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A notebook of short but worthy items: fees go up, participation goes down.

One in four students from lower-income families did not participate in any school activities--sports, arts, or clubs--in 2015-16, according to the National Poll on Children's Health.

About one quarter (27%) of parents in households earning less than $60,000 a year said the cost of school activities caused a drop in participation for their child, compared to 12% in households earning more than $60,000 a year. Ten percent of lower-income and 3% of higher-income families received a waiver for activity fees. Only 12% of high-income parents (those earning more than $60,000 a year) said participation had dropped due to cost.

School pay-to-participate fees varied by type of activity, averaging $139 per sport, $116 per arts activity, and $94 per club. But participation fees were only one component of cost: With equipment, travel, private lessons, and special events, the average total cost per student for the school year was $302 for sports participation, $218 for arts participation, and $124 for club participation. Low-cost options also varied by activity type: 60% of students in arts and clubs had zero total cost, compared to only 30% of students in sports.

Source: C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. (2016, October 17). Pay-to-participate limiting school activities for lower-income students.


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Title Annotation:participation fees for school activities; Highlighted & Underlined
Publication:Phi Delta Kappan
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2016
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