Half of US College Students Prepared to Surf Internet

More than half of the college students in the US will be surfing the Internet directly from their wired dorm rooms, and 84 percent will have Web access from some campus location, according to a study by Greenfield Online.

The Pulsefinder™ On-Campus Market Study found that more 18- to 24-year-olds will be able to shop online with more ease than ever before during the up-coming semester.

According to the study, only 25 percent of the student body has shopped online, but Greenfield’s May study found twice as many students as a year ago are visiting shopping sites on the Internet. More than half (62 percent) of these students say that they have made an online purchase, a 10 percent increase over one year ago. The most popular item purchased is CDs, with 84 percent of respondents planning to buy a CD in the next month.

“Online increasingly is the best way to reach this trend-setting segment of society,” said Brin Bell, Greenfield Online VP of business development.

The Greenfield study also found that one-third of students today live off campus, compared to 25 percent just one year ago, and that nearly 40 percent now have their own World Wide Web home pages (compared to 36 percent one year ago).

What College Students Do Online
Activities May 1999 May 1998
Surf the Internet 84% 79%
Go online more than once per day 71% 54%
Spend 1-4 hours online per day 61% 52%
Regularly visit entertainment sites 61% 52%
Regularly visit travel sites 18% 14%
Source: Greenfield Online

While the study found that a larger percentage of students are living off campus, they don’t have as much disposable income as some might surmise. The study found that 50 percent have $100 or less in monthly disposable income and 13 percent have $25 or less. To fund their college education, nearly 40 percent have a job and almost 50 percent are compiling debts in the form of student loans.

Greenfield’s Pulsefinder study of 1,300 U.S. four-year college students with Internet access was fielded in May and is conducted four times each academic year. The sample was balanced to represent the national four-year college population in terms of gender and region.

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