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Hs Cheerleading Expenses

My daughter was very fortunate to make jv cheerleading as a freshman. (public highschool) We have a freshman team, they let her advance right to junior varsity. I am a SAHM with 4 kids. We don't make much money, most people in our town do. My problem is the cheerleading expenses. I just recieved an email that says my daughter owes 105.00. (just for the month of august) There is also an attatched "expense form" with outrageous future expenses. My questions are: Is this normal high school sports expenses? What do i do if we can't handle this? She is an honor roll student and loves to cheer. I don't think it is fair to pull her out because of money. I really don't know what to do. Any opinions are helpful....thank you :(

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Thank you so much for all of your advice. I am going to talk to the coaches this week. My daughter has used her babysitting money to help buy the sneakers. She is very open to paying when she has it. Right now she is as broke as her parents...lol! It is good to know the fees are normal, i just wish we were told up front. We have a pizza fund raiser... we are going to try and sell our butts off :)

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This is normal and you can ask for a scholarship. I also know one mother who went to businesses and asked them to help sponsor her daughter.

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Around here, the public school district was sued for requiring students to "pay to play." The end result was that families that can't afford to pay, don't have to pay. They may expect you to participate heavily in fundraising activities, but that's no big deal. I would go ask the school administration what your options are. I'm sure they'd love it if you'd pay, but if you can't, they will probably not be able to make you.

My daughter is involved in club competitive cheer, and WOW do I know what you mean - it was around $200/month last year when you consider all the different expenses (uniforms, coaching fees, competition fees, travel fees... just when you think you're done paying, here they come with bedazzled sweatpants and backpacks. Seriously?!)

6 moms found this helpful

Extra curricular HS costs are ridiculous...I live in TX and high school cheer leading 20 years ago was expensive...the girls bought their own uniforms at $300 to $500 a piece...they had on different uniforms for every game. Our HS was the wealthiest one in the district.

I was in band so we had uniforms supplied...but there were still expenses like $50.00 a month for extra lessons, instrument rental if you couldn't afford your own and the supplies depending on what you played. Game day spirit shirts, etc etc etc

I would go to the sponsor and talk with her first...they probably have scholarships in place but just don't advertise them. I would also keep it on the down low as no one wants to be labeled the "scholarship" kid in high school. College it is an honor, but not in HS.

Good luck and congratulations on a talented daughter.

5 moms found this helpful

Yeah... 10 years ago the cheer expense at my school was $7900 per year.

HOWEVER... there was a standard: ANYONE who makes the team stays on the team (very competitive, 10 spots each year on average for about 200 tryouts). So the cheer moms would fundraise all year. The money was split 3 ways. The first chunk went to pay for anyone who couldn't afford to be on the team. The remainder was split in half. Half went to take the edge off the cost for everyone else, and half went to "goodies". Like the whole team would go get their nails done, or get matching workout spankies (not uniform spankies), or go sailing.

On average the cheer squad raised about 50k each year. Here are some of their fundraisers:

- Donations : SPECIFICALLY for the "scholarship" girls (aka chunk 1). "For the girls who couldn't afford to cheer otherwise, and for team travel expenses". These were done door to door, both private and business.

- Selling schtuff: cookies, candy, pizza, raffle tickets, dates (creepy imho), bake sales, silent auction, "to benefit cheer" days at certain restaurants... either the place would donate all or a percent of their profits for the day (the "all the profit" days were days when the cheer squad would replace the waitstaff), car washes, etc.

- Nepotism. Anyone on cheer was guaranteed a 10hr per week job paying minimum wage or better through several local businesses that were owned by present or past cheer, football, or basketball parents. The money was the girl's own to spend as she pleased, but it was "understood" that at least part of it would go to their own cheer acct

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Yikes, I would call the sponsor for the cheerleaders and see what options you all have.

I know this is why many people do not always get to participate in extracurricular activities, of course the different Booster clubs are great about helping find raise for this exact reason. At our daughters school the Cheerleaders had their own Booster Club and they were fortunate, that many of the other sports teams also donated amounts to the cheerleaders since they had the least members to be able to fund raise.

Congratulations to your daughter!

