Some states finance their higher education systems better than others. There are also a number of different ways to measure how a state supports its colleges and universities. That's why looking at a single, aggregated statistic doesn't give you a clear picture a states' performance.
Another problem is presenting individual state statistics without context. Is $5,600 a lot for a state to spend per college college student? It's actually below average, but without a baseline to compare to, you probably won't get a lot out of that statistic on its own.
That's why we graded every state based on its recent and current state budget support for higher education. To compare the states, we indexed the data to a score out of 100 percent and visualized in an easy to understand report card. Recognizing that there are different ways to make college affordable, we organized the grades into categories like tuition and state financial aid. For the full methodology, click here, or check out the Example Report Card below.
What is a state report card?