Education: The Price of Status

How much does it cost to attend a free U.S. public high school? Plenty, says Education Professor Errett Hummel of Portland (Ore.) State College. The average high school student in Oregon spends $238.46 a year on extracurricular expenses. The cost is the reason many students quit school, says Hummel.

Hummel made a year-long survey covering 88% of Oregon's high schools. He found youngsters paying as much as $18 for a student-body card, $30 for other tickets, and $32 for class jewelry. Every dance steps up the bill. One father reported that it cost him $100 to dress his daughter for a prom...

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