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Students feeling gas price pinch

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Written by
Icess Fernandez
ifernandez@gannett.com

 

 

When it comes to gas prices, college students see the difference between getting to class or getting to work.

Increases in gas prices have left some students stunned and grasping at ideas to cope with an additional burden of paying more for less in pursuit of their degrees.

The average price of gas in the area is about $3.70 a gallon, compared to $3.68 last week. At this time last month, a gallon of gas cost $3.46 compared to $2.77 a year ago.

The Times asked students at Bossier Parish Community College how they’re coping with higher gas prices.

Jomesha Jackson, 23, drives a Ford Escort and comes to school from Minden. Her typical day has her dropping her son at day care, dropping off her sister at school, going to school herself, going to work, picking up her sister and son and driving them home. She puts $15 in gas in her tank every other day; it takes $40 to fill.

“I don’t spend as much money as I did before,” she said. “Now the money I spent to get food between classes goes into my tank.”

Robert Teer, 20, said higher fuel prices are ridiculous, and he barely has enough to drive from south Shreveport, to work at the Louisiana Boardwalk or to school.

“I’m working more hours at work just to make ends meet,” he said. “I’m having to go to work, go to school and then turn right back around.”

He drives a 1988 Dodge Ram and it costs him about $50 to fill the tank each week. School, however, is not his only priority. Teer has family responsibilities to take care of a well.

Candace Rowe, 19, drives to school from Springhill. To help curb costs she packs lunch, a simple sandwich wrapped in tinfoil, chips and bottled water. She drives a Ford Taurus, which takes $40 to fill; she puts in $10 to $15 every other day. When she’s not on campus, either in class or working, she goes to her second job as a sales rep at a hair store.

“I just pack a lunch now so I won’t go off campus for lunch,” she said.

Rasheem Thomas, 21, drives a 2000 Ford Taurus that takes $30 to $35 to fill. It used to take $20, he recalls. His part-time job at a grocery store pays more for gas than any other of his expenses, he said.

“It seems I put gas in there (car tank) everyday,” he said. “It seems like it eats gas. The other day it was on empty and I put in $25 and it was barely over halfway.”

Fellow classmate Emmalee Jones, 19, drives a Mazada truck on which she spends $100 every two weeks for fuel.

She walks places she needs to go when she can and thinks twice about using the car. She limits her trips to home and work and hangs out with friends less and less.

And she has to make choices now, whether she’ll put gas in the tank or not go some places, such as to the library to study.

“If you go to the library, you’re out of luck,” she said. “Some people have to pay for their own utilities and they don’t have it because they need it to go to school. So you’re stuck.”

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Written by demon53

May 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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