Scholarly shipping

More than one-third of back-to-college shopping will take place online this year, the National Retail Federation recently reported.

Nine in 10 shoppers plan to take advantage of free shipping.

Other consumers plan to choose ship-to-store or in-store pickup services, two options that are especially popular among younger shoppers.

Total spending on college items this year is projected to reach $43.1 billion, almost twice the amount families expect to spend on purchases for students on school-age children.