Purpose: Although Generation Y has been extensively examined in the popular and academic literature, there have not been any studies to date that have identified the psychographic profile of this market segment using the VALS scale. The purpose of the research presented in this paper is to provide a segment characterization of Generation Y using the VALS typology and provide insights into the media habits of this population. Design/methodology/approach: The research sample consisted of subjects from Generation Y that were drawn from a population of college students. To determine the VALS types, participants completed the VALS survey in addition to responding to questions related to demographics and media habits. Originality/value: The results contribute to the literature by providing for the first time a segmented characterization of Generation Y consumers. The research provides a detailed perspective of this important market segment and provides marketers with insights on their values, attitudes, and media habits. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.