Kristi Ludlow

School fees add up for parents with multiple children in Aiken Co. Schools

Education costs

For parents with multiple children in public schools, the fees can add up quickly. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 12, 2011)

News 12 First at Five / Aug. 12, 2011

AIKEN CTY., S.C. -- Incoming sixth graders at North Augusta Middle School were excited for school to start at their orientation Friday.

So were their parents, but their wallets might not be.

"My daughter that is going to the high school, we had a pretty chunky registration fee for her and then the parking permit on top of it and it doesn't end there; throughout the school year we have additional fees as well," said parent Sandy Waldrop.

Waldrop also has two other kids in the system and says the money adds up.

"When I was writing the check out and paying for registration, a thought that crossed my mind: What about the parents that are struggling to come up with the money for registration?" she said. "Public education is supposed to be -- in a sense -- free."

If you have three kids in the Aiken school system, one in elementary, one in middle school and one in high school, here is what you're looking at:

Base Registration Fees

  • Hammond Hill Elementary -- $45
  • North Augusta Middle School -- $50
  • North Augusta High School -- $70

Total -- $165

This doesn't include extra things like parking or band.

North Augusta Middle School Assistant Principal Wendy Jacob's understands these fees can be expensive.

"We have had students who have been kind of shy about it and said well I need to get out of band, and we find out maybe it was a money issue and they couldn't afford an instrument and so we will make sure that instrument is purchased for them," Jacobs said. "That has happened in the past."

And that goes for any other activity. The school wants to help.

"We are here for our students; that is why we come here every day and want them to have the best experience possible and we don't want money to be an issue," Jacobs said.

But how does Waldrop deal with fees? Well, she just pays them.

According to a new study, families can expect to spend up to 25 percent more to fill their kids' backpacks and pay for extracurricular this year.

Also, students that are on a free lunch program do not have to pay school registration fees and those students on reduced lunch pay reduced fees as well.

You can also pay your fees online, but that costs $2.50.


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