Report: Technology Purchases Driving up Back-to-School Budgets

Parents are spending more on school supplies this year, mostly for technology purchases, according to a new Consumer Pulse report from Rubicon Project.

The survey, "Back-to-School Consumer Pulse Poll," was conducted online in mid-June 2015 and collected responses from 1000 parents of K-12 and college students. It found that 56 percent of parents plan to spend more money on school supplies compared to last year, with K-12 parents planning to spend an average of $873 per child, and college parents planning to spend an average of $1,124 per student.

Key findings from the survey:

  • 72 percent of parents surveyed said they plan to buy technology mostly as part of their back-to-school shopping, compared to 61 percent for apparel and retail items and 50 percent for school supplies;
  • 38 percent of surveyed parents said they are buying technology specifically to meet classroom needs or requirements;
  • K-12 parents said they expect to spend an average of $390 on back-to-school technology, compared to $278 for apparel and retail items;
  • 50 percent of K-8 students already have a tablet, and 44 percent of K-8 parents plan to purchase one for the upcoming school year; and
  • 58 percent of K-8 parents in the South reported buying tablets, compared to 29 percent in the Midwest.

The full report is available as a free PDF download from the Rubicon Project site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].