New York A study by Alloy Media + Marketing released Wednesday found that college students -- which numbers are increasing by 6% from 15.1 million last year to 16 million in 2010 -- are projected to increase their spending 13%, from $270 billion in 2009 to $306 billion this year.
The 10th Annual College Explorer Study also found that discretionary spending among college students is set to increase 10% from $62.7 billion to $69 billion.
The new spending is going to such categories as automotive, entertainment, personal-care products and technology, with the exception of cell phones/PDAs, where spending is stagnant.
The survey found that male students are more likely to direct discretionary spending to entertainment and technology, while female students take the lead in clothing, shoes, cosmetics and cell phones.
Forty-two percent of college students surveyed said they believe the economy will improve this year, compared with 31% for the 35+ U.S. population at large.