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NRF: College Students Expected To Spend Over $47 Billion On Back-To-School

Washington — College students and their families are expected to collectively spend more than $47 billion this back-to-school season, with individual students and their parents each spending a combined average of $956.93 up from $880.52 last year, according to the National Retail Federation’ (NRF) 2007 Consumer Intentions and Actions survey.

The survey, performed by BIGresearch, found that students and their families can be expected to spend a total of $12.8 billion on electronics. Other product categories expected to draw significant chunks of the $47 billion include clothing and accessories ($7.41 billion up from last year’s $5.78 billion), shoes ($2.96 billion), school supplies ($3.14 billion) and textbooks (over $15 billion.)

As for where this money will be spent, the survey found that 57.2 percent of students and their families will shop at college bookstores, 51.5 percent will shop at discount stores, 41.8 percent will visit department stores, 35.6 percent will go to office supply stores, 34.3 percent will buy from clothing stores and 20.9 percent will visit electronics stores. The survey also found that nearly one-third of consumers will shop online.

Students living on campus are expected to spend $1,529.45 on college merchandise as opposed to students living off campus and at home who will spend $1161.98 and $774.86 respectively.

Nearly half of those polled (49.7 percent) said they would be living at home during the school year. 28.6 percent plan to live in off-campus housing, 18.7 percent will live in a dormitory or other form of on-campus housing, and 1.3 percent said they will live in a fraternity or sorority house.

Freshmen are likely to spend an average of $1,193.60 on college-related merchandise this year, more than any upper-class group. According to NRF, sophomores are expected to spend an average of $748.29, the least of any class.