How Inflation Is Impacting Young Adults From Attending Education Post High School


Mackenzie Dahl, Opinions

Money is something that all of us must learn to manage sooner or later. But, even if you know how to manage finances well, you will still be impacted by inflation. A simple way of understanding the measures of inflation is through comparison and calculations. For example, if the consumer price index (CPI) is 130 in January 1990, and the CPI for 2000 is 260. You will take the most recent CPI, and subtract the older CPI; you then divide this number. The percentage you get will tell you how much prices have increased since that period of time. 

Now that you understand inflation slightly more, we can talk about how it impacts young adults trying to establish their future. When inflation reaches over 2%, it is considered high. Currently, inflation has reached over 8.5% in the United States. This high percentage is guiding us toward an economy with walking inflation. An article written by Matthew R Webber elucidates the impacts of walking inflation. He exclaims, “It is harmful to the economy because it heats up economic growth too quickly. People start to buy more than they need in order to avoid tomorrow’s much higher prices. This increase in consumption drives demand up even further, and suppliers often can’t keep up. More importantly, neither can most people’s wages.” In this economy, almost no one benefits from a rapid change in supply and demand, but those just acquiring their assets have an impediment time. This most importantly affects people trying to attain an education or a home. 

Regardless of where inflation is at, the cost of education is almost always higher. Janet Nguyen published an article explaining how high inflation has impacted young adults attending college. Nguyen states, “The cost of college tuition, fees, and room and board has more than doubled since the 1971-72 school year after adjusting for inflation… climbing costs have saddled millions with student debt that they struggle to pay off after graduating from college.” Students struggle to afford college, not only while attending but years after graduating.

On October 24th, CNN 10 published a video about student loan debts in America. The video, quotes, “For years, the cost of college has steadily increased, and today, more than half of students leave school with debt… Americans have $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. That’s more than they owe in credit card debt or car loans.” Not only is affording college a struggle, but it is nearly impossible in today’s economy to leave school without debt. Higher costs can be demotivating for adolescents who are unsure about attending education post-high school.

Current US inflation rates: 2000-2022: US inflation calculator. US Inflation Calculator |. (2022, October 13). Retrieved November 8, 2022, from 

Webber, M. R. (2022, October 13). Explaining the types of inflation. The Balance. Retrieved November 8, 2022, from 

Cable News Network. (n.d.). CNN. Retrieved November 8, 2022, from 

Nguyen, J. (2022, August 17). Money and millennials: The cost of living in 2022 vs. 1972. Marketplace. Retrieved November 8, 2022, from