Gas or money?

Students not letting high gas prices get them down

For most of us, finding the money to put gas into our vehicles is not an enjoyable experience, especially for students like Philip Prano, who often drives long distances for class-related activities.

Prano, Ferris senior in the nursing program, spends a significant amount of money on gas in order to be present during his mandatory clinical- and class-related events. The farthest distance Prano has driven for class was a two hour trip to Grayling.

“The current gas prices are, quite frankly, a pain for me. I have to drive considerable distances for clinical, and the cost of gas accumulates quickly,” Prano said. “I am driving every week to clinical, and soon it will become two times a week due to the required clinical hours.”

According to Prano, although the prices of gas are much higher than he would like, he is grateful for the type of car he drives. The Honda Civic owner says he pays near $35 to fill up his tank, which allows him to go about 350 miles before filling up again.

Beginning in January of this year, gas prices in Big Rapids and similarly throughout the state have been increasing. As of

Friday, Feb. 22, gas prices were $3.88 per gallon in Big Rapids.

According to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the average gas price in the state of Michigan is $3.86 compared to $3.58 a year ago.

Analysts say multiple factors are responsible for the increase, including refinery maintenance and the rising price of wholesale gasoline, according to an article on

Like Prano, other students have their own opinions about the rising gas prices. Trevin Bernat, Ferris senior in the law enforcement academy recruit, also drives to class and meetings every day in his 1995 Chevy Blazer.

“I think they [current gas prices] are ridiculously high,” Bernat said. “It’s frustrating how much they fluctuate and it’s hard because I also have bills and groceries to pay for.”

Bernat pays approximately $45 each time he fills up his gas tank.

Despite the high gas prices, neither Prano nor Bernat let it affect their budget too much. Both of them admitted to not allowing the high costs sacrifice a trip home.

“I never sacrifice a trip home,” Prano said. “Seeing my family and loved ones has no price tag.”