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Study shows prom is pricey, students say it doesn't have to be

By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
Published On: Apr 10 2013 07:29:23 PM CDT

Visa's study shows in 2011, families paid around $800 on prom, but that price rose to a little more than $1,000 last year.

AMMON, Idaho -

A new study by Visa shows the price for prom is skyrocketing, with the average family expected to pay around $1,000 for the high school dance.

The study also shows parents picking up 61 percent of the tab.

From the dress, tux, limo, and dinner -- there's a lot that goes into it.

"Prom is a big deal, I think, at every high school," said Jacob Warner, Hillcrest High senior.

Prom is perhaps, one of the most memorable high school moments.

"You have prom and that's kind of like right before graduation," said Warner. "Without it, it's almost like you can't graduate."

But could this right of passage be breaking the bank?

"I think people just go with the expectation that they're going to spend a lot, so they do end up spending that money," said Sam Scoville, Hillcrest High senior. "But I don't think it's as expensive as most people might think."

Visa's study shows in 2011, families paid around $800 on prom, but that price rose to a little more than $1,000 last year.

"It can be really expensive if you make it expensive, but you can find a good way to budget your money," said Lacey Elkington, Hillcrest High senior.

Students say they'll often go to the dance in large groups to help lower the limo price, avoid restaurants, and look for affordable vendors like Hart's Tux & Gowns.

"A guy coming in to get a tux has a really good chance of spending under $100," said Diane Chiles, Hart's Tux & Gowns manager.

"It's easy and nice to divide the cost," said Taylor Huskinson, Hillcrest High senior. "Dinner, sometimes it's best to have it at someone's house and their mom makes a really good meal."

Taylor and Lacey say most girls have everything they need in their closets already, and can borrow dresses from friends.

"I already have shoes and I already have jewelry, so for me, it's usually not too bad," said Elkington.

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