School Daze

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It would take something close to an Internet IPO to earn enough for any of the 14.8 million U.S. college students to afford tuition, room and board - and spending money. Last year, students laid out $2.5 billion on non-essential items: the average kid spent $152 a month. Phone calls are more apt to be paid by a calling card, and, according to the Department of Education, students used plastic to borrow $38 million last year, 11 percent more than in 1997.

Debauchery on the Decline

- Percent of freshmen who say they drink beer: 52%

Percent in 1981: 75.2%

- Percent of freshmen who advocate casual sex: 40%

Percent in 1987: 52%

- Percent of students who say they drink coffee: 55%

Percent in 1997: 65%

- Percent of students who say they smoke cigarettes: 53%

Percent in 1997: 55%

- Percent of students who pierced body parts (other than ears): 51%

Percent in 1998: 57%

Source: The American Freshman: National Norms of Fall 1998

How Much & Where it Goes

Average amount spent on various items in the past month:

- apparel $68

- food/eat out $56

- entertainment $55

- food/prepare $42

- music $26

- books/leisure $23

- toiletries/personal care $22

- school supplies $18

- software $10

- cleaning supplies $9

Source: Student Monitor

The Class of 2002 clicks the BUY NOW icon

- Percent of students who bought something online

In 1999: 25%

In 1997: 10%

- Percent bought music: 30%

Average purchase: $53

- Percent bought books: 27%

Average purchase: $138

- Percent bought airline tickets: 19%

Average purchase: $459

- Percent bought clothing: 17%

Average purchase: $112

- Percent bought concert tickets: 15%

Average purchase: $109

- Percent bought software: 13%

Average purchase: $102

- Percent bought computer peripherals: 9%

Average purchase: $254

Source: Student Monitor

The Plastic Kingdom

- Percent of freshmen who believe it's important to establish a credit rating: 85%

Percent of seniors: 95%

- Percent of males who used a credit card during a week: 36%

Percent of females: 38%

Source: Student Monitor

- Percent of students with credit cards in their own names: 69%

- Percent that pay only monthly minimum: 16%

- Percent that pay late: 9%

- Average unpaid balance carried over from previous bill: $1,366

- Percent of students who don't know how long it takes to pay off a bill of $1,000 with minimum payments: 80%

Source: Public Interest Research Group

Cool & Not on Campus

COOL QUOTIENT >50%

- Surfing the Internet

- Cargo pants

- Working hard at school

- Cell phones

- Recording homemade CDs

- Swing dancing

- Instant messaging

- Body piercing

- Volkswagens in front

- Spirituality

- Kickboxing

COOL QUOTIENT <50%

- The WB

- Frats/Sororities

- Online chatrooms

- Beepers

- Raves

- Cigars

- Quiet bars

- The Real Word TV show

- Crew cut with spiked top

- Henna body art

- Pornography stars

Source: Greenfield Online

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