A Price Many Can’t Pay

OXFORD, MS – College kids and money, two things that have a very complicated relationship. Between rent, tuition, and just everyday expenses like gas, and groceries it really is difficult for a lot of students to keep up with their bills. 

Although college means more freedom and living on your own, most students are walking around with an allowance from their parents. Which sometimes is not even enough, according to the college marketing group 3 out of every 4 students have some type of part time job while in school.  

A study from ecampus.com found that college students spend $60 billion each year on everyday needs or, you know, kinda-needs. This spending included everything from dorm room essentials and school supplies to alcohol and video games.

Junior Kristen Zarzaur says that dealing with the stress of money is very difficult especially on a young kid.

“Money is definitely the most stressful thing in my life.” said Zarzaur, “I am thankful that my parents were able to help out with my tuition but I still go through the struggle of the FAFSA and with the university trying to get some scholarship money.”

The largest expense that students nowadays have is their college tuition. Tuition prices increased 36% from 2008 to 2018, while the real median income in the U.S. grew just over 2.1% in the same period, according to data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 

The question that has been going around a lot recently is, Is college worth it? Today colleges around the country are conducting class partially online and in some cases fully online. Which has left students wondering if they are wasting their money. 

“This year especially I do not know if college tuition is really worth the cost.” Said Zarzaur “I was told there would be in person class and I do not have a single one and the price is still the same I just do not think that is fair.”

Besides the college tuition there are many other expenses that students have to deal with. Living expenses like room and board if a student lives on campus or rent if the student lives off campus can get very pricey. Student housing across the country has become a real problem.

Junior Josie Kinder lived off campus for the first time last year and said she really had no idea how much everything really cost. 

“I was shocked,” said Kinder. “Between electric, water and gas alone I felt like I paid so much and then the actual rent came and I could not believe the price I pay just to have a place to rest my head.”

Whether your brand is an on off-campus housing company or you offer dorm or apartment furnishings, housing needs for college students is a faucet of revenue that never turns off.

According to the College Board, room and board fees can range from $3,520 at two-year colleges to $11,580 at four-year colleges. This is a price that some families can not afford. 

Another expense is books Every parent of college students knows that their student’s course books are hardly a small expense. During the 2017-18 academic year, students spent an average of $484 on required course materials. 

Between rent, tuition, and the price of supplies and books it does not leave a student a lot of money for just spending on things like food, household needs, and even out of school activities.

According to the ecampus.com study, college kids spend $27 billion on “non-essential items.” That means anything beyond required books, tuition, school supplies, and room and board.

Senior Diedric Berg is a Finance major and he says that even with all of the classes that he takes it is still tough to keep up with all the money he has to spend

”I am a senior and still do not know how to bunchet my money.” Said Berg, “I really think there should be a class here about how to save your money. A class that teaches you really what to do, because there are times on the weekend where I feel like I can not even afford food because of everything else that I need to spend my money on.”

You always see the signs at the football games or scenes in movies, college students saying “send money”, “I need money” it is something that is joked about but should be taken seriously. Kids cannot afford to pay all of these expenses and it is a problem that we as a society are nowhere near solving. 

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