College Doesn’t Grow On Trees As Dorm Spending Soars 25%

CBx Vibe:ATM” J. Cole

By Richard Johnson

  • College dorm and apartment furniture spending is up 25% to $422 in 2021
  • 75% of households are in similar or better financial situations than they were in 2020

College pays off, but not before you pay first. Student’s returning to campus will be accompanied by heftier expenses than years prior, with dorm and apartment furniture spending up 25% from $315 in 2020, to $422 in 2021, according to Deloitte’s Back-to-College survey. Middle-income families are at least optimistic about the economy and plan to spend at record levels to keep their college kids in school.

Why This Matters: Deloitte’s survey also found that 75% of households are in similar or better financial situations than they were in 2020, with 34% of parents expected to spend more this year on college-related expenses compared to 23% in 2020. Despite tech being a part of daily college life for decades, computers and hardware spending are up 13% from $696 in 2020, to $800 in 2021.

Fortunately, student loan debt forgiveness at many HBCUs freed-up the pockets for many Black families who were financially struggling before, especially during the pandemic. With more money readily available for direct investments in their children’s education, both current and future, this allows the Black community to have more discretionary income to put towards back to school expenses, while chipping away at the racial wealth gap.

Additionally, in 2020, personal savings rates spiked up 33% across the U.S. as a result of business closures, and stay-at-home mandates, causing people to stuff larger amounts of cash in the back, or under their mattresses. Now, in 2021 general optimism remains as the economy continues its recovery and the eagerness to get the kids out of the house has largely driven the uptick in college-related spending.

Situational Awareness: Now I know there’s a little more money to go around, but best-believe that those college t-shirts better still be free, or we are going to have to have an intervention. A medium please. As a matter of fact, make that two. One for me and one for my mama.

CBx Vibe:ATM” J. Cole


Richard Johnson

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