Everything’s Bigger in Texas: Examining the Mandatory (and Additional) Financial Burden of Postsecondary Education
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Student fees remain an under-researched aspect of postsecondary education and finance (Kelchen, 2016). This study examines the mandatory and additional fees charged to full-time, in-state undergraduate students by public and private not-for-profit four-year institutions in Texas (n=96). Findings demonstrate the average four-year institution in Texas charges over $1,500 per academic year in mandatory fees, $500 higher than the national average. Moreover, private institutions charge an average of $1,100 less than publics, while fees comprise 6.8% of the total cost of attendance at private and 29.1% at publics. Institutions of higher education compose fee explanations above the 12th-grade reading level and only 5.2% of the sample provided fee explanations in a language other than English, thus further marginalizing non-English speaking language populations in Texas. Implications for policy makers, practitioners, and future research are addressed.