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The average family with a teenager will spend $1,078 on the prom, according to USA Today. That’s up $271 from last year.

I found those figures shocking. Could this possibly be the norm in Rochester? A friend texted me his daughter’s prom is costing $400 for the dress, $50 for shoes, $75 for hair and nails and $95 for the ticket. That’s far less than $1,078, but my eyes bugged out at the cost of the dress. Lord & Taylor is full of stunning dresses for less than $200.

My friend and his daughter are not alone. Here’s what people had to say on Twitter:


I now see why the Fairy Godmothers group is so important for underprivileged girls!

I don’t remember how much my prom cost in the 90s. I think it was probably around $250 for both me and my date. Spending $200 on a night out today would give me pause. To the left is me at the Marshall Junior-Senior Prom, held in the High Falls special event space. (The year before, our prom was at the Top of the Plaza at Midtown. Sigh.)

4 Responses to Prom Costs Soaring

  1. The prom is an important rite of passage – for me there is not doubt. But it sounds like instead of competing with the Jones (the people next door) we are now competing with celebrities. Ridiculously unimaginable having to spring for a $1K event like this. A form of a materialistic arms race

  2. I attended my HS junior prom, skipped the senior prom the following year – been there, done that, deemed it a waste of MY hard-earned money! Maybe that’s the difference – today it’s the parents footing the bill so their kids can ape Hollywood. Lots of good lessons lost there…

  3. April 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm Kevin Yost responds:

    Parents and students just need to stop spending on proms and balls like money grows on trees. Refer to an article in the D&C in the late 1990’s entitled “Prom on the Cheap.”

  4. April 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm Lynn E responds:

    Kids in poverty want to go to. I can help only so much. Usually not the greatest thing in their life any way but they need to photos for Facebook.

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