Tough times resulting in pay-to-play fees for school sports: Upcoming report

Sports offer many health and education benefits for teens. But due to continuing budget challenges, schools have had to tighten their belts when it comes to funding for athletics.

Many middle and high schools now charge a fee for students who participate in sports. These “pay-to-play” fees are sometimes charged per school year or sometimes charged for each sport a student plays.

To gain a better understanding of the cost to play sports and the impact this has on participation rates, we asked parents of children age 12-17 about their child’s participation in school sports and about how much it costs for them to play each year. We also asked parents whether they received any waivers or scholarships for school sports to reduce the financial burden. Knowing that times are tough, we took a look at these experiences for kids in lower-income versus higher-income families across the country.

Our report on pay-to-play sports in high schools and middle schools will be released early next week. Sign up for our mailing list to receive the report via e-mail as soon as it’s published.

Update: May 14, 2012

The National Poll on Children's Health Report on pay-to-play sports has now been released. Follow the link below to read the full report.