Back to school supply lists are now topping $70

By Stephen Noonoo
July 17th, 2015

Hand sanitizer and even iPads are driving supply list prices higher

supply-listsTeacherLists, a site that hosts thousands of schools’ supply lists, just released some numbers from the 2015 lists it oversees. According to the company, the average student is on the hook for $70.93.

That number was taken from an analysis of more than 300,000 supply lists. The analysis chalks the rising costs to shrinking school budgets, the addition of more non-learning supplies like cleaning products, and pricey new tech items. Supplies like facial tissues, disinfectant wipes, hand wipes, and hand sanitizer are among the most frequently requested items.

“For several years now, we’ve seen school supply lists become longer due to the addition of these new item categories,” said Tim Sullivan, founder of TeacherLists. “There are still great deals at back-to-school time which keep supply prices low. But as the lists grow longer, the total amount parents are spending rises.”

Middle and high school lists analyzed by the site were ultimately shorter than their elementary counterparts, but costlier in the end thanks to more required technology, such as graphing calculators. Middle school lists clocked in at an average of $91; high school lists at $157. Some lists even included required iPad purchases (no doubt driving up the overall average).

About the Author:

Stephen Noonoo

Stephen Noonoo is the current editor of eSchool News. He is a former consultant for CUE, California’s ISTE affiliate, and managing editor of its quarterly publication, OnCUE. He has worked as a freelance writer, an education editor for SmartBrief newsletters, and as a staff editor for a well-known publication focusing on education technology.