College loans a carry a loaded burden

student-debt-ball-and-chain-300x300The high cost of  student loans may be forcing many students to postpone major decisions such as marriage, having children, purchasing a home, or saving for retirement, according to a new study.

Many students also said their loans mean they would likely be living with their parents after graduation and might have to take a job outside their field of study, according to the survey conducted by Harris Poll  among 751 college students who enrolled in fall of 2015.

Although most college students who have student loans (59 percent) say their loans will take less than a decade to pay off, a majority (79 percent) didn’t know exactly how much they will have taken out in loans in total, upon graduation. More than one-in-three (36 percent) either had no idea or a vague idea of the total amount of their loans upon graduation. More than two-in-five (43 percent) had a general idea of the amount of their loans, while only one-in-five (22 percent) knew the exact amount of their loans in total, upon graduation.

“Every college student taking out loans should know what they are borrowing per semester and their projected balance upon graduation,” said Greg Anton,  chair of the  National CPA Financial Literacy Commission. “This information is crucial to determine how burdensome the debt will be post-graduation and weigh alternatives if the amount is simply too high. It’s impossible to do this without knowing the loan amount.”

On average, college students who have student loans thought they would be able to pay back their loans in nine years after graduation, with only 18 percent saying that it would take them more than 10 years. A quarter of college students with loans either didn’t know how long it would take them to pay them back (18 percent) or had never thought about it (6 percent).

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Honolulu CC to compete in first ever NASA Swarmathon


NASA announced last week that Honolulu Community College was selected as one of 21 teams to compete in the NASA Swarmathon Virtual Competition, along with the University of Hawai‘i Hilo and Maui College. We will follow the students leading up to the competition. Stay tuned!


The NASA Swarmathon is a competition to develop cooperative robotics to revolutionize space exploration.  The First Annual Swarmathon, will occur April 18-22, 2016 at NASA Kennedy Space Center. Students from minority serving Universities and Community Colleges will be challenged to develop search algorithms for robotic swarms. This technology promises to more effectively and efficiently locate and collect resources on the Moon or Mars. 12 teams representing 14 schools were selected to compete in the Swarmathon’s Physical Competition.screen-shot-2015-11-09-at-10-21-22-am

The goal of the NASA Swarmathon competition is to develop integrated robotic platforms that improve resource retrieval rates by 2–4 fold, compared to the same number of robots operating without cooperation, and orders of magnitude faster than solitary robots.  For example, 20 Swarmies can travel and search 42 km of linear distance in 8 hours without recharging; that’s the distance covered in a marathon, and the same distance traveled by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in 11 years.


In addition to being the most effective way to scour large territories for resources, robotic swarms are more robust, flexible, scalable than monolithic robots operating alone.  This nascent swarm robotics technology can be vastly improved by combining new algorithms, novel hardware and sensors, and traditional computational techniques for search, learning and data aggregation.


Congratulations to Team #HonCC and good luck in your preparation for the competition!

Project Imua commended by Gov. Ige

Project Imua recognized by Gov. Igescreen-shot-2015-10-24-at-8-58-10-am
Governor David Ige presented commemorative plaques to Project Imua team members from University of Hawai’i campuses across the state during a recognition ceremony at the State Capitol on October 23. Project Imua (Hawaiian for ‘to move forward’) is a joint faculty-student enterprise for designing, fabricating and testing payloads. Read more at

HCC Halloween, fashion style

Photos by Nakemiah Williams 

You’d expect the Cosmetology and Fashion Technology students at Honolulu Community to know how to do Halloween right.

Perfect wigs. Eye-popping and scary makeup. And great costumes.  All were part of the day when the students put on an impromptu fashion show on campus Thursday.