Head shot of Samantha Serrano
Samantha Serrano is on track to graduate from UT Permian Basin with no debt

UT Permian Basin marketing student, Samantha Serrano had one goal in mind when it came to getting a college degree: graduate debt free. 

You might be thinkingis that even possible?  Samantha is proof that it is. 

“I am on track to graduate with no debt. I have been able to finance my lifestyle to where I can fit UT Permian Basin in with no hesitation, and that’s been such a blessing to me, said Samantha Serrano, UTPB senior. 

According to U.S. News and World Report, the average cost of college tuition for in-state residents at a public university for the 2020-2021 school year is about $11,000. UT Permian Basin students however, pay significantly less. Samantha credits the financial aid office for helping guide her through the process. 

UTPB has been the best fit for me. It’s allowed me to get a high-quality education and get out with no student loans.

“I’m a transfer student so I was able to get a transfer scholarship! I was not going to stop my education, and UTPB took me and opened their arms and said we are going to help you! 

Samantha is a West Texas girl. She’s from Odessa and is a former Permian Panther, but she’s not your average student. She is a first-generation college student, a transfer from Odessa College, and works full time at the Dobbs Law firm in order to pay for school.  

“Graduating with little to no debt was so important to me because I am paying for my own collegeUTPB has been the best fit for me. It’s allowed me to get a high-quality education and get out with no student loans.” 

Samantha admits working fulltime and going to school fulltime hasn’t always been easy. But her professors have been understanding, and they want to see her to succeed.  

“It’s a close-knit campus. The faculty wants you to be here. They care and they want to know you.” 

After she graduates, Samantha plans to stay at the Dobbs Law Firm, and she’s considering becoming a certified paralegal. She’s thankful she’ll be able to start her life post-graduation without thousands of dollars of student loans waiting for her. 

“Graduating debt free is a big commitment and it has taken a lot of sacrifices, but it’s important to me. UTPB made it happen for me. The financial advisors on campus really consider what aid is best for you. They wanted to help me.” 

Whether you’re a traditional student or not, UT Permian Basin has a lot to offer. From affordability to an education backed by the world-renowned UT System, the opportunities are waiting for you. Samantha added she hopes more students consider becoming a Falcon. 

I want to encourage students to choose UT Permian Basin because its unique and it’s growing. You can really see the community and University going hand in hand now. With the new buildings and new degrees, I really think more students need to consider the opportunities that their home base provides.