10 challenges poor students and teachers face


5. Participating in extracurriculars can pose an insurmountable financial burden

Like a broken record, school guidance counselors forever tout the benefit of having extracurriculars on your résumé. Even beyond how a well-rounded record of involvement might appear to a college admissions office or a future employer, one of the other major selling points of extracurriculars is that they’re usually a lot of fun! However, the high costs associated with some of these activities can deter students from participating.

According to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, students from low-income households participate in extracurriculars at half the rate as students from higher-income backgrounds. The Mott Poll Report found that, nationally, school participation fees averaged $161 for sports, $86 for arts-related activities, and $46 for other clubs and extracurriculars.

Cost might also prevent low-income teachers from tagging along for group teacher outings, such as attending the occasional happy hour or going out for a meal during a professional development conference (even if the conference attendance cost is covered by the school district).

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