How Much does it Cost to be a Cheerleader in High School?

Cheerleading is fun! Be a part of a prestigious cheerleading team and enjoy the fanfare like never before. But you should be wary of the costs!

How Much does it Cost to be a Cheerleader in High School? The cost ranges from $700 to $3500. Fixed costs include uniforms, accessories, gym and tumbling class fees, cheer camp registration fees, etc. The fixed costs would be a minimum of $500-700. The rest depends on the school as they may charge a premium for participation in national competitions.

How Much does it Cost to be a Cheerleader in High School

Cheerleading is one of those high school sports activities on the expensive side. The cost required to be a part of the high school cheer team may shock new cheerleaders and their parents.

Most schools do not fund the cheer programs, and the team members are left to pay for the costs themselves. The glamor and the rewarding experience associated with cheerleading draw many young girls to the sport, but the expenses remain a fact and can be a burden for people who aren’t too well off.

The cost may make it impossible for some girls to take part in the team. Many girls start practicing but eventually, they drop out after their families cannot pay the expenses.

Apart from the uniform and shoes, there are fees for traveling in events, participation, gym fees, and a lot of other expenses. Most schools meet the parents of the girls in the squad to acquaint them with the costs ahead.

On average, the cost may range from $700 to $3,500 per year, depending on the school. For instance, the total cost amounts to $900 in Richwood High School, $750 in Carroll High School, $2500 in Neville High School, and $3500 in Sterlington High School.

These are the annual costs, which multiply by the number of years a member remains in the high school team. Schools that compete in the national championships have higher expenses for the cheerleading team than those that do not.

Hiring full-time trainers and going for the nationals is a heavily expensive affair. Some schools organize a fundraiser to help the girls pay for the squad.

However, the experience of being a cheerleader in your high school’s prestigious team and participating in the state and national level championships is worth the cost. Cheerleading no longer remains constricted to pom-poms and dance and is as competitive a sport as any other athletic event. It is worth investing your money and energy in this great activity and bringing glory galore to your high school.

What Are The Costs Involved In Cheerleading?

Let us now look at the breakup of expenses to be a cheerleader in high school.

Cheerleading Uniform

A cheerleading uniform should cost $100 at least. Depending on the design and quality, the cost may vary from team to team. But undoubtedly, cheerleading uniforms are very costly because they are custom-made.

The fabric used for the uniforms is expensive, and the making costs due to the embroidery, logo, and details add up to the total cost. With $100 being the minimum cost, it should cost $150 on an average per cheerleader.

Read more: What Fabric is Used for Cheer Uniforms? A Common Question

During the winter season, teams need warm-up jackets with school team logos as a part of the uniform. These jackets and winter gear cost $80 to $150 on average.

Accessories and Practice Gear

The cheerleading uniform also includes several accessories and practice gear. The latter comprises shorts, socks, travel kits, gym kits, shoes, practice shirts, sports bras, etc. Cheerleaders need comfortable and high-quality practice gear to withstand the long hours of intense practice.

Comfortable spandex sports bras and shorts aid in the training, and so do the absorbent socks and breathable, flexible practice shoes. These should nearly cost $100-$200 to get the best quality products. 

Apart from the practice gear, cheerleaders need accessories like bows, pom-poms, bloomers, and makeup. The cost of all such accessories should be another $100-$200 depending on the things you need. 

If you are planning to buy cheer shoes and backpacks you can use these exhaustive guides covering cheer shoes and cheer backpacks.

Gym Classes and Tumbling

High school teams require the cheerleaders to attend gym classes and tumbling classes. Practice sessions in school require some cost which is either included in the registration fees or charged extra. 

But the cost rockets up when cheerleaders enter competitive cheerleading. Competitive cheerleading is very different from cheering for high school matches. Cheer girls need to take special tumbling and gymnastics classes to improve their flexibility, skills, techniques, strength, and stamina.

These classes are vital to learning the techniques and perfecting the choreography, backflips, tumbling, somersault, handstands, and handsprings. The training prepares the cheerleaders to compete with others at a competitive level. But such special costs come at $1000-$3000 every year for the team. On average, each cheer girl may have to pay $150 to $300 per month. 

Cheer Camp

Cheer camps are necessary for competitive cheerleading. Cheer camps are overnight camps that last for 2 to 4 days to help cheerleaders extend their knowledge and skills. The cheer camps make the team go through routines, practice stunts and tumbling, and improve their knowledge of cheer skills.

While enhancing team bonding and cooperation, cheer camps also help to sharpen individual cheer skills. Cheer camps cost around $200 to $350 per cheerleader, including the cost of fooding, classes, and lodging.

However, the cost can increase to $400 to $450 per head because of practice gear, shoes, accessories, etc.


The yearly registration for high school cheerleading is $100 to $150.

Competition Costs

After the school costs, let’s not forget the competition fees, which are no less. All-Star Cheerleading and other national-level championships make high school teams go through innumerable expenses.

