Going to School for Free Isn’t Cheap


Elizabeth Czosnek, Reporter

Attending public school for free can be expensive. From participating in sports to purchasing school lunches to even just attending to school dances, the costs build up. The less money the district has for the schools, the more money students and parents have to pay. This year, some of the district’s money is going towards the sports complex being built in Pritchard Park.


Students and parents are responsible for quite a few costs of public school. Before the school year even starts, students are required to pay an $60 book fee and get themselves school supplies. On average, school supplies for one person costs around $100. Once the student has everything they need to be successful and the school year starts, students need to eat. A regular lunch costs $2.90 and one month of school lunches can add up to almost $60.


During school, students can be in the music programs. They can join orchestra, band or choir. Instruments can be rented through the school for $100 or through Schmitt Music for $40 a month and choir uniforms can be rented from school for $30 a year or bought for $60. To get a music letter or music medals for their letterman jacket, the students have to pay. After school, students can participate in sports, one sport costs $80. If a student wants to play more than one sport in a year, the price goes up. Some sports also get clothing that can cost anything from $10 to around $40.


Getting into activities after school also adds up. Entry fees for sporting and music events are $4. Plays and musicals the theater puts on cost more, usually around $7. One alternative to paying for every after school activity is to get the Family Activities Pass for $70 or the Student Activities Pass for $35 at the beginning of the year or before the school year starts. The pass does not cover the cost of tournament or school dance entry. School dance tickets often cost about $15 plus the expenses of the students outfits, makeup, hair, etc.


The costs for four years in high school really add up. The book fee for four years costs $240. New school supplies for four years comes to about $400. Twenty lunches for nine months each year for four years comes out to $2,088. If the student participates in band and rented their instrument through school for $100 per year for four years it would be $400. Playing three sports for four years, without getting any warm ups, adds up to $680. Thirty sporting or music events for four years without the activities pass would be $480. If they went to one play a year throughout high school, it would total $28. One high school dance each year would cost around $60. In total, the cost of four years of high school, including the book fee, school supplies, school lunches, playing an instrument, participating in sports, after school activities, and school dances is $4,316. Good thing public school is free.