Financial Aid


Scholarship Policy and Guidelines

Financial Aid – Overview

We believe that the confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills learned by participating in NESS’s ocean adventure programs should benefit all children, not just those who can afford access to the water.  That’s why we actively fund a scholarship program to welcome participants from a broad range of backgrounds.  Children develop a passion for learning on the water that carries over to the classroom and life.  Recently, we’ve been able to provide financial aid to about one third of our students.  We remain very appreciative of the National Recreation Foundation (NRF), which has provided visionary leadership in supporting NESS’s mission since our earliest days.  In 2009, they made a grant to support our Special Olympics effort.  Most recently they have supported scholarships fostering inclusion and access to those in our regional community who may not otherwise be able to participate.  In 2011, NRF awarded NESS a scholarship grant of $250,000 payable over three years, enabling us to drastically increase our outreach to the broader community.   This leadership gift was transformational for NESS, as it became the catalyst for others’ support, which fueled even more outreach efforts.

Financial Aid – 2017 NESS Scholarship Application Instructions

To be awarded a NESS scholarship, applicants must do the following:

  • Familiarize yourself with NESS’s Scholarship Policy and Guidelines.
  • Fill out the NESS Scholarship Application.  Download, print, and fill out the application form from our website, following the instructions on the form.
  • Send the application, parent letter, and student letter to Jordan Slocum, Registrar, at NESS.  If you received a scholarship last year, NESS also needs a copy of your student “Highlights” letter before we can review your application for this year.
  • Call Jordan Slocum at NESS (860-535-9362) to schedule your interview/tour.
  • Come to NESS for your interview/tour.  Both student and parent should be present.  Bring your income tax return for review (we will not keep a copy).
  • NESS will notify you as soon as possible of your eligibility for a scholarship.
  • Once you have preliminary approval, Jordan will call to discuss what classes are available to you.  After classes are chosen, Jordan will complete your registration.  You will receive a preliminary confirmation via email detailing your class registrations.
  • NESS will determine the exact amount of scholarship, call you to finalize, and modify your registration to reflect the balance owed to NESS (if any).
  • Logon to your online registration account and pay your balance owed (if any).  As always, please contact Jordan Slocum or Cindy Nickerson if you have any questions.

Financial Aid – Mallory Scholarship

The C. D. Mallory Fund was established in 2012 by Barbara Sealy Mallory Hathaway in memory of her father, Clifford Day Mallory, to enable deserving youth to participate in NESS’s sailing programs.


Born in 1880, Mr. Mallory spent his life on and around the sea.  He had a passion for all things maritime, and his professional and personal life centered around ships, boats, and sailing.  Through his leadership and strength of character, he encouraged others to join him in maritime endeavors, most notably in helping to create Mystic Seaport in the 1930s.  After his death in 1941, the Mallory Cup, a national yacht racing trophy, was established in his memory to promote broader awareness of the character-building experience of competitive sailing.


Mr. Mallory believed that the life lessons to be learned from sailing – including teamwork, integrity, respect for the sea, and stewardship of the environment – should be accessible to all, regardless of financial means.  In establishing this scholarship fund at NESS, Mrs. Hathaway hopes to instill in each recipient these qualities so embodied by her father.


Applicants for the Mallory Scholarship must be entering 8th through 12th grade the fall after the scholarship is awarded.  Applicants for the Mallory Scholarship fill out the regular NESS financial aid application, and they should indicate in their letter that they wish to be considered for the Mallory Scholarship.  The NESS Scholarship Committee will make a selection based on the applicant’s passion for life on and around the sea as well as Mr. Mallory’s qualities of quiet but steadfast leadership, kindness, humor, sportsmanship, loyalty, and confidence to follow his or her own path in life to make a difference in others.  Participants will also be considered for employment by NESS after completion of the program.