Your donation makes a difference, one child at a time.

Cost Of School Supplies Hit Record High In 2023

Posted on September 8th, 2023.

School supplies have always been an essential part of every student's journey. Whether you're in elementary school, high school, or college, you'll need notebooks, pens, backpacks, and a whole array of other items to succeed in your academic endeavors.

But in 2023, there's an alarming trend that's making headlines - the average cost of school supplies has hit a record high. In this blog post, we'll delve into the reasons behind this surge in costs and explore how it's impacting both parents and students.

Average Cost of School Supplies

The average cost of school supplies has seen an unprecedented increase in recent years. In 2023, parents across the United States are shelling out more money than ever before to equip their children with the tools they need for a successful school year. On average, families are spending $200 to $300 per child on school supplies alone. This includes items such as notebooks, pencils, binders, and backpacks.

Average Cost of School Clothes per Child

It's not just school supplies that are taking a toll on parents' wallets. The average cost of school clothes per child has also seen a significant rise. Parents are now spending an average of $400 to $600 per child on clothing for the school year. This includes uniforms, everyday outfits, and specialized attire for extracurricular activities.

The Factors Driving the Surge


One of the primary factors contributing to the skyrocketing costs of school supplies is inflation. The prices of raw materials, manufacturing, and transportation have all increased, and these additional expenses are being passed on to consumers.

Technological Advancements

In the digital age, students often require expensive technological tools, such as laptops and tablets, for their studies. These devices come with a hefty price tag, significantly impacting the overall cost of back-to-school shopping.

Branding and Marketing

Branding and marketing also play a crucial role in the rising costs of school supplies. Many brands have capitalized on the demand for trendy and stylish school supplies, often charging a premium for items with popular logos or designs.

The Impact on Families

Financial Stress

With the increasing cost of school supplies and clothing, many families are facing significant financial stress. For low-income families, these expenses can be particularly burdensome, making it challenging for children to start the school year on an equal footing.

Sacrifices and Trade-offs

To cope with the rising costs, families often have to make sacrifices and trade-offs in their budgets. This might mean cutting back on other essentials or forgoing extracurricular activities that enrich a child's education.

Educational Inequality

The soaring cost of school supplies and clothing can exacerbate educational inequality. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds may struggle to access the necessary materials, potentially hindering their academic progress.

Seeking Affordable Alternatives

In the face of these challenges, many parents and students are seeking more affordable alternatives. They're exploring options like buying second-hand clothing, shopping during sales, and taking advantage of discounts and coupons.


The average cost of school supplies and average cost of school clothes per child have reached unprecedented highs in 2023. Inflation, technological advancements, and branding have all played a role in driving up these expenses. The impact on families is palpable, leading to financial stress, sacrifices, and potential educational inequality.

At Josie's Closet, we understand the challenges that parents and students face when it comes to affording school supplies and clothing. Our mission is to provide affordable, high-quality options to support students on their academic journey. We offer a wide range of school supplies and clothing items that won't break the bank. If you're looking for cost-effective solutions for your back-to-school needs, don't hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected].

Reach out if you want to help!

Send a Message

Thank you for your interest in Josie's Closet! Please fill out the form below to learn more about our programs. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of underprivileged children and families in Maryland.