Despite Budget Cuts, Schools Still Need Yearbooks in the Digital Age

Budget restrictions and social media might make skipping a yearbook this year seem tempting, but there are still plenty of reasons why your school should provide one.

Fiscal woes and budget cuts have really taken their toll on schools over recent years. Many are left with no choice but to “cut the fat” just to get by and it seems almost nothing is safe from the chopping block. While music and sports programs struggle to stay afloat, a non-essential service like a traditional yearbook can seem like a luxury and maybe even a strain on an already tight budget. Social media and digital technology have influenced yearbook trends and have some questioning whether or not yearbooks are even relevant anymore. But don’t judge a yearbook by its cover. Far from frivolous or passé, yearbooks not only provide a fun service to the students, they provide a crucial service to the school itself. So we’ve compiled a list of five benefits that schools reap from offering yearbooks to encourage anyone who might be asking themselves, “Why does my school still need a yearbook?”


When school spirit soars, there’s always a photo for the yearbook around the corner.
Image source: San Francisco University High School’s Facebook

Students want to be proud of the school they attend, so give them a reason to be. Emblazoned with school colors, mottos, and mascots, yearbooks chronicle a year full of hard work and fun, but also serve as a reminder of the common purpose they all share. A thriving school culture boosts school pride. And when students feel a strong sense of school pride, they don’t just wear school colors or show up for football games, they embrace and support the mission of the schools and the teachers who enforce it. Give them pride and they’ll show you pride.


Beyond a year in photos of the students, think of a yearbook as a historical archive of the school itself. Much like a newspaper, the yearbook tells the story of each school year. And with all the hard work that is put into a school year, from the principal, to the students, down to the crossing guards, that story is worth telling for decades to come.


The reason why students love yearbooks is obvious – they’re a fun, visual way to mark the many milestones of growing up. They enjoy seeing themselves and their friends and being able to look back on the many memories they’ve shared. But the fun and success spread across those pages is also a huge motivator for students. Studies show that peers are a powerful influence for teens. And what better way to harness that power than allowing them to see the awards and achievements of their successful friends? Having successful peers can push them to strive for more for themselves. Whether it’s working harder at their studies, joining more clubs, or just getting more involved, yearbooks show students the rewards, camaraderie, and esteem that come with achieving goals through hard work and dedication.


Faculty Celebrating Principal's Birthday

You might not be able to enjoy the cake again, but you’ll always remember the principal’s birthday party.
Image source: Flickr user Northern Ireland Executive

Yearbooks may highlight student landmarks, but the faculty sees many milestones during the year, as well. They put countless hours of energy, both physical and mental, into the students who are strewn across those pages. Student achievements are faculty achievements, too, and they should be able to celebrate them just as the students do.

Sections featuring faculty who have made notable achievements is another way for them to take pride in themselves and their co-workers. Remember to include the lighter moments, too, because they’re just as special. After all, who wouldn’t want the day they got to soak the principal in the dunk tank at the school fair memorialized forever?


A proper committee comprised of teachers and students is essential in creating a great yearbook. Delegating appropriate responsibilities to students gives them a sense of independence and responsibility while also showing the importance of collaboration. Assignments such as interviews, feature stories, or reporting on and photographing events provides education and creative experience with writing, journalism, photography, and publishing – all under deadlines. Consider it education disguised as fun.


Right now you may be nodding your head in agreement but still find yourself faced with a budgetary brick wall and asking how your school can come up with the money for a yearbook venture. But that’s where TreeRing comes in.

Yearbook budget

Tree Ring solves all your yearbook budget issues.
Image source: Flickr user 401(K) 2013

TreeRing offers the ability to craft a high quality, personalized yearbook that will provide all of the above services to your school. And the best part is that it’s all at virtually no cost to the school: No upfront costs, no hidden fees, no minimum orders. TreeRing only prints the yearbooks that have been purchased, which means no expense and no waste.

So, now that you know all the ways a yearbook can benefit your school, the only question left is, “What are you waiting for?”