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The Shopping for College Kids Quiz: Will your gifts flunk or fly?
by Staff
While college kids are quick to embrace their fledgling independence, they also welcome gifts from home. The key to successful shopping is figuring out what they really want -- and need. Measure your college-kid shopping savvy with this quiz.

On average, how much did a parent spend on back-to-school shopping for a college student in 2011?

  • about $2,000
  • less than $500
  • more than $800

What's the No. 1 way to figure out what your child needs for his dorm room?

  • Check online to see what's trendy.
  • Ask your child.
  • Consult the sales ads at local retailers.

Is it important to buy furniture for first-time college freshmen?

  • Yes, they need to live in style.
  • Basic furniture is included with most dorm rooms.
  • They'll need you to buy them a desk and a bed.

What's the best guide for buying necessary dorm room items?

  • No guide necessary, just buy a dorm-themed package with a variety of matching items.
  • a checklist provided by a retailer
  • a custom-made list with essentials tailored to your child's needs

Why do college students like cash gifts better than store-specific gift cards?

  • Most gift cards expire after a month.
  • Cash can be used for all sorts of expenses.
  • Even if they tell you they like the store, they're probably just being nice.

What are some common items already available in most dorms?

  • complimentary shampoo and laundry detergent
  • towels and hair dryers
  • refrigerator and TV

Why is it important to tour a new dorm that your student is moving into?

  • so you can take measurements
  • so you can find out whether you need to send air freshener
  • so you can do the white glove test

Should you buy your teen a new wardrobe before he heads to college?

  • only if you spend less than $500
  • yes
  • no

Why is borrowing so important to dorm life?

  • It's an important social construct for adults.
  • Everyone is a fan of the book "The Borrowers."
  • Actually, most dorms have strict rules against borrowing.

Is it a good idea to buy everything your child needs for college right before classes start?

  • only the expensive ones
  • no
  • yes

If your college student needs a few pieces of furniture for her abode, where should you look first?

  • the mall
  • a discount store
  • a thrift store

When is the best time to buy school supplies, like notebooks and pens?

  • January
  • May
  • August

If you need a moving van to take your child's things to the dorm, what does that tell you?

  • You bought enough for him to live comfortably with.
  • Your shopping list was too long.
  • He'll be a straight-A student.

What should your child's newly decorated dorm room look like?

  • just like home
  • MTV's "Cribs"
  • a simple, relaxed space

Why is buying monogrammed goods potentially worthwhile?

  • They'll stay in your student's possession.
  • It's fancy.
  • She'll be less likely to legally rename herself something silly.

Once you've got a laptop, what else is near-essential tech for college?

  • an XBox
  • blank DVDs
  • a USB flash drive and personal printer

Why does a college dorm resident need bed risers?

  • to create a princess effect
  • more storage
  • she'll get to call dibs on the bed she prefers

What are some unexpected essentials that every college student needs?

  • a power strip, flashlight and first-aid kit
  • a set of encyclopedias in case the library is closed
  • an extra bottle of laundry detergent to share

What are the most common foods to include in a care package?

  • bread and crackers
  • frozen beef patties packed in dry ice
  • homemade cookies, beef jerky and canned soups

What types of gift cards are good for college students?

  • gas or grocery gift cards
  • credit cards are a better idea than gift cards
  • prepaid cash cards with a high balance