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. Which airport should we use to get them there?

A: It depends on which camp you are applying to.

A1) Camps that start in Hays, Kansas: Students can fly into the Hays Airport. This is a small regional airport with flights going to Denver, CO and Salina, KS. If a student needs to arrive a day or two early in order to make flights work, no problem! We can make sure they are set up in the dorms for a small facilities usage fee, which would be applied to your CampDoc account. Our staff can pick them up at the beginning of camp, and make sure they get to the airport for their departure at the end.

A2) Camps that start in Eugene, Oregon:  Students can fly into the Eugene Airport, which has regular flights to and from many major airports in the US. Our staff will be arriving in Eugene a day early to finish getting set up, and we can make sure students who need to arrive early will get picked up a the airport. These students would just stick with Camps staff until departing with respective instructors on when camp starts. This includes sleeping accommodations, which would likely be a hotel, or campground in or around Eugene. 

A3) Camps with international destinations: Arrival airports are specific to each program. Students will be met by staff at the designated airport on the first day of the program, and transported to a nearby hotel where all staff and students will stay prior to departure. (Early arrivals are acceptable, but no more than 24 hours early.) Students and staff will then depart together from this same airport to the destination country. When going back home, students will need to plan for departing flights that work with the logistical conditions of the respective camp. For questions about scheduling arrival and departure flights for international camps, please contact us directly at SternbergCamps@FHSU.edu.

Ecuador Wildlife Biology Camp  –   Denver International Airport
Field Paleontology: Australia  –  Los Angeles International Airport



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

A: It is absolutely not a problem for the Camps 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: 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 for one of our camps programs. The student will be picked up by a member of our staff at the airport. 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 they are arriving early for a camp starting in Hays, Kansas. We can provide this form to you in the process of making arrangements for your student’s arrival.

Q: Is it alright for me and my child to arrive to camp starting location, and drop them off the morning camp starts?

A: Yes, absolutely. There are plenty of hotels in Hays, Eugene, and all of our international departure airports to choose from if you arrive the day before the camp program starts. You are also more than welcome to explore the Sternberg Museum after dropping your student off for a Hays, KS camp. 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?

Domestic Camps: No, this is not a problem. We can provide transport to the airport for their flight, or make sure your student is ready with their gear at the pre-arranged early pickup time and location. 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 us regarding any early departure arrangements that need to be made.

International Camps: All flight logistics should be coordinated with us on an individual basis. Our international programs have set group return dates, and having a student fly back early would likely be prohibitively difficult.