Farm Beginnings® Tuition, Scholarships, and Payment Plans

Tuition Cost
  • Cost: $3,000/farm for the 2017-2018 class, for up to 2 farm partners.
  • Value: $3,500/farm. Thanks to grants, Organic Growers School is able to offer Farm Beginnings at a discounted rate.
  • Please keep in mind there are scholarship & payment plans available. Read below for further information.
Scholarships

Organic Growers School aims to create affordable, broadly accessible programs, while at the same time, providing fair wages to our farmer instructors and dedicated staff. Financial Aid for Farm Beginnings is limited and priority is given to those with the least financial resources and strongest intentions towards raising funds through their own networks. Please consider your needs and resources carefully. We encourage you to consider a Payment Plan as your first option towards financial support. Also, see our list of Other Financial Aid Resources below. If requesting funding from OGS is necessary, we ask you to consider what would be a stretch, but not a strain, for you to invest in your education.

The guidelines that will be used to assess are as follows:

  • Financial need
  • Passion and capacity for farming
  • Ability and willingness to give back to program
  • Understanding of the value of this farmer training education

Submit a scholarship application at the same time as your Farm Beginnings application; if you submit your application online, be sure to indicate at the end of your application that you would like to apply for a scholarship. You will then be prompted to submit the scholarship application questions.

If you’d like to print the scholarship application to submit with your paper application (or if you didn’t apply for a scholarship during the online application process), use the links below:

Payment Plans

Payment plans are available and allow for participants to pay the Farm Beginnings fee in 4 installments. The first payment is due by October 1, 2017, after your letter of acceptance is received to secure your spot in the class. Payment plans will be signed and managed by the finance coordinator.

Down payment due:  October 1st, 2016

Subsequent payments are due in November, December, and January, or as otherwise agreed upon.  Payments can be made by check, debit or credit card. There is a $15 fee for late or missed payments.

Please let us know if you are interested and we will make arrangements for you to pay via check or online automatic withdrawals. Contact nicole@organicgrowersschool.org for more information. 

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Cancellation of a Farm Beginnings registration prior to October 15th will result in a return of half of your deposit. No refunds are available after October 15th. If you are unable to attend for any reason you may reserve your spot in the next years’ Farm Beginnings course. Tuition credit is valid through November 1, 2018. If you have to withdraw for any reason during the course, refunds cannot be made. If you are unable to attend the 2018 course, we are happy to send you documentation so that your tuition fee can be recorded as a tax-deductible contribution to the ongoing work of the Organic Growers School.

Please contact Nicole at nicole@organicgrowersschool.org for any cancellation and transfer requests.

Personal Fundraising to Reduce Your Costs

Raising your own funds can be creative and empowering. And making a difference in the world is essentially a process of asking for help. You can create your own funding using some of these ideas:

  • Get sponsored – ask family, friends, or your place of faith to give you the funding; you can offer them an evening of sharing about Farm Beginnings and how it impacted your life.
  • Throw a fundraising party – where you cook for your guests and tell them about Farm Beginnings; you pass the hat and they make a contribution.
  • Sell things you have that you don’t need – it’s amazing how much funding you can raise just by selling off items that you can move on – plants, clothes, jewelry, furniture, etc.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Nicole, Farmer Programs Coordinator, at nicole@organicgrowersschool.org.

OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and funding in part by Carolina Farm Credit, Community Foundation of WNC, CLIF Bar Family Foundation, French Broad Food Co-op, New Belgium Brewing, Organic Valley - Farmers Advocating for Organic Farming, Simply Organic 1%, and by the USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Grant #2016-70017-25341. Read more about Farmer Programs' Funding Partners here.