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In-state tuition at Texas Tech University is well below other Texas schools like Baylor, Rice and TCU. It's also below the average yearly salary of Texas workers, unlike those aforementioned universities.

The Houston Chronicle recently did a comparative graph between several of the most popular Texas universities. Southern Methodist University was the most expensive, costing near $62,000 in tuition a year. That's very nearly double what the average Texan earns in a year. That feels...ridiculous to me, but SMU is a private school and can charge what they please, I suppose.

Texas Tech's tuition is nearly $12,000 for a year, which can still be quite a financial burden for students and the families that support them (if those students even have that support). And as anyone who has ever been to college knows, tuition is just the beginning of the cost of going to college.

Books and supplies cost the average college student between $628 to $1,471 annually. Unless the student is living with their parents, there's also the tremendous cost of rent and utilities. Students also have to eat, have access to transportation and just live every once in a while, too. It's no wonder people leave college with massive student loan debts.

I've had judgmental older relatives and acquittances raise an eyebrow over how difficult it is to afford attending and staying in school. I know they've looked down on me for how long it took me to graduate. It's not exactly their fault for not understanding just how big of a difference the costs are from when they attended school:

... tuition and fees have increased nearly 1,900 percent at private colleges since 1972. And for public schools, the increase has come at an even higher rate.

This is why I strongly recommend a two-year school prior to attending a university. South Plains College, for example, is about $4,000 a year for in-state tuition, or about a third of the cost of attending Texas Tech. In my opinion, it's also a much less jarring experience to attend a small junior college right out of high-school. Going straight to a major university can be overwhelming, especially when first-year classes tend to be held in massive lecture halls with hundreds of students.

In addition to being more affordable than other schools, I must say that Texas Tech is a wonderful university with an amazing faculty and staff. I'm admittedly biased; I earned my English degree from Texas Tech. If you spotted a grammatical error in this article, don't blame Texas Tech (Editor's note: blame me!). They did the best they could with whom they were working with.

Texas Tech specializes in meat sciencemechanical engineering and has incredible law and business schools, in addition to many other award-winning departments with high job placement rates. It's proof that the most expensive school isn't necessarily the best, and certainly not the best for every student.

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