2nd largest consumer spending event of the year //

Every summer, college-bound students start preparing for their return to class. Shopping for essentials begins gaining momentum after the 4th of July and runs through Labor Day with electronics and computer related equipment on the top of students’ lists. 

Consumer Insights

The Back to College season is the 2nd largest annual consumer spending event surpassed only by the winter holidays, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The following information is from the NRF’s 2023 Back to College survey.


Of note from their research, college shoppers had a planned household spend of $1,366.95 allocated to the following top categories:

1. Electronics or computer-related equipment   2.  Dorm or apartment furnishings   3. Clothing or accessories   4. Food items   5. Personal care items   6. Shoes



According to Deloitte’s research, over 60% of parents begin back-to-college shopping before August. Capturing the attention of these July shoppers is quite desirable as they plan to spend over 30% more than those who start later.

In terms of peaks for the season, RetailMeNot reports for the Back to College and Back to School shopping season the typical top shopping days are:

1. Amazon Prime Day

2. First weekend in August

3. Labor Day weekend

For more insight on back to class shopping trends for elementary and high school students visit our Back to School planner.

Marketing Resources

Get a jump start on your promotional content and marketing materials with the following resources.


Back to College Hashtags

Help your content get discovered on social media with relevant hashtags. Popular hashtags include: #college #collegelife #collegebound #collegeshopping #dorm #dormroom #dormshopping #dormlife #uni #firstapartment #offtocollege #studentlife #collegestudent #highered #moveinday


Back to College Images

Quickly establish your business as a resource for the season with college themed imagery. We’ve curated a selection of free photos from Unsplash to get you started, below is a sample.

Click below to view and download photos from our full Unsplash Back to College photo collection. Find out more about their free to use license and how to give the photographer credit, not required, but appreciated.

Back to College Quotes

Celebrate the power of education with these college quotes and sayings.

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it from you.” —B.B. King

“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” —Zig Ziglar

“Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.” —Nelson Mandela

“You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak.” —George Clooney

“I’ve failed over and over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” —Michael Jordan

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” —Karim Seddiki

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” —Leonardo da Vinci

“Follow your passion. It will lead you to your purpose.” —Oprah

“Do not make your goal to be the best. Best is a label. It’s something someone else decides for you. ‘Better’ is more personal.” —Baryshnikov

“Your biggest risk isn’t failing, it’s getting too comfortable.” —Drew Houston

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” –Oscar Wilde

“Only a generation of readers will spawn a generation of writers.” ― Steven Spielberg

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” ― Plutarch

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” —Jimmy Johnson

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” —Confucius

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” —Steve Jobs

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