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Campership Clarity

Transparency in tuition, policy & procedures

The purpose of this page is to provide camp families with more clarity on what information we use in determining what amount a family will be asked to contribute toward camp tuition, as part of our Affordable for All initiative. The Farm & Wilderness community of Affordable for All donors is committed to increasing access to our programs, and these donations make it possible for us to defray the cost of camp tuition for hundreds of families each year.

It is our goal to be as transparent as possible with families throughout our entire registration process.

Families can expect that their financial contribution for tuition will be close to the amount shown for their aggregate family income in our Transparency in Tuition charts. It is unlikely that we will be able to meet a request that is greater than the amount listed in these charts. Conversely, some families have sources of funding for camp other than household income, such as gifts from extended family, that enable them to request an amount that is less than what is shown on our transparency in tuition charts. That, in turn, helps us spread our limited campership funds among more families.

We also want families to be aware that we update the Transparency in Tuition charts each year based on the funds we expect to have available, external factors such as inflation, and the annual tuition rates set by our leadership team and Board of Trustees. Therefore, the level of financial assistance we offer for each income level is likely to change from year to year.

To determine a family’s contribution, the campership committee will first confirm the family’s reported income matches the information on the supporting documentation. The committee will then review the remainder of the application to discern any extraordinary circumstances which might impact the expected family contribution. The committee will then refer to the transparency in tuition charts to finalize the family contribution amount for the tuition. This information is then communicated to families via our Admissions department.

Supporting Documentation:

For most families, their most recent US Federal Tax return will be the main documentation we review.

Your uploaded tax forms may be from the previous calendar year, should your financial situation not have changed between then and now. If a campership application lists an income that is below the amount shown on the supporting documentation, families are asked to provide further documentation that supports the updated amount reported on the campership application.

If you do not file taxes due to your income being below the standard deduction threshold, alternative methods of documentation, such as your Social Security Benefits overview letter can suffice as documentation.

If you do not file taxes due to not living/working in the United States, reach out to us directly to determine what alternative information can be used for documentation.

Income and circumstances that are considered as financial resources to determine your family’s aggregate household income and your family contribution to summer camp tuition:

  • Income from work/employment, including self-employment income, business income and/or rental property income

  • Retirement fund withdrawals

  • Pension payments

  • Child support received

  • Social security income (SSD or SSI)

  • Capital gains, investment dividends/stocks/bonds/securities

  • Funds in checking and/or savings accounts

  • Annuity payments

  • Trust fund/inheritance wealth

  • Housing and/or vehicle(s) provided as a part of employment compensation

For Adults who receive child support payments:

If the payments are regularly received, these are considered in the section for “additional income”. Multiply the monthly payment amount by 12 to determine this figure. If the child support payments are ordered but are not being made, they do not need to be considered as additional income.

Sources that are not considered as additional financial resources to determine your family contribution to summer camp tuition:

  • Pension or retirement accounts like IRAs, 401(k) or 403 (b), unless actively drawing from these accounts, in which case they are counted as income

  • Higher education savings accounts (Such as a 529 plan or Education Savings Account)

  • Health care savings accounts, or employer contributions to pension plans, retirement savings plans and/or health benefits

Additional expenses that are considered to determine your family contribution towards summer camp tuition:

Families will be asked to provide additional supporting documentation for such circumstances, such as billing statements. When these expenses are confirmed, the amount of charges incurred for the past year are deducted from the aggregate family income. This is not an exhaustive list, and we encourage families to reach out to us for further clarification regarding their specific circumstances.

  • Expenses incurred due to a disaster, such as extreme weather events or a house fire

  • Expenses incurred due to major medical out of pocket expenses for the financially responsible adult(s) themselves and/or their dependents (which can include adult dependents such as a grandparent or adult child, if listed on tax documents as a dependent).

Additional expenses that we do not consider to determine your family contribution towards summer camp tuition:

The kinds of expenses listed below impact many of our camp families’ budgets and money available to pay for camp. However, we do not consider these kinds of expenses in the campership process. Some, like summer camp itself, are elective expenses and we recognize all families are faced with making their own spending decisions.

  • Personal travel to/from Vermont/Farm & Wilderness, including lodging costs

    • Campership can cover the additional fee of our shuttles to and from Farm & Wilderness which leave from NYC and Boston.

  • Costs associated with in-home childcare, such as a nanny or au pair

  • Regional cost of living variance

  • Private school tuition

  • Tuition for any adults and/or other child(ren) in college

  • Extracurricular activities

  • Costs of any other summer camps/programs

  • Vacation and recreational travel

  • Groceries, fuel, vehicle maintenance, entertainment

  • Improving a primary residence (for example, remodeling a home, installing solar panels)

  • Costs associated with maintaining/improving additional residences

For families with more than one child enrolled in Farm & Wilderness overnight camps during the same summer year: 

As shown on our Transparency in Tuition charts, your estimated family contribution is divided by the number of children registered for overnight camp with Farm & Wilderness in the same summer.