The teams need special training, gym classes, and special trainers to compete at the national level. The training costs alone can go up to $1,000 to $2,000 per year for the team. Along with it, there are participation costs, travel costs, additional uniforms, and other miscellaneous expenses covering accessories and in-transit costs. The list is endless.

The total cost for the high school for competitive cheerleading can be $4000 to $6000 annually. 

Schools often raise fundraiser programs to cover the fees of participating in championships. The funds are often not enough to cover all the expenses, and parents have to pay quite a lot to make up for the rest of the costs. Many schools often drop out of the final rounds in national level championships, being unable to pay the enormous costs and travel expenses. 

How Do Cheerleaders Pay For The High Costs?

Almost all cheerleaders and cheer parents face the brunt of the high costs associated with the sport. There isn’t any high school team where the cheerleaders did not face financial problems with the series of costs involved. All cheer girls and cheer parents look for sponsors and assistance programs to afford the activities. 

Cheerleading is not recognized as conventional sport, and thus, they are not sponsored enough. Cheerleading is mostly “pay to play”, which means that only the students who can pay for it should participate. But, spending nearly $2,000 per year and more is not everyone’s cup of tea. Parents look for different ways to raise the money to let their daughters pursue their passion.

There are a lot of ways to reduce the costs. While some schools provide assistance and organize fundraisers, sponsors can also help cheerleaders manage the costs through advertisements.

Several parents look for fundraising ideas to save up for the expenses. While some setup food stalls, others may make money from t-shirt sales and bake sales to make payment arrangements.

Many cheer coaches try to help parents struggling with the costs on charitable grounds. They do not want promising cheerleaders to drop out just because of the high expenses. Thus, we find several benevolent coaches arranging for sponsors and fundraisers to help the performers continue participating in the school team and compete for championships.

A lot depends on the school to manage the expenses to lessen the burden on the students and cheer parents. They arrange their own fundraising programs through concerts, sales, dance-a-thons, etc., and collect money to meet the expenses of competitive cheer events.

Participating in competitive cheerleading is a massive expense for the school team, which they wouldn’t be able to meet without fundraising programs. Sponsors also help cheer girls sell advertisements to gather money for the participation costs. They also help cheerleaders with leads for ads.

American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators allows cheerleaders to reuse uniforms to save costs. Some schools keep the uniforms the same for two to three years to reduce the costs. Arranging uniforms and accessories from less expensive sources than getting custom-made items for new teams will help curb the costs. 

You must also check out cheerleading apparel and accessories websites to purchase uniforms, shoes, makeup, and practice gear at the best prices and deals. Try to cut out on the avoidable, optional expenses or purchase them from less expensive sources.

The Bottom Line

Cheerleading is indeed a costly affair, needing a huge investment from the team members. But, do not let the mountain of expenses scare you at the first instance. Look for ways to reduce the costs and make the right choices to manage the expenses wisely.

Considering the high price to be a part of the high school cheer team, the prestige associated with it, and the accolades it brings are entirely worth it. The outstanding experience of being a cheerleader for your high school team and winning trophies and titles make up for all the expenses.

Get Ready with Your Basic Cheerleading Kit

A basic cheerleading kit consists of the minimum requirements that a beginner cheerleader needs for his/her practice and events. Proper uniform and comfortable shoes are a must and they help the cheerleader for his/her overall well-being and safety. This section will help you choose the uniform and shoes as per your requirements.

Cheerleading Uniform: Uniforms form an important part as you can well understand. Choose the proper uniform as per your school/event specifications. However, do take care to choose a fabric that is breathable and helps you stay comfortable during the performance. Relevant helpful resources:

1. What Fabric Is Used For Cheer Uniforms? A Common Question
2. Best Cheerleading Uniforms For Toddlers: Too Cute To Avoid – If you need an awesome cheerleading uniform for Halloween!
3. What Do Cheerleaders Wear Under Their Spankies? Demystified – Innerwear is important in this sport.
4. Check out Amazon’s Webpage for Cheerleading Uniforms – They have a good collection

Cheer Shoes: If you want to perform confidently as a cheerleader, you need comfortable shoes. Just as any other field sport, wearing proper shoes can make or break your performance. Choose the best fitting shoes as per your requirement. Some helpful resources for you:

1. Best Nike Cheerleading Shoes That Are Comfortable And Cheap – Comfortable and cheap cheerleading shoes from the best brand in this domain.
2. Best Cheer Shoes For Wide Feet That Fit The Way You Want – There are shoes specially designed for wide feet. This article helps you choose the proper one.
3. Check out Amazon’s Webpage for Cheerleading Shoes – They have shoes fitting everyone’s needs.
4. Check out the 7 Best Shoes For High School Cheer that are cheap yet comfortable.

Cheer Backpacks: Arranging things every time before your practice can be tedious. Keeping everything organized neatly in a backpack can be the key and help you save time and effort. I have made an exhaustive guide for you to choose the right cheer backpack for yourself at various price points. Do check it out if you need help.

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