Published Oct. 18, 2018
Education Writer's Association/The Dallas Morning News
About this project
Initially, I was contracted to update the existing Tuition Tracker online tool by the Education Writer's Association while working at The Dallas Morning News. While EWA hosted the original tool, the Hechinger Report had developed it and was looking to update it with the latest price and demographic data for U.S. schools listed in the Education Department's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
We formed a collaboration funded by a grant to complete the update. I redesigned the tool from the ground up to make it more user-friendly, to include more parameters to tailor the user's school search, made the cleaned data files downloadable and every school's results page shareable on social media. I analyzed, synthesized and added the new schools data to the project.
From this data, I developed interactive visualizations which updated depending on the school the user selected on the search page. These visualizations included: basic information about the school including a mini locator map, its degree offerings, tuition pricing according to a family's income bracket, student demographics and outcomes. The new tool was went live on Oct. 18, 2018, after I had departed the Morning News.
Since the October 2018 update, new features were added by the Hechinger Report and EWA. Users can now compare several schools at a time based on afforability and graduation rate. Addititonally, the pricing charts now include calculated projections of what tuition might look like in the coming years based on current data and inflation rates.