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Members of Congress likely paid a lot less for college than you

Market Watch

A new analysis comparing how much members of Congress paid for their schooling to the costs of today’s students backs him up. When the members of the House of Representatives went to college, the average cost for a year of school was $8,487 in today’s dollars, according to the study published Thursday by Demos, a left-leaning think tank.

The same number of students attending the same mix of schools today would pay over $24,000 per year. Senators paid $9,480 a year on average when they went to school, the analysis found, compared to an average of nearly $29,000 for today’s students.

The analysis, which uses data on where each member of Congress went to college and the cost of their college from the year they graduated to determine the averages, doesn’t necessarily reflect the way rising college costs are experienced by the typical American. But what it does show is how drastically the challenge of paying for college has changed for American families since those who make some of the policy decisions on college affordability were attending school.

“We wanted to create something that was a reminder to lawmakers of the advantages that many of them had in financing their own dreams and education,” said Mark Huelsman, a policy analyst at Demos and the author of the report. “We want lawmakers to realize that it’s only fair to give their constituents the same fighting chance that they had.”