For some, prom is one of the highlights the high school. So if you enjoyed picking out your clothes and also choosing who to invite, you desire to perform it again, right? yet if colleges don’t have proms, just how will you be able to do this?

Colleges don’t have school-wide proms, but organizations—especially fraternities and also sororities—organize formals and semi-formals transparent the year. Uneven high school, these occasions aren’t chaperoned due to the fact that colleges take into consideration students adult responsible for their very own welfare.

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If you’re not sure what to expect from college, you’re not alone. By the time senior year rolls around, you recognize what to suppose from school; unfortunately, also a campus visit bring up more questions than answers. Check out on together we check out why colleges don’t have actually proms however what they have instead.

Why don’t Colleges have Proms?

The most noticeable reason colleges don’t have actually proms is due to the fact that college students don’t desire to be associated with high school. Once high institution students graduate, they want to be seen as adults. Adult wouldn’t desire to go to a dance supervised by teachers and other adults.

Size is another reason that colleges and universities don’t host proms. Back the average high school populace is noted as 526, many schools room in the 1,000-2,000-student range. Also America’s biggest schools have actually 3,000-5,000 students.

Although some colleges only have actually several thousand students, many are medium-sized, between 5,000 and also 15,000 students, or large, i beg your pardon is anything over that. Imagine do the efforts to organize a prom because that 10,000 students.

Imagine the costs that would be compelled to host an occasion for that plenty of people. Decorations, food, the venue, the band—those would include up quickly, particularly at a an ext prominent university.

Finally, there’s the worry of liability. If something goes wrong at an event sponsored through the college or university, it could be held liable. However if something wake up at a fraternity or sorority, those teams are responsible. The university have the right to then ask the group to adjust its plans or risk being kicked off-campus.

Luckily, colleges and universities have different events. However if colleges don’t have proms, why perform high schools have actually them?

Why perform High Schools have actually Proms?

Ironically, high schools have proms due to the fact that colleges provided to have actually them. Starting in the mid-1800s, some colleges and also universities organized formal dances. Student attending these events promenaded—or displayed—that they knew just how to dance and act in suitable society.



During the time, colleges might host these dances due to the fact that the student populace was much smaller. Also, lock didn’t come through a hefty price tag—besides some decorations and also food, the entertainment price would have been several musicians come play dance tunes. And also yes, as with at high institution proms today, adults chaperoned them.

As colleges came to be larger, castle outgrew the proms and formal dances. However, middle-class Americans who wanted come send their kids began to press for comparable social dances. These occasions were modeled after the college events.

At first, high school students wore your Sunday best and attended casual dance. Then, the dances became more elaborate events, and by the 1950s, some had actually grown so large that they might no longer be hosted in a high school’s gym.

Proms proceed to be substantial affairs, costing the average family members over $1,000. And also as much as they appreciated the prom experience, when they go off to college, they want to leave high college behind them.

What type of College events Are similar to Proms?

College has actually some events similar to a prom, but even social occasions with a comparable name are fairly different. 3 of these events incorporate homecoming, spring break, and celebrations ~ games.


Since schools have actually their own traditions, homecoming won’t look the same in every high schools. Because that example, some high colleges let alumni go back to the campus to fulfill old teachers and also see friends with whom they have actually lost touch.

Some schools will have a parade.Others will certainly play among their biggest rivals.If a school has actually a Homecoming King and also Queen, they’ll be crowned then.A homecoming run is usually the key event.

The homecoming dance isn’t the prom, yet a warm-up to it or a dress rehearsal, other than you don’t have to dress up. Because homecoming is early in the scholastic year, the run is a fall event. If you currently attended a homecoming dance, intend the outfits to it is in fancier and much more formal.

Also, uneven a prom, at most schools, anyone who attends the school have the right to go come this dance.

College Homecoming

A university homecoming is completely different. There room some similarities:

It happens beforehand in the year.Alumni return to their school.A sports event (usually football) is the main event.Some schools will have a parade.

But homecoming week in ~ a university or college will include many different types of events, and also those events vary from university to college. Not only will there be officially funded events, sororities, fraternities, and also college clubs can add additional events.


For example, phibìc Carolina main University, an NBHC University, will incorporate these events in your homecoming week:

A praise serviceSoul food dinnerA walk come celebrate the university’s partnership v Habitat because that HumanityAn occasion to honor those who mentor student at surrounding elementary schoolsA time partyA officially receptionTwo course reunion dinnersA hip-hop and also R&B concert, adhered to by a dance

Larger schools like the college of Michigan often have both university-wide and also individual department (often recognized as schools) celebrations.

The college sponsors reunion events, such as lunches, arts tours, faculty meet and greets, and milestone celebrations. Tailgate parties, both formal and informal, happen prior to the large homecoming game.

However, individual schools have actually homecoming events as well:

The college of design sponsors a lunch for current and former design students and professors.The school of Pharmacy hosts a tailgate party.The institution of Music, Theatre, and also Dance will host an awards ceremony adhered to by a reception.

These are few of the official events and don’t encompass the parade, the video game itself, and the after-parties.

And that leads to among the most far-reaching differences in between high school and also college homecoming—the students are doing their very own thing, without adult chaperoning.

As a result, it will certainly seem prefer there room parties everywhere—in dorms, sororities and also fraternities, bars, and restaurants.

However, yes one other distinction worth mentioning. In high school, anyone either loves homecoming or pretends to prefer it. Yes sir a the majority of peer press to attend and participate. If friend don’t want to, people will desire an explanation.

