Which College Can You Really Afford?

A financial workbook for Washington State students who are planning to attend college. 


Design an app ecosystem experience across multiple devices.


Information Design

Fall 2020

8 Weeks


Emma Brennan

+ Sami Everhart


Karen Cheng


Figma, Illustrator 

+ Sketch

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Research + Topics

About 54% of all college students will take out some type of loan to pay for their education. My partner, Sami Everhart, and I conducted research with current UW student who are using student loans to pay for school in order to gain more insight. From this research, we decided to create an information booklet geared towards high school students who are planning to go to college and not sure how they will afford to pay.

Initial Concepts

Over the course of the quarter, Sami and I designed spreads in a few different visual directions. Bi-weekly critique with Professor Cheng and our fellow peers helped us to narrow a visual style and make our infographics accessible and digestible. 

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Once our research and data was narrowed we created a list of topics and work pages that would be relevant to these students.

Due to the fact that this is a student project, we decided to "collaborate" with The Financial Aid Handbook by Carol Stack and Ruth Vedvik. Not only is their book is jam packed with great information, but, the voice of their writing had a strong voice that fit our design vision as well.

For many high school students, large amounts of money and loans are foreign subjects and not talked about often. We
wanted to create a space where they could learn about student loans while
simultaneously understanding their personal financial situation and security.

Using a mix of informational graphs, work pages and friendly illustrations, we created an inviting space to talk about money.

Look + Feel

We wanted this workbook to feel friendly but sophisticated at the same time. In order to keep the booklet sophisticated, we played around with a number of layouts, grids and styles of infographics that were cohesive to one another . The topic of loans and money isn't always interesting but using Sami's amazing illustration skills and a refined yet eye-catching color palette, we achieved the friendly and engaging aspect of our design. 


Our final deliverable is a 63 page informational workbook that enables Washingtonians to understand and make smart choices about their student loans. 

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