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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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College Station cost of living higher than ever

Photo by Austin Nguyen

Student housing located right outside off campus boundaries on George Bush Drive. 

Monthly costs in College Station are up 200% over the last year according to the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee.

Inflation in Texas is at an all-time high. In August of 2021, the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee estimated that the monthly living cost for a person in Texas was around $250 per month, while in 2022, monthly living expenses are estimated at about $750 per month. Texas A&M students are dealing with these rising prices in every aspect: Rent, groceries and gas are now more expensive than ever before. According to Stanford University scholars, inflation is the result of the Federal Reserve Board setting interest rates too low or the growth of money supply growing too quickly. Upperclassmen have been able to compare the cost of living during their early years at A&M, to the current reality of living in a college town.

Construction science senior Paden Schmitt said he has seen living cost increase, especially in food. 

“I have noticed that food is much more expensive,” Schmitt said. “If I go to a restaurant now, it costs so much more than it used to. I’ve also noticed it in groceries, I spend significantly more every week than I used to. I used to work on campus and getting paid $10 an hour was not enough to adjust to the crazy expensive costs.”

Schmitt said he has gone as far as not eating until the evening in an attempt to spend less money. 

“Because of the rise in prices, I try not to eat as much,” Schmitt said. “I’ll go through my entire school day without eating anything until I get home in order to save money. Compared to my first year [at A&M], I spend so much more now than I used to just with basic stuff like food and gas. Even my rent has gone up.”

Nursing junior Olivia Foster said she has also seen a consistent rise in grocery prices. In addition to nursing school, she said she must focus on getting a job over Christmas break.

“I have definitely seen a rise in [the] cost of groceries. I probably spend around double what I spent as a freshman,” Foster said. “It’s hard to find time as a nursing student to work, and now I have to stress about finding time to have a job while also enjoying my break.”
Foster also said being a nursing student impacts her ability to financially support herself during the semester.

“Nurses only get two weeks for summer, so I can’t get a summer job like a lot of students,” Foster said. “I used to be able to work during the summer and rely on that for the year, but now I can’t, and things are so much more expensive. Even in my day-to-day life, it’s stressful thinking about a future with the realities of debt.”

Material science engineering senior Eli Norris said he has seen a significant price increase across the board. 

“I probably spend 25% more on groceries,” Norris said. “Also, utilities, I compared our electricity bill to this exact time even last year, and for the same amount of electricity, we [spent] $50 more.”

Norris also said inflation has had an impact on his college experience. He said it can be challenging to manage the stress of being an engineering major with the pressures of making money with rising costs. 

“Inflation has impacted my college experience quite a bit,” Norris said. “Right after COVID[-19], I got a job to try and help with the rise in costs, and I’ve had to work around 20 hours a week to help with loans and stuff. It can be hard to balance school and work, especially as an engineer. The only way I pull it off is because my job is directly related to what I want to do. I apply a lot of the stuff I learn in class to work.”

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