Great (and somewhat depressing) interactive from ProPublica which will allow students to…

  1. Select a state and see the change in yearly tuition at public schools from 2000-2014 AND Change in Median Household Income over that same period
  2. Pick a specific college or university and see the increase in tuition over from 2000-2014

Here is one example from the state of Virginia and how my alma mater stacks up against other in-state colleges/universities:

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Questions for students:

  • How does the increase in public college tuition compare to changes in household income in the state that you reside?
  • On a dollar basis, has household income increased enough to offset changes in tuition levels?
  • How does the school you selected compare to changes in tuition at other public universities/colleges in the same state?
  • Compare the percentage of household income going to pay the median tuition in your state in 2000 to the percentage of income going to tuition in 2014? How does such a change feel to households in your state?
  • What headline would you put on the charts comparing tuition increases to household income?
  • What questions might you have as you look at this analysis?
    • Do the tuition figures take into account financial aid (are they gross or net numbers)?
  • Five minute Webquest: What are the causes of public college/university tuition increases over the past 14 years?


Want to bolster your students’ knowledge about paying for college, check out this NGPF Case Study: What College Should I Attend?