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: "For Halloween, I want to be either Tanisha from Bad Girls Club or Tyra Banks yelling at Tiffany on America's Next Top Model.”—Female, 21, KS

Grocers are struggling to get Millennials down their aisles. Federal data is showing that 25-34-year-olds spent an average of $3,539 on groceries over the last year, “about $1,000 less in inflation-adjusted dollars than people that age spent in 1990.” These younger consumers are visiting supermarkets less frequently, perhaps thanks to the rise of online grocery services like AmazonFresh and the expansion of food offerings from retailers like Walmart. The financial crisis and Millennials’ delay in starting families are also being blamed. (The Wall Street Journal

Pokémon Go has opened a whole new world for kids’ brands looking to join the AR space. The app is credited for bringing augmented reality to the masses, but those in the interactive kids’ product field see Pokémon as just “a teaser” for what’s to come. “Smart” AR characters that react to their surroundings, AR children’s books and games, and educational tools. Content and monetization are the main focus of the industry, but the CEO of Legacy Games predicts, “You will see AR experiences when you go to Disneyland...You will see it implemented in amusement parks, museums and more.” (kidscreen)

Cap’n Crunch is going all in on targeting Millennial men. After gaining insight that young males are “some of [Cap’n Crunch’s] most prevalent consumers, who really love the brand and really love to talk about their love of it," Quaker Oats has launched in-person experiences, designer apparel and accessories, and limited-edition sneakers all geared towards the group. Their recent Funny or Die sponsored series The Earliest Show, featuring Millennial comedian Ben Schwartz, used the insight that Millennial males enjoy the cereal as a late night snack as a launching point. (Fast Company)

Technology may be a deal breaker for Millennials in the workplace. A new study from Dell and Intel revealed that 42% of 18-34-year-olds would quit a job with substandard tech and 82% say workplace tech is a factor when considering accepting a new job, compared to 25% and 67% of employees 35-years-old or older respectively. About four in five Millennials say technology makes it easier to perform at work, 73% are excited for more advanced levels of virtual sharing, 70% for smart offices, and 67% for VR/AR. (Gigaom

Millennial couples are more likely to fight about money than Xers or Boomers—but that’s not a bad thing. According to Chase, 75% of 18-34-year-olds say they have fought with a partner about finances in the last six months, compared to 72% of Xers, and 62% of Boomers. Of course, younger couples’ comparatively more stressful financial situations are part of their strife, but they are also more likely to talk about finances than older couples—which experts say is actually better in the long run. (CNBC

Quote of the Day: “For Halloween, I’m dressing as Angelica from Hamilton (dress in period clothing and write unsatisfied across my chest).”—Female, 26, MA

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