Local college students are paying more to live

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – The wallets of local students are under attack.

The K-State economics club has been tracking the student price index since 2003. Doing so helps monitor the economy’s impact on student life.

In 2017 the SPI rose 5.1 percent. The national average increased just 2.2 percent.

Students are now paying more for gas and beer. Those items rose 6.7 percent on the index.

Economics student, Dickson Ochanda, heavily involved in collecting the data – said it’s given him a new understanding of money management.

“Knowing the numbers I can be a bit more cautious.”

Ochanda now better weighs his options, when it comes to things like staying in vs. hanging out in Aggieville or ordering pizza vs. cooking at home.

“I’m more reluctant to order a pizza,” Ochanda said.

With students feeling a tight financial pitch, KSNT asked club adviser Dr. Dan Kuester if it could deter high school students away from higher education.

“It is something to consider,” Kuester said. “Some of those college costs are not going to remain flat over four years.”

As tuition continues to rise on local campuses, Kuester said K-State’s most recent increase is lower than overall student inflation. A sign he said is positive.

The professor told KSNT most parents anticipate tuition increases when sending their kids to college. He doesn’t believe soaring prices will hold anyone back.

Textbooks cost students the most in 2017, with a total increase of 31.8 percent according to the SPI.

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