College Student Discretionary Spending Continues to Rise, They Plan to Vote in Upcoming Elections, And Forecast Higher Post Graduate Earnings

College Student Discretionary Spending Continues to Rise, They Plan to Vote in Upcoming Elections, And Forecast Higher Post Graduate Earnings

February 4, 2016

Youth marketing specialist Refuel Agency releases its latest College Explorer TM study, now in its 15th year.

Click here to read the original press release

NEW YORK, NY (PRWEB) February 03, 2016 – Today, Refuel Agency, a leader in Youth, Military and Multicultural marketing and media placement, released findings from its latest College Explorer study, now in its 15th year. The largest and most comprehensive study on college students of its kind, the 2015 edition focuses in on student spending, brand loyalty, likelihood to vote, political issues, technology habits, product purchase behavior, lifestyles, media consumption and more.

College Explorer is one of five studies recently reported by Refuel Agency, the millennial insights expert. “This year’s edition really uncovers the mindset of a college student today. We get to the heart of what matters to them – from their coveted tech devices, to important political issues, to their brand opinions and loyalty, we dive into it all. Moreover, our extensive findings on advertising preferences and how and where college students spend their time, might surprise many as well,” says Derek White, President and CEO of Refuel Agency and originator of College Explorer. “I can’t stress to marketers enough about how important it is to reach these consumers while they are forming their brand preferences. Utilizing the most effective tactics to engage students at the entry point will impact a brand for years to come,” says White.

Some Highlights:

  •     21.8 million students headed back to campus in 2015, and are projected to spend $523 billion annually
  •     The food category continues to lead the way in spending, accounting for $51.8 billion.
  •     Despite the increase in online enrollment, students continue to spend a lot of time on their college campus
  •     Technology is very important to students, both in and out of the classroom.
  •     Students spend 140+ hours with their tech devices per week
  •     Students own about 7 devices each and upgrade them frequently
  •     The majority of students’ purchase decisions are made on personal preferences; cosmetics lead the pack
  •     Discounts, rewards programs, and customer service motivate brand loyalty among students
  •     Students are brand loyal to certain retail items such as clothing, food, and personal care products
  •     Majority of college students are likely to vote in the upcoming elections
  •     Students often think about the economy, the environment, and healthcare issues
  •     Social media is the most powerful tool to influence students to vote
  •     Students are digital natives with a central focus on social and streaming media
  •     Video viewership is undergoing a rapid change from “broadcast” media towards “streaming” services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon)
  •     Traditional and digital advertising is more effective than ever in grabbing students’ attention


Refuel Agency is a leading marketing firm connecting a wide range of brands with niche consumer segments through scalable and impactful media and promotional solutions including social, mobile, print, place-based and experiential. With decades of expertise serving youth, military, multicultural and local audiences, Refuel Agency deploys brand campaigns utilizing unique proprietary networks including the Teen Ad Network (TAN) TM, College Ad Network (CAN) TM, Military Ad Network (MAN) , and Diversity Ad Network (DAN) TM, that speak to these consumers in their world, throughout their day. The business was formerly a central division of Alloy Media + Marketing. Refuel Agency has locations nationwide, with headquarters in New York City, and offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, CA, and Princeton, NJ.

To learn more about Refuel Agency visit

To learn more about College Explorer visit:

Media Contact:
Alison Holmes
VP, Marketing & Communications