The Microfinances Of Collegiate Life

Don’t college students know they’re expected to make do with jeans and T-shirts? A survey by Burst Media of students age 18-24 finds a startling number of them expecting to buy dressy clothing—even dressy shoes— in the near future (see chart below). The money for this will come partly from the sweat of the students’ own brows: 50 percent said earnings from a job while in school will help pay for “miscellaneous purchases such as clothing, entertainment and recreation.” Forty-six percent tap into their parents to finance such spending, with female students more apt to do so than their male peers (52 percent vs. 41 percent). Nineteen percent said they foot the bill for their discretionary purchases with savings and money earned from summer jobs. When college students switch from one brand to another, price is the top reason (cited by 61 percent), with recommendations from friends another leading factor (49 percent). With all the time they devote to getting and spending (and, who knows, maybe studying), it’s a wonder the students have much time to spend online. However, the poll found 34 percent saying they spend at least 10 hours per week on the Internet, including the 20 percent who said they spend at least 20 hours that way.