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: “There was a travel commercial where the mother was stressed and daydreaming about laying on the beach escaping it all and then told the benefits and specials of the travel company. I felt like this commercial made parenting look like a chore and children something to be escaped.” –Female, 32, MA

It’s only April, but talk of prom is already buzzing. Promposals are a trend we highlighted last year, and as they become increasingly popular, they’re also becoming increasingly pricey. According to a Visa survey, this year the creative, out there, and publicized prom invites are costing an average of $324. Although these numbers are only predictions of what will be spent, they illustrate the popularity and growing importance of the new custom. On average, the promposal makes up about a third of the total cost of prom, which for 2015 is said to be $919 for everything including clothes, limos, tickets, flowers, and so on—down 6% from last year. (Washington Post)

Need some midweek inspiration? Well, this will either make you feel motivated or extremely jealous: These 12 teens are probably making more money than you, and if they aren’t now, they will be soon. The list includes a 17-year-old who has made millions with her jewelry company, app developers, self-published authors, and YouTube stars—all “beacons of multi-tasking excellence” who founded their companies while simultaneously going to school, applying to college, and just trying to do normal teenage things. (Inc.)

Here’s another Millennial name to keep an eye on: Olajide “KSI” Olatunji is a 21-year-old YouTube star who has used gaming, vlogging, and his online experience to become a self-made millionaire. KSI is being featured in Vice’s e-sports documentary series, and is reportedly the second most watched YouTube channel in the UK, with almost 9 million subscribers, and 1.5 billion video views. Fans tune in for his “boisterous” personality and energetic gameplay. While some companies have severed ties with the rising star thanks to some NSFW antics, he is continuing to expand his brand to include merchandising, music, and acting. His fame could continue to grow as young e-sports stars become more mainstream figures. (Business Insider)

Grocery shopping: It might not be glamorous, but it is a regular part of most consumers’ lives—including Millennials. As supermarkets struggle, they’re working to win over this generation of shoppers by stocking more of the foods they want, like “local, craft and fermented foods, and big international flavors (i.e., kimchi).” Experts also advise making grocery shopping an experience rather than a chore by hosting seasonal events, tastings, and cooking demos, to foster the “connection and community” Millennials want. Finally, eliminating store visits altogether might be necessary, as the “food tech sector is booming” and young consumers want everyday chores cut out of their schedules. (NPR)

Gender targeting isn’t just an issue in the toy aisle; it’s also extremely common on the mobile apps the next generation is spending a lot of their time on. But some parents don’t want their kids to feel excluded from certain games, or play in spaces where pink is only for girls and only boys can play with cars. Popular app developer Toca Boca recently announced that they’re actively focusing on creating gender neutral content to make all of their games more inclusive. Their Toca Hair Salon app has male, female, and androgynous characters, and the Toca Cars game features a brother and sister who are equally good at driving their cars. From the colors used in a science lab to the shape of robots, the developer works to create “gender balance” and make apps that appeal to boys and girls equally. (coolmomtechToca Boca)

Who has time to sift through data? If you do, please let us know your secret. For those of you who don’t, we have good news. Ypulse regularly publishes informative Infographic Snapshots to make even complex data easy to understand and quick to digest. These infographics are data visualizations that take our proprietary monthly survey stats and synthesize them to tell a story about this generation’s behaviors and views. (Ypulse)

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