Overall, parents anticipate spending an average of $1,239 this back-to-school season, up 8% from 2014, and up 24% since 2011. Technology for classroom use is a significant contributor to the added costs, with 82% saying their children use tech for learning (vs. 77% in 2014), including the following:
The latest American Express Spending & Savings Tracker, also found:
• Tablets (57% vs. 51% in 2014)
• Smartphones (29% vs. 24% in 2014)
• Smartboards (18% vs. 17% in 2014)
• eReaders (12% vs. 15% in 2014)
With tech playing an increasing role in the classroom, smartphones are notably becoming a go-to gadget, with 29% of parents saying their children use them for learning, up 21% from 2014. Despite the increase in mobile phone use in the classroom, parents say the average acceptable age for a cell phone remains at 12, consistent over the last two years.
While technology is expanding its role in the classroom, textbooks still play a major role as a learning tool. In fact, 57% of parents expect to purchase textbooks this school year, up from 51% from last year. This year, parents expect to spend an average of $249 on these reading resources.
Activities outside the classroom also contribute to the pinch on parents’ wallets. Parents expect to spend an average of $455 per child on after-school programs11 in 2015, up 20% from 2014. Although “sports” is the most popular and most expensive after-school activity, on average, parents would rather their kids earn straight A’s (86%) than be a star athlete (14%), which is further evidenced by the slight rise in academically oriented extracurricular activities over last year, such as SAT/ACT/Test prep (up 7% from 2014) and academic tutoring (up 14% from 2014).
For data, background and forecasts on Alibaba: Search CardWeb.com’s CardFlash® Library of more than 58,000 archived articles; Access CardWeb.com’s CardData® for current and historical Performance, Portfolios, Profiles, etc. Visit RAM Research® (ramresearch.com) for quarterly and annual forecasts covering more than 150 metrics. [complimentary or deeply discounted access to CardWeb.com subscribers].
Additional database resources include CardWeb.com’s CardExecs® – comings & goings of payments movers & shakers; CardWeb.com’s CardWatch® – ears & eyes on marketing globally (57K items); and CardWeb.com’s CardPixes® – form & function of card design (7K items).