If you're a cheerleader, coach, or cheer parent, you understand how expensive cheerleading can be. If you're new to the industry, you may be in for a major shock. It's hard to understand why cheerleading is so expensive until you see the countless number of fees laid out and explained. Particularly for new coaches, it's crucial to understand what fees there are, how often they occur, and how much everything will cost total.

That's what we're here for. We're going to tackle program fees with you, which will set you on the right path toward better cost management, more effective fundraising, and an overall less stressful year.

Total Costs for the Year 

We can't give you an exact number because this greatly fluctuates depending on a number of factors, including:
  • The organization or school's funding

  • The squad size

  • The squad level (competitive, sideline, or both)

  • The squad's required training (tumbling, choreography, etc.)

  • Traveling requirements

  • The number of seasons the squad is active
The average total for one year of school cheer, is anywhere between $500 and $1,000. Competitive and All Star cheerleading will be much higheranywhere between $1,500 and $7,000.

Initial Fees (Spring and Summer) 

Keep in mind that program fees aren't due all at once. While a large chunk may be due in the beginning of a new cheer year (generally, this is right after tryouts, in April, May, or June, but could be as late as September if the squad doesn't practice in summer), many of the other fees will be spread out over the year. Let's look at what fees are generally due up front, or within the first couple months of a new cheer year:

Fall and Winter Season Fees
 

When the fall season starts, there will be new fees to cover the sideline and competition seasons to cover the following:
  • Traveling

  • Spirit events (pep rallies, banquet, team photos, etc.)

  • Competition sign-up

  • Competition uniforms, shoes, and accessories

  • Competition extras (choreography, tumbling classes, music mixing, etc.)

On-Going Fees
 

Lastly (I know, it's a lot!), there are fees that pop up on a regular basis. Every few months, expect to pay for:
  • New practice wear

  • New body basics

  • New bows and other accessories

  • New cheer shoes

  • Hair and makeup supplies
By understanding what fees to anticipate (and when to expect them), you'll have a better idea of when to fundraise, how often to fundraise, and where your program can cut back. Coaches: before a new season, make sure you take a look at all the fees your team may incur over the year. By planning ahead, you can manage costs better and help cheerleaders and their parents plan their funding and saving more efficiently.