Monday, July 20, 2015

A little math test

A headline on Yahoo! Finance reads:

American families spent 16% more on college this year

Just what does it mean?

Did all the families who spent money on college last year spend 16% more this year?


Did 16% more families spend money on college this year?

The article does mention that tuition only rose about 2%, and it does mention that some families are spending more because they can afford to.

So, the short answer is that more analysis is needed and that headline writers have to be careful of their wording.  Good journalism is factual, not sensational.