Rate of MHSAA schools charging pay-to-play fees drops slightly

EAST LANSING — A survey conducted by the Michigan High School Athletic Association found just under half of its high schools charged participation fees to help fund athletic programs during the past school year.
The survey showed a slight decrease in the percentage charging these fees from 2015-16, according to an MHSAA news release. The 2016-17 rate, 49.7 percent, was also the first time since 2010-11 the number fell under 50 percent.
The 2016-17 survey was completed by just under three-quarters of MHSAA high school members, 557 out of 750, or 74 percent.
The 49.7 percent charging participation fees was lower than the previous year’s 51.5 percent. In surveys conducted since the 2003-04 year, the highest rate was 56.6 percent in 2013-14, and the lowest was the first year when it was just 24 percent.
A trend of larger schools more often charging fees continued. In 2016-17, the rates were 70 percent in Class A, 52 percent in Class B, 42 percent in Class C and 35 percent in Class D.
The most common method to apply the charges was a standard fee for each team on which a student-athlete participates, though a one-time fee and a lessening scale of fees as more sports were played are also popular methods.
The actual charges also remained consistent. The median amount for a maximum fee per student was $150, median maximum family fee was $300 and median per-team fee was $75. Median for a one-time-a-year fee rose $5 to $125.
Survey details are available on the website at www.mhsaa.com/Schools/Administrators/Pay-to-Play-Resource.