Q&A With College Board’s April Bell On BigFuture And Helping Students Stay On Track With The College Process

It’s an important time for most high school juniors and seniors who are immersed in the college admissions process and are busily planning their futures. But luckily, they have more help than ever to stay organized throughout the college preparation and application process thanks to BigFuture. The College Board’s free planning resource, which launched earlier this year, seeks to simplify the college process and guide students, families, and educators. We chatted with April Bell, director of counseling at the College Board, about the site’s immense offerings, how college preparation is changing for Millennials today, and more.

BigFutureYpulse: Can you tell us about BigFuture and what prompted College Board to create this service?

April Bell: BigFuture is a revision of a service that we already had online. At CollegeBoard.org originally, we had information and materials in regards to college planning and career planning, but we knew it was time to give ourselves a revamp and provide a service to students and their families that was more engaging and interactive. We brought in educators, students, and parents to help with the creation of it to ensure that it would be appealing to those we're serving.

YP: When are you finding that students begin the college process and has this changed at all in recent years?

AB: Students are searching earlier than before. For example, we find that middle school students are more engaged in the process. They’re interested in careers and figuring out what they should do in middle and high school to prepare. We’re also finding that because of individual learning plans or more customized curriculums that different districts are making available across the country, a lot of educators are utilizing our tools in regards to making plans and helping students…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without buying something and watching holiday movies.” –Female, 29, CA 

Yesterday news that Budweiser would be dropping their traditional Clydesdales in order to appeal to Millennials made the rounds—but the brand says not so fast. In response to the rumors, Budweiser has released their “drink responsibly” ad featuring the iconic horses “earlier than planned” and tweeted that they “aren’t going anywhere.” But they are giving the campaign a twist that could appeal to young consumers, partnering with LYFT to give holiday partiers safe rides home in Boston with the help of the Clydesdales. (Brand Channel)

The appeal of toy unboxing videos may be a mystery to some, but they’re viewed millions and millions of times on YouTube, and Disney wants a piece of that popularity. In case you’ve missed it, these videos consist of opening up toys and talking about what’s in them. The brand’s Maker Studios has signed five toy unboxing digital stars, including HobbyKidsTV, DisneyCarToys, and ToyReviewToys. However, the most popular unboxing channel, DC Toys Collector, who generated 104 million views last week, was not included. (Recode)

Totino’s is continuing their weird, weird marketing campaign to appeal to young consumers’ absurdist humor. In a follow up to “the oddest pizza ad ever,” the brand has taken a BuzzFeed post called "50 Completely Unexplainable Stock Photos No One Will Ever Use" and turned each one into an off-the-wall bizarre ad. They’ve posted the entire collection on their site with the explanation, “We obviously had no choice but to use them. Poorly.” (Adweek)

What influences teen drinking behavior? Recent research has found that ”close friends” are far more influential than the “broader peer group” when it comes to teen alcohol use. This means the idea of  “everyone thinking that everyone else (in a whole school, say) is drinking a lot” being a reason behind drinking might not hold as much water. (NYMag)

The next-generation is growing up hyper-monitored from the cradle, but it’s possible that the high tech baby monitors that have become more and more common don’t actually offer benefits. Onesies and other items that track babies heartbeats and body metrics might be offering parents “false reassurance,” as they haven’t been proven to work. However, makers of those products say that new parents are buying them not to combat specific health issues but for peace of mind. (Mashable)

The Ypulse Back-To-School Special Report is here! The holidays might be starting, but we know retailers, marketers and brand managers are already planning for next year's big shopping seasons. To deliver a forward looking perspective, we surveyed high school and college students throughout 2014, combed that data for insights, and compiled all of the must-know data into a rich BTS special report. Gold subscribers can access the full report and data in the My Documents section of Ypulse.com. One-off pricing for this report is $1,250, contact us here. (Ypulse)

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