College Students Head to Internet U.

College Students Head to Internet U.

AUGUST 1, 2007

The most wired generation yet.

Of
the 18 million US college students heading back to campus this fall,
17.1 million, or 95% of them, use the Internet at least once a month.

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Students report spending a significant amount of time online each week.


In a 2007 survey by Youth Trends,
full-time students at four-year colleges said they spent an average of
19.2 hours online per week, one hour more than in the previous year.

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What are college students doing online?

"On many campuses, upward of 80% of students use social
networking sites on a regular basis," says Debra Aho Williamson,
eMarketer Senior Analyst and the author of the new report, College Students Online: A Parallel Life on Social Networks.
"Social networking is an essential part of campus life — so much so
that even parents, professors and future employers are signing up."

On many college campuses, everything from course scheduling to
reserving a dorm washer or dryer is done online. Students at Ball State
University in Indiana can check on the status of their wash online and
be alerted by e-mail when it is done.

"Basically, [college students] are always online," Steve Jones of the Pew Internet & American Life Project told USA Today. "It’s so integrated into other routines, it’s no longer an activity unto itself."

In fact, college students are wired in many ways:

  • 95% own a mobile phone
  • 78% sent a text message in the past week
  • 75% own a music player, such as an iPod
  • 55% own a video game device

"Because they are connected in so many ways, college students are
also adept at multitasking and integrating multiple types of
information simultaneously," says Ms. Williamson. "For marketers
seeking to reach and engage with this group, the challenge is to cut
through the noise and make real connections."

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