Rising Gas Prices Affect College Students’ Choices


Delta Sonic on April 18.

Sarah Ludwig

Due to rising gas prices, commuter and residential students at Concordia University Chicago have to choose what they spend money on. The busy schedules of college students forces them to be careful where they drive to.

With classes, extra curricular activities, and work, college students’ busy schedules are packed full of places to go. 

Gasoline costs an average of $4.194 per gallon in the United States, according to the AAA. About a month ago, the average gas price was $4.215. Illinois’ current average is $4.414 per gallon.

Students are beginning to be affected by the increase in price. “I have to get gas once a week,” said senior Erickberto Perez. “That might change now.” In order to not spend more money on gas, carpooling, other transportation, or cutting out something from one’s schedule has to happen.

“I think that gas prices are ridiculous,” said freshman Becky Colmanares. “I have to get gas every week and a half.” Colmanares feels that she doesn’t yet need to cut out on extra events or activities, but she is still upset with the damage to her bank account. 

Gas prices began to increase after the United States placed economic sanctions on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Russia is the world’s third largest supplier of crude oil, behind the United States and Saudi Arabia. “I can’t control the global oil market, and gas is a need as a student,” said Perez. “So I just find it annoying transitioning from low gas prices at the start of the pandemic to the high price it’s at right now.” 

Each individual student is affected differently by this issue. Some students live on campus, others reside within minutes from campus, while still other students face much longer commutes. Some students work on campus and others have to commute off campus to work.

Out of 1,674 undergraduate students at CUC, 37 percent live on campus. This means 63 percent of undergraduates, around 1,054 students, have to commute to class.

“Gas prices should never be higher than my GPA,” said senior Emily Cyrwus. “I used to take my car everywhere, now I limit my commute just to and from school so I probably fill up my tank once per week.”

The prices right now are at a record high in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. “Before I could fill up my tank for $20, now it is a little over $40,” Cyrwus said.

“I had to adjust my budgeting to compensate for the gas price, especially since I have paid above five dollars for premium gasoline,” said Perez. 

Colmenares and Perez said that they do not feel a need to cut out activities from their schedule, but they do need to budget better. Cyrwus, on the other hand, feels that she has to plan her day in order to not drive around too much.

“Before I could drive back and forth from campus, but now once I am at campus I feel like I have to plan my entire day there,” said Cyrwus.

As summer break begins, students hope to see a decline in the price of gasoline.