RetailMeNot Shoppers Trend Reports

Volume 3, Edition 6

RetailMeNot Special Shoppers Trend Report: Grads Want Cash and "Real World" Advice

As the Class of 2014 receive their hard-earned diplomas, digital offers destination RetailMeNot conducted a survey that found people believe the best gift for a new grad is money (50%).  

The research also found that:

  • On average, consumers consider $165 an appropriate gift for high school graduates, $464 for college graduates, and $772 for graduate school grads.
    • Men have bigger ideas than women about what amounts are appropriate for grads: high school ($226 vs. $111), college ($627 vs. $319), grad school ($909 vs. $655).
  •  When asked what people would most want to do after graduating college, the most popular responses were to get a job (51%), pay off debt (29%), take a road trip (24%) and travel internationally (21%).
  • When it comes to what people actually did within the first year after graduating college, only 6 in 10 (61%) report they got a job, 14 percent paid off debt, 9 percent took a road trip and 8 percent travelled internationally.
  • If graduates could have had more advice upon entering the ‘real world’, they would have liked to have been told to save money (42%), avoid spending beyond their means (37%), be wary of credit cards (30%), find a job right away (29%), or put money into investments (28%).
    • Males are more likely than females to wish they had been told to find a job right away after graduation (33% versus 25%) and to put money into investments (33% versus 24%)
    • Females are more likely than males to wish they had been told to take a personal finance class (22% versus 16%)
    • Parents are more likely than those without kids to wish they had been told to be wary of credit cards (35% versus 28%) and pay off student debt right away (25% versus 17%)
  • Nearly one in five (19%) consumers graduated with at least some debt. On average, these folks owe $22,988. Twenty-three percent owe $30,000 or more.

​Survey Methodology​

The RetailMeNot May Survey was conducted ​by Kelton Research between April 4th 2014 and April 11th, 2014 among 1,075 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over, with an oversample of 509 moms for Questions #6-10, using an email invitation and an online survey.  Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over. 

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. 

In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3 percentage points for the main survey and 4.3 percentage points for the oversample, from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.  The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.

Media Contacts

North America
RetailMeNot PR Department
Media Inquiries: +1 512 777 2957
Jordy Mongin
RetailMeNot, France