Uniforms, Bows & Fees…Oh my! The 101 On The Cost Of Cheer

One of the biggest shocks for new cheerleaders and non-cheerleaders just might be the costs required to be on a high school cheer squad (we’re not talking just uniforms and warm-ups). Many schools don’t allocate a significant amount of funding for their cheer programs and, therefore, the cheerleaders (and by cheerleaders we mean cheer parents) are forced to pay the bill left over after fundraising efforts.

We took it upon ourselves (because we’re just that wonderful) to do some digging and find out what the average costs are for a school cheerleader. Warning: the following numbers may surprise you. Or, if you’re a veteran cheerleader, you’ll probably just be shaking your head thinking, “the things I do for the sport I love!”

Common High School Cheer Fees (based on the national average):
1) Registration: $150
2) “Spirit” fees (banquet, pep rallies, gifts, etc.): $100
3) Uniform: $100
4) Warm-ups: $65
5) Performance/Game Accessories (shoes, socks, makeup, hair supplies, pom poms): $100
6) Practice gear (shirts, shorts, tanks, socks, shoes, bag): $100
7) Tumbling classes: $100 for 10 classes
8) Cheer photos (team and individual): $50
9) Summer cheer camp: $150-$350

Then there are always additional costs, like travel fees or replacement gear (cheerleaders go through a lot of bobby pins, shoes, and practice wear).

On average, the cost for one year of high school cheer for a new member is between $700 and $1000. For a returning member, the average is between $500 and $800. Remember, this is just the cost for one year! If someone is in cheer for all four years of high school, that’s close to $3500! This doesn’t even include the totals of youth and middle school, and we know that a lot of cheerleaders starts young.

It doesn’t stop there. That’s just for school costs! For All Stars or competitive teams, there are additional gym fees (anywhere between $1500 to $5000 a year), competition fees, travel costs, additional uniforms, choreography, coaching, and private training fees… The list keeps on going!

Many squads do fundraising activities to help cover their fees, but since they also have to cover travel and other miscellaneous expenses, the parents usually end up still having to pay some of the balance out-of-pocket.

Cheerleading is one of the more expensive school activities. On average, schools provide much more funding for more socially popular sports teams, like football, basketball, baseball, and soccer. For many athletes on these teams, there are very few costs – no additional training, classes, performance accessories, or camp fees. Some schools even provide the uniforms (from jerseys to cleats to helmets) for free.

If you’re a soon-to-be cheerleader or cheer parent, don’t let this discourage you! While registration, camp, and spirit fees are usually a set price, items like uniforms, warm-ups, shoes, and practice gear can be purchased for much less. There are a lot of ways to lower these costs. Check out cheerleading apparel websites like Campus Teamwear, which has a 125% lowest price guarantee so you’re certain to get the best deal possible on high quality cheerleading uniforms, shoes, and accessories like pom poms, megaphones, and makeup and hair supplies.

Does your squad have high cheer fees? How do you cut down on costs? Share your tips or advice here!

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13 Response Comments

  • CarolFebruary 21, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    I only wish it was that price! New cheerleaders in Mississippi start up costs are $2100 plus, I guess it’s an elite club now for the rich

  • erickaApril 26, 2014 at 5:52 AM

    I’m only 12 and I want to start my own cheerleding team but we don’t have cheerleaders in South-Africka
    My mom say I mast go and start my own cheerleding team

  • LouellaJuly 23, 2014 at 7:49 AM

    My school system as well as the student body (with the exception of the cheerleaders) lack respect for our cheer program. We literally get no funding. The cheer program is over 3000 dollars in the hole while the basketball program is out 17000 dollars. The parents are left complaining and blaming the coaches for asking for pocket money all the time and their daughters for getting into the program. They always talk about how when they were in high school, my current school, that the school played for everything. But I guess they’re forgetting the school doesn’t even fund basketball anymore. The sad part? If you ask anyone that’s graduated from my school within the last 5-7 years they’ll tell you the school has more than enough money to fund every sport. But would rather spend it on new windows (instead of new, updated text books) new lights on the football field (When the soccer and baseball field have no lights at all so people with cars turn their headlights on if it gets dark). For parents at my school they spend hundreds of dollars every year For their kid to play sports. Most athletes at my school play at least two sports. And it’s double the expenses when you have more than one kid playing sports. Cheerleading is expensive and of the sport isn’t bringing the school any money they’re not funding it. Which really really isn’t fair. Especially with the economic struggles the majority of this country are facing.

  • LexithecheerleaderAugust 27, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    This is so off if you cheer in New York raise most of those prices 100$


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