YMCA Scholarship Program
The YMCA scholarship program is a sliding fee scale that is designed to provide services for any family, adult or senior who desires to participate and understands the benefits of the YMCA, regardless of their ability to pay the prescribed fee.
Those not able to pay the full fee may be awarded a scholarship based on their demonstrated ability to pay and the YMCA’s ability to fund the subsidy.
Funding for YMCA financial assistance and scholarships comes from grant sources and from fellow members who donate to the YMCA's Annual Campaign. Each year the campaign provides membership and program scholarships for more than 4,000 adults and children.
All YMCA members receive the same membership benefits, regardless of whether they are receiving assistance.
Over the years, the YMCA Scholarship Program has helped:
- Adults temporarily out of work
- Those who are divorced and experiencing financial hardships
- Youth referred by schools, churches, and other organizations
- People on fixed incomes
- People overwhelmed by medical bills
- Those experiencing other financial hardships
Am I eligible?
Applicants must work or reside in the service area of the YMCA to which they apply. Assistance is granted based on financial need within the available resources of the branch.
The YMCA believes a sense of ownership and pride is developed if the financial assistance recipient has contributed to the cost of YMCA involvement. Therefore, applicants may be asked to pay a portion of the fees. The YMCA grants financial aid to the extent that funds are available. The YMCA reserves the right to refuse assistance to any applicant.
Financial assistance can be granted for one session of a program such as swim lessons, or for up to six month's membership with optional renewals.
How do I apply?
The YMCA of Greater Cleveland requires that individuals complete a YMCA financial assistance application that provides information regarding income, family size and necessary expenses so that it can provide financial assistance in a fair and consistent manner. All records are kept confidential.
The YMCA also requires that individuals reapply when requested to keep information on their application updated.
To process your YMCA financial assistance application, fill out the form and then visit the branch where you will be seeking membership/services, and bring the following items:
- Copy of last year’s tax return
- Copy of last two pay stubs -OR-
- Copy of social security or disability checks (or copy of bank statement showing monthly deposit)
NOTE: If you do not have a copy of your tax return, you may obtain one by calling the Internal Revenue Service (800-829-1040). If you did not file taxes last year, or if you don’t have the other documents required, please submit a letter explaining your personal situation.
Fill out the form below and bring it to your local YMCA branch.