College students battle inflation impacts ahead of fall semester
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - As Texas A&M University’s fall semester is only two weeks away, some students are trying to figure out how to deal with the pain of inflation.
Claire Christian, a senior at Texas A&M University, said she’s prioritizing spending time with friends in her nonprofit organization TAMU Build, as well as make the most of the rest of her time as a student Aggie. Although recently, she’s had to make some tough decisions that are impacting her senior year.
“I’ve had to change some of my ways for sure. The cost of just about everything is going up,” said Christian. “I mean I had to move last year because they increased my rent prices. That’s only one item of mine that has skyrocketed.”
Along with rent payments, Christian said the cost of groceries, gas and school supplies are often giving her an impromptu education in home economics.
“It’s just frustrating when its my senior year. I want to be using that money for other things like preparing for my future,” said Christian. “Saving money is just not something that is as easy as it used to be.”
Chuck Howard, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Mays Business School, explained that compared to 2021, consumer prices have soared 9%. Studies show back-to-school items for college students have increased by 15%.
“It is physiologically hard to go into the grocery store and see that something that cost $10 last year now costs $11 or $12,” Howard said.
Howard said one of the reasons that it is so difficult for college students to deal with inflation is the fact most of them don’t have a regular income.
“Join a rewards program at a store that you shop at frequently,” said Howard. “Also, buying in bulk is something that I don’t think I paid enough attention to when I was in college. If you have three or four or five roommates and belong to a fraternity or sorority that would make it a lot cheaper.”
Howard said COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, and the low employment rate in our economy are to blame for the spiked inflation rate.
“The unemployment rate is at a historically low rate. That makes it very hard for companies to fill jobs. That means that they have to pay more to find qualified candidates and of course that cost of labor is being passed to the consumer,” Howard said.
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