Haley has been waiting for prom her entire life. She has her dream dress picked out, but she forgot one minor detail- the price tag. Haley’s mother told her if she wanted to attend prom, she would have to pay herself. No problem! It couldn’t be more than $300, right? Haley was sadly mistaken. The dress alone already exceeded her entire budget. How could she possibly afford all of the other “necessities”? She has been working long, hard hours at her new part time job for months, but is one night really worth it?
Since last year, the cost of prom has risen 5%, making the national average $1,139 per person. Prom is expensive in every state, but New Jersey has one of the highest averages in the country at a total of $1,528.
On average, a girl spends $1000-$2000 on prom “necessities.” Dresses usually range from $200-600-If you get a good deal. What’s a perfect dress without picture-perfect shoes? These usually cost around $50-100. Then there are nails ($35), the perfect hairstyle (professionally done-$50), jewelry ($40), makeup ($30), boutonnière ($10), and most importantly, the actual prom ticket which can range from $100-$200.
So, what does a Hopatcong student do? Junior Shannon Clarke stated, “No, I don’t think prom is worth all the money, especially because you also need to buy a dress, a tux, jewelry, etc. It’s a lot of fun, but a lot of money as well.”
The males seem to think the opposite. Senior Kevin Mulharin said, “Prom is definitely really expensive, but it’s worth all the fun and memories that I’ll be able to share with my friends and my whole senior class.”
Along with their teens, parents believe that this night should be a night to remember and a night to cherish. This mind set pressures parents into overlooking the price tag because they want to give their child the same experience as others, even if they cannot afford it.
Many HHS students seem to agree that prom is worth the cost. “I would still go to prom even though I know how expensive it is. It’s all everyone talks about in high school; it’s an experience I wouldn’t want to miss,” said sophomore Shelby Spaziani.
Even though the cost of prom is rising, there are many ways to save money. Teens can search for good deals by having a friend do hair/makeup. It is possible to stay within your budget! If you do decide to go to prom, do not let the cost discourage you from having the night of your life.