Project Title
College Costs
Author
David Graser, Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ (David_Graser@yc.edu)
Abstract
This project originated from an extensive data set of college costs published by the College Board. I needed a first project for my college algebra class that incorporated the concepts surrounding a linear equation and slope. Although this project could be done with almost any type of technology, I required my students to use Excel as well as Mathtype to help them document their work. In this project, each student was given a state for which the average college cost in 2004-2005 and 2007-2008 was known for two year colleges, public four year colleges and private four year colleges. For each type of institution, the student finds the equation of a line through the two data points and predicts when the college costs will double.
Project Content
Project Letter: DOC | PDF
Project Data: EXCEL | PDF
Scaffolding Resources
Technology Assignment 1: DOC | PDF - This assignment is designed to get the students graphing their data points on their graphing calculator and in Excel.
- Video - How To Graph Two Points on the TI-83
- Video - How To Graph Two Points in Excel
Technology Assignment 2: DOC | PDF - In this assignment, students will solve an equation algebraically and graphically. This should prepare them determining when their college costs have doubled.
- Video - Verify the Solution to an Equation Using the TI-83
- Video - Verify the Solution to an Equation Using Excel
- Video - Show How To Solve an Equation Using Mathtype
How to Find a Point of Intersection on a TI Graphing Calculator PDF - This document shows how to put in two equations and find the point of intersection using the intersect command from the CALC menu.
How to Find a Point of Intersection in Excel PDF - This document shows how to find the point of intersection using GOAL SEEK in Excel.
Notes
Some states have institutions whose average costs are decreasing. If you choose to have your students find when costs double, don't choose one of those states.
Some possible options:
- The second worksheet in the Excel file has the annual data for college costs from 2004 to 2008. You could make this into a modeling project or find the equation of a line through a different set of years.
- Students could compare one type of institution in two different states.