Today: Apr 21, 2024

Students talk about inflation

Brandon Cortés- News Writer

As inflation rates surge globally, university students are grappling with the ramifications of this economic phenomenon.  

The surge in prices, especially in essential goods and services, has triggered concerns among the younger generation about their financial stability and future prospects. From rising tuition fees to inflated grocery bills, students are feeling the pinch of inflation in various aspects of their lives. 

“As a freshman, university life seems a bit expensive to me. I must pay debts, and I must pay for my own food,” STEM Health major Hamza Bhutta, a freshman, said. “But now, with prices soaring, I find myself constantly revising my budget and cutting back on non-essentials just to make ends meet.” 

Bhutta’s experience echoes that of many of her peers who are navigating the complexities of student life amidst inflationary pressures. The cost of housing, food and transportation has skyrocketed, leaving students with fewer resources to allocate towards academic pursuits and extracurricular activities. 

For some students, the specter of inflation has exacerbated existing financial challenges, particularly for those relying on part-time jobs or financial aid to cover their expenses.  

“We are already paying enough for our tuition, for the meal plans, for dorms, classes and summer classes,” sports management major Da’Jaun Banks, a junior, said. “With inflation driving up the prices of textbooks and housing, I question how students will manage to afford education without accumulating crippling debt.” 

The ripple effects of inflation extend beyond immediate financial concerns, permeating discussions about long-term economic stability and career prospects. Students express apprehension about entering a job market fraught with uncertainty, where wages may fail to keep pace with the rising cost of living. 

About seven-in-ten Americans think young adults today have a harder time than their parents’ generation when it comes to saving for the future (72%), paying for college (71%) and buying a home (70%), according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in October 2021.  

These findings come at a time when younger Americans are more likely than previous generations to have taken on student debt with tuition costs steadily rising and to face an affordable housing crisis as rent and housing prices have grown markedly faster than incomes in the last decade. 

In addition to financial anxieties, students are grappling with the broader implications of inflation on society, including its impact on income inequality and access to education. 

Amidst these concerns, students are calling for proactive measures to mitigate the effects of inflation and safeguard their economic wellbeing. Suggestions range from increasing financial aid and implementing price controls on essential goods to advocating for policies that promote economic stability and equitable access to opportunities. 

“While inflation may seem like an abstract concept to some, its effects are deeply felt by students trying to build a better future for themselves,” Bhutta said.  

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