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Cost of Living Crisis Causing 85% of US College Students to Become More Environmentally Conscious

42% of US students significantly impacted by rising prices

DENVER, Colorado - December 13, 2022 - While the cost of living continues to rise, global research released today reveals that there is one unexpected long-term upside– it has caused 85% of US college students to make decisions that are better for the environment.  This move to greater sustainability is highest in the US and Australia, and significantly higher than other countries, such as the UK (60%) and Germany (46%).

Overall, the study found almost half of US students (42%) report the cost-of-living crisis is having a significant impact on the way they live. It is driving students to make more sustainable choices, with 31% of US students surveyed reporting they have reduced their energy use and 20% adding extra layers to avoid turning the heat on. Additionally, 75% have actively cut their spending, with more than half spending less on eating out (55%) and 21% spending less on alcohol.

Students’ top worries include taking on more debt (38%) and worrying about their friends and family (43%). Additionally, 64% believe it will have a direct impact on their future career prospects.

Encouragingly though, compared to the rest of the world, US students are more optimistic about the end of the crisis. The study found only 32% of students believe the crisis will get worse over the next 12-18 months. In most of the rest of the countries surveyed, more than half the students are pessimistic.

The study also showed the extent to which those in the US feel let down by the government. More than one third (35%) of US-based students say the government should be doing more to support them through the cost-of-living crisis. US students also worry that the cost-of-living crisis will increase the wealth divide (33%), reduce opportunities across the country (38%) and polarize society and increase political division (35%).

The research was commissioned by leading global student housing brand Yugo. The study analyzed the views of 6,000 students around the world, including over 1,000 in the UK, where 62% said they would have reconsidered going to university if the biggest impacts of the crisis had been felt whilst they were applying – this figure was higher than in any other market researched.

Rui Barros, Global COO, Yugo said:

“The rising cost of living is squeezing everyone and causing people to fundamentally question their behaviors and purchases. We’re encouraged to see that for many college students, it is motivating them to be more financially savvy and environmentally conscious. At Yugo, we’re committed to working with our students in our living spaces across the country to support their holistic needs under our Live Your Best Life Program - especially during challenging times.”

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*Research commissioned by Yugo and conducted by Mortar Research. More than 1,000 US college students were polled, as well as over 6,000 across the UK, Ireland, Australia, Spain, and Germany.

Yugo’s unique approach

At Yugo, students are empowered to grow personally through collaborative events and projects under the Live Your Best Life program - a holistic living experience developed from the Yugo research of thousands of students worldwide. This program supports students through three pillars based on sustainability - YugoEco, education – YuPro, personal development - YuGrow, to deliver on their needs and expectations. 

About Yugo

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