New study shows Brazos County poverty rate lower than other college communities
A new study says, after adjusting for the large share of college students in our community, the poverty rate in Brazos County actually drops more than 10 percent. The research was done by the Private Enterprise Research Center and released by the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation.
There are over 60,000 students attending college in Brazos County and, because they tend to have little to no income, they are classified as in poverty.
"College is expensive, no matter where you go," said Megan Ford. She's the executive director of 12th Can Food Pantry at Texas A&M University.
Ford says, while some of the people who visit the school's food pantry are students, it's less than half of who they serve.
"Most of our clients that are returning have been visiting us for years," Ford said.
To make up for college expenses, students need jobs, and a growing student population has unemployment on the rise.
"From the business standpoint, it's smart business. For the individuals looking for full-time employment with benefits, it's tough," said Ron Crozier with Twin City Mission.
Students make up almost a third of Brazos County's population. Crozier says they impact others looking for full time work.
"Because of the presence of Texas A&M and the students going out and getting jobs, businesses don't have to pay top salaries or top benefits because they can pay part-time students to come in and get the work done," Crozier said.
The study says it's not all bad news, though. If you exclude college students from the poverty estimate for people between ages 18 and 24, the rate drops from 61 percent to 20 percent.
To view the study done by the Texas A&M Private Enterprise Research Center, click on the link in the related links section.