New Website Helps College-Bound Students to Grads Plan for Future

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It's Your Money©: Innovative Simulators Help YOU Decide Best Bets for College, Jobs

Finfo LLC, a start-up founded in 2006 by three students at the University of Southern California, today launched, an interactive website that uses innovative "sims" to help young people make sound financial decisions when choosing a college, arranging to cover its costs, and considering job offers later on.

College or college-bound students and recent grads can also use the website to shop for financial products and services on a competitive basis, gaining access to companies vying to do business with them--a plus for consumers just starting out and needing access to low-cost loans, financing, debt relief, or other services.

The "College Sim" provides fast, up-to-date information on tuition, room and board, and other expenses at colleges and universities in the United States. Users select multiple institutions for the simulation and enter information on what they are willing or can afford to pay. The sim then retrieves information from authoritative databases to provide a personalized report, including projections on the amount of funding needed from scholarships, loans, and other sources, to cover costs for each college. The customized service aids decision-making based on financial advantage or disadvantage for each school under consideration, also taking into account room-and-board costs and future tuition increases due to inflation.

The "Job Sim" integrates value-added statistical data to help those entering the job market sort through multiple offers to identify the financial benefits of each as a tool for decision-making. Users receive a personalized report that ranks job offers from highest to lowest value after adjusting for localized cost of living and tax rates.

The "Budget Sim" is a tool for basic financial planning. After entering major expenses and sources of income, users receive a report outlining their projected financial health over the next 12 months. Users can also set a specific financial goal, such as saving money or repaying debt, and the sim determines how they can realistically achieve their goal given their spending habits.

In addition to developing new financial sims, including one for retirement planning, Finfo anticipates expanding its financial information to cover real estate, investing, lending, saving, insurance, and taxes.

By modeling the impact of different financial scenarios using an interactive process adapted to each individual user, Finfo aims to help those who are at a crossroads--poised to enter college, choose a job, buy a house, relocate, retire or meet other life challenges--make sound financial decisions based on up-to-date information from authoritative outside sources.

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Hal Mecke
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