Story by Emily VanSchmus
Due to inflation and the rising costs of just about everything, students are having a harder time paying for college and finding spare spending cash for amenities.
In the past five years, tuition at Drake has risen over $6,000, creating a higher demand for scholarships and financial aid.
Several students who might not have looked for a job previously have found they needed the extra income to pay for school and provide spending money for items or activities not covered by tuition.
Since coming to Drake in the fall, first-year Cale Cook found that most of his money went toward tuition and books, and anything he had leftover was used for food and gas.
“I’m trying to pay for as much of my tuition as I can. I have a lot of loans and scholarships, and I’m trying to pay the rest back by myself,” Cook said.
Earlier in the year, he took a job at Budget Insurance in Des Moines, where he works the front desk.
In addition to spending 20 hours a week there, he is also training to be an insurance agent.
Cale said most of the money he makes has to be put toward tuition, but he is rewarding himself for the long hours worked by saving a portion of his paycheck for a snowboarding trip to Colorado over winter break.
Because Drake is more expensive than a community college or state school, it is not surprising that a large number of students on campus are paying for at least part of their tuition and school fees themselves.
First-year Kristin Fipps is one of those students attempting to pay for as much as she can with the money she earns.
“My mom and I decided to pay for my first semester of school. I got my tuition partially paid through grants and scholarships, and I used the money I had in savings and the majority of the money I made this summer,” Fipps said.
Kristin worked as a pharmacy technician in her hometown and is now working for event staff at Drake to make school and sorority payments.
She found that her savings and money made from her job back home were enough to cover the first few payments, and now she uses the money she makes from event staffing to continue to pay for school.
When she does have money left over, she tends to spend most of her spare cash on food, clothing and gas.
Students spend money on food or coffee around town for a much-needed break from the dining options on campus, and if you wait around in the residence halls, it won’t be long before someone makes a trip to the mall for some retail therapy.
For students who don’t work in to pay for school, a side job provides a little extra spending money to college life.
Sam McKinney works the front desk at Crawford Residence Hall six hours a week to make a little extra spending money, which he typically uses to pay for activities trips off campus with friends.
As gas prices skyrocket, the cost of simply going downtown for a burger or driving to Jordan Creek Town Center makes a larger dent on students’ wallets.
Because prices are so high, students have to decide now more than ever what is really worth the extra cash and whatthey can do without.