The Real Cost of Prom

With prom season in full swing, the signature dance’s appearance on the horizon signals the arrival of one of the biggest school events of the year for upperclassmen, but disguised in the glamour of the night can be a host of social and financial pressures that students and their families must face in order to make the night happen.

From “promposals” to tuxedos to transportation, prom night can run up an expense sheet very quickly. Prom and promposing cost families in the United States $919, with teens on the West Coast spending $596 on prom alone, according to a 2015 annual study by Visa.

“Prom should be a fun experience for everyone, but the cost of renting or buying an tux can be stressful leading up to the big night,” Will Kahn ’18 said. “Sometimes it’s helpful to have some things at your house, but good deals at places like Men’s Wearhouse can come in clutch if you’re trying to find a tux to match your date’s colors or find the right fit.”

The Men’s Wearhouse offers $40 off on tuxedo rentals for students with a simple promotion code that can be obtained from the front desk at the Pine & Octavia campus. Student Council also hosts a Facebook page where students can submit their promposals to a contest, with the winner receiving two free tickets.

Having the best promposal in the school is a tall order, yet asking someone at all can be a great challenge of its own.

Although asking a date is not required, the vast majority of Stuart Hall upperclassmen do, leaving those without an easy person to ask in a tough spot.

“With no classes at Convent, it can be hard for me to form relationships with the Convent girls,” Gordon Smit ’18 said, “so it took more effort for me to find a date than someone who has class at Convent daily.”

Promposing is not the only pressure-filled event associated with prom, as statistics show that 74 percent of prom attendees felt pressure from their peers to drink, with 49 percent reporting pressure to do drugs, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“I look forward to prom as a chance to have a really good time,” Gordon Smit ’18 said, “but I do think the likelihood of kids doing something dangerous is higher because this night only occurs once a year.”

The infrequency of the event has put the focus on the Student Councils of both schools to deliver a quality night.

“We’re really excited to provide an opportunity for upperclassmen to have a phenomenal time,” Student Body President Michael Tellini ’17 said. “The event should be memorable, an experience that further unites the Junior Class and propels the seniors from our community with a great finale.”