MHSAA shows decrease in schools assessing participation fees

High School

EAST LANSING — Slightly less than 50 percent of Michigan High School Athletic Association member high schools assessed sports participation fees during the 2017-18 school year, according to an annual survey that enjoyed its highest response rate in 14 years of measuring the prevalence of charging students to help fund interscholastic athletics.

The MHSAA conducted its first participation fee survey during the 2003-04 school year, when 24 percent of responding schools reported they charged fees. The percentage of member schools charging fees crossed 50 percent in 2010-11 and reached a high of 56.6 percent in 2013-14.

This year’s survey was completed by a record 80 percent of the MHSAA’s 751 member high schools, and 49 percent of respondents charged participation fees – down slightly from 49.7 percent in 2016-17, when the rate dropped below 50 percent for the first time since 2009-10.

Charging a standardized fee for each team on which a student-athlete participates – regardless of the number of teams – remains the most popular method among schools assessing fees, with that rate at 43 percent of schools.

The amounts of most fees remained consistent during 2017-18: the median annual maximum fee per student at $150, the median annual maximum family fee at $300 and the median per-team fee at $75.