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Finance Portfolio

This project, in some form or another, has made up 10-15% of the course grade in the undergraduate general education quantitative reasoning/liberal arts mathematics courses I have taught at the University of Northern Colorado. These classes have been taught with texts like [Bennett & Briggs, 2003] or [Staszkow & Bradshaw, 1995].

The project assignment appears on a web page10 which is linked to a Library Resource Page that I worked with a university Librarian to create. The introduction to the project is made when the entire class takes a field trip to the library for a 90 minute computer-lab session. The first 30 minutes the Librarian demonstrates the use of the resources on the Library Resource Page. The last 60 minutes the students spend on beginning to find information and developing estimates based on salary quartile data; establishing maximum mortgage amounts based on salary; shopping for housing; and exploring other project components. The librarian and I circulate through the room helping them.

Math 120 - Project 2 - Finance Portfolio
The end product of this project will be a portfolio of information about your research and estimates of annual costs for living and working in the United States in your first job after college. Below you will find two checklists. One is for the organization of the Finance Portfolio, the other for the topics to be addressed.

Portfolio Contents Checklist
(#) indicates the number of points for each topic/item.

(4) A. Table of Contents.
Each item in the Portfolio is listed using a brief (10 words or less) descriptive title.
(8) B. Summary of your findings (150 to 500 words; no references). The summary gives an overview of the details (see Detail Checklist below) for at least one possible living scenario: describe living and working at a job in an area at least 100 miles from Greeley, Colorado and at least 100 miles from where you grew up (i.e., where you went to high school).
(8) C. The Narrative of 600 to 2200 words is clear, organized, and provides information for each item in the Detailed Checklist . Include supporting evidence from webpages and other sources as appendices. Reference pertinent information external to the Portfolio using APA style (Author(s), year) and include a full bibliographic entry in References section (see below). Follow the link for an example of a portion of a narrative.
(8) D. Cost of Living , a one year spread-sheet showing budget estimates (see the Detail Checklist below and the budget demonstration page).
(4) E. Additional materials as needed for support of your assertions in B , C , and D above.
(8) F. References (like a bibliography). Use APA format for references. References include information on the source(s) for E above, including citation of web site sources.

Detail Checklist
(#) indicates the number of points for each topic/item.

Each of the following details are part of the contents for your Portfolio . Discuss these details in your Narrative section AND include the monthly costs of A through J in your Cost of Living (Budget) Spreadsheet.

(4) A. Jobs - research-based estimates of difficulty or ease of obtaining desired job in scenario location, of salary and benefits, of longevity of people in similar jobs. If you have a life-companion and/or other family to take into consideration, do so (e.g., both finding desired jobs in same city or town).
B. Housing - in at least one scenario (if you do more than one) you must buy a house or apartment, for the other you may buy, rent, or lease housing.
(4) 1. Evidence of mortgage shopping and calculations, including Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and Property or Home Owners Association (POA or HOA) costs. PMI is usually required if the downpayment is 20% or less of the property cost - on average the cost is $5 per month per $10,000 borrowed. POA or HOA fees are usually listed in the information given about a particular house, along with property tax amount. Include information on total loan amount, monthly payment, and total cost of interest paid over life of loan.
(4) 2. Evidence of real property insurance. Include estimates for annual cost of home- or apartment- owner insurance (e.g., fire, flood, earthquake, property damage)

Try the links at the bottom of this page for homeowner's insurance estimates before using the following information. If you are unable to obtain an estimate for homeowner's insurance, use the following to estimate the cost of insurance: The cost of insurance is approximately $44 per $10,000 in replacement cost for the insured property. The average national replacement cost for a house is $60,000 for the first 1000 square feet plus $40,000 for each additional 1000 square feet. For example, a 1500 square foot house would cost (approximately) $80,000 to replace/rebuild. Therefore, the annual homeowner's insurance premium would be (approximately) $44 x 8 = $352.
(4) 3. Evidence of neighborhood/area characteristics research (things like: quality of schools, crime rate, rental rate, police/fire/ambulance response times, etc, as appropriate).
(4) 4. Moving. Evidence of cost to move to job location from Greeley.
(4) 5. Utilities. Include research-based estimates for the monthly and annual cost of gas, water, sewer, trash, electricity, phone, cable or satellite t.v., internet connectivity, etc., as appropriate.
UNC Library Resource Page for Math 120 Project -

next up previous contents
Next: Graduate Course - Teaching Up: Mathematics for Liberal Arts Previous: Syllabus   Contents
Shandy Hauk 2007-01-18