Rising confidence boosts spending on college essentials

Average spending per student has ticked up this year, with projections for the middle-income segment seeing the biggest gains—and tech driving the increased investment.

A rosier economic outlook

With pandemic-prompted anxiety waning, almost half of the parents we surveyed have more confidence in the economy.

An urge to splurge

Average overall spending is up 8% YoY to $1,459 per student. The middle-income segment’s average spending is projected to hit record levels as they plan to splurge on computers, hardware, and other college supplies.

Clicking to purchase

While online shopping was the only option for many parents last year, families are sticking with it: 35% of shopping is projected to occur online.

Social media shopping is elementary

Both college and K-12 parents use social media in similar ways, primarily to learn about products and read reviews at the beginning of the shopping journey. However, more K-12 parents rely on social media for their back-to-school shopping than parents of college-bound students.

Read the 2021 Deloitte
back-to-college survey findings

Read the 2021
Deloitte back-to-college
survey findings

See what trends and influences will motivate
consumers’ shopping as campus life resumes.
download the report

Explore the 2021 Deloitte back-to-school findings

COVID-19’s effects on back-to-school spending can be summed up in one word—digital—with parents buying more tech supplies and services.