Skip to main content

Tuition and Fees at Flagship and Land Grant Universities over time

If you believe you can extract strategy from prior activities, I have something for you to try to make sense of here.  This is a long compilation of tuition and fees at America's Flagship and Land Grant institutions.  If you are not quite sure about the distinction between those two types of institutions, you might want to read this first.  TLDR: Land Grants were created by an act of congress, and for this purpose, flagships are whoever I say they are.  There doesn't seem to be a clear definition.  

Further, for this visualization, I've only selected the first group of Land Grants, funded by the Morrill Act of 1862.  They tend to be the arch rival of the Flagship, unless, of course, they're the same institution.

Anyway, today I'm looking at tuition, something you'd think would be pretty simple.  But there are at least four ways to measure this: Tuition, of course, but also tuition and required fees, and both are different for residents and nonresidents.  Additionally, you can use those variables to create all sorts of interesting variables, like the gap between residents and nonresidents, the ratio of that gap to resident tuition, or even several ways to look at the role "required fees" change the tuition equation.  All would be--in a perfect world--driven by strategy.  I'm not sure I'd agree that such is the case.

Take a look and see if you agree.

There are five views here, each getting a little more complex.  I know people are afraid to interact with these visualizations, but I promise you can't break anything.  So click away.

The first view (using the tabs across the top) compares state resident full-time, first-time, undergraduate tuition and required fees (yellow) to those for nonresidents (red bar). The black line shows the gap ratio.  For instance, if resident tuition is $10,000 and nonresident tuition is $30,000, the gap is $20,000, and that is 2x the resident rate.  The view defaults to the University of Michigan, but don't cheat yourself: Us the filter at top left to pick any other school. If you've read this blog before, you know why Penn State is showing strange data.  It's not you, it's IPEDS, so don't ask.)

The second tab shows four data points explicitly, and more implicitly.  This view starts with the University of Montana, but the control lets you change that.  On top is resident tuition (purple) and resident tuition and fees (yellow). Notice how the gap between the two varies, suggesting the role of fees in the total cost of attendance.  The bottom shows those figures for nonresidents.

The third view looks a little crazy. Choose a value to display at top left, and the visualization will rank all 77 institutions from highest to lowest.  Use the control at top right to highlight an institution to put it in a national context.  Hover over the dots for details in a popup box.  If you want to look at a smaller set of institutions, you can do that, too, using the filters right above the chart.  The fourth view is the exact same, but shows the actual values, rather than the rank.  As always, hover for details.

Finally, the fifth view is a custom scatter plot: Choose the variable you want on the x-axis and the variable to plot it against on the y-axis.  Then use the filters to limit the included institutions. As always, let me know what you find that's interesting.


Popular posts from this blog

Freshman Migration, 1986 to 2020

(Note: I discovered that in IPEDS, Penn State Main Campus now reports with "The Pennsylvania State University" as one system.  So when you'd look at things over time, Penn State would have data until 2018, and then The Penn....etc would show up in 2020.  I found out Penn State main campus still reports its own data on the website, so I went there, and edited the IPEDS data by hand.  So if you noticed that error, it should be corrected now, but I'm not sure what I'll do in years going forward.) Freshman migration to and from the states is always a favorite visualization of mine, both because I find it a compelling and interesting topic, and because I had a few breakthroughs with calculated variables the first time I tried to do it. If you're a loyal reader, you know what this shows: The number of freshman and their movement between the states.  And if you're a loyal viewer and you use this for your work in your business, please consider supporting the costs

The Highly Rejective Colleges

If you're not following Akil Bello on Twitter, you should be.  His timeline is filled with great insights about standardized testing, and he takes great effort to point out racism (both subtle and not-so-subtle) in higher education, all while throwing in references to the Knicks and his daughter Enid, making the experience interesting, compelling, and sometimes, fun. Recently, he created the term " highly rejective colleges " as a more apt description for what are otherwise called "highly selective colleges."  As I've said before, a college that admits 15% of applicants really has a rejections office, not an admissions office.  The term appears to have taken off on Twitter, and I hope it will stick. So I took a look at the highly rejectives (really, that's all I'm going to call them from now on) and found some interesting patterns in the data. Take a look:  The 1,132 four-year, private colleges and universities with admissions data in IPEDS are incl

The College Finder

Note: A few people have commented on slow loading with the visualization.  If you have troubles, click here to be taken right to the visualization .  It should open in a new tab and you can follow along from there.    This is always a popular post with high school counselors, IECs, parents, and students who are looking for general information on degrees awarded, or a very specific combination of academic programs, location, and other institutional characteristics. It uses IPEDS data I downloaded as soon as I can when it became available (and before a looming government shutdown), and shows all 1,700 majors recognized by the federal government in the IPEDS system, using CIP codes, and the number of degrees awarded by college in any selected area. For instance, you might have a question about which college awards the most degrees in French Language and Literature: A few clicks, and you find it's the University of Arizona.  If you want a colder climate, choose the Great Lakes region,