YMCA Scholarship? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 10-19-2009, 04:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone ever applied for a YMCA scholarship to cover membership costs?

How hard was it?

I'm self-employed but low-income - do they take proof of food stamps, etc for income qualifying? I didn't do taxes last year as I wasn't employed and didn't start my business until this year, so I'm not sure what to bring with and they haven't replied to my emails.

I really want to join the YMCA and get this weight off, but at $65 a month it's a bit steep even though it's the best fit for us.

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#2 of 9 Old 10-19-2009, 08:39 AM
 
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I think most YMCAs do have financial assistance. I checked into the one we go to and the financial assistance was a sliding scale and based on Federal Poverty Levels. With some assistance levels, a certain number of volunteer hours were required, but I think the max was 40 hours per year, which isn't really much when you are getting a free membership. The YMCA we go requires an application, taxes (or pay stubs), a letter explaining how the 'scholarship' will help, and an 'interview'. They can probably help you with what to bring sSince you didn't file taxes last year due to no income.

I don't know if all YMCAs are the same in terms of financial assistance, but it's worth looking into. I would go there in person if you can b/c it's easy to not respond (or forget to respond) to an email or phone call, but harder when the person is standing right in front of you.

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#3 of 9 Old 10-19-2009, 09:08 AM
 
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I've had a YMCA scholarship for the past two years and I love it!

Last year I had to volunteer 40 hours, at a minimum at 10 hours a month for four consecutive months. I finished in three. The work was easy. I helped out at a three hour senior citizen event, once I worked at the desk where they give out basketballs and stuff, but mostly I did the outside pool, checking people's cards and putting bracelets on kids. I enjoyed it.

This year, because our last year's income was a little bit up, I worked 20 hours (outside pool) and I have to pay $10 a month. Still very worth it.

Our scholarship also pays for 75% of classes for anybody in the family, up to $600 a year.

You should just call them and tell them you are interested in the program and ask them what you would need to do to apply. Or, just go in. I'm sure they'll be able to help you and you'll be so happy to have it
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#4 of 9 Old 10-19-2009, 09:41 AM
 
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I really want to apply for the Y scholarship and would definitely qualify! My problem is that I had a full membership 2 years ago and it was taken off my credit card automatically. That card was near it's limit but I made sure I paid extra every month to cover the fee. However, both bills were due around the same day and the credit card started processing my payment after the Y fee even though it was paid before (online) so the Y fee bounced. Then I didn't realize they added a returned item fee onto the next month so it bounced also and they cancelled my membership. I never dealt with it and now I'm scared to go in! Will I owe both months plus the fees? Maybe I will just wait until I get my income tax return and pay it then.

And the dumb thing is I didn't even use it those months because the baby screamed every time I left him in the daycare so I'd given up on going but just hadn't got around to cancelling it.
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#5 of 9 Old 10-19-2009, 11:38 AM
 
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We had a YMCA scholarship after DS1 was born, and I think I'm going to try and get one again - I really need to start excersizing (I love to swim, and the YMCA has the closest pool to us, and even thats 1/2 hour away) so that I can get back into shape. And DH would like to start doing some weight lifting to get into shape in the hopes of getting a job as a fire fighter here shortly (he's in paramedic training now).
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#6 of 9 Old 10-19-2009, 12:10 PM
 
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We have a scholarship and pay a reduced rate. For us it is $36.00/month for a family membership. That beats the $85.00 membership fee! They qualify you based on income and family size. You should call them ask about qualifying, especially about not having no income tax returns from last year. I'm not sure how they qualify you without them.
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#7 of 9 Old 10-19-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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it must depend YmCA'a own policies. We have a family membership on the scholarship, and that is 200$ upfront but its for the whole yr. Also any classes are half price. Im pretty sure you have to have your taxes though. I think it was eith er that or a onths worth of paystubs. I'd call and ask.
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#8 of 9 Old 10-19-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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It depends on your YMCA. I work at the Y and ours requires last year's taxes and a letter from a curent YMCA employee as a sponsor, along with other financial information.

Also, all Y employees get free memberships and %50 off family memberships. We have a lot of people that work minimal hours to get the membership for themselves. Y employees also get free childcare, super bonus! (at least out ours they do) I use my membership quite a bit but didn't find the family one worth it for us, we do too much other stuff. I also use the childcare off and on (school age care) but I'm also the program coordinator for that department so its an added perk that I can pop in and out to check on my kids.

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#9 of 9 Old 10-22-2009, 12:34 AM
 
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As PP said, "policies" vary from Y to Y as each association is independent. However, I am very surprised some are still required to "volunteer" to receive financial assistance, since a true volunteer receives nothing in return - plus it seems wrong for the Y to ask this of FA recipients!

Anyway, yes, you will be required to bring in something that shows your income (they don't care what your expenses are). Sliding scale will depend on the "policy" but the Y will always require you to pay something. You should call the Y & ask to speak w/ the membership director.

As Kristine233 mentioned, if you are a Y staff member you get a free membership. Even if you work a few hours a week. This is a great way to get a membership too
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