The average college student is not exactly known for having a lot of extra time or money. Many college students live off of fast food while they are away at school and rely on economy grade vehicles and furniture. Alongside fast food, there are plenty of other industries that rely heavily on the support of cash-strapped college students. Here is a look at five industries that profit hugely from broke college students.Fast Food
Fast food chains such as McDonald's, Burger King and Taco Bell offer up a variety of menu choices at reasonable prices served on demand. Many colleges have fast food chains located on or near the college campus. Cash-strapped students can easily place their orders, pay and be on their way. According to a study released by Boundless.org, the average college student probably eats six hamburgers and eight orders of French fries per week. When it comes to meals, it appears that convenience and low cost outweigh the health issues involved with eating fast food.Beer
Another industry that is well-supported by college students is the alcohol industry, or more specifically, beer manufacturers. After classes, studying and homework are done, many students are looking to let loose and have a good time. In college, that often includes alcohol of some sort. According to an article released by the Boston Globe, 42% of high school students drink alcohol and 61% admit to binging on alcohol.
Discount furniture stores such as Ikea target younger generations with space-saving furniture at affordable prices. Ikea sells much of its furniture in flat boxes as opposed to pre-assembled in order to reduce consumer cost. While assembling the furniture may not be a walk in the park, you can easily furnish a dorm room or an apartment on a small budget at Ikea.Economy Cars
Another industry that receives a lot of support from college students is the automotive industry. Many college students look for economically priced cars that are fuel efficient and reliable. It is important that the vehicle not only be reliable and reasonably priced upfront, but gas and maintenance costs must also be considered. Fortunately for cash-strapped college students there are plenty of options to choose from. Big Box Stores
Big Box Stores also target college students, especially in the months before students go back to school. Big box stores such as Target and Walmart offer up circulars filled with college dorm essentials such as furniture, bedding, toiletries and more. These stores make it very easy to purchase just about everything you need for college life in one shopping trip, and often their products are reasonably priced. Target even provides an all-encompassing list for college students. The Bottom Line
Many college students have a limited budget and corporations that offer products or services that will save time and money are likely to make a profit. While cheaper does not always mean better, college students are not necessarily buying these products for the long haul. There are plenty of other industries dependent on cash-strapped college students. As long as there are struggling college students, you can bet that there will be companies looking to make a profit.Originally posted on Investopedia.com