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T. M
I dont know what high school you are with, But Cheerleading is very expensive. Our school does a lot of fund raising (FR) to help offset some of the cost. We have a Cheerleading Parents Association that helps set up the FR activities for our girls. Some of the FR are a car wash, avon, party lite, it is all selling and the girls have to work hard to sell, but it can be done. Every girl has to participate in all of the FR some of them are for the general account and some go into each girls individual account. As the girls build up their accounts that money can be used for things like tumbling, bloomers, sneakers. My daughter was also able to use 200.00 of the money toward her senior class trip. You should look into this and see if your school does this. I would hate to see any child not be able to participate in something that they enjoy just because of money...Good luck hope you have a fun year. ....J.

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My daughter is 10th grade, honors student, concert orchestra and co- captain of the cheer squad.

YES, what you are seeing is normal.

I am President of the Cheer Booster club. Before tryouts, parents were told upfront that the costs per the school district was $800 for uniforms, clothing, etc and $300 for the summer training camp.

I knew to triple this expense because daughter was a cheerleader in 8th grade and the costs was at least triple from what was quoted by the district. Cheerleading IS expensive. We (majority of the team does this) also pay for a private trainer $40 per 1/2 hr weekly for about 2 years.

As a Booster club, we fundraise by selling advertising, publishing the program to be sold at football games, selling the program at the games and selling Spiritwear at the games.

The fundraising starts early on... as soon as the new squad is named. We do have a scholarship fund in case someone cannot meet the district fees. However, to prepare for competition, pay for the yearly banquet and other expenses, we put a minimum $500 PER girl to earn either by selling ads, selling spiritwear, cash donation or a combination of all. This year, out of 19 girls, we had 2 not participate at all and it is questionable if they will train for competitive cheer with no participation in fundraising. Some girls sell much more than $500 (my daughter sold $2000 worth) and others just don't. They girls who have contributed nothing or woefully less thatn $500 have some options to actively volunteer for the community service hours we have scheduled to "earn" time. So far we've earned $10,000+ which will cover our expenses and leave $ for next years Booster club. The primary expense is competition cheer training which is $5000 with the competition being in January. We strart the private training in early Sept. and train weekly on top of the regular training done at the school.

I do know that the 2 non-participants on our squad are also involved in competitive cheer, therefore, $$ is not the issue.

Talk to the coaches. They do not want to lose a good cheerleader and they will usually help you find a way to stay on the team if the primary reason is $$.

Hopefully you can work something out. Cheerleading is a lot of fun for so many students but it is a very pricey activity.

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Can your daughter do a little bit of work to earn money? I know she is quite busy with her school work and practice, but you have to work for the extras in life you really want...even as an adult.

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Just this year our school district has instituted the "pay to play", although they say it isn't really because there are "scholarships".
Check with the coach and see what can be done.
You have a lot of good suggestions. You shouldn't have to pay so much if you truly can't and she should be able to stay on the team. .

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Yes it is normal and yes participating in extra-curricular activities can be expensive.

Unfortunately, all around the country school districts are having to cut back or ask families to shoulder the financial burden of participating in extracurriculars. By definition, extracurriculars are just that - extra. A school district exists primarily for the education of children and extracurriculars, so when the state and the federal government make educational cuts or when the property values of a district drop (thus, less tax revenue is generated), the school district has to find areas where cuts can be made and extracurriculars are typically one of the first to go. Knowing that extracurriculars can be very enriching and valuable in turning out well-rounded citizens, schools will tend to keep the activities but require those who participate to "pay to play". This can include all the things that cost money - uniforms, a coach's salary (which, trust me, is pennies on the hour), busing to various events, etc.

While it is unfortunate that you were hit with this surprise, do know that this is very normal and typical. Perhaps you can have a discussion with her coach or the athletic director to see if you can maybe go on a payment plan and spread the expenses out over the 10-month school year to relieve some of the burden but still fulfill your responsibility.

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Unfortunately, schools can't afford many sports programs anymore, so they pass the cost along to the parents. Why don't you speak with the coach about organizing a fund raiser to help offset the cost? Do you have bottle deposits in PA? I grew up in MI where you get 10 cents per bottle or can that you return for recycling. The greatest, easiest fundraiser my cheer squad ever did was collect bottles and cans. Kinda messy to take them all back, but you can raise loads of money by hitting up neighbors after they have parties. You could also do car washes, we did them in the Burger King parking lot. Good luck, and congrats to your daughter!

3 moms found this helpful

This is normal and you can ask for a scholarship. I also know one mother who went to businesses and asked them to help sponsor her daughter.

