College Students – No Longer Starving
The study measured spending among students aged 18-30 who attended part-time and full-time at two- and four-year colleges plus graduate schools. The study covered technology, entertainment, travel, transportation, telecommunications, personal-care products, financial services, snack foods and beverages.
“College students are faced with a whole range of life decisions, including a lot of first-time purchase decisions,” said Derek White, EVP 360 Youth Inc. “It’s an important time for marketers to connect with this demographic group, reaching them as they establish lifelong buying patterns and loyalties.”
College students spend an average of $287 a month on discretionary items, the study found. Spending on beverages and snack foods are projected at $11.4 billion a year.
Technology, and, therefore, spending on technology, plays a central role in the lives of college students as well. With 93% accessing the Internet, college students are the most connected segment of the population. According to the study, 92% own a computer, and 13% say they plan to buy one in the next year. Cell phone ownership is at 69%, with 18% of students planning to buy one in the next year.
Researchers also found that 15% of college students say they are among the first to buy a new technology device or gadget, and another 53% say they are likely to buy one after seeing others try it. Only 32% say they tend to wait a long time before purchasing a new technology.