Priciest Paly Prom ever — worth it?

Maia Johnsson, Senior Staff Writer

After two years of cancelled dances and postponed get-togethers, upperclassmen got excited for the first normal prom in a long time. There was just one hinderance that got in the way. Palo Alto High School’s prom tickets were incredibly expensive. Costing from $139 to $155, the prom tickets were out of reach for some students.

Junior Finley Craig had strong opinions on the price of the ticket. 

Palo Alto High School’s prom was held at the Exploratorium last weekend. Some students had been looking forward to the dance for two years. Along with being in San Francisco, the Exploratorium made an exciting venue with a view of the bay and the interactive exhibits. Junior Madelyn Castro said she had a good experience at her first prom. “Although there were some aspects that I wish were different, the view and venue were beautiful,”  Castro said. (Photo: Madelyn Castro)

“Even with the ASB card, I still had to pay $130 for a ticket,” Craig said. “I got invited to another prom where the tickets were $30 less, which made me realize how absurd our prices were.”

After buying a ticket, students still needed to find an outfit which also had the potential to cost a lot. From a social media survey of over 30 teens, most people spent over $150 on their prom dress. The prom cost could rise quickly by buying new shoes or getting your hair or nails done, bringing the whole prom experience cost to over $300. Although scholarships are available, many students were not aware they could apply for them. 

“I got the scholarship only because I’m in AVID and Ms. Laguna usually stops by to tell us about information that isn’t really promoted to the whole school,” senior Sophia Soto said. “I wouldn’t have known without it [AVID].”

Many other schools in the Bay Area also had expensive prom tickets, but nothing compared to Paly. Junior Aidan Wyrough at Foothills High School had a prom ticket price of $105 to $120.

“If the ticket were anymore, I don’t know if I would go [to prom] because, it’s still just a dance and spending over $100 is a little excessive,” Wyrough said.

For the price of prom, many students thought that it was a little underwhelming and they found that their expectations weren’t met. 

“I think I was expecting this movie-like prom, some night that I’ll remember forever,” senior Fiorella Marieh said. “But in the end, prom is still a dance just at a nicer venue. I did have fun but I just wish it were better.”

Though the Exploratorium venue excited many students, prom should be more than the location. Senior Katriona Briggs from Menlo-Atherton says she was excited about the pre-Prom activities, such as getting ready with friends, taking pictures, and the bonding with peers.

“Our prom was at the SF City Hall, which was super cool, but I enjoyed prom the most because I got to hangout with my friends and see my peers in a different context,” Briggs said.

Whether or not Prom is $50 or $150, some say the best way to enjoy it is to spend time with your friends and enjoy the experience in the moment.

“Though prom didn’t meet my expectations, I’m so glad I went as it’s an experience I’ll never forget,” Marieh said.