GradSense online tool
Six years ago when my son graduated high school, we began the tedious process of figuring out so many aspects of college. Where did he want to go? What did he want to major in? Where would he live? How much might he earn some day? How much would it cost us? There were so many questions, but the answers were sometimes difficult to find.
This year my daughter will be graduating from high school, and she has done most of the research herself (thank goodness!). It is so hard for high school students to know what is the right path to follow, and what career could potentially make them the happiest. There are so many options out there and it can be downright overwhelming.
Good news! A collaboration between the Council of Graduate Schools and TIAA-CREF, has launched a really helpful tool called GradSense. This app and website can help students understand the estimated debt for various career paths, occupations and salaries, and much more.
I was invited to try the tool for myself*, and to also have my 17-year old daughter try it out to get her thoughts as well. She filled out the information in the simple online tool, and was presented with the typical student debt for this career choice, and possible salary range.
My daughter used the tool for her chosen career path, Medical Sciences, and was astonished to find out how much the median debt was. She is very lucky that her grandparents are helping with her education, and we can help as well. She will not need to take a student loan, but this was a real eye-opener for her. She was also thrilled to know what a possible income could be for her!
On the GradSense website there is a wealth of information, including career tips, negotiating job offers, and advice for repaying student loans (I especially love this helpful section!). Most high school/college aged young people sometimes don’t make the best decisions financially. It is something we typically learn as we get older, get a “real” job, pay rent, etc. The GradSense website explains everything really well, such as types of interest (elaborating on compound interest), and principal. One feature my daughter I both love is the different scenarios for saving money – “if you do this instead of that, you can save so much per year”. There are some awesome suggestions that pertain to college aged kids, and their every day life.
My daughter’s thoughts, after experimenting with the GradSense website and tool:
I really liked the idea of the website, and the interactive part was really cool. I wish this had been available a couple of years ago when I first began to look into different careers…it would have saved me lots of time! I do think that adding a portion about a job and it’s impact on academic focus (and the trade off) would be really helpful.
As a parent who has been through the college experience with her child, and who his about to again, I would highly recommending showing this to your kids – even in 8th or 9th grade. There are so many career paths out there, but it can be mind-boggling. This all-in-one tool/website can answer so many questions, which will be a huge help for your children AND yourself!
*Although this is a partnered post, all opinions above are those of my daughter and myself.