If they are even making you pay $1 they are scamming you. NO legitimate agency will ever charge you money for registration, website listings, classes or anything else. An agency is only supposed to make money AFTER they book you on a job, then they take a 10-20% commission. Anything else is a scam
So go with your parents, but if they try to ask you to pay them for ANYTHING, then don't bother
Agencies will ask you to pay for your own comp cards, but this is not through the agency or one specific photographer/studio they make you use. Any decent agency will give you a list of recommended photographers in your area that you contact directly and pay the photographer. You are even free to use the photographer of your choice as long as they are experienced in shooting comp cards.