The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Students Buy Computers in a Vacuum

It’s a given that college and university students need some type of computer for their school work. However, students and their parents apparently pay little heed to the requirements of the campus and/or specific classes when they buy the devices.

For the first time, the National Retail Federation’s annual back-to-college shopping survey asked respondents how much of their electronics spending for fall 2014 was influenced by course and school requirements. Not much, as it turns out.

Only 18.2% said they were 100% influenced by requirements, while 12.2% replied that they took no account whatsoever of requirements in making their purchases this year. The largest group (19.4%) admitted they were swayed 26% to 50% by requirements in deciding what electronics to buy.

Women were almost three times as likely to take school requirements into account in picking out electronic devices, and nearly half of parents over age 65 used requirements to guide their purchases.

Not considering class requirements before buying computers and other devices for use on campus could be a problem for students. NACS member stores report students often need to purchase additional electronics and/or software later in the school year in order to fulfill the requirements of their courses.

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