DEI / Education / Universities

College Abacus is now available in Spanish

College Ábaco aims to help bilingual families make smart financial choices about college.

The College Abacus site. (Photo via Twitter)

On a Wednesday during 2015’s Computer Science Education Week, I watched a room full of high school students at McKinley Tech Education Campus explore the College Abacus site for the first time. They seemed impressed by the concept, yes, but many didn’t make it very far through the process — stumped by questions about the exact state of their parent’s finances. They needed help.
For some students, though, it can be difficult to get this help. Especially if their parents don’t have the same language skills that they do.
College Abacus, the self-described “ of college financial aid,” is now trying to lower these language barriers with new versions of their tools — College Abacus and Pell Abacus — translated into Spanish.
College Ábaco and Pell Ábaco aim to make it easier for bilingual Hispanic families to compare college costs and explore financial aid options. College Abacus cofounder Abigail Seldin announced the new tools at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in Atlanta earlier this month.
“Researching and understanding your college financial aid options is daunting for most people, but it can be especially overwhelming for first generation students and parents who are non-native English speakers,” Seldin said in a statement. “By launching College Ábaco and Pell Ábaco, we’re making it easier for the tens of millions of Spanish-speaking households in America to not only identify the best schools for their budgets, but navigate the college search process as a family unit.”
According to Seldin, these tools are the first of their kind. Like its English language counterpart, College Ábaco takes school-specific tuition information from President Obama’s College Scorecard API and presents this alongside information on average alumni earnings, number of students with federal grants and more.
The College Abacus brand is run by the nonprofit Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) after being acquired in June 2014. Seldin is currently ECMC’s vice president of innovation and product management.

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