Freshmen Discretionary Spending Tops 10k –

First-year college students spend significantly more on non-school related expenses than recent high school graduates, according to an annual survey by Chegg, an online textbook rental company.

The survey, which examines the spending habits of college students, found that there was a 260% increase in discretionary spending from recent high school graduates to students who had just completed their first year of college. Recent high school graduates spent $2,941 compared to $10,525 spent by students who recently completed their first year of college.

Other trends revealed in the study were:

  • Brand preferences change significantly during college. – Current college students develop new brand favorites in high-ticket items as well as daily purchases, more so than incoming freshmen.
  • Students are willing to budget in one area and splurge in another. – Ninety-one percent of students feel they have to be conscientious about their purchases so they don’t go into debt, but 68% report they are willing to spend more money on quality brands.
  • Students have influence over families’ spending. – Students help their families research and purchase products, including entertainment (56%) and travel expenses including airplane tickets (37%).
  • As avid media consumers, students are now even more connected. – Students spend an increasing amount of time online, 11 hours a week consuming online media via a mobile device (up 120% year over year)

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