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School Sports Cover Costs with Pay-to-Play Fees

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School Sports Cover Costs with Pay-to-Play Fees

High school athletes dream of getting paid to play the sports they love. But what happens when they are required to pay money to help fund the sports?

Many schools have opted for pay-to-play systems that charge student athletes a fee for each extracurricular they participate in.

Sports fees are nothing new for parents who have long been opening their wallets for youth sports leagues and clubs. Sanctioned school sports were typically free, though, until the past few decades when state funding struggled to keep up with growing programs.

A survey of 470 schools in Ohio found that about half require a sports participation fee. The range is large, with some schools requiring a $50 pay-to-play fee for each sport, while others soared over $1,000 per sport.

Charging a fee is often viewed as a better alternative to eliminating sports or adding a school levy to the ballet. Still, the fees can be a burden for low-income families or those with multiple children competing in sports. Participation almost always declines when fees are added.

Does your school have a pay-to-play procedure for sports or other extracurricular activities?

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