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Tuition Tracker is an interactive tool designed to help parents and students compare colleges using data that shows what schools will actually cost in the coming academic year. On the school page, users click the 'Add this school' button to add a college to their rankings list.

Students and parents can also compare institutions' graduation rates, which indicate the likelihood that a student will successfully complete their degree within a reasonable time frame — six years for four-year colleges and three years for two-year colleges — a significant factor in affordability.

Tuition Tracker was relaunched in Fall 2019 to be more forward-looking by projecting costs out to the 2020-21 academic year. Most other tools show only historical data.


Tuition Tracker is powered by U.S. Department of Education data from IPEDS, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a service provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The institutions analyzed are all U.S.-based, degree-granting colleges and universities that have first-time, full-time undergraduates.

Total price includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, and other expenses. Public schools display the in-state tuition rate on Tuition Tracker. Net price represents the total price minus the average amount of federal, state, local and institutional grants recieved by students awarded any type of financial aid. The figure for net price is independent of any loans taken out to pay for the cost of education.

Prices and other metrics are for first-time, first-year students. The projected price for each institution is calculated by taking school’s compound annual growth rate from 2008-09 to 2018-19*, then projecting that rate of growth from 2018-2019 to the 2020-21 academic year. Institutions without consecutive years of data going back to 2008-09 will not have projected prices. The tool assumes that each school’s net price will remain the same percentage of its sticker price for each income level as it was in 2016-17, the last year for which national data has been published.

The data on institutional characteristics, acceptance rates, and enrollment by race/ethnicity and gender below are published as they are provided in IPEDS.

*2018-19 data are provisional but have undergone NCES quality control procedures

To submit questions or report issues with the data, email Pete D'Amato (

Tuition Tracker uses cookies for optimal performance. Neither Tuition Tracker nor The Hechinger Report retains records of your personal data or answers to income questions.

Icons by Amy Morgan, Katya Prokofyeva, Becris,, AomAm and Rob Crosswell via The Noun Project.
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