FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE SOURCES
Northeast Illinois Council (NEIC) wants to ensure that interested youth can afford Scouting. There are a number of resources available to provide support to families to assist in paying the annual youth registration fee.
Your unit (e.g., your pack or troop) may provide support. NEIC knows of some units planning to do so, but NEIC does not have a comprehensive list of unit plans. If you are comfortable doing so, you could check with one of your unit leaders (e.g., Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Committee Chair or Treasurer) to ask whether the unit will be providing any support, but we are not requiring you to do so. If NEIC is aware that your unit is providing financial assistance to some or all families, you will be informed of that when we tell you how much financial aid we will award you.
Additionally, there are ways for scouts to earn money for this purpose. Nearly all units hold fundraising events during the Scout year, in which Scouts sell a product like popcorn or sell tickets to a pancake breakfast or spaghetti dinner. Sometimes, scouts can earn awards through those sales, which they can use to pay scouting expenses.
Even if your unit does not participate in the NEIC’s annual fall popcorn sale, it is possible for your scout or scouts to sell popcorn on their own. It is too late this year to take advantage of this opportunity, as the 2022 popcorn sales have ended, but NEIC will make information available about this option well before the fall 2023 sale.
These fundraising opportunities are excellent experiences for scouts. Not only are they a way to cover part of the annual youth registration fee and other scouting expenses, but they also provide youth with opportunities to learn to talk with adults, describe the benefits they get out of scouting, and sell a product or service.
Most Importantly, NEIC will provide financial assistance to those families who continue to need financial support. NEIC will not turn any youth away due to an inability to pay. The application is set out below.
WHEN CAN I COMPLETE THIS FORM?
We know that financial circumstances can change abruptly. Accordingly, the Financial Aid submission form will be available throughout the year.
WHEN WILL I HEAR BACK ON MY APPLICATION?
NEIC’s goal is to respond not more than 10 days after receiving the completed application. If there is a surge of applications or specific personnel are absent at key times, it may take longer. But NEIC wants to process these applications quickly and distribute award letters on a timely basis.
HOW WILL I ARRANGE PAYMENT OF ANY REMAINING AMOUNT?
By “remaining amount,” we mean the portion of an annual youth registration fee that you will need to pay after taking into account the financial assistance awarded by NEIC and any support that your unit may be providing directly to NEIC.
You can pay your remaining amount in monthly installments or in a lump sum.
Installment payments will need to be made through a new NEIC payment portal that is expected to be activated in early January, 2023. This payment portal will accept credit cards and debit cards, and it will automatically charge a level amount to your card each month, spreading the remaining out over the rest of the year.
Lump sum payments can be made either by check or money order sent to NEIC or by use of the payment portal.
Please be aware that a processing fee of 3.5% of the amount paid will be added by the payment portal operator to credit card payments.
WHEN WILL I NEED TO MAKE PAYMENT OF ANY AMOUNTS DUE?
Payments will need to be arranged not later than one month after your unit’s “recharter approval date.” That date will occur in early 2023, when your unit's submission of its roster and charter agreement for 2023 is finalized with NEIC. The recharter approval date will vary from unit to unit. You are not expected to know your unit’s recharter approval date; when that date occurs, NEIC and/or your unit will notify you, and you will have one month thereafter to arrange installment payments or make a lump sum payment, as described in the preceding Q&A.
HOW WILL I INDICATE A FINANCIAL AID AWARD WHEN I MAKE PAYMENT?
Either the award letter that you receive or a subsequent communication from NEIC will provide instructions on how to ensure that your financial aid award will be applied in the calculation of your remaining amount.
IS THERE MORE THAN ONE SCOUT IN THE FAMILY?
You must submit MORE THAN ONE application if:
You have more than one Scout needing financial assistance. Complete an application for each child (2 or more Scouts=2 or more applications).
We may contact a leader of your unit to ascertain or confirm what financial assistance, if any, your unit may provide to its families. Such contact may require disclosing to such leader that you have sought financial assistance from the council, but we will not disclose any of your financial information to such leader.
We will use all reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of the information that you submit to us. A limited number of council staff members will have access to the information you have provided. Such staff members will use all reasonable efforts to avoid disclosure of any of your personally identifiable information, except (i) as described in the previous paragraph and (ii) as necessary to assure that you receive such financial assistance.