Thursday, August 16, 2007

College Students Wield Connections, Concern and Consumer Clout

August 15, 2007

From Alloy College Explorer research, which shows how much college students have changed in the past four years (they are way more wired). The key stats are below:

They are totally wired:
- Close to all students (93%) report owning a cell phone (up 15 points from four years ago)
- Digital camera ownership has just about doubled since 2003. Today, 64% of students report owning one and 16% cite intention to purchase this year
- In 2003, 17% of students owned MP3 players - and the iPod was not yet a staple - today more than half (58%) own one.
- About one-third (28.9%) of campuses now offer blanket wireless coverage and almost two-thirds claim to have a wireless strategy plan in place.
- Down with desktops: there was a 21 point increase of laptop ownership in the last two years alone (63% today vs. 42% in 2005)

More students = more money to spend
- A 14% increase (from 2003) as 13.3 million students head back to campus with $198 Billion in consumer spending power (up 31% from 2003)
- Three-quarters of students now report employment during the year
- 56% of college students are female, about 1.1 million more than reported in ’03

They're influencers
- 27% choose to stay in touch with friends via social networking site over face-to-face communication, at 11%, or over phone, with 23% reporting
- More than half (54%) of college students (ages 18-30) visit a social networking site in a typical day
- 25% actually claim they have “never” visited a user-generated site
- 66% of students are learning about brands, products and services from their friends
- 61% report being influenced by word of mouth WOM (up 48% from 2004)
- Students cite they are most likely to look to friends for advice for movies (60%) and electronics (48%)
- More than half of students claim they played the deciding role in recent decision to buy a computer (57%), a digital camera (57%), or a cell phone/PDA (66%)

Some of them want to make a difference
- 35% of students reporting they feel that people their age have the greatest ability to impact positive world change and up from last year
- 37% cite they are more likely to purchase brands that are socially and environmentally responsible (33% in 2006)"

The original press release from Harris Interactive's Alloy, states it quite clearly:

Class of 2011 Heads Back To Campus Wielding More Connections, Concern and Consumer Clout Than Any Class Before Them
"We're faster than you.
We're bigger than you.
We've got more clout.
We're louder than you."

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