Your daughter or son just made the cheer squad. Yay! But then the bill for the year's program fees arrives and that smile turns upside down.

Program fees can be quite shocking for a lot of cheer parents. Unfortunately, many public schools don't provide a lot of funding for cheerleading squads so it falls on the parents' shoulders to foot the bill.

Your surprise may stem from the idea that the only thing you need to purchase is a cheer uniform and shoes. However, there are so many other costs associated.

Here are some common cheerleading fees (based on the high school 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

This isn't even all of the costs. Don't forget to add in travel fees and replacement gear.

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. If someone is in cheer for all four years of high school, that's close to $3500!

Then, there are competitions or All Star teams. If your cheerleader joins an All Star team, or is on a high school squad that competes, expect additional gym fees, choreography and private training fees, another uniform and more cheer gear, and travel fees.

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 costsno additional training, classes, performance accessories, or camp fees. Some schools even provide the uniforms (from jerseys to cleats to helmets) for free.

Luckily, there are a lot of ways to cut down on costs. First of all, most squads fundraise during the summer, and some throughout the entire year. This can greatly reduce program fees, especially if you are proactive about fundraising.

Second, purchasing cheer gear items (from uniforms to practice wear to shoes) at lower priced stores and websites can greatly cut down on costs. For starters, check out cheerleading apparel websites like Omni Cheer, 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.

If you're really concerned about hidden costs, don't be afraid to talk with the coach! He/she will be more than happy to work with you and figure out if you can do additional fundraising to reduce costs further.

Does your program have high fees? How do you cut costs?