Friday, October 7, 2011

College Tuition Project

The purpose of this project was to learn specific math subjects through practical application by using data to find a multitude of information relating to the cost of college.  Also, to learn more about choosing a college and the expenses that come with the education.  We learned about the different types of loans available and what those loans entail in terms of debt after school.

California Polytechnic State University is a nationally ranked public school on the coast of California.  It has a large, modern campus with astounding facilities, and technologically modern buildings.  It is about thirty minutes from the beach.
                My calculated line and my estimated line were quite opposites of each other.   To calculate the line I choses two points on the line and found the slope between the two.  I used the point and the new found slope fill the equation in point slope form.  The estimated equation ended up being y= 1000x-1500.  When I used the calculator to find the calculated equation I got, y= 1898.55x+10,771.55.  As you can see the equations are quite different in slope and intercepts.  These differences were so drastic because the line of best fit I drew was not accurate.  This was a mistake of visual examination, and one simple error caused a large outcome mistake.
                My correlation coefficient is .95; this represents how my line and data correlate.  If a line has a correlation coefficient of one then the data increases steadily and uniformly every year, this would be like the amount of taxes paid every year.  The number of people paying taxes would steadily increase as the country grows.  My data was quite sporadic in rates of increase, like the stock market.  There were some drastic changes that happened just between two years.  This is like the how a stock changes year to year.
                The average percent increase over the past ten years is 12.9% per year.  This is quite a steep rate of increase.  That means that the tuition prices have increased by large amounts most years.  However, the jumps were different amounts depending on the year; it was not a steady 12.9% every year.  One year it percent increase was 57% and one year it did not increase at all.
                For the next four years it is anticipated that tuition will increase is 5.4% per year.  This is not that steep of an average compared to some prior years.  By the time I am a senior in college I will be paying about 45,000 dollars a year.  This is a respectable amount of money for an education.              
                The four years that I have predicted have a pretty steady rate of increase, but some years were not so uniform.  In 2001-2002 to 2002-2003 the percent of increase was 57%.  That means it jumped from 10,590 to 16,578.  Could you imagine going away for a summer and coming back to that surprise?  It would be quite a burden to owe an extra 6,000 dollars, but it's what goes on in times of hardships.  My only guess to why it went up so much is, that is there year the 9/11 attacks happened and the economy was not doing so well.  Cal Poly is a public school, so funding could have changed drastically, ergo more expensive tuition rates to compensate.  For all four years of my undergraduate tuition I estimate it to be, 145,608 dollars.  This number is subject to change.  There is no telling where the economy will be in five years, for better or for worse the number could fluctuate to accommodate certain circumstances. To pay for the very expensive tuition fees I will most likely have to take out student loans.  There are a few types of loans to choose from, I looked at all of them and assessed each one based on which one will be the best for my situation after college.  I had to think about what career I might end up in and think about how much I can afford based on that salary.  I was thinking about going into engineering and usually the career in that field pay fairly well.  Engineers are prevalent in most places of design and special technical products.  I could end up in the medical field or the in a civil engineering position, so I chose my loan accordingly.  I decided on an Extended Fixed loan, this means that I will be paying a fixed rate of 721.16 per month.  Over 25 years I will be paying 216,348, that is about 70,000 dollars in interest that I will end up paying in the end.  I am going to have to get a good job to afford that much money, but it is said that the best investment is in your education.  Therefore the large amount of money I will end up paying is worth it.
Academic Year
Tuition Fee (dollars)
Percent Increase

Academic Year
Tuition Fee
Percent Increase

Works Cited
Office of Institutional Planning and Analysis. N.p., 28 Jan. 2011. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <>.
Admissions, Cal Poly. "General Information." Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Common Data Set 2002-2003 . N.p., 2003. Web. 16 Sept. 2011. <>.