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Inflation's impact on higher learning

Posted at 10:32 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 01:32:32-04

In the journey to find higher learning outside of grade school, the expression ‘you have to spend money to make money’ looms large.

Inside the classroom, inflation has seen an increase in tuition price at some colleges and universities.

While outside the classroom things like rent, clothing and food are costing more.

“I just got a T-shirt and a pair of shorts for $110,” said ASU student Donald Let.

When asked if it was a reasonable price, he responded saying, “No, that’s too much.”

Spending too much money is a trend that seems to not go away.

According to 'Apartment List," a one-bedroom apartment in Tempe rose 18% over the last year.

As the fall semester approaches, those with existing student loans could be in for a big awakening if a pause isn't extended.

Jennifer Finetti is a student financial expert who says the pause on existing student loans available until August 31, due in part to the pandemic, could be extended by the federal government.

But, Finetti says that is unclear.

For now, the current interest rates for undergraduates looking to get a new student loan in the month of July is 4.99%, for graduate students it’s 6.54% and parents taking out a parent plus loan it’s 7.54%.

Discovering the cost of higher learning during inflation could keep some prospective students from attending college altogether.

“I don’t know so much if, it will change people’s interest in attending, but the reality of the affordability may keep people from attending. Already the last couple of years, enrollment has been in a decline,” said Finetti.

She urges students to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Websites like Scholarship Owl, are a one-stop shop for students to know which scholarship they may be eligible for.

A key cost saving measure for those who may not be able to afford a traditional four-year college right away is to consider a college closer to home to avoid paying for gas. Many community college credits transfer to larger universities.

Finetti encourages students to supplement some of college life’s higher cost by working while going to school.

“I got a job on campus, that way I walk around and not pay for gas. And then I work 40 hours during the week, 20 hours during the school year,” said ASU Student Ariana Rajewski.