Many high school students are financially illiterate to the true cost of post-secondary education. compareU aims to educate students on the costs of tuition, housing, food, etc for each of their university/college programs.

What it does

compareU allows users to compare the different costs of their post-secondary programs by first selecting their university and program. compareU will prompt the user to enter the different costs they will encounter in their first year of university with links to find accurate information. Users will also be reminded of some overlooked costs such as transportation to home and back, textbooks, and club fees. Users will also be able to look at their income for the year as the app will provide resources on accessing OSAP, RESP, scholarships, and opt-out information.

How we built it

After planning the design of the application on pen and paper, we split off into designer and developer roles. We built the design and prototypes using Adobe XD and created mockups of the application on Adobe Photoshop. Utilizing the designs, we built a prototype in Java utilizing GUI programming. The prototype allows a user to enter information for a university.

Challenges we ran into

Three of four of the hackers who built compareU were first time hackers, developing an idea and starting off was difficult and took a lot of time. Our developers found it difficult to build a large scale Java program using GUI. They had trouble understanding the interactions between components and struggled with the implementation of the Java Swing class.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud that our application can have a long term impact on financial literacy due to our scalable and user-friendly interface. We built our application using Java GUI programming due to the fact we wish for the application to be scalable towards mobile and website development.

What we learned

For our designers, they learned how to collaborate with developers as this was their first time at a hackathon. For our developers, they learned how to build a complex Java GUI program along with multiple components within the Java Swing class.

What's next for compareU

The team wishes to build a full mobile application using React Native to allow for access for both Android and iOS users. In this application we wish to implement accurate links to resources for each university on where to find costs associated to tuition, residence costs, etc. We also wish to implement a comparison feature for students to see the costs of each program in comparison to their income from OSAP, RESP, scholarships, and bursaries.

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