School’s in session and the big push for back-to-school shopping is winding down. CivicScience took a look back on how back-to-school shopping fared this season, as well as a look forward at parents’ concerns for the school year. Get the details below.

Yes, shoppers spent more. 

As expected, the inflated prices of goods across many categories impacted back-to-school shopping. Many more shoppers report having spent more (46%) than those who spent less (25%) on back-to-school items this year compared to past years, which is in line with CivicScience findings reported in August.

But many couldn’t buy everything they needed.

Increased prices and supply chain setbacks meant that some students went without certain needed items. More than half (52%) of back-to-school shoppers reported they were not able to get everything they needed for this school year – some were more affected than others.

Price and personal finances were likely the biggest factors putting a damper on shopping, as suggested by the chart below. People who are financially worse off now compared to before the pandemic were the most likely to only purchase some of the back-to-school items they were shopping for, and 15% were not able to purchase any needed items. 

Academic concerns persist among parents.

In addition to lacking certain back-to-school items, more than half (52%) of parents of students in grades K-12 or college also feel their children are behind academically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with most students returning to the classroom in 2021-2022, this continues to be reported by a significant percentage of parents.

1-in-3 parents are worried about safety at school.

School-related safety issues rank lower on the radar than academics, but concern may be increasing. 

When asked how safe they feel sending their children back to K-12 school or college, nearly one-third of parents say they felt ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ unsafe. 

Gun violence is likely related to school safety concerns. Today, most parents (84%) are concerned about gun violence and the majority of these parents are ‘very concerned.’ As Q3 comes to a close, parents are overall more concerned about gun violence this quarter than at any quarter over the past three years, which has likely been influenced by the horrific event that took place earlier this year in Uvalde, Texas.

Go deeper – for more back-to-school consumer insights, contact CivicScience today.