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Student Connection: Understanding Gen Y Students

October 18, 2013

Every generation has a mindset that differs from that of the previous generation, and millenials are no different. Learning how they think and feel on a daily basis will help you to better connect and communicate with students. Millenials (or Gen Y) students are those born after 1980. Here’s a look at some character traits that are common among members of this age group:

gen Y

As you have probably noticed, technology is ingrained in the Gen Y lifestyle. Cisco conducted a survey in 2012 of 1800 college students and workers, ages 18-30, to get a feel for their habits relating to technology. The survey was distributed in eighteen countries to people from a variety of backgrounds. Here are some telling statistics taken from the Cisco Connected World Technology Report (August 2012):

  • If they had to choose one device, 1/3 of respondents would prefer a smartphone or laptop.
  • Smartphones are twice as popular as desktop computers.
  • Smartphones are three times as popular as tablets.
  • 90% of respondents say checking their smartphone is an important part of their morning routine.
  • One out of three respondents uses their smartphone in the bathroom.
  • In the United States, more than 50% of respondents check their smartphone at least every 30 minutes. Two out of five check at least every ten minutes.
  • Nearly 70% say that apps are important to their daily life.
  • 42% of respondents would feel like a part of them was missing if they couldn’t constantly check their smartphones.
  • 87% of respondents have a Facebook account.
  • One in ten have Facebook open all the time.
  • 56% of respondents have a Twitter account.
  • 21% tweet at least once a day.

These facts should leave you thinking about ways you can most effectively communicate with students, both in person and using technology. Brainstorm with others in your office or at your school about how to best reach student borrowers. For more information, watch our recorded Using Social Media webinar.

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

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