How do college kids get ready for the semester? We partnered with TNS and Tru in 2012 to find out. This study takes a closer look at their back-to-school mindset and behaviors. We found that most students start researching about a week ahead of time, spending around seven hours online checking out their options. As a result, bookstores are quickly losing out to the greater convenience and lower prices offered online.

August 2012

Google partnered up with TNS and Tru in this 2012 study to better understand the Back-to-School preparation mindset and the behaviors of incoming and current college students, including: perceptions and usage of course textbooks and e-textbooks as well as the study habits related to technology and classroom materials. Here's what we found:

  • Today's college students are highly price-conscious, bearing most or all of their college costs.
  • The majority research back to school purchases for at least a week, spending an average 7 hours researching online.
  • When researching where to buy textbooks, they look for low price & convenience, with bookstores losing ground to the Web.
  • Although not yet mainstream, tablet usage is growing and future consideration of e-textbooks is high.
  • Using digital materials to supplement classroom learning & studying is now the norm, particularly online searches and videos.