Students feel the pressure of inflation as the school year approaches

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Thousands of students will move in and build new homes in dormitories on the Virginia Tech campus for the 2022 school year. But in a time of severe economic uncertainty and high inflation, parents and students are left bear the additional costs.

Prices for gas, homes and everyday items have gone up day by day.

Rising prices affect everyone in the United States and students are no exception.

“It has certainly become more expensive over the years,” said Salaiz, a student.

Inflation has not only had an impact on student tuition fees. All campus residents are required to obtain dining plans, the prices of which rose 9% last fall.

“Restoration plans, housing, usually just increased payments and stuff like that,” Salaiz said.

Some students are already struggling to pay for their education, and for students like Addison Midkiff, there is now added pressure.

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

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From food to rent, price hikes are placing more barriers between students and education.

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

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

“They certainly offered more scholarships and more grants, but tuition, in general, has gone up, so students who don’t get those scholarships have to pay for it,” Salaiz said.

Scholarships are essential to offset the cost of a college education, but the more people in need, the fewer funds there are for everyone.

“The scholarships have also become more competitive due to the increase in tuition fees, and everyone wants to fight for these scholarships. And that on top of the grants – you don’t get a lot,” Midkiff said.

Virginia Tech is one of several schools in Virginia to comply with Governor Younkin’s request to freeze tuition for the upcoming school year. The order was made in hopes of taking some pressure off those preparing to return to school.

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