back to school


Hey Kids, Now Your Parents Have to Take Driver’s Ed, Too

The driver’s license: Perhaps nothing represents teen freedom more than that document saying you can go wherever you want without having your parents or someone else drive you there. But times have changed from the days when driving autonomy was granted to any 16-year-old who could pass the DMV’s tests. Now, some states are requiring parents to take a form of driver’s education alongside their teens. [More]


Walmart Says ‘Back-To-School’ Sign Should Not Have Been Posted Over Gun Case

The nation’s largest retailer says it is now trying to find out why a back-to-school promotional sign was posted on a rifle display case at one of its stores. [More]

ITT-Owned Daniel Webster College Also In Peril Of Losing Accreditation

ITT-Owned Daniel Webster College Also In Peril Of Losing Accreditation

Only days after beleaguered ITT Tech ceased enrolling new students over financial concerns and the possible loss of accreditation, another for-profit educator owned by ITT’s parent company has also revealed that its future may be in peril. [More]


Here’s What You Should And Shouldn’t Bother To Buy For College

It’s back-to-school season, when stores stack their aisles high with folding chairs and mini-fridges meant for students heading to college or back to college. What do you actually need, though, and how should you shop for it? What should you spend a lot on, and what can you leave behind? Our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports have some ideas about what new students should shop for, and how to shop for it. [More]

Arks Endeavors

Back-To-School Sales Tax Holidays Are Going Out Of Style

It’s a time-honored back-to-school tradition: some states use the season as an excuse to offer tax holidays. That’s when they suspend the sales tax on certain items, like new clothing and school supplies, to decrease the financial burden on parents and encourage everyone to shop a little more. While shoppers love it, this doesn’t really work as an economic stimulus, since shoppers just shift planned purchases from other times to the tax holiday. [More]

Mike Mozart

Maybe Focusing On School Supplies Will Help Staples Cope After Failed Merger

Here’s a mind-boggling number: this year, American families are predicted to spend $540 billion on back-to-school shopping, or roughly the gross domestic product of Belgium. Where will they spend that money? Staples is still coming off a rough breakup after the Federal Trade Commission stood in the way of its proposed merger with OfficeMax, and really hopes that you spend some of your money there. [More]

(Jeff Dailey)

Bargain-Hunting Youngsters Extend The Back-To-School Season Well Into September

Back in July, early research showed that families planned to spend slightly more on back-to-school shopping than last year. A different survey by the National Retail Federation shows that families plan to spend less on back-to-school shopping this year. In addition to starting the back-to-school season earlier, it seems that retailers are extending it for longer, realizing that youngsters have learned to bargain-hunt as well as their parents. [More]

Craft Store Decorates Festive Back-To-School Tree To Mark Important Holiday

Craft Store Decorates Festive Back-To-School Tree To Mark Important Holiday

Years ago, I temped for about six months in an office where an artificial evergreen tree in one lobby was always on display, decorated for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, or any other event that the tree’s owner felt like observing. I’m not sure whether that creative person or even the holiday mashup artists over at Hobby Lobby would have ever thought of this decoration that reader Jason recently shared with Consumerist, though. [More]

(Jeff Dailey)

Back-To-School Shoppers Delight Retailers, Plan To Spend More This Year

If you’ve visited a big-box or office-supply store in recent weeks, you know that retailers are ready for the back-to-school shopping season to begin, even if children aren’t. You can’t blame stores for being excited, though: parents say that they plan to spend more on outfitting their kids for school this year than they have in recent years. [More]

Back-To-School Halloween Candy Keeps Kids Healthy And Happy

Back-To-School Halloween Candy Keeps Kids Healthy And Happy

Okay, we get that it’s difficult to swap out seasonal sections in retail stores, and that items sell out when we think it might be too “early” for the next holiday to come along. However, Michael spotted an odd combination of one retail “holiday,” back to school season, and the following holiday, Halloween. [More]


Find Out If Your State Has A Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday This Month

Earlier today, the calendar flipped from July to August, and kids everywhere groaned with the realization that they will soon have to be going back to school. But the even louder grousing you’re hearing this morning is from parents envisioning their bank accounts being drained by purchases of backpacks, clothes, pencils (do kids even use those anymore?), and those individual packs of tissues that will never be used but you buy anyway. What some of these parents don’t know is that a number of states have sales tax holidays in August — many of them starting today — to ease the burden of back-to-school spending. [More]


TSA Agent To Reporter: What Is This “District Of Columbia” You Speak Of?

In a far off land called the District of Columbia, there lives an entire population of people who are considered Americans and as such, have the proper identification noting that fact. But one Transportation Security Administration agent in Orlando may need a brush-up on the makeup of these United States, after reportedly not realizing that a reporter’s Washington D.C. license is a valid form of ID. [More]

Staples Launches Back-To-School Campaign Just As School Gets Out

Staples Launches Back-To-School Campaign Just As School Gets Out

Staples, the big-box office and school-supplies superstore, isn’t messing around. Sure, the school year hasn’t even ended for the summer in all places in the company’s home state of Massachusetts, but that doesn’t matter. Nope. Staples wants your back-to-school business, and will price-match anyone, even Amazon, to get it. [More]

It’s June, So Time For The JCPenney Back-To-School Sale

It’s June, So Time For The JCPenney Back-To-School Sale

Depending on where in the country you live, school just got out for the summer, or is about to. Naturally, in the world of retail, this means that it’s time to put on some back-to-school sales. While a link to that special section on the JCPenney site made the rounds over the weekend, selling back-to-school stuff before school is even out is more popular than you might think. [More]

Does This JCPenney Ad Promote Bullying Or Just Reality?

Does This JCPenney Ad Promote Bullying Or Just Reality?

After complaints from parents, JCPenney has pulled a controversial commercial from television networks. The back-to-school spot includes a section that lightheartedly makes fun of a very real issue: kids being bullied and/or excluded because they’re not wearing the right clothes. [More]

In 2010, a Consumerist reader found this back-to-school display at a Staples in June.

National Retail Federation Confirms Existence Of Back-To-School Creep

Last week, we mentioned that even though some schools have just recently finished for the school year, retailers are already beginning their back-to-school promotions. We wondered (and hoped) that this was just an anomaly and that we weren’t seeing evidence of Back-To-School Creep, but people who know a thing or two about the retail business say it’s a growing trend. [More]

Is Back-To-School Creep A Thing?

Is Back-To-School Creep A Thing?

Holiday Creep is the retail phenomenon where retailers market holidays earlier and earlier in order to maximize their sales of Christmas trees or chocolate eggs. We all know Christmas Creep and Easter Creep, but is back-to-school creep a thing? How early is too early to start getting ready for the next school year? [More]

Staples Enforces Loss Leader Limits, Makes Teachers Sad

Staples Enforces Loss Leader Limits, Makes Teachers Sad

Teachers in high-poverty school districts like Rachael provide, at their own expense, a lot of pretty basic supplies for their students. They do this with the help of back-to-school loss-leader sales at big-box office supply stores. Staples lets them buy twenty-five boxes of crayons for a penny each, and in return the teachers give Staples their undying gratitude and devotion. But Staples, at least in the Northwest where Rachael live, has stopped easing purchase limits for teachers. Teachers are now limited to two of each loss-leader item instead of as many as twenty-five. And while she understands why the company couldn’t continue this incredible generosity, it makes her sad. [More]