Paying for College

A tool to help prospective college students and their families decipher how much a college degree actually costs. The cost comparison worksheet computes the actual cost of the chosen schools by comparing tuition, books, and other expenses, estimated post-school debt and overall debt burden.

The Problem

Student debt can be a confusing arena where it's often difficult to understand how to compare the financial benefits of getting a college degree. Getting a college degree is often a part of the American dream, but students and parents taking on this debt often fail to realize the debt burden after school.

What We Built

As a part of the products team at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB, I primarily worked as a visual designer, prototyping my ideas in code and working with other ux designers in sprint cycles to release Paying for College, a set of tools catered towards the education life milestone.

See and interact with the current tool:

Paying for College Cost Comparision Tool

What I Worked On


Brittany Mederos and I collaborated on how to build this tool, whiteboarding out different scenarios that we'd both elaborate on and test. We ran into issues of how users were going to input data (if at all), how we would integrate two-year and four-year programs, and how to easily compare costs of different programs.

Interface Design

Paying for College was meant to be an extension of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau brand. It drew inspiration from light usage of color on the rest of the website while focusing primarily on interactions. One of the more interesting parts of the interface was the sticky input header that allowed users to easily switch between schools, and the sticky footer containing important debt information that would attach itself to the bottom of the page once the user reached far enough down the cost table.