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QR Codes Not a Hit Among College Students, Survey Says


If you think that college students are most likely to scan QR codes because they are more technologically forward than other groups of people, you are wrong.

According to a new survey by Archrival Youth Marketing, 81% of the college students they surveyed own a smartphone, but only 21% of the respondents were able to successfully scan a quick response code sample. On the other hand, 75% of the students they surveyed stated that they are not likely going to scan a QR code in the future.

The youth marketing agency’s survey involved 534 college students from 24 different campuses all over the United States, including Arizona State University, Baylor University, Michigan State University, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Penn State University, University of Alabama, University of Cal-Berkeley, University of Florida, and Virginia Tech. The survey was conducted to find out what the students’ thoughts were about quick response codes and to learn more about these students’ level of engagement.

Of the 81.1% students who own smartphones, 42% have iPhone, 33.3% have Android, 22.6% have a Blackberry and 1.9 have a Windows phone. There were 17.6% of students who said they do not own a smartphone, while the remaining 1.3% said they do not know.

While most students have smartphones, a majority of them were also not able to scan a sample of a QR code. How come? Some said they thought taking a picture of the code would automatically scan it, some tried but ultimately gave up, some said they did not want to download the app, and some found the task taking too long.

When asked how likely they would scan a QR code if they see one, this was the result of their answers:


  • 58% (very unlikely)
  • 17.6% (unlikely)
  • 3.9% (very likely)
  • 14.9% (likely)
  • 5.5% (do not know)


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