Students feel the pressure of inflation as the school year approaches

College costs, like dining plans, have increased in the past year

10 News spoke with Virginia Tech college students to see how inflation is impacting their finances this year

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Thousands of college students will be moving in and making new homes in dorms on Virginia Tech’s campus for the 2022 school year. But in a time of high economic uncertainty and high inflation, it leaves parents and students to pick up the extra costs.

Prices of gas, houses, and everyday items have been rising by the day.

The price increase affects everyone across the U.S. and college students are no exception.

“It’s certainly gotten more expensive over the years,” Salaiz, a student said.

Inflation has impacted more than just tuition for college students. All on-campus residents are required to get dining plans, which had price increases of 9% last fall.

“Dining plans, housing, generally just an increase in payments and stuff like that,” Salaiz said.

Some students already struggle to pay for college, and for students like Addison Midkiff, there is now added pressure.

“So, I’m a first-generation college student, I come from a very low-income family. So even coming in last year was extremely difficult,” Midkiff said.

From food to rent, the price hikes place more barriers between students and education.

“Which is really detrimental on me, since I didn’t get as many scholarships as my senior year, so it was a little bit of an adjustment this year,” Midkiff said.

Schools like Virginia Tech try to offer scholarships to ease the financial burden, but it’s often not enough.

“They’ve certainly been pushing out more scholarships and more grants, but tuition, in general, has been going up, so students who aren’t getting those scholarships are having to pay for that,” Salaiz said.

Scholarships are essential to offset the cost of college, but when more people are in need, the less funds there are to go around.

“Scholarships have also become more competitive due to the increase in tuition, and everyone wants to fight for those scholarships. And that on top of grants - you only get so much,” Midkiff said.

Virginia Tech is one of many Virginia schools to comply with Governor Younkin’s request to freeze tuition costs for the upcoming school year. The order was made in hopes to take a little bit of the pressure off of those preparing to head back to school.

About the Author:

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.