Fee Reduction Policy

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The Town of Chapel Hill is committed to making its Parks & Recreation Department programs, activities, and special events available to as many citizens as possible. It is our intent that no one be prevented from participating in Parks & Recreation programs because of the inability to pay a full fee. Therefore, this policy has been established and adopted by the Town Council to meet the needs of individuals or families determined to have limited financial resources. Please see the Parks & Recreation User Fee Schedule for full details on our Fee Reduction policies.

Eligibility and Application: Chapel Hill and Orange County residents may request a reduction in program fees when a financial need exists (we’re sorry, but non-residents are not eligible for a reduction of fees). These requests must be made in writing on an official Fee Reduction Application. The Parks & Recreation Department will make accommodations for participants who cannot complete the Fee Reduction Application without assistance.

Fee Reduction Application          Formulario de registro de Parques y Recreación

Confidentiality: All fee reduction applications are public documents that must be made available to any person upon request. However, in the absence of a request to provide this information, Parks & Recreation Department staff will keep all information strictly confidential.

Program Fees: Individuals who qualify for a fee reduction will normally be required to pay either 10%, 50% or 75% of the total program fee based on their household size and income, relative to the Financial Assistance Eligibility Scale below. Please note that some programs do not accept fee reductions. See “Financial Circumstances” below for information regarding exceptions to this policy. Payment due at time of registration.

Household income is defined as the sum, on an annual basis, of all pay, allowances, maintenance, financial aid, child support, social services allowances and other income for the household.

Household members will be verified through the Chapel Hill Department of Public Housing, Orange County Department of Social Services, a school Family Specialist or your Federal Income Tax Return (dependents).

Financial Assistance Eligibility Scale*

No. of household members 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8+
Max. Amt. Family Earns,
Pay 75% of fee
$36,800 $42,050 $47,300 $52,550 $56,550 $61,000 $65,200 $69,400
Max. Amt. Family Earns,
Pay 50% of fee
$23,000 $26,300 $29,600 $32,850 $35,500 $38,150 $40,750 $43,400
Max. Amt. Family Earns,
Pay 10% of fee
$13,800 $15,800 $19,790 $23,850 $27,910 $31,970 $36,030 $40,090

*Income amounts reflect annual gross income from all sources.

Verification and Documentation: Patrons applying for a fee reduction must provide confirmation of their financial status through one of the following four methods:

  • Chapel Hill Department of Public Housing must verify the accuracy of your application, or
  • Orange County Department of Social Services must verify the accuracy of your application, or
  • You will provide the P&R Department with a copy of your last year’s Federal Income Tax Return, and current pay stub(s), along with your fee reduction application, at the time of registration.
  • A school Family Specialist must provide a letter or email, verifying the accuracy of your application.

Minimum Charge per Program: Patrons will pay the percentage of the program for which they qualify, unless that cost would be less than $5. In those instances the participant would pay $5 per program.

Financial Circumstances: Patrons who have circumstances that affect their ability to pay the percentage of program fees for which they qualify, would be able to discuss their situation with the Assistant Director, Recreation Operations, who has the authority to further reduce fees.  Additional documentation may be required.

Approval by Director: The Director of Parks & Recreation, or their designee, will review each fee reduction request and will have final authority to approve or deny the request. A provisional fee reduction may be granted until your application has been verified and approved. Provisional approval will not be granted for pool passes and some programs. If a provisional fee reduction is granted and your request for a reduction is denied, you will be responsible for full program/pass fee. Once approved, the fee reduction will be valid for one year.

Any questions regarding this policy should be forwarded to the Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation Department staff at 968-2784/TDD.

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