The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Students struggle to financially keep their head above water

Food, gas, grocery, bills repeat: Those are the duties that every adult has to face on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, as inflation hits, the Californian students who don’t have the highest purchasing power to begin with, are hit harder than others.

According to the LA Times “Nearly two-thirds of California students say their biggest obstacle to succeeding in college is costs—including food and shelter—and juggling jobs with school.”

Being a student, as we know, is a full time job itself and having to worry about cost can increase the -already high- anxiety. Considering this, it is no surprise that only 34% of California adults have at least a bachelor degree as stated on the Public Policy Institute of California website.

The cost directly impacts peers like Manuel who was originally enrolled to go to SSU. Unfortunately for him he had to go back to Santa Rosa Junior College even though he already had his associate because he could not afford tuition on top of housing, gas and grocery shopping. He stated “I earn too much to qualify for financial aid but too little to actually pay for tuition.” This could partially be explained by the price of housing.

Every student interviewed agreed to say that housing is a big part of their monthly expenses as it can represent 40% of their budget. According to Norada real estate “The median sales price of this region, which includes all nine counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma, is $1,084,500.” This number, as we know, is usually higher, especially in wine country.

In an interview with the STAR,  some students that did not want to be named, revealed that they were not renting a private room but a shared room to drop this price by half.

Another challenge that students have to face is the price of tuition. Luckily SSU is not the most expensive school and figures below the national average. According to US News, “Sonoma State University’s tuition is $8,060 for in-state and $22,258 for out-of-state students. Compared with the national average cost of in-state tuition of $11,286, Sonoma State University is cheaper. For students coming from out of state, the tuition is cheaper than the national average cost of out-of-state tuition of $27,394.” Considering this fact, the price of tuition for out of state can really be significant for some students.

This is the case for Zoe, an international student from Germany. She explained that “back home and in Europe in general, education is not as expensive because public universities usually only charge an administration fee that is never higher than 300 € but having an American degree has always been one of my dreams so I am willing to make sacrifices”. During the interview she also revealed that she had some health issues and had to go to Germany because the flight ticket to go home was less expensive than payin but the purpose of mentioning it here is to emphasize the fact that it is a struggle to be a student in California as inflation hits.

It is important to note that students are not alone and support is available financially and emotionally at SSU. If needed you can visit the school website or speak to a faculty member on campus who will direct you to the resource that is right for you.

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About the Contributor
Célia Aline Amaral, Student Life Editor
Celia Aline Amaral is a senior majoring in communication and media studies.
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