Study: Students spent $5.9B furnishing their college dorms

The cost of college is invariably steep, but this year, Americans spent a large chunk of change beyond their tuition bills.

Average out-of-pocket costs reached $969.88 for families shipping their kids off to college – up from $888.71 last year, according to a new survey from the National Retail Federation. In total, that's a projected $54.1 billion on back-to-college shopping.

According to the the retail trade group, that's the most money families have dished out in the last seven years. Between 2010 and 2016, college families only spent more than $50 billion once – in 2012. This year's $54 billion mark is up from last year's $48.5 billion for college parents. The survey conducted by the federation asked 7,226 consumers for information on their spending for back-to-school shopping.

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Families of college-bound students spent a combined $12.8 billion on electronics and $5.9 billion on furnishings for college dorms and apartments.

On average, each family spent $134.20 on food, $81.38 on shoes and $142.90 on clothing for college.

Parents also spent $70.08 on school supplies, $56.57 on "branded gear" and $81 on personal care items.

The rest of the nation didn't spend lightly on back-to-school shopping, either. Families with kids heading to kindergarten through 12th grade turned over $29.5 billion, with much of that money spent on clothing.

In total, Americans put $83.6 billion into back-to-school goods, with 44 percent of people shopping online. Another 40 percent hit up discount stores and 34 percent went to college bookstores to get their shopping done.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

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