Student journalists at Kent State University interviewed Mid-American Conference schools asking for an athletic department budget and breakdown of tuition and fees, according to Kent University. They posed the question, "Why aren't universities providing line-item charges so students and parents can see where the money is going?"
After collaborative research, the students across MAC schools are paying millions of dollars to fund athletics and chances are they're not aware of such charges to their tuition bill. Based on the athletic budgets from schools that were willing to comply, they could total the percent of the budget from student fees. They also took the budgets and recorded the amount paid by students to the athletic department per credit. Of all the MAC schools interviewed, only the University of Buffalo displays athletic fees as a line-item on tuition bills.
Colorful pie charts and graphics are used strategically to attract the readers eyes and educate students with a visual image. Computer programs are used to create a visual picture in the confusing lists of numbers. A video produced by the students highlighted the procedure and conflicts with the investigation. The students also used the Internet to search contact information for the schools involved.