Pay-to-Play's Extent Unchanged in 15-16

July 21, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The percentage of Michigan High School Athletic Association high schools that assessed participation fees to help fund interscholastic athletics held steady at 51.5 percent in 2015-16 for the second straight school year after reaching a high of nearly 57 percent two years ago. 

A total of 557 high schools – or 74 percent of the MHSAA membership – responded to the 2015-16 survey for a five percent increase from the year before and the highest feedback rate since 2010-11, when 74 percent of member high schools also responded. A total of 287 high schools, or 51.5 percent that took the survey, charged fees this school year, compared to the same percentage of 522 respondents in 2014-15.

There were 755 senior high schools in the MHSAA membership in 2015-16. This was the 12th survey of schools since the 2003-04 school year, when members reported fees were being charged by 24 percent of schools. The percentage of member schools charging fees crossed 50 percent in 2010-11 and reached 56.6 percent in 2013-14 before decreasing the following school year.

Class B schools continued to see a decline in fees in 2015-16, with 48 percent of respondents from that class assessing fees compared to 52 percent in 2014-15 and 62 percent of Class B schools in 2013-14. Class C and D saw minimal increases in the percentages of schools assessing fees this year, and for the second straight school year 70 percent of Class A respondents assessed fees.

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 rising five percent to 44 percent total of schools that assessed fees in 2015-16. Schools charging a one-time standardized fee per student-athlete remained nearly constant, falling only from 28 to 27 percent over the last year. The survey showed a slight decrease in schools assessing fees based on tiers of the number of sports a student-athlete plays (for example, charging a larger fee for the first team and less for additional sports) and also a slight decrease in fees being assessed based on the specific sport being played.

The amounts of most fees also remained consistent from 2014-15 to 2015-16: 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. The median fee assessed by schools that charge student-athletes once per year did increase $20 to $120.

The survey for 2015-16 and surveys from previous years can be found on the MHSAA Website.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,400 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year. 


MHSAA Accepting Student Advisory Council Applications for Class of 2026

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 11, 2024

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is seeking student-athletes to become members of its Student Advisory Council beginning with the 2024-25 school year.

Four boys and four girls from the Class of 2026 will be selected to two-year terms, and will meet on matters related to maintaining and promoting a proper perspective and sensible scope for high school sports in Michigan. Eight members from the Class of 2025 already are serving on the Council, while eight members from the Class of 2024 are leaving the Council this spring.

To be eligible for the committee, candidates must be a member of the Class of 2026, complete the official application including answering the three short-answer questions, submit a letter of recommendation from a school administrator, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and be available for all scheduled meetings.

In addition, candidates should show a history of leadership on athletic teams as well as with other extracurricular activities, community service projects, or in the workplace; and show an understanding of the role of school sports and have ideas for promoting a proper perspective for educational athletics.

Applications are due to the MHSAA by 4:30 p.m. on April 22. Applications can be downloaded from the Student Advisory Council page of the MHSAA Website and must be returned via e-mail, fax or any mail delivery service

The Student Advisory Council meets six times each school year, and once more for a 24-hour leadership camp. In addition to assisting in the promotion of the educational value of interscholastic athletics, the Council discusses issues dealing with the 4 S’s of educational athletics: scholarship, sportsmanship, safety (including health and nutrition) and the sensible scope of athletic programs. A fifth S – student leadership – is also a common topic. Members contribute to the planning of Sportsmanship Summits, Captains Clinics and other student leadership events, and assist with medal ceremonies at MHSAA championship events.

Newly-chosen members will join the following from the Class of 2025: Cale Bell, Sault Ste. Marie; Drew Cady, Oxford; Macy Jenkins, Milford; Isaiah Kabban, Harbor Beach; Ella Knudsen, Leland; Kaylee Kranz, Clinton; Joey Spada, Kalamazoo Central; and Aynalem Zoet, Grandville Calvin Christian.

The eight new members of the Student Advisory Council will be notified by May 3. The 2024-25 meetings are tentatively scheduled for Aug. 25, Oct. 6, Dec. 8, Feb. 16 and April 27, in addition to the leadership camp June 18-19 and with a May 2025 meeting still to be scheduled.  Meetings will take place at the MHSAA Office in East Lansing, For additional information, contact Andy Frushour at the MHSAA at (517) 332-5046 or [email protected].