YAB Members Report: Is College Still Worth It?

As debt runs deep in students’ pockets, the decision to continue education past high school is no longer a given. In 2012, undergraduate and graduate enrollment decreased for the first time in six years, dropping by half a million. The value that Millennials gain from a college degree is being questioned, and when weighed against impending student loans and a shaky job market, the odds don’t seem to be in their favor. How prepared do Millennials feel to tackle life out of high school and college? What is it like to be in college knowing that the degree you are earning might not be worth what you need it to be when you graduate? We spoke to Millennials from our Youth Advisory Board to hear what they had to say about their high school and college careers, and what the landscape of education looks like for them.
 
The Recession Put Education Into Perspective.
Millennials were no doubt hit hard by the recession, and for many students, it dictated their path going forward. YAB member Maddie, 19, has always kept college in her trajectory, but feels that it became even more important during this time, causing her to “begin to consider graduate school so I can be even more specialized and unique to future employers.” Camilla, 23, took that path as well, “taking the time for grad school, and making sure I had full funding (i.e. a salary and research funds) for my PhD.” Both rely on external funding through scholarships and grants, and help from parents in order to get by. But for some, parental support is not an option. For YAB member Skyanne, 18, “the recession made it clear that regardless of what society says, sometimes college just isn’t an option.” Boxed out of financial aid and without a co-signer for loans, paying out of pocket is the final option and is near impossible for a high…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I was completely invested in Breaking Bad, it took a simple everyday man and slowly dehumanized him through choices that an individual in real life could have possibly made or gone through.”—Male, 22, NJ

The creators of livestreaming pioneer Meerkat made a new app in secret—and it’s doing great. Houseparty is a group video chat platform designed to “capture some of the spirit of Meerkat but in a more personal way that encourages users to participate.” Users can create or join “rooms” to video chat with friends, and are warned if an unknown mutual friend joins the group. The app opens to a camera like Snapchat, is “sprinkled liberally” with emojis, and has already generated almost 1 million mostly teenage users during its testing phase. (Mashable)

Neiman Marcus is in full support of the "see now, buy now" retail strategy some brands have been adopting to keep up with impatient young consumers. The retailer has seen sales decline for fourth straight quarters, and is citing an “out-of-sync fashion cycle” as a crucial part of their troubles. Now that just launched collections are "blogged and broadcasted all over the world via social media," and fast fashion retailers are “delivering trends before ‘authentic runway looks are delivered to stores,’” the retailer is encouraging their vendors to deliver products quickly after release to keep up. (Fashionista

Club Med knows not all Millennials are “frugal single travelers.” The travel brand, “where all the cool kids went in the 70s and 80s,” is now setting their sights on affluent Millennial parents who travel. Spending $1.5 billion in facilities upgrades, Club Med now offers “zen oases,” where “parents to briefly recuperate away from their kids” and escape the pressures of work and home. They also are focusing on the experiential aspect of their brand, adjusting their website to allow visitors to experience their trips digitally before their buy. (Skift)

Kano, one of the first and most unique toys to teach kids coding, is heading back to the Kickstarter to promote three new programmable do-it-yourself kits. Their new products focus on a toy coming “to life when it responds to its environment," and includes a Pixel display that can be taught to display different colors and shapes in response to sounds. The brand’s target market is 8-14-year-olds, but they aim to make it “simple for anyone in the world to make, hack, create, manipulate, and warp technology as it is to use it today." (Fast Company)

Marketing to the post-Millennial generation is all about getting creative, and serving ads through sponsored content is resonating strongly with teens who fully understand it’s a marketing strategy. When AwesomenessTV looked into their popular series Royal Crush—which takes place on a cruise ship and is sponsored by Royal Caribbean—they found that is was 30% more efficient than TV. But one form of traditional advertising is still effective: sampling. To promote their moon sneakers and hot sauce, GE toured colleges to target engineering students. (Adweek

Quote of the Day:  “Young and Hungry are short 30 minute shows, so I can watch it on my lunch breaks at work. I like the humor and the characters. The story line is easy to follow. It's an easy show to binge watch.”—Female, 20, WS

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