Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Howard chapter.

Homecoming is what many students look forward to in the fall semester. It is a week full of scheduled events, community gatherings and good energy. Homecoming, especially Howard’s, calls all kinds of people to the Yard, so students could expect to see celebrities, and pop-ups from popular companies, and receive free goodies.

But much of what homecoming has to offer comes with a cost. Or rather, the cost of preparation for homecoming tends to add up. Of course, some of the events during the week require students to pay for a ticket, but what about the school-spirited outfit a student might buy for the Saturday afternoon game? Or the car service an off-campus student might need when the shuttles stop running after late events? The conversation about homecoming often centers around the cost of events, but students spend a substantial amount on other things as well.

Bryce Doyle, a senior media, journalism, and film major from Sherwood, Arkansas said that he spends the most on the events after homecoming. “The night never ends after the event is over. There’s always going to be an after party or a kickback that people go to afterward, and depending on where you go it could get pretty expensive over one weekend.” He also said that he spends between $150-$300 on a haircut and new clothes. 

On almost every night of homecoming, there is a student-hosted party or a club event in D.C., specifically catered to homecoming attendees trying to find something to keep the night alive.

Serenity Robinson, a senior nursing major from New York, spoke of a similar experience. She says that for her, she spends the most money on outfits. For homecoming, she usually buys a full outfit (top, bottom, shoes and accessories), as well as a new hairstyle and nails. However, she also said that “there’s so much going on around this time that it’s like oh you want to experience a bit of it all so you’re constantly jumping from event to event.” 

When it came to an estimate, Robinson said, “On average, I spend around $300, and that’s me lowballing.”

On the other hand, Anyjah Sally, a junior finance major from Charleston, South Carolina says that homecoming events take up the majority of her budget. When asked if she finds herself spending more during homecoming season as the years’ progress, she said yes but not on personal purchases such as outfits and cosmetics.

There are some students, like Sabreen Dawud, a senior journalism major and English minor from Union, New Jersey, who don’t attend homecoming events altogether. Dawud admitted that she tries to stick to a budget as a college student and that she “tends to avoid tickets that are really high, like for the fashion show and things like that. I usually don’t even get a ticket because I can’t really afford to.” Like Robinson, she said if she does invest in something for homecoming, it would mainly be clothes and cosmetics.

But to many students, homecoming is really important. Doyle said, “Personally, I think homecoming is worth the cost. As college students, we’re never going to get this time back, and it’s best to enjoy it.”  

Robinson agreed and said “I never regret it. I think this is one of the times people look forward to the most; to show off a cute fit and enjoy time around the people they know.”

Nonetheless, the majority of students believe homecoming events should be free, or at least more affordable. Sally says, “I believe that homecoming is worth paying tickets for certain events. However, the current prices don’t seem to be worth the experience for me because it doesn’t seem to consider the financial impact it may have on students.” For this year’s homecoming, with the theme “Revival”, the fashion show and step show student tickets are $40.

Dawud wishes all the activities that are held on campus were free for Howard students–not just the concert. Doyle echoed Dawud’s wishes, and said “We pay a lot in tuition, so it would be nice to have events that students aren’t having to pay out of pocket for.”

Although the students had their complaints about the financial burden of homecoming, they also expressed what they loved about it. Robinson spoke about the energy of homecoming as a whole: “My favorite part of homecoming is the fact that we all come together and just enjoy each other’s company. I just enjoy being with all my friends at the same time and just seeing everyone enjoy themselves.”

Jalah Scott, a junior biology major, chemistry and health education minor from Brooklyn, New York said, “My favorite part of homecoming has to be Yardfest. I like seeing everyone on the Yard with their friends in their best outfits. I also love walking around to see all the food stands and student businesses set up their tents.”

Dawud shared the same sentiments about Yardfest. “That is my favorite part,” Dawud said. “That’s really what I look forward to every year when homecoming time comes around so, for me personally, there’s nothing better than that.”

Nedelka is a senior English major, Media/Journalism & Film minor at Howard University. She is a first-generation college student born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, with a love for writing. Along with articles, she writes poetry and short stories. When she's not writing, you can catch her binge watching the latest trending television series.