In college, because there are so countless activities, there’s much less public pressure. The course, you’ll still have your girlfriend wanting girlfriend to walk to this or that party, yet it’s between you and them, not in between you and your friends and also the remainder of the school. And if you don’t want to participate, you can always fall back on “Sorry, I have to study.”


Some fraternities and also sororities—also known as Greek organizations due to the fact that they walk by Greek letters—have formals, which are prom-like events. Often the sororities’ events are an ext formal 보다 the fraternities’, although no is favor a high school prom. University students are on a budget, and besides, who desires to acquire that dressed up?


Expect the formals to have a different theme every year. Also, nothing be surprised if a sorority decides the formal have to be hosted at out-of-town settings—sort of like a mini-vacation.

Sometimes a sorority will sign up with with a fraternity to arrangement either the formal or a social. These can additionally have a theme.

Many fraternities organize two formals—one in the winter and the other in spring. The winter occasion will be much more formal, while the spring formals tend to it is in crazier, v multiple parties happening simultaneously. Normally one night is devoted to partying while the next has actually a official dance followed by an ext partying.

Fraternity formals can additionally be out-of-town settings. These occasions can acquire pricey quickly—hotels, travel costs—frats frequently rent busses–, and dining out can’t all come out of the house budget.

Dress at fraternity formals is even less formal 보다 the sorority formals. Frat brothers could pick a template that doesn’t require formal tuxedos. Who goes come a luau in a tie and suit?

Traditions and types of formals can vary greatly, so this is more of an overview. If you plan to sign up with a fraternity or sorority, you’ll acquire info details to that organization from them.

College Dances

When girlfriend graduate, speak goodbye come high college dances. Relying on your experience, this may be a relief. But it won’t be a disappointment. Many colleges nothing organize school-wide dances because that the same factors they don’t organize formal proms. However, that doesn’t median you won’t have methods to dance.

What are College Dances Like?

College dances aren’t choose high college dances in plenty of ways. There room no permission slips come return, no expectation of as soon as the run is over, no rules favor you can’t return if friend leave, and also no chaperones.

Therefore, the kind of habits that chaperones desire to avoid happens at these dances. There will certainly be music, however it won’t be PG. There will be dancing, however no one informing you what is and isn’t appropriate. There will certainly most likely be alcohol.

As one adult, you’re totally free to make her choices. However you’re additionally responsible because that any negative consequences.

We’ve already mentioned sorority and fraternity formals. Many of the Greek organizations also host semi-formals and dances. Friend don’t have to be a member that a fraternity or sorority to attend—you just have actually to gain invited.

Colleges typically have venues that organize bands, deejays, and other entertainers ~ above campus. Departments and clubs likewise hold dances and social events, therefore you’ll have actually plenty to save you entertained. You have the right to have so much fun the one day, “I have to study” becomes “I really, really need to study.”

Game Events

Although sporting activities are crucial in both high school and also college, gamings at universities space filled with much more activities and choices that which activities to attend. If you don’t desire to tailgate with various other friends, friend don’t have to do so. Yet most medium or bigger colleges don’t have actually a tailgating party but parties. 

A school’s tailgating traditions have the right to be based on the location. Because that example, due to the fact that the university of Washington is located next to a big lake, tailgaters traction up to nearby docks for your parties. An write-up in Bleacher Report has actually pictures the the optimal 25 tailgating schools (source).

Universities could have pregame entertainment, team-send offs, opening ceremonies, halftime shows, and also after-game celebrations. And also don’t forget off-campus celebrations, which can get quite rowdy.

Can you Relive your Prom?

You have the right to relive the prom experience, but don’t suppose it to be the same. Friend won’t have the mutual memories that the prom-goers. Yet you’ll it is in treated choose a one-of-a-kind guest. Possibly you won’t obtain the movie star treatment, but your date’s friends will certainly be impressed (and perhaps a little envious).

Also, that won’t have actually that special feeling the this being the finale the your an elderly year.

Hold on, some might say—graduation is the finale.

The graduation ceremony is undoubtedly the really final occasion of high school. However which one go you really look forward to the most? The ceremony wherein you got to litter the mortarboard right into the air, or the occasion that you planned for, dressed up for, and also where you acquired to party through your high institution friends?

High institutions have different policies concerning who have the right to attend a prom and also what they must do. Typically, those 21 and also older aren’t permitted to attend. In addition, schools will require the student and also visitor to finish a permission on slide (sound familiar?).

The form will ask for the name of the visitor and then list the rules or expectations that the guest requirements to follow, such as

Photo IDs and also the completed type are needed for admittance.Guests need to follow all high college rules, consisting of the dress code.Guests can not arrive without the host student.Students can’t return when they leave.Alcohol and tobacco will certainly not it is in tolerated.

In most cases, if you receive an invite to attend a high school prom, you’ll be able to do so. Think of it together a redo if your previous suffer wasn’t optimistic or a chance to relive the excitement.

Source: east Tennessee State University: Prom Guest Permission Form

Source: The Odyssey Online: 5 points That occur When You walk To Prom if in College

Bottom Line

Prom is a special, when or twice in a life time experience connected with high school. University students take into consideration themselves adults, so also if a college hosted a prom, few students would certainly attend.

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Instead, friend will discover plenty of social events, formal and also informal, and also they’ll be arranged by other students, there is no adult supervision.