Back-to-School Survey: One-Third of Teens Say Rising Cost of School Supplies a Concern

Posted in: Students

A new survey by Junior Achievement USA shows that a third of teens (33%) say that their parents or guardians are concerned about the cost of back-to-school supplies this year. A higher percentage of teens (37%) express concern they will not be able to get every item they need for back-to-school, and nearly as many (34%) say they have depended on teachers, community donations, and other sources to get supplies in past school years. The survey of 1,004 U.S. teens between the ages of 13 and 17 was conducted from July 5 through 10 by Big Village.

“Each back-to-school season, we hear about families who don’t have the means to provide all of the supplies their students may need for the school year,” said Anne Landers, Vice President of Strategic Impact at Junior Achievement of Arizona. “Rising costs and supply chain issues may make that especially hard for families this year. We encourage everyone who can to donate school supplies this year to help young people in your community.”

Teens were also asked how much they thought their back-to-school supplies would cost this year. The average estimated cost was $238. However, according to a recent back-to-school survey by Deloitte, parents estimate the average cost will actually be $661 per student.

To help parents and guardians talk to their kids about inflation, Junior Achievement USA is releasing A Parents’ Guide: Talking to Your Kids About Inflation. Written at a level young people can understand, the guide explains what causes inflation and what can be done about it.


This Youth CARAVAN survey was conducted by Big Village among a sample of 1,004 13-17-year-olds. This survey was live on July 5-10, 2022.


Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. It is nationally representative with set quotas based on census data. The 1,004 completes are all who qualified and completed based on the demographic quota requirements. The MoE is +/- 3.1%.