FAQ and Considerations for Students and Parents

Over the past five years of Sternberg Science Camps, we’ve had many excellent middle and high school students join us from outside of Kansas. From California to Maine, Texas to Michigan, and even from overseas, we are proud to have become a destination for top science students from across the United States and beyond!

We’ve had a lot of questions from students and their parents about traveling for our camps programs. We’ve put together a list of common questions and answers here to help you plan your student’s travel. Please contact us at SternbergCamps@FHSU.edu, or 785-639-5249 to get any questions answered directly. 

Q: When should I expect to hear back about my student’s application to camp?

A: We run on a rolling admission schedule from February to May. Each month, we will evaluate students with complete application files to determine admission and scholarship award decisions. If your student is denied admission to a camp, you will be specifically notified. Below we have listed evaluation period cutoff dates, and notification periods. 

Please contact us at SternbergCamps@FHSU.edu if you have any questions about this process. 

  • Application period 1
    • Cutoff: February 23
    • Admission notifications: February 24th-28th
  • Application period 2
    • Cutoff: March 23rd
    • Admission notifications: March 24th-28th
  • Application period 3
    • Cutoff: April 20th
    • Admission notifications: April 21st-25th
  • Application period 4
    • Cutoff: May 14th
    • Admission notifications: May 19th-24th

Q: What if my student is not accepted into the camp they applied for? Do you refund tuition?

A: 100% of paid tuition is refunded to any students not accepted to a camp they applied for. We encourage students not accepted to a program to apply again the following year. Many of our programs are competitive, with more applicants than space available. Unfortunately, this means that some years we won’t be able to admit 100% of applicants to any particular program.  

Q: What is your cancellation and refund policy? 

A: Our refund policy for cancellations is dependent on which kind of camp you are signed up for (domestic or international), and when the cancellation is received. 

Refund policies Domestic Programs:
For programs taking place within the United States, cancellations must be  submitted in writing, via email or typed letter. Each camp registration is held  to a 20-percent cancellation fee. If you cancel 30 to 10 days prior to the  start of a program, half of the total fee is refundable. If you cancel 9 or fewer  days prior to the start of the program, no amount of the fee is refundable.  Registration fees are non-transferable between applicants.

International Programs:
Cancellations and withdrawals must be submitted in writing, via email or  typed letter. Up to the registration deadline of May 14th, 2019, cancellations are subject to a 20% processing fee. After May 14th, the registration fee is only 50% refundable, as we will have already provided payments for airfares, accommodations, and guide services to groups and individuals in the country we are traveling to.

Q: Can you make any recommendations regarding travel insurance?

A: We require all students on our international programs to have a personal travel insurance policy, which we will bring hard copies of on our trip. You can learn more about travel insurance policies at http://www.travelinsurancereview.net/In the past, our students have used the following:


Q: My student is interested in attending one of your residential camp programs. We would like to fly in the day before the camp starts. Which airport should we use?

A: The Sternberg Museum is in Hays, Kansas, which has a small airport with flights to and from Denver International Airport twice a day. This would be the easiest choice for getting yourself to Hays. Once here, there are cab services available to take you to a hotel. There are also two rental car agencies in Hays (Enterprise and Hertz), which are a good option if you are looking to do some additional exploring around Hays after you arrive.

We have also had parents fly in with their student to the Wichita airport, and use a rental car to drive in from Hays. Depending on where you are coming from, this may be a less expensive option to consider.


Q: My student needs to arrive before the start of camp to make the flights work. Will someone be able to pick them up at the Hays airport? Are there accommodations they can stay at overnight? 

A: We are happy to arrange for pickup of students traveling solo to Hays for one of our camps programs. The student will be picked up by their camp instructor or TA, or another member of the Sternberg Museum full time staff.

Students arriving early can use the Fort Hays State University dormitories prior to the start of their camp program. We do charge a $50 per-night fee for use of the dorms prior to the start of camp. They will be picked up early on the morning their camp program begins, and transported with their gear to the Sternberg Museum to meet the rest of the students and instructional staff for departure.

Any students under the age of 18 are required to fill out and return an unaccompanied minor form from the FHSU dormitories in advance of their arrival. If you make arrangements with the Education Director for your student to arrive early, they will provide a copy of this form to you.

Q: I am planning on having my student fly to Hays alone. Will this be a problem?

A: It is absolutely not a problem for the Museum staff to have students fly in alone. Keep in mind that students under 18 flying without a parent may be subject to an unaccompanied minor fee by the airline. Be sure to check with the airline you are using prior to your student’s departure, and plan accordingly.


Q: Is it alright for me to drive down with my student, drop them off the morning camp starts, and then check out the Museum after the students and staff depart?

A: Yes, absolutely. There are plenty of hotels here in Hays to choose from if you arrive the day before the camp program starts. You are also more than welcome to explore the Museum after dropping your student off. The instructor or TA can get you cleared by the front desk staff.


Q: My student needs to depart the camp early to make a flight. Will this be a problem?

A: No, this is not a problem. We can provide transport to the Hays airport for their flight, or make sure your student is at the Museum with their gear at the pre-arranged early pickup time. Early departures tend to be very case-by-case, depending on the travel requirements and the camp being participated in. Please communicate in advance with the Education Director regarding any early departure arrangements that need to be made.

Q: Whoa! You are doing international programs now? My student would love to attend, but we don’t live in Kansas. Help!

A: For travel logistics questions regarding our new international expedition programs for high school students, please directly contact our Camps Director at DALevering@FHSU.edu. He will be able to make recommendations specific to your travel situation. Individual camp pages also include details about respective travel logistics.