Our mission at FOSS is to help students become strong, safer, more confident swimmers. We believe our program offers the best path to help swimmers reach that goal and strive to offer excellent value to families who learn in our custom designed pools from passionate, well-trained teachers.
But we realize that not everyone who shares that vision for their own kids can make the investment fit within their family budget. So for years, FOSS has offered a scholarship program, operated at the school level, to provide discounts for families who might not otherwise be able to afford our Learn to Swim program.
FOSS has rolled out a new and improved scholarship program that will help us improve equitable access to our school for swimmers who might not otherwise be able to attend.
What’s new in the FOSS Scholarship Program
- Online application and review: Our new application form, which requires personal information and proof of income, is now hosted on a secure online server – a more comfortable process for many people than sharing information with people at the school. For those without reliable access, a tablet at the school can be used.
- Dedicated staff: Rather than local site managers deciding case by case, FOSS now has a team to administer the program, making the process more efficient and freeing local staff to support their school.
- Consistent criteria: Our evaluation criteria is the same one the USDA uses to determine free and reduced cost school lunch, a standardized way to determine need. (We have special case by case consideration based on other factors that impact financial need.)
- Sliding needs-based scale: We offer discounts at four price points so we have ways to help people with differing levels of need.
- Expanding offering: We have set our goal to have a consistent percentage of students swimming with our scholarships across the organization and will seek to increase that percentage as high as we can.
- Enrollment-aligned process: We will open scholarship applications about two weeks before enrollment opens each quarter, so families know if they have a scholarship in advance – that way, they can seek the most desirable times on an even playing field with everyone else.
Why swim school scholarships are important
Helping more people learn to swim, and investing to offer the best possible program, is a worthy life’s goal, and a driving philosophy for our business. Unfortunately, we know that drowning disproportionately affects people of lower economic means, and also communities of color and others who traditionally have barriers to swim schools for a variety of reasons.
Our scholarship program is a way of lowering the barriers that are financial in nature. By doing so we not only help the recipients of the scholarships, but we believe also benefit our schools by helping us better reflect and connect with the community and people where we operate.
The scholarships are just one way we are deepening our engagement with our communities. Watch for us around town, at schools, events, and wherever kids gather, spreading the word about water safety and how great it is to learn to swim! We also are always looking for partners who share our vision in the communities where we operate to expand the good we can do.
Interested? Here’s what to know
If you are interested in learning more or applying for a scholarship, visit the In the Community section of our website. You can read about this and other programs, apply, or connect with our team to learn more.
Each quarter, we will open registration for scholarships a few weeks before enrollment opens, awarding them in time to sign up. If this could be helpful to you or someone you know, we hope you’ll apply! Together we can help more people be safer around water – literally saving lives.