Academic Fee Waivers


Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, organized groups are currently limited to a maximum size of 12 people.


Academic Fee Waiver Information

Academic fee waivers are granted to educational institutions whose curriculum relates specifically to the resources at Big Bend National Park. Completed applications along with required documentation may be submitted via email, fax, or mail. Email is preferred to expedite the process and save paper.

Fax: 1-432-477-1176, Attn: Fee Office
Mail: P.O. Box 129, Fee Office, Big Bend National Park, TX 79834

All applications must be received two weeks prior to anticipated trip.

Fee Waiver Information

National Park Service regulations allow school groups and other approved national and international academic institutions to obtain a waiver of park entrance fees, provided the visit is for education or scientific purposes, and the resources or facilities that the group intends to use support those purposes.

Academic fee waivers are not granted automatically. Applicant groups must demonstrate that they qualify for the waiver. There are three requirements (listed below) that the group must meet to qualify for an academic fee waiver: eligibility, educational purpose, and relevancy of park resources or facilities.

Requirement #1 - Educational Purpose
Applicants must provide a written statement confirming that the visit supports a specific curriculum for which academic credit is offered. If the group is on a commercial tour, the applicant must state how the tour supports the curriculum.

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

  • A statement confirming education 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.
Fee Waiver Requirements, Applications and Instructions
If your group does not meet the three requirements your group may be considered as a Non-Commercial Organized Group. Youth 15 years of age and younger would be exempt from fees. See the fees and passes page for more information.
Groups that do not qualify for an academic fee waiver will be charged the appropriate entrance fee. The entrance fee for non-commercial organized groups is $15.00 per person for all individuals 16 years of age and older. Big Bend Annual Pass, Interagency Annual, Interagency Senior, Interagency Access, and Golden Access Passport holders and their immediate family members (parents, spouse, and children) do not have to pay the per person entrance fee.

In addition, all organized groups, including educational and non-profit organizations, may need a Special Use Permit for conducting activities in the park. This is not included in the academic fee waiver. See the section on our website on Special Use Permits.

Application Forms

Fee Waiver:
Lesson Plan form:

Last updated: September 22, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834-0129



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