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Practice Essay: Wil Weatherford

Florida Speaker of the House, Will Weatherford, recently argued for a 6% State tuition raise for the State's public college students, claiming that these particular students paid less for their cellphones than for tution! But the Miami Herald countered that Weatherford's budget was only "mostly true," with some "caveats."

First, 2013 tuition at Florida four-year publics is now 67% and has been in the past five years, not $6000 as assumed. But the average cost per student, including grants and scholarships, plus gifts, totals $4646 per student. Thus, the average "out-of-pocket" FLorida student spends a mere #400, and 44% of the students whose families earn less than $60,000 pay nothing.

Nonetheless, one cannot contend that a student pays more tuition for his or her cell phones than for payment for Florida publics.

Nonetheless, FLorida students must pay thousands more, first of all, for room and board, then additional money for books and transportation. On the other hand, both houses of the Florida legislature hope to boost state university funds by a hefty $100 million this calender year, 2013-2014.

Though the Florida governor believes he will veto any tuition raise, students in Florida worry that a tax on students plus a tax on parents and their families may not make their budgets work!

Answers to Questions

1) A "caveat" means: a) qualification, b) warning, c) a definite government rule, d) an absolute result, e) a complaint

2) Will Weatherford's attitudes towards Florida's taxes were a) usually humorous, b) there were some occasions when Florida college students have refused to jest about the elevation of state levies because they felt an inability to pay for a public college. c) Students' families cannot afford to pay for an expensive university, d) Florida official are trying to lessen the expenses for their trainees and students.

ELISSA SOMMERFIELD is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with an MA in English from SMU. She taught English at SMU and in the Dallas County Community College District. For under 30 years, she has conducted classes in SAT and ACT preparation as well as in graduate school exam instruction and study skills. Additionally, she has tutored extensively in most academic areas, the ISEE, the composition of school entrance essays, and editing books. She has served as an SAT and educational consultant for 29 Texas school districts and has authored four books on SATs plus, with Frances Bailey Wood, co-authored and revised one on how to study efficiently. An educational consultant, as well as graduate school, college, and boarding school counselor, she is a member of Independent Educational Consultants Association and Texas Association for College Admissions Counselors. Sommerfield actively maintains her Certified Educational Planner designation and at UT was a Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year.

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