Back-to-School Spending Expected to Reach Record High

Does this number seem right? Do you find you have to spend more now on school supplies?

Students and their families intend to spend record amounts for school and college supplies as they return to in-person classrooms this fall, according to a new survey of 7,704 parents.

Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $848.90 on school items, which is $59 more than last year. College students and their families plan to spend an average of $1,200.32 on college or university items, an increase of $141 over last year. Total back-to-school spending is expected to reach a record $37.1 billion, up from $33.9 billion last year- and an all time high in the survey’s history.

While families are planning to spend more on K-12 students in every category, electronics and clothing saw the biggest increases. 43 percent of all back-to-class shoppers said they plan to use money they received from government stimulus to purchase items for the upcoming school year. While online shopping remains a top destination for b-t-s shopping, families are much more comfortable shopping in store this year than last year during the peak of the pandemic. The most popular destinations for K-12 shoppers are online (48 percent), department stores (48 percent), discount stores (44 percent), clothing stores (41 percent), office supplies stores (27 percent) and electronics stores (27 percent).

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