• Structure 17, Glassblowing and Island Drive

    Historic Jamestowne

    Part of Colonial National Historical Park Virginia

Academic Fee Waivers

Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield are major subsites of Colonial National Historical Park (Colonial NHP). Colonial NHP is one of the many National Parks required, by law, to charge entrance fees. However, these entrance fees can be waived for academic institutions and organizations. Colonial NHP's academic fee waiver procedures and requirements have recently changed to bring them more inline with the federal regulations. Please review these requirements and follow the instructions in order to qualify for an Academic Fee Waiver into Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield.

For the remainder of the 2012-2013 school year you will need only to bring your completed Academic Fee Waiver applications (with all accompanying documentation) to the park. Starting in the 2013-2014 school year all Academic Fee Waivers Applications will have to be pre-approved before free entrance into the park can be granted. Instructions for these pre-approval procedures follow.


National Park Service regulations allow most school groups and other accredited national and international academic institutions to obtain a waiver of park entrance fees, provided the visit is for "outings conducted for non-commercial educational purposes by schools and other bona fide academic institutions." The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement ACT (FLREA) allows these outings to receive a waiver of park entrance fees. A bona fide academic institution is one that is genuine and applies for the fee waiver "in good faith, without fraud or deceit." Commercial enterprises are not eligible for fee waivers, but school groups using a commercial vehicle for transportation only may apply for a fee waiver.

In some states and counties the Boards of Education mandate the use of commercial tour companies to provide comprehensive services for school groups. In those cases academic fee waivers will only be given if the commercial tour companies can show that the fee waiver will be factored into the tour package price for a bona fide school group. The school group must apply for and meet the criteria for an academic fee waiver and document that the tour provider's package price incorporates the discount. Academic fee waivers only apply to entrance fees. [National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Recreation Fee Management, RM 22A, 10.1.3]

Academic fee waivers are not granted automatically. Applicant groups must demonstrate that they qualify for the waiver. There are three requirements that the group must meet to qualify for an academic fee waiver: eligibility, relevancy of park resources or facilities, and educational purpose. (Note - school groups with students all 15 years of age or younger; and including the teachers and chaperones, do not require fee waiver documentation, as the park's entrance fee only applies to individuals 16 and older. However, school groups with students 15 and younger still must check in at the visitor center fee desk to have their fee waiver status confirmed.)

Requirement #1 - Eligibility
Applicants must prove they are an academic or scientific institution by presenting one of the following types of documentation:

• 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 an academic institution that meets 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 confirming accreditation or recognition as an educational institution from a qualified national, regional, state, or local authority.

Requirement #2 - Relevance of Park Resources
Applicants must provide a written explanation 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.

Requirement #3 - Educational Purpose
Applicants must provide a written statement confirming that the visit supports a specific curriculum for which academic credit is offered. The specific curriculum must be cited in the statement.


Application Procedures
To apply for an academic fee waiver, print and complete the Academic Fee Waiver Application and include the following:

• Attach current official documentation of recognition as an academic institution by a federal, state, or local government entity, or other evidence attesting to educational status (e.g., accreditation letter, tax exemption status).

• A written statement confirming a direct relationship between the purpose of the visit and the use of the park. The visit must include the study of some aspect or resource specific to the park. A general statement to the effect that the visit is for "academic" or "educational purposes" is, by itself, insufficient. An explanation of what the educational purpose entails and how it is related to park resources is required (e.g., course outlines, lesson plans, copy of the curriculum).

• A written statement confirming that the visit supports a specific curriculum for which academic credit is offered. Documentation such as a copy of the school's course catalog or handbook will also satisfy this requirement.

Submit your application package by mail at least two weeks in advance of your visit to: Colonial National Historical Park, ATTN: Academic Fee Waiver Coordinator, P.O. Box 210, Yorktown, Virginia 23690 or fax your completed form and documentation to 757 898-2421. Applications that are incomplete may be denied. If you have questions regarding your application prior to your visit, please call the park's interpretive program coordinator at 757-898-2411.


Additional Information
If the anticipated visit does not apply to the park's resources or facilities, and you are not being escorted by a commercial tour company, you will enter as an "organized non-commercial" group. The following, as outlined in the National Park Service Recreation Fee Program, is then in effect:

• Organizations that are generally considered service, civic, or fraternal (e.g., Scouting, Rotary, faith-based organizations, clubs, etc.) do NOT qualify for the academic fee waiver unless they meet the requirements.

• Individuals 15 years of age and younger, not on a commercial tour, are exempt from entrance fees.

• Individuals 16 years of age and older, not on a commercial tour, are charged the non-private fee of $14.00 per person at Historic Jamestowne or $7.00 per person at Yorktown. (If visiting both sites; the $14.00 fee at Historic Jamestowne includes Yorktown for seven consecutive days entrance. The $7.00 fee paid at Yorktown can be applied to the purchase of entrance at Historic Jamestowne.)

• Interagency Pass holders and up to three additional adults are not required to pay at Yorktown. At Historic Jamestowne, pass holders and up to three additional adults are charged an additional $5.00 per person to cover Preservation Virginia entrance fees. The pass holder must present their pass, along with photo identification, at the fee desk.

• Groups being escorted by a commercial tour company are charged the commercial tour fee of $100.00 per bus.

Did You Know?

Drawing from Captain John Smith's map of Virginia showing Powhatan

Before the English arrived in Virginia in 1607, one of Powhatan’s priests predicted that he and the Powhatan people would be conquered by a people who came from the east.