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Track Tuition Costs In Texas And Beyond With This Database

College students listen to a lecture at the University of Texas at Austin in April 2016.
College students listen to a lecture at the University of Texas at Austin in April 2016.

The latest version of the Tuition Tracker was released Thursday to help students figure out the true cost of any college in Texas and across the country. 

This free online tool can be invaluable for potential college students and especially their families where money’s tight. It’s a product of The Hechinger Report, which covers education, The Dallas Morning Newsand the Education Writers Association.  

Tuition Tracker reveals data from nearly 4,000 colleges and universities, showing the real cost across different incomes. Sarah Butrymowicz, an editor at The Hechinger Report, says you can see a university’s sticker price versus its net price.

”Sticker price is the published tuition as well as what the school estimates you would have to pay for room and these extra costs,” Butrymowicz said. “So that’s generally going to be a much higher number than what students do pay. 

"The net price — it’s what students do pay once everything is taken into account,” she continued.

That real number can help lead to more affordable schools. Colleges listed include two- and four-year institutions, private, public and for-profit campuses as well as historically black colleges and universities.

While elite or Ivy League schools may carry prestige, they are expensive and financially out of reach for many students, says Jon Marcus, the editor of higher education at the Hechinger Report.

“We found instances in which low-income students are being charged almost double their annual family income as a net price after discounts and financial aid,” Marcus said. “Those are outliers, but many are still at or near full annual family income.

“We’ve come to an important landmark moment where college is essentially completely unaffordable,” he said.

Use the Tuition Tracker 

Copyright 2020 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues. Heâââ