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: “I haven’t had children yet because I need to finish school first.” –Female, 30, IL

Yesterday, Microsoft bought the company behind the wildly popular game Minecraft, and in doing so they’ve acquired a “multigenerational success story” and could be regaining some cool cred with younger consumers. It turns out, parents love the game, and many young Millennials and post-Millennials have embraced exploring the digital Minecraft world, hacking, building, and collaborating in the lo-fi game. (The Verge)

Yesterday, Microsoft bought the company behind the wildly popular game Minecraft, and in doing so they’ve acquired a “multigenerational success story” and could be regaining some cool cred with younger consumers. It turns out, parents love the game, and many young Millennials and post-Millennials have embraced exploring the digital Minecraft world, hacking, building, and collaborating in the lo-fi game. (The Verge)

When we asked Millennials if they would download another photo sharing app, only 17% of 18-24-year-olds said yes. Of course, if the right app caught on, they’d likely jump onboard to keep up with friends—but the truth is, it is getting harder to get consumers to try new apps. While people are spending more time on the apps they already have, especially music, fitness, and social networking apps, 65.5% in the U.S. say they aren’t downloading any in an average month. (Quartz)

Boomers grew up with protest songs as an intrinsic part of their musical culture, and sometimes like to criticize Millennials for their lack of similar tunes. But EMA’s self-released new track “False Flag” could quiet those complaints. The song talks about the experience of a generation “growing up in the shadow of 9/11,” and how that cultural turning point changed, and maybe stole, her generation’s future. (Flavorwire)

Apple’s iPhone 6 is of course the big smartphone news of the week, but while that announcement has taken over headlines, other brands are quietly innovating in the category to appeal to more niche mobile users. Panasonic has returned to the phone market, with the launch of a “connected camera,” a smartphone camera hybrid that is meant to appeal to those who are more interested in the quality of the photos they are shooting on the go than the phone features they can boast. (Engadget)

In 2013, the birth rate among women 20-24-years-old was at a record low, and it continued to decline for those 25-29-years-old. These low rates could be “here to stay,” and that might be a good thing for both Millennial moms and their kids. Working women are gaining more salary and experience with every year they delay motherhood, and their future children could have greater opportunities and even a higher lifetime income. (Bloomberg)

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