Back to school shopping is more expensive than ever for students
- Aug. 20, 2012
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Back-to-school shopping is getting more expensive for students with each year, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
According to the National Retail Federation, college students and their families will spend an average of $907.22 on school shopping this year on things like books, pens and pencils as well as everything a student needs to outfit their home. Last year students were paying around $808.
The future isn’t doesn’t look much brighter, with a total spending for back-to-college expenses expected to reach $53.5 billion nationally.
The rise in spending can be attributed to many reasons, including the economy, textbooks and housing.
Nate Bryson, a senior from Leawood, said that the inflation has a lot to do with the spending increase.
“Manufacturers are starting to take shortcuts, so you have to buy more to compensate,” Bryson said. “And students really aren’t making any more money.”
Most students pinpoint textbooks as being their primary cost when heading back to school. Denise Keating is the co-owner and manager of the local Beat the Bookstore at 1741 Massachusetts Street.
She said book prices are increasing every year because publishers are charging bookstores more and that price increase is reflected when students buy the books. It’s a chain effect, and unfortunately students are paying the price.
Keating said that campus bookstores try to make it more affordable for students by offering more rental options and selling as many used books as possible.
“Save money by shopping early, so that you can rent books instead of buying them,” Keating said. “We try to make the prices better, but do your part by shopping for textbooks early and being smart about it.”
Amanda Shaw, a senior majoring in education, agrees that textbooks take a toll on the budget, but said the cost of housing also plays a part in back-to-school spending. For many students, housing costs include furnishing and rent at the beginning of the semester.
Like the cost of books, housing costs are also increasing each year.
“At the end of the day, the one thing that all students have to worry about no matter what is textbook shopping,” Shaw said. “It is a necessary expense.”
— Edited by Hannah Wise