Millennials in Higher Education

Millennials as Students

Little Known Fact — In a survey of 7,000 high school students, 68% indicated they used social media to research schools.

  1. 32% actually read posts by colleges on social media, and over double (68%) say they view photos and videos posted by schools.
  2. Most prospective students have used 3-4 online sources during their college review process, with more that 25% (generally those with higher SAT scores) using 5 or more sources.
  3. High quality printed material still ranked second after a college’s website as the most frequently sited source for learning about a school’s academics, social life, cost, admission’s deadlines, news and events.

Not only are they destined to be the largest generation to date with the most buying power, but by 2020 Millennials will make up half our country’s workforce. And 75% of the workforce by 2025. So, as both employers and marketers, we all need to figure this out.

Who are they?

Born between 1980 and 2000, and 80 million plus in size, this powerful generation is doing things quite differently than any generation that came before them. And we at BVK wanted to learn what makes them tick.

That is why we have dedicated our own resources to gain a deeper understanding of this cohort — who they are and how they make buying decisions in general. And because they are an increasing large segment of the American workforce, we did a deep dive into what today’s employers need from Millennials versus what Millennials are expecting from employers. As you might imagine, there is a bit of a gap that lies between the two.

Understanding this target of prospective consumers and prospective employees is critical in today’s landscape so that we are smarter and more successful in the recruitment and retention of both.

Our Research

Our foray into the Millennial mindset began with reams of secondary research that existed to first understand how they think overall, and second, their general decision-making process. Then we conducted proprietary research into how they make specific buying decisions in four distinct industries, including higher education.

We wanted to gain a firm understanding of how online content and information-seeking behaviors directed their college selection process. We also completed a deeper look into first generation college-going Millennials, as this is a fast-growing constituent.

To get a copy of our “Rise of the Millennials” higher education manual, please click here.


is a Senior VP, Group Account Director at BVK

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