Puncturing the Peak Prom-Season Bubble

It looks like you're using Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.
We are sorry but This Video does not work with Internet Explorer 8.

Personalized for you

Why you should care

An American rite of passage always deserves a second look.

Summer’s at our doorstep, and that means we’re in peak prom season. At high schools across the country, juniors and seniors have hopefully nailed their perfect promposals, found the ideal dresses, rented that killer tux and booked that all-important stretch limo to the after-party. Prom scenes in American high school movies are a cinematic must. For those that swing it, prom can mean dropping some serious coin: Visa’s 2015 study found that American students will spend on average $919 to create the most memorable experience. High school is brief, but prom memories last forever, right?

But it is worth it? Our roving reporter Maggie Moe makes an inquiry into this American ritual — from dates to dresses to all the pomp and circumstance.



Interviews, op-eds, and analysis to help you make sense of the news of the day and the news of the future.