The fall high school athletic season is right around the corner and with that comes the pay to participate fees. So, how do the rates in Shelby and Utica compare with other communities?
The Michigan High School Athletic Association surveyed its member institutions recently and revealed that although the use of participation fees to help fund interscholastic athletics has doubled during the last nine years, the percentage of schools accessing them has held steady over the last two.
The survey indicates that of the 514 schools participating, 260 of them - 50.5 percent - charged participation fees last school year. In the 2010-2011 survey, fees were being used at 50.4 percent of schools participating.
The Utica Community Schools’ fee to participate is $145 for seventh and eighth graders. A fee of $145 is accessed for ninth through 12 graders for one sport and $120 for each additional sport. A family will pay a maximum participation fee of $450 per year.
Listed in the survey’s annual maximum fee per student breakdown, the median was $150 per year. Low was $25 and the highest charges were $410.
For the annual maximum fee per family breakdown, median was $250, high $850, and low was $50.
UCS also offers financial aid based on need, and fees are waived for students who qualify for the federal Free Lunch Program. Students who qualify for the federal Reduced Lunch Program are assessed 25 percent of the participation fee.
In the MHSAA Participation Survey, 64.5 percent offered reduced fee or fee waiver provision based on income criteria.