Second day of school

Students walk to class across K-State’s campus.

The average K-State student’s cost of living was largely flat this year and grew by 0.4% compared to a 1.7% increase to the average American’s cost, a K-State Economics club report shows.

Much like the national Consumer Price Index, the club’s annual Student Price Index tracks the change in value of a bundle of common goods, like gas and groceries. The student version adds common college expenses like tuition, athletics passes and student housing.

Most of the small increase in the Student Price Index this year was because of jumps in the prices of beer and pizza, which increased by 8.9% and 18.2%, respectively.

Brock O’Brien, a junior in economics and vice president of the club, coordinated the club’s yearly price and data collection. He said the Student Price Index is not perfect, but it generally demonstrates the average change in students’ yearly cost-of-living.

“For example, on campus rental prices remained basically flat this year, but renting an apartment off campus in Manhattan became significantly cheaper,” O’Brien said. “This indicates that markets we may think of as nearly perfect substitutes can actually be quite different. There does appear to be a ‘buyers’ market’ when it comes to off campus accommodations.”

The club first started collecting Student Price Index data in 2002, and since then, prices have more than doubled, with the club reporting an approximate 130% increase in the price of the average bundle of goods. Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index only increased by 45%. Economics professor and club adviser Daniel Kuester said this year’s flat change was a welcome reprieve for students hurting from increasing college prices.

Gasoline and non-Greek housing were the only categories of purchases that decreased since 2018, with 7.4 and 4.8% decreases respectively. Tuition, movie ticket, athletics passes and internet plan prices were unchanged.

Textbooks prices increased by 2%, and grocery prices increased by 1.5%.

K-State committee to look for new engineering dean

K-State provost Charles Taber has appointed a search committee to lead a national search for K-State’s next dean of the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering.

The position has been vacant since former dean Darren Dawson became president of the University of Alabama in Hunstville in the summer.

Kevin Gwinner, dean of the College of Business Administration, will chair the search committee, which also will use an executive search firm to support the process. The committee will review candidates for an anticipated start date of July 1.

“The Carl R. Ice College of Engineering is very well positioned for the future, with recent facilities upgrades and transformational philanthropic gifts,” Taber said in a statement. “The dean of engineering is a central leader for our university, and I am excited about the heights the college can attain with strong, visionary leadership. This is an exciting time to be at Kansas State University, and I thank the members of the search committee for their commitment to finding our next dean.”

Donations, grants

The Manhattan-Ogden school board approved $20,098 in donations and grants at its Oct. 2 meeting.

Ogden Friendship House United Methodist Church donated $1,000 to Ogden Elementary to provide scholarships to the Community Learning Center (CLC) after-school program for families who are unable to play.

Dillons donated $1,000 to Manhattan High School for band supplies.

Riley County Raising Riley granted $12,040 to College Hill Early Learning Center to reduce fees for families. The organization also donated $4,000 to Eugene Field Early Learning Center for behavioral and mental health support personnel.

The Theodore Roosevelt Elementary PTO donated $1,558 to the school for iPads and cases.

Walmart donated $500 to the school district for general district use.