Yahoo! Search Trends: Teens going online to prepare for college life

Going off to college and living away from home for the first time can be exciting for some teens, while daunting for others. In both cases, it seems college-bound teens are turning online for answers on the next chapter of their life as college-related searches spike this month on Yahoo!.

Fresh searches. While some freshmen search this month on Yahoo! for “styles for freshman back to school,” others simply are more focused on finding answers on “how to survive freshman year.” Below are a few searches showing the mindset of incoming freshmen this year:

  • Yahoo! searches are up 41% this week for “college dorm checklist,” and we’re seeing searches for “list of items for college freshmen,” “dorm checklist,” and “first apartment checklist.”
  •  It seems incoming freshmen are looking to make the most out of their dorm rooms as searches spike this month for “dorm room ideas.” Of those searches, 45% are by males this month on Yahoo!. Look-ups for “dorm bedding” are off the charts this month on Yahoo! as well.
  • The college experience wouldn’t be the same without friends, and we’re seeing searches spike this month on Yahoo! for “how to make friends.”
  • No one wants to be a starving student. Searches on Yahoo! this month for basic cooking 101 lessons include “how to cook spaghetti,” “how to boil eggs,” and “how to make scrambled eggs.”
  • Clothes don’t wash themselves and now that Mom isn’t around to help searches are up this month on Yahoo! for “how to do laundry.”
  • We’re seeing some searches this month on Yahoo! spike for “what should I major in?” “how to choose a major” and “ten best majors.”

Time to grow up. It’s a promising sign that 1 in 4 searches this year for “how to save money” on Yahoo! are by people under the age of 24. With many schools raising the cost of tuition, more college-bound teens are worrying about how they are going to pay for school and are researching loans, federal aid and grants this year. According to Yahoo!, searches for “FAFSA” are 8% higher than the same period in 2010.

  • “Tuition” searches are spiking off the charts this month on Yahoo! and searches for “student loans” are up 17% this month on Yahoo!.
  • People under the age of 24 are searching for “how to make a budget” this month on Yahoo!.
  • It appears some incoming freshmen only know how to use plastic as searches for “how to write a check” spike this month on Yahoo!.
  • Searches for “cheap textbooks” are spiking 30% this week on Yahoo!, and some students are even searching for ways to “rent textbooks” as more stores offer affordable rental options.
  • Seems some teens are already saying goodbye to mall jobs and opting for internships. Searches for “internships” are spiking 151% this month on Yahoo! and it looks like the ladies are more prepared as females age 24 and below search 37% more for internships than males in the same age group.

 Greek life. As students head off to school, some are already thinking about Greek life and are turning to the Web to see experiences of others and are searching “reasons to join Greek life,” “Greek life policies” and are even researching the differences between “paper vs pledging” this month on Yahoo!.

  • When it comes to frats, it seems students are more concerned with the initiation process. Searches for “fraternity hazing” are up this month on Yahoo!, and we’re seeing some searches spike for “best fraternity houses,” “what is fraternity hazing,” and  “what is initiation night for a fraternity like.”
  • Not sure if a sorority is right for you? Searches are up this month for “how to know if a sorority is right for you” and “sorority initiation.” We’re also seeing some searches for “how to write a sorority rush resume,” “sorority initiation dresses,” “sorority tiers,” “sorority paddling stories,” and “sorority hazing pics”

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Want to explore Yahoo! search trends on your own? Check out clues.yahoo.com to see what users are searching for on Yahoo!.

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