As an Ivy Tech student, you are making an investment in your education. This project will look at how that investment will pay off if you graduate and get a job in your desired field.

Assume that the median annual income for a high school graduate is $21,000. This is the value that you will be comparing your expected salary and lifestyle to in the following areas:

1) Income Comparison: Research your expected income after you graduate college. Assume you obtain whatever level of education needed to enter your desired area of employment and that you will have a salary equivalent to the annual Median salary found at: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_in.htm#27-0000*You will need to click on your desired career in order to see the Annual Median wage.

• Your reflection paper should explain what your desired area of employment is and what the median annual salary for that position is.

• Your reflection paper should contain at least one statement comparing your expected salary with that of the median income of a high school graduate.

2) Housing Comparison: Assume that you and your high school graduate counterpart plan to spend 18% of your gross monthly income on house payments. Look up the current fixed rate APR for mortgages and use Excel to determine the largest value of a mortgage that each of you can afford to borrow under those conditions.

• Your reflection paper should contain at least one statement comparing the value of the house that a high school graduate can afford and that you expect to be able to afford.

• Explain in your reflection paper what Excel function was used for these calculations. Cite what source you used to find mortgage rates.

• Research housing costs in an area where you would like to live.Will your future salary allow you to afford the house you want, or should you consider other housing options? How much more or less must you spend to get the house you want? Cite what source you used to find housing costs.

3) Retirement Comparison: 401 k investments are expected to earn a 4.99% annual return. Assume that 5% of gross monthly income is to be set aside for 401 k investment. Use Excel to determine the balance on such a 401 k after 40 years of investment for the high school graduate and for your expected income. Also use Excel to determine how many years it would take for the high school graduate and for your expected investment to reach $150,000.

• Your reflection paper should contain at least one statement comparing the value of the 401 k investment of the high school graduate and for your expected salary.

• Explain in your reflection paper what Excel function was used for these calculations.

• Your reflection paper should contain at least one statement comparing the time it would take for the 401 k investment of the high school graduate and for your expected salary to reach $150,000.

Project Checklist:

• Explanation of career choice and the salary for this career.

• Comparison of your expected salary vs.ahs graduate.

• Comparison of house you could afford with expected salary vs. hs grad.

• Explanation of how house value was determined.

• Reflection on the housing costs and actual house values.

• Explanation of how the 401k value is determined.

• Comparison of length of time it would take to achieve $150,000 in retirement funds.

• Explanation of how the time to reach $150,000 is determined.

• Paper should be elegant and coherent with a logical organization.

• Paper should be free of grammatical and mechanical errors.

• Paper must contain some relative change statements.

• Paper should be submitted via Blackboard on time.

In addition to addressing the statements above, your project should:

• Contain your name, course name and project name.

• Be well organized and easy to follow.

• The paper should be in paragraph form (not just bulleted answers!).

• Be clear to by someone who is not familiar with the project.

• Provide support for your statements e.g. explain how values were found.

• Give specific values (i. e. quantify statements).

• Use appropriate representations (tables, color, formatting) that helps the reader understand the project.

• Contain a variety of comparison statements, including the use of relative change sentences.

• Project should be your original work. Copying someone else’s work is cheating. Sharing your work with someone else is cheating.

These instructions cover the MINIMUM expectations of this project. Students are encouraged to make additions beyond these items.

Submit both an Excel and Word file following your instructor’s directions for submission.