Senior Party vs. Prom: Is It Really Worth Your Money?

Riya Dasgupta, Staff Writer

The highlight of high school is seen by many as senior year, due to the exciting new opportunities it poses, but also the abundance of school events, such as prom, senior party, senior sunset, senior breakfast, and more. Most of these events are catered to fit the financial needs of students and are not that pricy, with the exception of two: prom and the senior party. Not so coincidentally, these are often the two events that students look forward to the most. What are ASB and PTSA putting the money of the extreme prices too, and is it really worth it to go to these events?

Senior prom was on Sunday, June 3 at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle. The theme was Met Gala x Starry Night and tickets were $50 cash only at the door, but you could pay in advance with card. Tickets were still $50 if you paid in advance. Last year’s prom was also at the Museum of Pop Culture, with the theme instead being masquerade. Tickets, however, were only $40 and non refundable. Senior Kylie Hill states that she heard that “last year’s prom was pretty great. I did not go, obviously, but the school seems to be downgrading the quality of school events and upping the prices at the same time. I am not sure what caused prom to be $50 this year instead of $40; however, I do not think it is great enough to convince me to go.” Additionally, senior Drew Hardy says that “I know prom is seen as almost a ‘rite of passage’ or the highlight of your senior year, but I feel like it just is not that to me. I would much rather hang out with my friends instead of paying $50 for a party I will not even enjoy.”

On the other hand, $50 for a dance with your friends at the Museum of Pop Culture seems like quite the steal to many. Tickets to the Museum of Pop Culture are typically around $30, so only $20 goes to ASB per person. Senior Peter Fornia states that “homecoming tickets were $20-40 per person, and that dance was just in the school gym. I think the Museum of Pop Culture probably costs more than $50 per person to rent, and so it is worth noting that ASB most likely paid for the other part of the rent with donations, and their own fund.”

While prom price has some debating whether it is worth it to go, it is agreed upon by most students that prom is a noteworthy event that is a core part of the high school experience. This was thought to be the same for senior party, but the so called “underwhelming” event for 2023 has many rethinking that opinion entirely. Unlike prom, the senior graduation party is hosted by the Issaquah High School PTSA. Senior party tickets are 150$ – 175$, and this year’s party falls on June 15 and is at 10:00 pm to 2:00 am. At last year’s party, the location was undisclosed and seniors were driven around Issaquah to “secret” places. This was not the case this year, with the location revealed prior to the event, Dave and Buster’s in Bellevue. The Issaquah ASB Instagram states that there is a “DJ, casino, magician, lipsologist, photo booth, door prizes, food and more.” Additionally, you have to be there to win “Air pod pros, a mini fridge, 32 TV, Keurig minis, Bose Bluetooth speakers, dorm accessories, gift cards to Amazon, Panda Express, Wendy’s, Panera, Starbucks, and more.” Most students; however, did not know about these prizes until it was too late. Senior Mack Kieburtz states that he “did not know about the prizes at the senior grad party until now,” and that the “IHS marketing for that could have been better. I think if I knew that these were the prizes available, I would have not made plans for that same day already.” Along with Kieburtz, senior Diya Lal says that initially, the large price deterred me from going, because I thought it would just be like spending a night at Dave and Buster’s, something I could do anytime by myself. However, the prices of the prizes are more than the fee to get in, so it is kind of an incentive to go.”

Some say that you can not put a price on happiness, but this is not the case for Issaquah High. Even though some are warming up to the idea of this year’s senior party, not everyone is able to pay the price to get in. A $50 prom AND $175 senior party might be too much for certain students to expend, and is it really fair to everyone to price these core events of high school so high? Your financial situation should not determine whether you are able to have fun, and students should not be forced to choose whether they want to go to one event or the other. In conclusion, while the prices of high school events is to be debated, the events themselves are expected to be great for the amount of cash put towards them.