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…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “There are better things to spend my money on [than luxury products], so unless we are talking about luxury experiences, I'm not spending money on them right now.”

—Female, 30, CA

As we predicted, there’s still hope for in-store shopping. According to a Forrester retail expert and analyst, U.S. retail revenue is expected to reach $3.4 trillion this year, and only 9% is expected to be online. Because consumers still value the ability to “touch and feel products,” retailers with “solid go-to-market strategies,” like Sephora with their digital solutions and Ulta with their unique shopping experience, stand to benefit the most. He reports that only those retailers “struggling to connect with consumers” are closing stores. (MediaPost

Will Instagram take Snapchat’s place as a marketing star of 2017? The platform, which boasts 150 million daily users, is now letting brands incorporate full screen ads to the Snapchat-inspired Stories feature, and companies like Capital One, ASOS, Nike, Buick, and Airbnb are already on board. According to the VP of Instagram Business, brands will be able to target specific audiences through the feature, and one-third of the app’s top stories have been from businesses. (Adweek

LGBT self-identification is rising in the U.S., with Millennials leading the way. According to a Gallup survey, 4.1% of U.S. adults, or about 10 million people, now identify as LGBT—an increase from 3.5% in 2012. Millennials account for almost 60% of that number, most likely because they are “first generation in the U.S. to grow up in an environment where social acceptance of the LGBT community markedly increased.” Our Genreless Generation trend, revealed that Millennials and teens are more comfortable with blending and bending categories, and celebrating new combinations than ever before. (NYMag)

The Binge Effect has inspired Disney to try out the Netflix model. For the premiere of Beyond on Millennial-focused network Freeform, all 10 episodes were released online with fewer ads than shown on TV—a first for the channel. The series, about a young man who discovers he has superpowers after awakening from a 12-year coma, drew in 14.2 million viewers in its first week, with almost half watching online. (Bloomberg

Millennials are skipping YouTube ads, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. An analysis by LaunchLeap revealed that 59% of Millennials are skipping YouTube’s TrueView ads—those that advertisers only pay for if they are watched to completion. On the other hand, 29% are watching ads to completion—better engagement than on Snapchat. And they’re paying attention: a Google and Ipsos study found that attention paid to YouTube ads is 84% higher than advertising on TV. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: "I binge-watch content to spend time with my spouse.”—Female, 32, OK 

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies