Pay-to-participate: Costs hinder participation in school activities
As kids settle back into the classroom, many will also be heading back to the field, the gym, and the band room. These extra-curricular activities may come at a price, as school budget constraints often result in participation fees for children who take part in activities. This extra cost can hinder participation, especially on those from lower-income households.
A 2016 Mott Poll found disparities in participation in school activities among middle/high school students from households earning <$60,000/year.
- Among lower-income households, 27% of parents reported decreased participation due to cost, and 24% reported no participation in sports, arts, or clubs.
- Among higher-income households, 12% of parents reported decreased participation due to cost, and 11% reported no participation in sports, arts, or clubs.
Students who aren’t participating in extra-curricular activities may benefit from information about fee-waivers and other options that may help ease the financial barrier that could be preventing participation.