Student Loan Calculator

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This week I added a page to our website about student loans and repayment. The Federal Student Aid website offers a very helpful tool called a ‘repayment estimator’. You give it your loan balances, your tax filing status, and your projected income after college. Then it comes up with several plans to help you repay your loans after a number of months. I think it’s really helpful to see how much you’d be paying per month, and that could possibly be a reality check for some people to see that their plan isn’t realistic, and would leave them with way too much to pay off after college. I chose this to add to my website because it really ties in with the speech I’m working on this week about free college. Part of my speech directly talks about how crucial it is to have a plan for college and you have to be sure you’re capable of handling the costs of college. There are always more realistic options for people who don’t currently have the means to attend a public institution, like community colleges or online degrees. Of course many high school students have no idea what job they’ll have once they graduate college, but it is really important to have an estimate.

This Week’s Progresss

This week my group worked on our website more, adding more resources and helpful college advice. Right now the website is our main focus, and a little down the line we’re going to work on getting to word out to Kennedy students. We don’t want to tell people to visit it until it’s to a point we feel comfortable sharing. None of us have ever created a website before, so it’s a new experience for all of us.  But because of that we’re still figuring our some of the technical aspects, but even so I think we’re moving along at a good pace. So far we have five different pages up: college visits to Kennedy, Iowa private colleges, Iowa community colleges, Kirkwood’s Workplace learning connection, and a comparison of the ACT and SAT. This week we worked at cleaning up the look of the website, and I personally worked on the page comparing the ACT to the SAT.

website 2

Here is the short segment I wrote about the ACT vs. the SAT. I wrote a brief summary of the advantages of each test, and helpful advice to those trying to decide which test to take. I used credible sources along with hyperlinks, so that anyone interested can go directly to the original article. What my group is planning to next is to continue along with our website and make it more resourceful to Kennedy students.

Our Website

We’ve now created our website, cougarcollegeconnection.net, where we will post all of the college resources and advice we find. It’s still pretty new, and the website doesn’t look great, but we’re off to a really good start. So far we’ve added several pages. One of the pages is a list of all of the college visits to Kennedy coming up this year. On another page we have started a list of the private colleges in Iowa. Instead of just making a list, we are planning on adding some helpful information about each school, for example: location, size, estimated cost, and the school website. We feel like all of this information being located in one place will be a convenient resource to students exploring their options. We are doing the same thing with Iowa community colleges, and soon we’ll start working on public universities. The other page we’ve begun working on is one about Kirkwood’s Workplace Learning Connection.

website

This page is an example of want we want the rest of our website to be: decent to look and and convenient. We want to make it easy for students to find the resource they’re looking for, and not fill the pages up with too many words. We’re off to a good start, and we’re planning to continue adding resources in the coming weeks.

Ours Plans

As a group we’ve used these last few days to brainstorm ideas on what we want our college help website to feature. We definitely want to include many different resources from around the web to help students with scholarships, picking a college, and picking a major. We’re also interested in including information about college life, so that our readers can be more prepared going into it. Obviously, none of us have the experience of college life, so we’ll have to talk to someone that does or find the resources online to share. Our main goal is to compile all of this information we find into one website that’s easy to get around and helpful to many different needs.

The two crucial steps we have to take next are creating the actual website and talking to our counselors. Creating the website should be relatively easy, the cost of a simple one being only a few dollars a month. And talking to our counselors will be really helpful to know where to direct our focus. They get students in their office every day asking questions about college, and knowing the questions they get the most often will help us focus on what students really need to know.

Our Purpose

I’m a senior in high-school, and college is a huge deal to me right now. I’m still not 100% idea decided on a major or career-path, and from talking to my friends I can tell I’m in the majority with that. A lot of the confusion we have is because we aren’t educated on what all of our options are. Our perspectives are very limited to our experiences in high school. Up until this year, the only class I’ve taken that truly interested me was psychology. Because of that, I had it in my mind that I would be a psych major. However this year I took Economics and Comparative Government, both of which are really interesting to me as well. Now I’m more confused than ever, and that’s why I wanted to start a project that would help other students facing the same problems explore their options, and hopefully help myself in the process.

My group and I want to create a webpage to help kids explore their options, and get an idea of what they want their future to be like. We aren’t for certain what kind of information will be on it, but we’ll start to figure that out as we go. We want to give students easily-accessible information about choosing a major, choosing a school, financial aid, and more.