COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- The cost of sending your children back to school is rising at a much faster rate than inflation, according to the latest Huntington Bank Backpack Index.
The annual survey found that the while inflation has increased by 1.39 percent, the costs of school supplies and extracurricular activities for students in grades K-12 has gone up 7.3 percent this year.
Huntington Bank spokesperson Maureen Brown says there's no single item that's responsible for the increase, but instead we're seeing small increases in the costs of everything.
New this year is the addition of a tablet computer for high school students. That means sending your child back to high school costs $1,223, a 9.5 percent increase over last year.
Elementary students costs about $576 and middle schoolers need $762 to go back to school. Both are 5.3 percent increases over last year.
Researchers included traditional school supplies such as paper, pencils and erasers in the index. It also lists the price of renting musical instruments as well as playing sports.
Since the Backpack Index was first introduced eight years ago, costs have increased 22 percent for elementary school students, 43 percent for middle school students and 23 percent for high school students. The most dramatic jump occurred in 2011 when pay-for-play fees were either imposed or hiked.
Brown suggests sitting down with your children and going over a supplies list to set a budget, then stick to it.
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