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9 ways college is different for millennials than it was for previous generations – Finance – Pulselive.co.ke

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  • Millennials’ lives are a lot different than their parents’ lives were at the same age.
  • Exhibit A: College — higher education has evolved over time, creating a different environment for millennials compared to previous generations.
  • Most significantly, college today is more expensive for millennials — but it has also experienced an increase in technological advancements and opportunities, diversity, and stress and competition.

Millennials face a lot of differences compared to their parents — they carry bigger financial burdens; deal with a different dating pool; always have to be “on” at work, but have more flexible working options; and have access to social media.

They also have a different college experience than baby boomers and Gen X did. Most notoriously so, the cost of college tuition has significantly increased since the 1980s, but there are a few other contrasts as well, both good and bad — think technological advancements, increased diversity, and more stress and competition.

In fact, more millennials are attending college than any previous generation. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of college-educated young adults with a bachelor’s degree is at its highest point yet — 40% of millennial workers aged 25 to 29 had a bachelor’s degree in 2016, compared to 32% of Gen Xers in 2000 and 26% of baby boomers in 1985.

But they’re attending college in a different environment. From the price of college textbooks to online learning opportunities, here’s how college differs for millennials.

More students are going to college.


More students are going to college.play

More students are going to college.

(Facebook/Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences)

“The demand for higher education has risen dramatically since 1985,” Richard Vedder, author and distinguished professor of economics emeritus at Ohio University, previously told Business Insider.

NBC News previously reported that undergraduate enrollment in the US had duplicated from 1970 to 2009. And, according to the Department of Education, US colleges expected a total of 20.4 million students in fall 2017, about 5.1 million more than in fall 2000.

“The rewards for college have expanded and grown from 1985 to a little after 2000 and sort of leveled off in the past decade,” Vedder said.

College is more competitive.


College is more competitive.play

College is more competitive.

(Leon Neal/Getty Images)

With more students applying to colleges, it’s harder to get in. In 1988, the acceptance rate for Columbia University was 65%; as of 2014, it’s 7%, according to US News & World Report. Likewise, the University of Michigan’s acceptance rate dropped from 52% to 33% in the same time period.

But Jacoba Urist of The Atlantic says that there is truth and untruth to the myth of college admissions getting harder each year. “As it turns out, getting into college actually isn’t any harder than it was a decade ago,” she wrote. “It’s just that the odds of admission to your particular college may have decreased.”

Whatever the case, the facts show that acceptance rates are on the decline.

College is more expensive.


College is more expensive.play

College is more expensive.

(Mills College)

College tuition has more than doubled since the 1980s. From the late 1980s to the 2017-18 school year, the cost of an undergraduate degree rose by 213% at public schools, adjusting for inflation.

Back then, the average annual tuition for public college was just $1,490, or $3,190 in today’s dollars, compared with today’s price tag of $9,970, according to Student Loan Hero.

Private college tuitions witnessed a cost increase in the period of 129% when adjusted for inflation. In the late 1980s, it cost $7,050, or $15,160 in today’s dollars, for a private undergraduate degree. Today, the average cost is $34,740.

College textbooks are also pricier.


College textbooks are also pricier.play

College textbooks are also pricier.

(Adam Berry / Getty Images)

Along with tuition, the price of college textbooks has increased, reports The Huffington Post, citing the Government Accountability Office. Compared to 30 years ago, they’re 812% costlier. A single textbook can cost up to $300, and the average college student is expected to spend more than $1,200 on textbooks annually.

As a result, electronic textbooks are on the rise — and they could save students as much as $1.42 billion collectively a year, according to Huffington Post. That’s not an option parents had back in the day.

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College today is more technologically advanced.


College today is more technologically advanced.play

College today is more technologically advanced.

(Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

College millennials have greater technology benefits than their parents did before the advent of the Internet. Mobile devices and laptops dominate classrooms, but they can also distract students from lessons.

Students can now receive lectures via PowerPoint if they miss a class, and many universities offer access to recorded faculty lectures, according to NBC News.

Instead of typewriters or desktops, students now have laptops — which they can bring to class to take notes instead of handwriting lectures. They can also rate their professors online and use social media to stay in touch with classmates.

More students are learning online.


More students are learning online.play

More students are learning online.

(Boston College/Facebook)

With such technological advancements, more and more students are enrolling in online courses — options that weren’t quite available for their parents.

Online course enrollment increased between the fall 2015 and 2016 school years more than it had in the past three years, reported US News & World Report, citing the Babson Survey Research Group. Public colleges and universities, specifically, saw a 7% increase in growth.

Business Insider previously reported on a survey that revealed 69% of millennials thought they learned better from technology than from people — only 50% of respondents older than 45 felt the same.

The student population is more diverse.


The student population is more diverse.play

The student population is more diverse.

(Dia Dipasupil/Shutterstock)

Student populations at colleges has evolved demographically since 1970. According to the 2018 State of the Student research project conducted by education technology company Chegg, which sampled more than 1,000 college students in the US, current minority enrollment is 42% — a sharp contrast from 15% in 1970.

Currently, females make up more than half of the student population; in 1970, they made up less than half. Students are also older — 40% of college students are older than 25 years old, compared to 28% in years prior.

College students aren’t as religious as they used to be.


College students aren't as religious as they used to be.play

College students aren’t as religious as they used to be.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The number of freshmen who don’t identify with a religion increased from around 16% to 25% from 2005 to 2014, according to The Huffington Post, citing UCLA’s Cooperative Institutional Research program, which surveyed more than 150,000 full-time freshmen students across more than 200 colleges and universities.

Students at Catholic colleges who don’t identify with a religion increased by more than 4% in the same time span. The percentage of students not identifying with a religion at other religious colleges also increased.

College students are more stressed today.


College students are more stressed today.play

College students are more stressed today.

(Strelka/Flickr)

From 2005 to 2015, the proportion of freshmen saying they “occasionally or frequently feel overwhelmed” increased by 10%, according to the Huffington Post. Denise Hayes, president of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors in 2011, told the publication that this could be linked to financial pressures and stress to succeed.

Perhaps this is because millennials are balancing more in addition to their school work. According to a study by the Center for Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, 70% to 80% of students have a job while attending school — 40% of them work more than 30 hours a week, exceeding the 15 hours a week cap they should maintain without hurting their academics.



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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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