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 want to buy a home in the future to be able to own and modify my own space. “ –Female, 32, NE

Apple Music is here, but some say that Millennials won’t pay for it. The new music streaming service launched yesterday, and will cost users $9.99 a month to stream the entire iTunes catalog. However, young consumers are adept at getting their music for free, and the CEO of CMJ predicts “for major music audiences at college level and younger music fans…they will be heavily inclined to stay with and find new ‘free’ services,’” (The Daily Beast)

Salad is so hot right now. Farm-to-table salad chain sweetgreen has raised another $35 million to “satisfy Millennial salad cravings.” The chain will likely continue their expansion, and appealing to younger diners with menu items like “Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe” and branded music festivals. Tech is also a part of their plan: sweetgreen is also developing their ordering app, which already handles 25% of all their transactions. (TechCrunch)

They may have grown up with “Made In China” stamped on the bottom of all their toys, but Millennials may be “the most passionate” about products that are made in America. According to a Ford Motor Company poll, 91% of 16-34-year-olds believe that manufacturers in the U.S. make products that are equal or better quality as foreign competitors, and 74% believe purchasing American-made products is important. (We did tell you they’re patriotic) (Washington Examiner)

Earlier this week we told you about Marriott’s efforts to adjust to young consumers’ traveling preferences, and it looks like rooftop bars are only the beginning. The brand has partnered with Universal Music Group to bring music performances by rising and established artists to hotel lobbies. Jessie J kicked off the venture yesterday in London, and all performances will be free to the hotel guests. (LA Times)

Is the sharing economy hurting Millennials? Some experts are saying that while all this car sharing, home sharing, and rent-everything behavior is well and good in the short term, young consumers “are missing out on recouping the gains from owning appreciating assets.” The idea is that the share economy is delaying Millennials' wealth-accumulation, and contributing to their downward mobility. Ouch. (Time)

Our most recent trend report is now available! The Q2 2015 Ypulse Quarterly covers three major trends we see impacting young consumers, and includes recently fielded data on 13-32-year-olds, Ypulse’s expertise, the most relevant takeaways for brands who want to appeal to Millennials and teens, and tons of other insights. The Q2 2015 report is available to Gold subscribers, and one-off pricing is $1250. (Click here to contact us for information on accessing the report or to learn more about subscribing.

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