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Dual Credit Program helping students graduate college with little to no debt

UT Permian Basin is helping over 800 students earn their college degree while they’re still in high school. It’s through the University’s Dual Credit Program. Today, that program is on a mission to help those students graduate college with little to no debt.

Early College High School students are eligible to apply for the Greater Texas Foundation Scholars Program through Friday, February 22nd. Students accepted into the program can receive up to $4,000 a year to pay for college tuition and books at UT Permian Basin.

“It just makes sense for these ECHS students to transition to UTPB,” Jhabryll Fernandez, UTPB’s Scholars Program Coordinator said. “They have already earned college credits here and this program can help them earn a college degree with very little to no debt.” 

Fernandez says the GTF Scholars Program not only helps students pay for college, but it sets them up for success on campus.

“Our students can get free tutoring and mentoring,” she said. “Since we are not a large university, students also have the opportunity to work directly with their professors – all opportunities they likely wouldn’t have somewhere else.”

During her time as the GTF Scholars Program Coordinator, Fernandez says the program has a built-in support system.

“I have always made myself available to our students to ensure they’re getting everything they need,” she said. Through that, we have created a small community. We go to athletic events together, our group attends most of the Student Life events on campus. It’s fun to be part of.”

Freshman Sam Aranda Jr. is one of those students. He graduated from Presidio High School last year with his sights set on finishing his degree at UT Permian Basin.

“UT Permian Basin was my first choice,” Aranda said. “I wanted to matter, not just be a number.”

Though it’s Aranda’s first year at UTPB, he’s almost classified as a junior, thanks to the GTF Scholars Program.

“If it wasn’t for the Scholars Program, I wouldn’t be able to take as many classes,” he said. “This program allows me to focus on my classes and not stress out about how I’m going to help my parents pay for it.”

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