during their visit.

Also educational groups that make a reservation and are traveling via school or charter buses will be escorted by staff to the Lower Town for drop off of the group during most months of the year. Unscheduled groups or groups that do not contact the Education Department to make a reservation are not allowed to drop off and pick up in Lower Town and must use the shuttle buses for transportation.

K-10th grade unscheduled groups will be assessed the $5 per person entrance fee for chaperones and adults (16 and older). 11th grade, university, and teacher groups that are unscheduled will be assessed the $5 per person entrance fee for everyone in the group, not to exceed the commercial tour fees.


Why should I submit an education fee waiver request?
Groups that are eligible for an education fee waiver should submit their request so that their entrances fees to the park are waived. Without the fee waiver request and its approval, groups will be assessed that entrance fee of $5 per adult (16 and older) not to exceed the commercial tour fees.


Who should I contact about education fee waivers?
For more information regarding education fee waivers, contact the fee supervisor at 304.535.2904. You may also send requests via fax to 304.535.2905.

Who should I contact about education reservations?
For more information regarding education reservations, contact education office assistant at 304.535.6456. You may also send in reservations sheet via fax to 304.535.5084.

How far in advance should I submit the education reservation?
Education reservations should be submitted to the education office at least 4 weeks in advance of the date of visit. If you are planning a trip within a 4 week timeframe, please contact the education office via telephone first and we will assist you to the best of our ability. We encourage all education groups to contact us regardless of the 4 week guideline so that your visit goes as smoothly and safely as possible.


How far in advance should I submit an education fee waiver request?
Education fee waiver requests should be submitted to the fee department at least 4 weeks in advance of the date of visit. If you are planning a trip within a 4 week timeframe, you may still submit your fee waiver request but there is not a guarantee that your request will be reviewed and approved before your date of visit.


How quickly will I receive confirmation of an education reservation?
The education office will send you a confirmation no later than 2 weeks after your reservation was submitted. If extenuating circumstances arise that lengthen the processing time, we will notify you with an expected date of confirmation.

How quickly will I receive confirmation of an education fee waiver?
The fee office will send you a confirmation no later than 2 weeks after your fee waiver request was submitted. If extenuating circumstances arise that lengthen the reviewing time, we will notify you with an expected date of confirmation.


If I schedule my programs using the online reservation system, is the paper I print my confirmation?
No. The paper you print at the end of the online reservation system is solely for your records so that you know what you have requested. Just like the paper reservations, we treat each electronic reservation as a request and we will send you a confirmation to let you know what we have scheduled for you on the day of your visit.


Can I submit a fee waiver request via the online reservation system?
No. The fee waiver request still needs to be mailed or faxed to Harpers Ferry NHP.

Did You Know?

Photo of the National League of Colored Women at the John Brown Fort.

On July 14, 1896, during their first National Convention, the National League of Colored Women visited the John Brown Fort. They were the first group known to make such a pilgrimage to this site.