Istanbul student's monthly expenses exceed minimum wage
The monthly living expenses for a university student in Istanbul have skyrocketed to unprecedented levels, surpassing the minimum wage in the country, latest data from the Istanbul Planning Agency (IPA) showed on Friday.
Istanbul, one of Turkey's bustling metropolises, has long been a beacon for students pursuing higher education, but according to the results of the Student Cost of Living Study for September 2023, the city has become uninhabitable for many due to rapidly rising living expenses.
The IPA's comprehensive research analyzed data based on both primary and secondary sources, focusing on essential spending categories that contribute to the unique cost of student living, such as accommodation, grocery and dining expenses, utility bills, cultural activities, stationery, personal care, and transportation costs.
Highlighting the significance of housing expenses, the IPA noted, "Housing, while already a substantial expenditure for students in major cities, has become even costlier due to rising inflation rates, adding to the financial strain experienced by young individuals pursuing higher education."
According to the findings of the study, university students residing in private dormitories experienced a staggering increase of nearly 100% in their monthly living costs in just one year. In the 2022-2023 academic year, a student's accommodation expenses in a private dormitory were approximately 3,300 TL per month, but this figure rose dramatically to 10,360 TL during the same period in 2023.
Students sharing a rented apartment with two others also faced a significant rise in their housing costs. In the previous year, a student's monthly accommodation expenses for such an arrangement amounted to 1,900 TL. However, in 2023, this figure surged to 6,250 TL.
The study revealed that grocery expenses, another major monthly expense, have substantially increased as well. Students living in dormitories who previously allocated around 550 TL for groceries and dining expenses now find themselves spending approximately 2,287 TL for the same purpose. Those living in shared apartments, who used to spend 1,780 TL on groceries, are now compelled to allocate 3,797 TL for these expenses.
These findings have left Istanbul's university students grappling with a severe financial burden, as their monthly living costs exceed even the minimum wage in Turkey. A student residing in a shared apartment with two other housemates now faces a monthly expense of 12,535 TL, marking a staggering 134% increase within just a year.