2 moms found this helpful

I would call the school and ask what fundraising the cheerleading squad will be doing. Most sports teams have expenses. My daughter was a highschool cheerleader. the first big expense is cheer camp, then there are sports fees attached to the school, competition stuff and also uniform fees. you might talk to the sports boosters if it gets to be too much and ask if they have any kind of scholarship program you would qualify for. some of them do. Also ask your daughter what she thinks would be a good way to come up with the fees. (she of course will say you could write a check lol) but involve her in the cost. it will make her work harder at it if she pays.

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Hi, T.:
Talk to your daughter about the expenses and both of you come up with ways to find solutions to the problem. Then both of you go to the Coordinator of the cheerleading squad and discuss ways to take care
of the financial responsibilites of the club.

Good luck. D.

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter has played Varsity softball for going on four years - we always had fundraisers or the optional buy out each year - along with snacks to bring, etc. etc. Although they couldn't possibly throw her off the team for not participating, I always did because she was partof the team. With that being said I joke that it would have been a lot cheaper just to buy the darn jacket and sweatshirt she received. Most of these expenses are ones the booster club has picked up sometimes due to school cuts, or just things they would like. Maybe ask for a complete list of expenses, and if there will be any fundraisers to help off set these costs.Think about attending a booster club meeting - my experience is most parents skip these, and then it is just a few deciding for all. Good Luck - although there is the expense, I feel my daughter has definately benefitted from participation in something she loves - keeps her busy and motivated.

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Our local school is about $1000. My daughter played softball in high school and her fees were $0. I have never understood why cheerleading has such a cost associated with it. At our school the fee was required or you weren't on the squad. They made that known at tryouts.

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Could she ramp up her babysitting business? Maybe make a nice flyer and blanket your neighborhood? There is a huge shortage of RELIABLE babysitters IMO. I have had the worst luck with these young girls whose parents are always asking me to have their daughters sit. When I do call they are always busy with one activity or another. Or they cancel at the last minute when something more "fun" comes up. I would happily pay $10/hr to a mature and responsible young girl who has her priorities straight.

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I am a former HS cheerleading coach (public school). If your daughter attended a cheer camp or if the team highers a private correographer the 105 is justifiable. If it (or the future expenses) pays for her shoes, uniform, warm ups or other items she gets to keep, it is justifiable. I always tried to keep costs down & my team did a LOT of fundraising. But, I worked in a poorer district & all the girls needed to earn the money. Very few could pay out of pocket.
Contact the coach. Ask exactly what you are paying for. If paying for uniform items make sure that she gets to keep each piece you pay for. Ask if the team will be doing any fundraising. If these expenses are too much to pay in one season, see if you can work out a payment plan with the coach. Most coaches want to keep their team together. If she has money in her team cheerleading account, she may be able to extend the time in which you have to pay.
When I coached we did a camp each summer for $120, the girls had to buy matching shoes for about $80 - $100, the girls would buy special outfits for homecoming varying from $20 - $50, and sometimes the girls would get t-shirts made for about $30. One year the girls wanted to buy matching warm-ups with their names on them, they were about $150 (we fundraised for most of that cost). And we also fundraised for the varsity jackets for our seniors which were about $150 for each senior.
We used our shoes for the whole year, football & basketball season. We would order new shoes each year (some parents didn't like this, but truthfully after 2 seasons the shoes were pretty beat up). Make sure that they use the same shoes for the whole year (if your daughter is planning on doing the next season as well).

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Years ago when I was in High School, the cheer squad was in the rotation for new uniforms. So, every 5 years we'd get new ones and then pass them on every year to the new cheerleaders (same would go for Football players, basketball, etc.) Maybe you can talk to your daughter's school about something like this? Seems like everything nowadays has to be so BIG and COLORFUL and THE BEST. Makes it very hard for those of us who just want the benefit of organized sports. I know where you're coming from.

Good Luck.

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Yes, those are unfortunately normal H.S. expenses and they can certainly be over-whelming if you are like most of us and can't afford an extra $100.00 or so for your kids sports on top of everything else. My babysitter is 14 years old. We don't use her for late nights out, but we do have her sit for us for 2 hrs. or to watch over the other children while I go to a class or clean the house. If your daughter did that once or twice a week for one or two families she could pay for at least half of cheer leading and it would teach her some early financial responsibility. I hope this is helpful- mine is only 5, so I am not speaking from experience, just from a Mom's Point of view:-) Take Care!

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