Why Did the Skyline Parking Pass Increase?

Follow up on Fall 2021 story on Parking Pass costs


For the first time since 2013, Skyline’s parking pass price has met the other high schools’. After a consistent 10-year streak of staying at $40 per pass, the lowest price within Ann Arbor Public Schools, this fall Skyline administrators decided to increase the price to $50. 

This slight adjustment has caused an uproar among the student drivers in the building, raising lots of questions: Why did the price go up? Where is the money going? Why do we have to pay at all?

Students are required to register their vehicles in order for the staff who patrol the parking lot to know which vehicles are owned by which students. While this may seem like an infringement on privacy, Skyline High School Principal Cory McElmeel says registration can benefit students in the long run, especially if there happens to be an issue with your vehicle, such as damage, lights left on, and/or running engines.

As claimed by morning announcements, beginning very soon, the “grim wrecker” will be coming to Skyline and unregistered vehicles will be removed from the lot. 

The concept of towing suspicious vehicles has not been as prominent in years prior. Following quarantine, administrators noticed an abundance of reckless activities taking place in our lot as well as a pattern of being used as a Park n’ Ride for M-14 and loitering. “The overall goal isn’t to tow student’s vehicles,” McElmeel says. “The overall goal is to keep our lot safe and keep our spaces available.” 

McElmeel explained the reasoning for purchasing a pass: registration of vehicles, parking lot security and monitoring, signage and repair, student incentives, and even preparing drivers for future fees and payments.

According to Jolene Everard, finance office professional at Skyline, 100% of the money that is collected from the parking passes is spent on student incentives, events, or appeals. There are no building expenses withdrawn from this budget. 

Everard explained this “as a way for the high school to purchase items that students request”. Some things that have been purchased using that money include the new picnic tables in the outdoor seating area, new “soft seating” around the building, the Eagle Elite prizes, the Senior Breakfast and gifts at the end of the school year, SLC awards, and financial assistance for qualifying students on field trips and for athletics.

Skyline’s $40 parking passes have been the lowest price the Ann Arbor Public High Schools, with Huron at $60 and Pioneer at $50. Over the last few years, administrators have been asked many times by the district to increase the price, which would in turn raise the budget for student requests. 

Skyline is also the only high school that offers prorated passes for students who will be driving themselves to school during the latter half of the school year. Prorated passes will be available after February 1st for $25 rather than the entire $50.