Student studying on computer in dorm room
UT Permian Basin offers a variety of transfer-friendly class options

Going to college automatically brings new challenges and experiences. But if you’re starting college in fall 2020, you’re in a situation no one could have predicted. Changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have made students understandably anxious about college options this year. At least for fall, many schools have moved all classes online.  

But how do you know if you're getting your money's worth? And how do you get the academic and social support you'll need? Concerned students and parents ask our UT Permian Basin admissions team questions like these daily. So, we put together our top six tips to help students and parents balance safety with smart financial decision-making when it comes to attending college in 2020. 

1. Consider staying closer to home

If you’re wondering about staying closer to home for a year or two until things get back to normal, UT Permian Basin offers a variety of transfer-friendly general education class options so you don’t have to make a long-term decision right away. We have several academic options to meet your needs including face-to-face, hybrid, and 100% online courses. You can find more information about our academic plans here.

2. Seek meaningful student support

As you research high-quality academic programs, ask about learning support. UT Permian Basin offers a variety of support options for our students whether they're attending on-campus or online. Students can receive help in person or virtually at the student success center, through their professors, or advisors. Respected online programs extend services to help students get the most out of online learning. All UTPB students can access the same academic resources including:  

  • Library services
  • Tutoring
  • IT support
  • Student advising teams

3. Choose experts at online learning 

Holding classes online, whether it’s 100% or hybrid, was an easy switch for UT Permian Basin. We already had a strong online presence. However, many colleges and universities across the country are struggling with the transition. Students shouldn't have to pay to become test cases for a new online learning implementation.

Choose a school that has already invested time in choosing dynamic online professors and developing a learning platform that works. Schools that were already prepared will be better equipped to adapt to your online learning needs this fall. Look for a college that takes online programs as seriously as on-campus programs. You can find a sample of the support we offer for online classes here.

4. Ask about financial aid options 

The COVID-19 situation underscores how crucial it is to make the right college decision. You’ll want to choose not just based on the program you want to complete, but also the student aid available and how affordable your degree will be by the time you graduate. With so much uncertainty, generous financial aid programs and lower tuition costs can help set  you on a firmer financial ground upon graduation. 

UTPB students can be eligible for all types of financial aid, including grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. Fill out your FAFSA to ensure you get every dollar to which you’re entitled to confidently reach your future. 

UTPB undergraduate tuition costs for both online and on-campus classes are some of the lowest in the state. Texas and New Mexico residents pay just over $200 per semester credit hour. 

We also award generous financial aid packages, providing $15 million to students from all walks of life every year, as well as the Falcon Promise program, which can cover 100% of tuition and fees for Pell Grant-eligible Texas residents. 

5. Look for engaging instructors

Among the biggest supporters in your academic journey will be your instructors. It takes a certain personality to engage and interact with students, both in class and in a virtual setting. If you’re looking at 100% online or hybrid course options, consider asking key questions before you decide. 

At UTPB, our instructors are knowledgeable – all tenured and tenure-track faculty hold the highest degree achievable in their field. But they're also approachable experts, providing the same personalized support and mentoring, whether on campus or on-line, to help you find and pursue your passion. 

Look for a school with innovative classes and assignments to create learning that sticks with you. 

6. Look for colleges that respond with empathy

How a school responds to the COVID-19 situation matters. There’s enough for you to manage already, so look for schools who are responding in the best interests of students and doing what they can to make the process more manageable. You can explore UTPB’s Back To Campus plan. 

At UTPB, all test score requirements are being waived for incoming freshmen and for most graduate students in fall 2020 to help make the college enrollment process even easier. 

Get a high-quality, supportive college experience this fall – without breaking the bank. Contact the UTPB admissions department to get started today.