KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Junior Achievement is excited to spread the word on an exciting app called JA Build Your Future, an app designed to assist with financial planning as teens look towards post-secondary education and explore their desired careers.
This educational resource aims to strengthen the message about the importance of prioritizing financial literacy in our education system while providing a newly developed tool that fits the lives of today’s students.
The app is available for downloading on mobile phones and tablets for both iOS and Android operating systems.
“Average student loan debt is about $26,000, and not all careers generate enough income to pay that off in a timely manner,” says Renea Salyer, JA Area Director. “JA Build Your Future is a tool that teens, their parents and their teachers can use to make more informed choices about how much money to borrow and to explore educational options.”
JA Build Your Future allows teens to discover more than 100 careers; see what levels of education are required, from a high school education to a doctorate; learn about potential income; and then calculate the cost of education, including factoring the cost of attending in-state, out-of-state public universities and private universities.
Teens can then adjust the level of money they and their parents may contribute, combined with student loans they may need to secure. At the end of the exercise, teens are given a Return on Investment (ROI) score between 1 and 5.
A score of 1 suggests it will be difficult to pay off the debt accrued based on future income; 5 indicates that using current factors, there should be less financial hardship paying off debt with estimated future income.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, nearly one-in-three Federal student loans are in deferment, forbearance or default. Amid the rising cost of education, students need resources and tools to financially plan for these costs so they can achieve their goals.
JA’s financial literacy programs for kindergarten through high school students are available in the Wawasee Schools.
The spring session is about to begin, if you are interested in volunteering or to learn more about Junior Achievement contact Renea Salyer at (574) 551-6082 or email: [email protected]