New Year, New Store Prices


Students purchase merchandise from the school store. (Source: Alex Strand (II))

The Boston Latin School store may look like a place brimming with school spirit, but there is a reason why the price tags are not displayed. The school store is a convenient place for students to buy school supplies and merchandise, being especially popular among incoming students. The school store’s items sell at high prices, supposedly to benefit the school and the students, but the prices are not fair for all. These high prices are not beneficial to students and are problematic. The school store should lower their prices in order to create a school community more inclusive to all students.

Estimates of BLS’s overall endowment have varied, with one Boston Globe article citing 39 million dollars — which is very possible based on the 3.4 million dollars they made from endowment in 2020 alone. So why is it that they charge 40 dollars for a plain black sweatshirt with a generic purple paw?

Based on Boston Latin School Association’s 2020 Operating Funds Statement of Activities, BLSA saw an increase in their net assets of 189,788 dollars, which, when considered along with the 3.4 million dollars BLSA made off of BLS’s endowment, these sweatshirts along with other items are overpriced.

When asked about these prices, Elda Alibeaj (IV) comments, “Some of the merchandise is [reasonably priced], but most of the time, not really. For instance, take the BLS masks, they’re ten dollars. That is way too overpriced, compared to your average mask at an average store, just because it has a BLS logo on it.” Most BLS masks cost 15 to 16 dollars, proving how absurd their prices can be.

While some of the items seem reasonably priced, a majority of the items are unaffordable for BLS’s economically diverse community. Gabriel Vidalis (IV) explains, “Students come from all walks of life to this school, so one can truly never tell another’s situation, and I think our school store does a poor job of reflecting that with its prices.” The prices of the school shop are unacceptable and should be more reasonable to incorporate all members of the school community.

As a result of the economic diversity in the BLS community, not everyone can afford merchandise from the school store. This leads to the exclusion from popular school events like Spirit Day and Valentine’s Day. Vidalis adds, “Dressing up in BLS apparel and showing your school spirit are staples of our school’s spirit day. […] Just by excluding some students from buying a sweatshirt, you can destroy our school’s sense of community.” 

The exclusion from exciting school events can rattle an individual’s sense of school pride. A student should not have to be left out of a schoolwide event, and their participation in events should not be determined by their economic status or their ability to afford school merchandise.

The BLS school store needs to lower their prices to be fair and accessible for all students in BLS, regardless of financial status. Attending a prestigious school like BLS is a privilege, but being a part of its community is a right.