Get Your YMCA Student Membership Today!

The YMCA strives to provide their mission of “positive change” and to “build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all”.  If a student at Highland begins to feel overwhelmed from classes and needs a break, the YMCA is a great way to relieve the stress and pressure that college may bring on. 

I recently sat down with Freeport YMCA’s Member Service Director Connie Kraft and Member Engagement Director Jeannie Cross to discuss the YMCA memberships for students here at Highland.  While there are flyers posted on campus, as well as emails sent out to all of the students at Highland, not everyone is aware of the entities that a student YMCA membership holds. 


Q: What is the process of becoming a member at the YMCA?

A: Kraft explains that they get a list from Jeremy Brandt, Director of Enrollment and Records, within the first week of classes starting at Highland.  The list consists of all the full-time and part-time students at Highland.  Students walk into the YMCA and let an employee at the registration desk know that they are a student at Highland.  The YMCA employee finds the student’s name on the provided list of students, the student initials next to their name, and has their picture taken for their YMCA ID card.  The student’s ID card is then printed off and given to the student, who then has access to the facilities.

After receiving your ID card, students are able to take a picture of their card with their phone and show their ID that way, instead of carrying their YMCA card around with them.  However, do not lose it because students will need their card hole-punched again in order to use the facilities during the following semester. 

Q: What does the YMCA student membership include?

A: Students have access to the pool, the main locker rooms, the lower level where the fitness equipment is, and both gymnasiums.  When using the pool, students need to make sure that they are not using it when there is a scheduled class time in the pool.  The main gymnasium is available as long as Highland does not have it booked for their practices or their games.  There are visual schedules posted for the pool and the gym at the YMCA registration desk, as well as the YMCA website. 

Students also receive a member rate for classes at the YMCA.  There are some classes that students can take for free, which are included with their student membership.  There are also other classes, such as the Bootcamp, Zumba, and Yoga that are available to students at a discounted membership rate. 

Don’t forget to ask about how to receive a half a credit hour by taking fitness classes!

In August of 2016, the YMCA upgraded much of their fitness equipment in the lower level to new Life Fitness equipment.  There is an app that people can download on their phones from Life Fitness that allows users to learn how to use the machines.  The app also allows users to keep track of their workouts on each machine by entering data for each set they complete; including the amount of weight, the number of reps per set, and the amount of time spent on the machine.  By entering in this specific data, the app calculates how many calories the user is burning during their workout.   

Q: Is there a charge for keeping a lock on a locker in the locker room?

A: No; however, students are required to bring their own lock if they wish to lock up their items in the locker room locker during their workout.  Unless the student is a Highland athlete, the lock needs to be removed from the locker by the time the YMCA closes for the night, and all contents must be removed from the locker as well. 

If a Highland student would prefer a year round locker and lock, they would need to pay full membership rate, which would grant them an assigned locker with a lock in the fitness plus locker rooms.  The fitness plus locker rooms also includes a sauna, which full membership payees have access too. 

Q: What is the membership rate per semester for students?

A: For part-time students (11 credit hours or less), the membership cost is $45.00/semester.  For full-time students (more than 11 credit hours), the membership is free.

One thing that students need to keep in mind, is that their eligibility to receive the student rated membership ends at midterm.  

Q: Is there a different membership rate for students during the summer?

A: Yes; however, the criteria for student credit hours is different.  For summer, part-time students (6 credit hours or less), the membership is $45.00.  Students who are taking over 6 credit hours during the summer receiver free membership.  These rates also include the pre-summer sessions too. 

Q: What happens during semester breaks when students want do not have the class credit rate?

A: Students can purchase a YMCA pass for $25.00 during semester breaks.  For students that are not taking summer classes, they can purchase a seasonal pass for $35.00, which is still a lower rate than the general public’s monthly membership rate. 

Q: What are the benefits for a Highland student that has a membership to the YMCA?

A: Full-access to the facilities, locker rooms, the lobby (which anyone can use, not just for members), and free Wi-Fi access through Highland.  The YMCA offers free orientation to new members who want to know how to use the lower level fitness equipment and their software programs.  There is also free child watch available.  Since the YMCA is right on campus, it is convenient for any student.

Q: What are the ages of children allowed in the YMCA child watch for Highland students that may have children?

A: For any Highland student who has a YMCA student membership, are using the facilities to work out, and who also have children, child watch is available and free.  The hours from 8:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M. is for three-month olds to six years olds.  Then from 4:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. is for three-month olds to eleven year olds.

Q: What are the hours of operation?

A: Hours during the fall and winter are from 5:00 A.M. – 9:30 P.M. Monday through Friday.  Saturdays is 7:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M., and Sundays is 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.  The only difference during the summer is closing time on Fridays is 7:00 P.M. and the facility is closed on Sundays. 

For any student seeking employment, the YMCA is looking for lifeguards.  They offer lifeguard certification for anyone interested.  Must be 15 years of age, like the water, want to swim, and pass the certification test.  The YMCA is also looking for swim instructors.  Swim instructors must like kids, like the water, want to swim, and be 15 years of age.  However, swim instructors do not need to take the lifeguard certification test.

If you have a break before classes, in between classes, or after classes, stop by the YMCA and get your membership before the midterm arrives.  It takes less than five minutes to register and get your picture taken.  As soon as you are handed your YMCA ID card, start taking advantage of everything the YMCA has to offer.  Believe me when I say, this is one membership that you will not want to give up.

For more information, stop in and speak with an employee at the registration desk or visit the YMCA website.