UEN releases American Graduate Reality Check mobile app

Last Updated by Jenn Gibbs on

American Graduate has a new resource to help teens and young adults visualize the financial benefits of graduating from high school: the American Graduate Reality Check mobile app.

The app guides users through a series of questions such as, “Where do you want to live?” and “What will you use for transportation?” Then it summarizes the monthly cost of these choices and generates a list of occupations that have the potential to meet this total. From there, users can explore each occupation’s educational requirements, typical tasks, work setting, and salary range.

“American Graduate Reality Check is a fun way to try out life choices, minus the consequences,” reviewer Elaine Henke said. “Just answering the questions got me thinking about the different things adults have to pay for. I can also see how much easier it is to get a good-paying job if I stay in school.”

The tool provides school counselors and teachers of subjects such as Career and Technical Education, Financial Literacy and Family and Consumer Sciences another way to approach education planning. It can also serve a powerful conversation-starter for facilitators of afterschool and other programs working with youth who need help picturing a path to financially sustainable futures.

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“Most of the youth I work with see only what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck,” said Flor Olivo, facilitator of a University of Utah bridge program that helps girls from underserved communities prepare for college. “They say to me, ‘My parents didn’t finish high school—they’re doing OK.’ This app can help them see a different way.”

Produced by American Graduate station Utah Education Network (UEN) with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Reality Check is available for free download for Apple and Android devices. Free support resources are available on the UEN website. Public media stations are invited to request additional materials by emailing the Utah American Graduate Project Manager, Jenn Gibbs.