College students already facing massive potential debt loads after completing their degrees and facing an entry-level job market that demands experience have another piece of sour news.
The cost of being a K-State student in Manhattan has gone up from 2014.
The silver lining? This year’s increase was relatively mild, mainly due to drops in fuel prices.
The 2015 Student Price Index (SPI), compiled by the Kansas State University Economics Club, increased by 1.4 percent from 2014, while the national Consumer Price Index remained essentially unchanged from last year.
The SPI is based on prices collected on a bundle of goods a typical K-State student purchases compared to the previous year’s prices. The mild increase in the SPI is attributed to prices falling in several key miscellaneous categories, particularly gasoline, and groceries while tuition, housing, and textbooks all increased by over three percent from last year.
In 2014, the SPI increased by 4.7 percent which was well above the rate of increase in the U.S. Consumer Price Index. This year’s data is one of the mildest rates of overall student inflation in the history of the SPI.
In 2009, the SPI actually fell by 0.2 percent.
The biggest difference in this year’s study was the decrease in gasoline prices from 2014, down 32 percent. Housing prices are up slightly and movies have went up in price by 20 percent.
Beer and pizza? Flat.
Since the economics club started collecting data for this project in September of 2002 the SPI has approximately doubled. This means the bundle of goods that a typical K-State student purchases has doubled in price since 2002, while the bundle of goods that a typical American consumes (indicated by the CPI) has increased in cost by only 31.5 percent.
A breakdown of each section of the SPI is as follows:
Gasoline -32.2 percent
Groceries -6.8 percent
Tuition +3.6 percent
Non-Greek housing +2.8 percent
Greek housing +3.4 percent
Textbooks +5.3 percent
Movies +21.2 percent
Internet -20 percent