Amazing idea because it gives students such strong experience to different career paths while also giving them some money in their pockets! What is also amazing is that it offers hands-on training on how these technical skills are to be utilized in the workplace, which as a student, I face this problem often where I learn things in class but have no idea how it's useful to benefit a company. I think this program should be offered more often at colleges and especially high schools to inform students about these opportunities.
While I don't believe college is necessary to launch a successful career, I do think college is necessary for students to mature. I think jumping immediately into work out of high school is pretty scary and some students are not mature and ready for the workforce yet. College is a time to build experiences and meet new friends. Still think this is a great idea, but I'm not sure how this YearUp program will change the college experience for the typical student.
I completely agree with what you're saying in that your friends and acquaintances play a huge part in your decision making when choosing a college. It can be a scary experience going to college where you know no one.
To help students with financial need more easily attain aid they need, I thought of a pretty cool idea of making it a social experience. A problem I found when I was looking for scholarships were that they were scattered everywhere and there was not one place where I can find scholarships easily. Many of the scholarships I found on http://Scholarships.com did not seem legit, and I felt it was more of a site where I was burdened by ads. That is why I think it would be cool if there could be the go-to site for scholarships and this could be an add on to a site like LinkedIn or a stand alone site. Many companies and corporations offer scholarships already, so maybe a website like LinkedIn can add a new section where students can search for scholarships. If not an add-on, a standalone social site focused on getting students scholarships would be helpful. Non-profits, government organizations, and companies can update the site with scholarships, news, updates, etc.
I think this is a great idea because I believe university students need real-world experience to apply their school knowledge. To improve on this idea though, I think companies should wait until the students 2nd or 3rd year when students acquire more knowledge towards the major or receive more technical experience rather than just completing their undergraduate requirements.