Is College Still Affordable?

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Is College Still Affordable For The Average Middle-Class Student? Kaitlyn L. Nguyen
Lone Star College System – Cy-Fair

Introduction
Beginning in the 1800s, people have been able to go to a public university and get a good education with a degree to show for it. But it has since been increasing in the amount of money it costs to attend the university. Since about the 1800s, college has cost about two to four hundred dollars a year, but now is costing families thousands of dollars a year. Assuming that the student attends a Texas public university that is in-state and does live on campus, is college still affordable for the average middle class student and family? Objective

The reason I chose this topic is because I am going to be going off to college within the next year. My family is a little above the average middle-class family, so I wanted to do research on how expensive college will actually be. Everyone says it is going to be expensive and I want to figure just how expensive it will be for me to go to college since I am choosing to go to a four-year public university. I am hoping the research will help further my knowledge on college expenses and prepare me for what my future will be like financially. Theoretical Aspects

What is the average middle-class family exactly? When discussing who or what is considered middle-class, there are multiple answers that come up because there are multiple deciding factors. These include which state, country, government classifications, how much money the family makes, and, what many say is included, the person or family’s mindset. For example, there are people who make anywhere from $30,000 a year to those who make $100,000 a year consider themselves to be a part of the middle-class. In Texas, the average middle-class family is made up of four people, a mom, a dad, and two children. Of these two children, there is one who is a student in high school, and the other is going to soon be a freshman in college. The family lives in a house and regularly enjoys spending money for family entertainment and necessities. Together, both parents make about $63,000 a year to provide for their family. This family is the average middle-class family in Texas. Collection and Analysis of Information

When trying to determine whether or not the average middle-class family can afford to send their child to a four-year, public university, all of the costs of sending that child to college will need to be considered. The cost of sending that child to college includes tuition and fees, room and board, books, travel, supplies, and other school related costs. Also in need of consideration, are the family’s expenses and what the child will need when attending the university. Since the student will be attending a university for four years, the parents’ salaries for four years has been determined as $252.000. The average cost to attend a public university for one year is about $21,743 which includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, travel, and other cost, so to attend the university for four years would cost about $86,972. Right away, it seems as though college is easily affordable for the average middle-class family with the ability to pay for college within two years. But, expenditures for the family, and the student, have not been accounted for yet. Even though family makes about $63,000 a year, there are also other expenses that the family has to pay for. The average middle-class family will spend about $49,000 just on the expenses they need to tend too. These expenses include food and housing expenses, apparel and services, transportation, health care, entertainment, cash contributions, personal insurance and pensions, and any other expenses the family may have that were not included in the preceding categories. So the family’s total amount of expenditures for four years is about $196,000. But since the student knows he will be going off to college soon, he got a job to help...
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