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Serious Games For College Fit And Financial Aid Preparation

Graduate Strike Force is the fourth Serious Game in the USC Game Innovation Lab and Pullias Center’s FutureBound games suite, designed to introduce middle school and high school students to college application process and access to higher education.

Graduate Strike Force is a strategic action game for desktop and mobile devices that helps high school students evaluate and choose the best college fit in three different dimensions: Financial, Academic and Cultural. It provides a compelling and cohesive context to help students master the dynamic relationship between the evaluation and selection of a college and the consequences of that decision.

In the game, the world is besieged by globally catastrophic monsters. The only way to defeat them is by fielding a strong team of four college students and graduates that have made robust college choices. Matching the students of your super team to a good college determines their strength in the coming monsters confrontations.

In Graduate Strike Force, the player guides four recruits from choosing a college to graduating into the workforce. To be effective candidates, they must balance their financial, academic, and cultural needs when selecting a school. 

Each of these three areas contributes strongly to the recruit’s long-term monster-fighting ability. Periodically, the player’s choices are tested as monsters descend on cities around the world and the recruits are brought in to drive the creatures off. The stronger the college choices the player made, the better equipped the recruits will be.

The game focuses on the following core learning objectives: increase awareness of differentiating factors between colleges; illustrate how choice of college affects school experience and career opportunities; inform students about financial aid options and build decision-making skills related to financial aid; allow players to experiment with and experience loans, interest, and repayment as they explore financial aid offers; and increase awareness of hidden costs associated with college attendance. 

Graduate Strike Force offers the player freedom to experiment with different potential college options and experience the trade-offs between academic reputation, culture, and financial burden.

Have a taste of it at