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. You will be comparing your future finances with someone who is not a college graduate. Assume that the median annual income for a person who is only a high school graduate is $33,500 (although this may not be accurate for Indiana residents). Use this value in comparison statements with proper absolute and relative change statements.
In this project you are required to do the following:
Create an Excel spreadsheet to help calculate the correct values for housing and retirement (this will be a graded part of the project). Ask your instructor if you need to use an Excel template. Refer to the Excel help in the book or notes in your course on how to find mortgage or retirement values. You will use the PV, FV, PMT formulas in Excel.
Your typed responses for this project will consist of answering short-answer questions given below. Each short-answer should be a minimum of 3 sentences and 50 words. Use proper quantitative reasoning and wording to address the solution. This should clearly convey your message to a reader who is not taking Math 123. Make sure to use your spreadsheet to answer “what if” questions with specific values and provide support for your statements. To do this, make changes in your spreadsheet and analyze the results of the manipulations – be quantitative and specific with correct absolute and relative change statements. See the last page of this project description for samples of what poorly written responses and well written responses would look like before you answer the questions below. Your answers to these questions will be typed in and submitted in IvyLearn using the link to Project 1.
HINT: As you are writing your absolute or relative change sentence, make sure to address “more than” or “less than” what value. Writing sentences such as, “The absolute/relative change is…” will NOT be counted as correct. What is the meaning of an absolute or relative change in each scenario?
Example of a poorly written response:
I think that I could afford a $50,000 car as a college graduate.
This response is not good. While a numerical response is given, the response does not indicate the student used their Excel spreadsheet, indicate what Excel function they used to determine that value, or explain what the values used in the Excel function represent. The response does not meet minimum sentence or word count.
Example of a well written response:
I think that I could afford a $50,000 car as a college graduate. I determined this using Excel and it is based on the monthly gross income I determined earlier in the project and given the loan I obtained for 2.5% over the 5 year period we were directed to use for this part of the project. The Excel formula I used to determine the $50,000 amount was =EXCELfunction(number 1, number 2, number 3) where number 1 represents…, number 2 represents…, and number 3 represents…
Student provided a numerical value, provided the exact Excel function they used along with a detailed description of what each of the number values used in the Excel function represents. The response meets both the minimum sentence and word count.
Written response questions:
1. Answer the two following questions related to your median annual salary and that of the high school graduate:
Explain what job you have chosen and what has inspired you to pursue a career in that field. Use the median salary from the following website:
https://www.bls.gov/ooh (Links to an external site.)
- How does your salary compare to the high school graduate using BOTH an absolute change and relative change statement?
2. Assume you can afford to use 11% of your monthly gross income towards your monthly car payment. The terms of the loan are 3.25% APR for 6 years.
- What is the highest price car you can afford based on the information above? Be sure to show and explain the Excel formula you used.
- What is the highest priced car the high school graduate can afford based on the same information? Be sure to show and explain the Excel formula you used.
- Use an absolute or relative change statement to compare the highest priced car of the high school graduate and yourself.
3. Assume that your selected job has a retirement plan and that you will be saving for retirement for 35 years.
- If 5% of your monthly income is put into a retirement account, how much should you expect if the average annual return is 7%? Be sure to show and explain the Excel formula you used.
- Using the same conditions, determine the amount a high school graduate should expect to have in their retirement account? Be sure to show and explain the Excel formula you used.
- Use an absolute or relative change statement to compare the retirement accounts of the high school graduate and yourself.
4. Assume you are saving for retirement with the same stipulations as before (5% of your monthly income at a rate of 7% for the account).
- Use the “Guess and Check” method with the Excel formula you used in Question 3 to determine how long would it take for your account to have just over $1 million dollars? (Give your answer in whole number of years.)
- Use the “Guess and Check” method with the Excel formula you used in Question 3 to determine how long would it take a high school graduate to have just over $1 million dollars? (Give your answer in whole number of years for this also.)
- Compare the amount of time taken to reach just over $1 million for you and the high school graduate. Use an absolute change sentence to compare your answers.
5. Your employer offers 2 options as an increase to your salary for the next year:
Option 1: You can have a 2.5% increase of your median annual salary.Option 2: You can take an increase of $1150 added to your median annual salary.
- Find the new annual salary for both Option 1 and Option 2 for the college graduate. Show your calculations.
- Which option should you choose as a college graduate? Explain why using an absolute change or relative change statement in your response.
- Find the new annual salary for both Option 1 and Option 2 for the high school graduate. Show your calculations.
Which option should the high school graduate choose? Explain why using an absolute change or relative change statement in your response.
If you would like a paper copy of the directions, you can access the file below:
If you need help with Excel, check out the student guide below!