Uniform Costs: Do College Cheerleaders Pay For Their Outfits?

College cheerleaders’ outfits are pretty involved and look pretty expensive. So do college cheerleaders pay for uniforms? 

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Do College Cheerleaders Have To Purchase Their Own Uniforms?

Cheerleaders typically have to purchase their own equipment, including shoes, outfits, pom poms, and hair accessories. Cheerleading outfits range from $50-$500 dollars and are usually purchased through a third party contracted through the school.

As a sports enthusiast and college cheer aficionado, I’ve seen countless members of cheer teams look shocked when they see the total bills for their outfits. While it may be a burden, at least cheerleaders get to keep their uniforms.

But the school typically does not purchase cheer outfits and does not recycle them for the next year’s cheerleaders. Most individuals on the cheer team have to purchase their own uniforms. 

Parts Of A Cheer Outfit

There are different parts of a cheer outfit, with each part being intricate and important to the overall outfit. 

Cheerleaders usually have five or six different pieces on at all times. 

The first part of a cheerleader outfit is the top. The top is usually a tank top or a crop top that’s form fitting with the school’s logo on it, and allows for high flexibility during stunts and flips. 

The next part of a cheerleader’s outfit is a skirt. The skirt, usually pleated, matches the top and is thigh high, again allowing for flexible movement during flips and stunts. 

The next part, the shoes, are usually the most expensive piece of the outfit. The shoes are designed for jumping, tumbling, and stunting. 

Socks or cheerleading tights are usually knee high and match the rest of the outfit, like the skirt and top. The last part, usually the most visually important, is the pom poms. 

Pom poms are used to add energy and performance to the college athletes performance. Each part is visually and practically important to the cheerleader’s outfit. 

Do College Cheerleaders Pay?

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College cheerleaders sometimes pay for their uniforms and sometimes do not. When cheerleaders are on academic scholarships for cheering, they may not have to pay for their uniform. 

Along with the physical demands that cheerleading involves, a financial commitment is also due. The cost can range from around $200 to $500 per uniform depending on the brand and additional accessories. 

This cost can be a significant burden on those who are not on athletic scholarships. Some schools do provide assistance for college cheerleading. 

Schools help cover the costs of the uniforms in some cases, especially when students are on cheerleading scholarships

In some cases, the school’s athletic clubs or booster clubs may sponsor the team, meaning the outfits are provided to the student athletes at no costs. 

So, depending on the school, and the cheerleading team’s source of funding, the school may or may not cover the costs of cheerleading outfits. 

Some schools may give financial assistance to their cheerleading team, while other schools will have the individual cover the cost of the outfits. 

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Cheerleading Scholarships 

There are lots of different college scholarships available to potential members of high school cheerleading who get recruited

Some scholarships are offered by universities themselves or by different cheerleading organizations or foundations and organizations. 

The following is a list of cheerleading organizations that offer scholarships to potential college cheerleaders. 

  • UCA (Universal Cheerleaders Association) College Cheerleading Scholarships: UCA awards scholarships to high school seniors who have been selected as All-American cheerleaders and who plan to cheer in college.
  • National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) College Scholarships: NCA offers scholarships to high school seniors who have participated in NCA summer camps and who plan to cheer in college.
  • Cheerleaders of America Scholarships: Cheerleaders of America offers scholarships to seniors in high school who plan to cheer in college and who have demonstrated excellence in cheerleading and academics.
  • National Cheerleading Foundation College Scholarships: The National Cheerleading Foundation provides scholarships to high school seniors who plan to cheer in college and who have demonstrated excellence in cheerleading and academics.

These are the foundations that offer athletic scholarships to potential members of a cheerleading squad. 

Some sports teams in high school are more supportive in pushing members of their cheerleading squad to future scholarships. 

These are the main foundations that support high school cheerleaders in and throughout college. 

The cheerleading uniform is paid for by the athletic scholarships, while other times scholarships do not cover the cost. 

These scholarships are a mix of academic scholarships and cheerleading scholarships. 

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Scholarship opportunities are available to many talented individuals of a potential student athlete. 

Sometimes, these scholarships turn into a full ride scholarship. Other scholarships are available to potential cheerleaders that last only through some of the academic year. 

These partial scholarships pay for tuition for only a part of the academic year. The same as football players, scholarships for cheerleaders undo any financial burden for the individual by covering the cost of books, classes, and housing. 

Though, some of the scholarships have strict academic requirements.


A lot of practice is involved in becoming a college cheerleader. Cheerleading is a physically demanding sport that involves dedication and grit. 

A lot of after school practice is involved with cheerleading, often requiring individuals to stay well into the night after school. 

Being a member of a cheerleading squad is quite rewarding if practice is committed to by the individual. 

A typical practice session involves the following. 

  • Stretching and warm-up exercises: To prevent injury and prepare the body for the demands of cheerleading, cheerleaders start practice with stretching and warm-up exercises.
  • Tumbling and Stunting Drills: Cheerleaders will practice tumbling and stunting techniques, such as cartwheels, round-offs, and pyramid formations, to improve their skills and increase their proficiency.
  • Choreography: Cheerleaders will learn and perfect new cheers and routines, often working on timing, coordination, and formations.
  • Conditioning: Cheerleaders typically participate in physical conditioning exercises, such as running, jumping, and strength training, to build endurance and improve their physical fitness.
  • Review and critique: At the end of practice, cheerleaders will review and critique their performance, looking for areas to improve and making necessary adjustments for future performances.

Cheerleading is a sport that requires lots of dedication. Practice can last anywhere from one hour to a couple hours. 

It’s important for cheerleaders to attend practice regularly and give their best effort to improve their skills and contribute to the success of their team.

Key Takeaways

  • Cheerleaders typically have to purchase their own uniforms. 
  • Sometimes, foundations and booster clubs can cover the cost of uniforms. 
  • The average cheerleading outfit can range between $50 – $200 dollars. 
  • Cheerleaders can receive scholarships to attend college.
  • Cheerleading is a demanding sport that requires lots of practice. 

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