They’re Entertained

Given the amount of time college students spend buying things, it’s a wonder they find time to study. The new 360 Youth/Harris Interactive College Explorer Study finds U.S. collegians age 18-30 spend an average of $287 a month on discretionary items (defined as “anything other than tuition, room/board, rent-mortgage, books/school fees”). The report notes that “a good portion” of that cash goes for beverages and snacks, on which the students spend an estimated $11.4 billion a year. Vacation travel is another big category, pulling in $4.6 billion in student spending. Various entertainment media get their share of student spending as well, including videos/DVDs ($2.8 billion), music CDs/tapes ($2.7 billion), videogames ($2.3 billion), movies ($887 million) and concert tickets ($791 billion). Students also read (!), spending about $1 billion a year on reading material apart from what they use for school. The chart here displays the percentage of students who spend in each category. Marketers of big-ticket items stand to get their share of the loot. Thirteen percent of respondents plan to buy a computer in the next year; 17 percent expect to buy a car.