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PLAY UA Financial Assistance Program

Without the assistance I received I would not have registered [my son] for the soccer camps. I’m so grateful that there was a way to assist me so I can still send him without placing more financial burden on me. I really appreciate it and I want you to know you made a difference in my life, it helped me give more “normal” to my son and helped him fit in with his friends. It is part of the reason I chose to move to UA and why we love living here with the support of our community.” UA Resident

Early in 2022, the City’s Parks & Recreation Department launched the PLAY UA Financial Assistance Program, designed to support community members who face financial barriers that may prevent them from participating in the department’s programs. In 2022, 141 people were afforded the opportunity to participate in various programs and memberships, with more than $12,000 in funds earmarked for the program. For 2023, 157 people benefitted, with approximately $14,000 funds raised to support the program.

PLAY UA is designed to meet affordability and accessibility goals identified through the 2018 Parks & Recreation Comprehensive Plan process that were endorsed by City Council and the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. Most recently, the Community Center Feasibility Task Force recommended the formation of a financial assistance program that would provide access to the future Bob Crane Community Center.

PLAY UA provides a 50% reduction for most program and membership fees – including summer and winter camps (with a cap of $400 for summer day camp assistance), Safety Town, and membership passes for pools, tennis, and the Senior Center’s Studio 55 – for qualifying residents and those who work in Upper Arlington.

New for 2024, participants will be eligible for a 75% reduction in swim lesson fees to allow families to better afford this life-saving skill for their children.

The program is not available for daily admission fees or facility rentals. Assistance will be awarded as funds are available.

To be eligible, applicants must provide proof of residency or employment in Upper Arlington and are required to verify that their household qualifies for the UA Schools Free/Reduced Lunch Program, verify their annual household income meets eligibility criteria, or provide a statement of need.

To ensure the proper use of City funds and to verify that applicants meet the appropriate eligibility criteria, the UA Parks & Recreation Department will randomly select applications for verification purposes.

Funding for the program is coming from a few sources:

  • Transaction Fees: A $1 transaction fee has been added to most program registrations, membership passes and facility rentals.
  • Donations: It’s possible for individuals to make an additional donation to the PLAY UA Financial Assistance Fund when registering for programs and memberships through the department’s RecTrac software.

Now is the time for families that could benefit from the 2024 PLAY UA Financial Assistance Program to apply. Full program details can be found here. The online application form can be accessed here.

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