We Asked: Is your UT degree a bargain?

Editor’s note: Yesterday, the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education published a report concluding that Texas’ flagship universities, The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, “perform at high levels when compared to their national peers on many of the dimensions of importance to students, to the public, and to the state of Texas.” We asked UT students if they believe their UT education has been, in the report’s words, “a bargain.”

“Bargain? Yeah, I guess so. The job I’m getting going out of college is worth a lot more than I would have otherwise.”
— Andrew Pruet, petroleum engineering senior from Houston, outside the Texas Memorial Union

“A bargain? Honestly, no, because we pay such a high tuition and then with the way the special education department works, we have to travel to schools — I mean obviously it’s not the education college’s fault — but we have to travel to schools. We pay so much for gas. We have to buy all of our own school supply materials to build materials for our teaching. We spend a lot of extra expenses, so it’s very expensive.”
— Pam Diu, special education senior from Austin, on the South Mall

“I do believe it’s a bargain, because I was in finance and business honors, and I feel like I’m more prepared than most business students out there. Especially since when I [was] recruited, I got two or three jobs right off the bat, when a lot of people don’t have that many job offers. I was paying in-state tuition, so it was like $4-5,000, and I got a great education. I feel like I’m well-prepared for my job and everything, so yeah, I think it was a bargain.”
— Nitash Hirani, Business Honors Program senior from Austin, at the Littlefield fountain

“Yeah, I believe so. Well, the education here at UT. … I mean, I’m an active duty Marine, so at the same time here it’s at a level where you get the best educators, I would say, grouped together. You’re offered, you know, this caliber of education, as far as the curriculum goes here. It’s very competitive to get into school, and you’re around students that are competitive in nature. So, having that, you get curriculum that’s competitive in nature. So I think the caliber of education here at the school has prestige throughout the United States.”
— AJ Quintanilla, government senior from Santa Rita, Guam, at the SAC

“Yes, definitely. For one thing, it’s a public, state university, so obviously it’s going to be cheaper than a private university. But also, the classes that I’ve taken here have definitely been of value to me. I don’t know if that’s specifically because of the major I’m in and how relevant it is to, just, normal life. Or because, I mean, the professors here generally seem to know what they’re doing and be interested in what they’re teaching.”
— Amulya Aradhyula, human development junior from Austin, at the SAC

“I definitely feel that, compared to other schools, the cost of tuition is definitely lower.  I definitely didn’t receive as much financial help as I would have liked to, but I do think, for the quality of education I’ve received thus far, it’s definitely — I’d definitely consider it a bargain.”
— Alexander Villarreal, journalism sophomore from Edinburg, on a bench outside the Red McCombs Business School

“Like price? [chuckles]. I really do think so. I mean, one of the colleges I was prospecting, or considering, was Baylor. And that was, you know, much more expensive because it’s a private university and all that. But I feel like, yeah, when you compare prices, and … I can’t really compare quality of education, you know, because I don’t go there. But I look at the price, and I look at how UT ranks in outside lists, and all that. I really feel like I’m getting a good deal — well not a deal, but — yeah, I really feel so.”
— Eddie Martinez, Radio, Television, Film sophomore from Del Rio, at the George Washington statue on the South Mall

“Um, let’s see. I would say no, probably. Mainly because the value of what we’re actually getting and receiving for the class time per instruction with the professor isn’t actually reasonable, I guess. If you factor in all the other stuff that the school’s providing, it makes it, I guess, a little more reasonable, but all said and done, when it boils down to the straight education, probably not.”
— Daniel LaLonde, mechanical engineering junior from Houston, in the FAC

“Okay, well, first of all, I think that any college education — it’s weird calling it a bargain, because they’re always incredibly expensive — I mean you can get scholarships, but they’re not available to everyone. I didn’t get a whole lot of scholarships, so there was a burden on my parents to pay for my education. And if I asked them if they consider it a bargain, they would laugh. Now, of course, as a journalism major I’m not expected to make very much money when I graduate, and therefore it’s going to take a while to see a return on my investment. However, I still think that a college education is worthwhile for everyone, because even if you don’t make a lot of money when you graduate, you’re still getting a lot of valuable life skills and becoming a better person.”
— Erica Herbst, journalism junior from Greenville, in the FAC