Most first-year students face food insecurity when they join college. This challenge makes most of the students experience hunger or a poor diet. Notably, these students have a college meal plan, which allows them to take most of their meals from the campus cafeteria. Despite having this meal plan, several factors could prompt a student to miss the food in college and eat in a restaurant outside the campus. For instance, some lectures may take longer and make college student miss their meal. Other factors that may make the student take their meals out of the campus cafeteria include co-curricular activities that may not allow them to take their meals, especially during the weekends. As such, parents of freshmen students should allocate a significant amount of money to allow their children to have an alternative food source such as in a restaurant. However, most parents believe that students spend approximately $50 per week on eating out. This study will gather information from a sample of college students and test whether this belief by the parents is true. I will use interviews and later analyze data using a Likert scale to come up with conclusions.
The Problem of the Statement
The majority of college students find themselves in difficult budget constraints, making many fall into a poor diet. While some may have enough for a meal plan, grocery, and personal use and fun, most would starve rather paying for expensive foods. However, for some, cutting spending and living within their means is the only way to see them through college life (Mukigi 106). These students must work under tight budgets to avoid running out of money before the semester end. The freshmen’s parent believes that a student should spend at most $50 per week eating out. Eating out often may sound cheap to parents, but it can be extremely expensive. Study shows that most millennial students are spending about 44% of their food budget on eating out. Putting that into perspective means a student will spend between $10 -$15 per meal inclusive of a drink. With this type of spending, there are high chances of $50 turning into $250 per week; hence one needs to make smarter choices.
While it is true that students sometimes do mismanage their finance and left wondering where all the money is furnished, some expenses are incurred due to the fluctuation of prices in the market. However, first-year students in their first year, supposed to be on an obligatory meal plan, $50 is enough for eating out (Mukigi 106). Notably, students under the meal plan get their main meals in school. Therefore, the $50 is enough for eating out, buying snacks and drinks, which are sometimes not covered in the meal plan. In most cases, first-year students have 17 of the 21 meals covered in the meal plan; that it’s at least two meals per day. Therefore, at most, $50 will be enough for first-year students per week eating out, a student will not strain, but it requires a high financial discipline to stay within the budget.
The data collection will involve gathering both primary and secondary data. The secondary information entails searching for information relating to expenditure on food among first-year students college students. Therefore, I will use the google scholar and other credible sources to find this data. The study will also entail using a systematic literature review before conducting the actual interview to gain more insight into the topic of research. Before searching for suitable themes, the researcher will first identify the hypothesis to narrow the study's scope (Oltmann 21). Notably, the google scholar will later provide credible information relating to the hypothesis. The secondary research methods will entail using a combination of keywords such as "freshmen student, "eating out," "food expenditure in college," and "weekly expenditure on food." After locating the relevant articles and journals, I will choose suitable ones based on specific inclusion criteria. This criterion will involve selecting the articles published between 2016 and 2020 to provide the most current and up-to-date information regarding expenditure on food.