Joining the ranks of University of Texas schools like UT Arlington, Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College — part of the Texas State University system — is also planning to offer a bachelor’s degree program that will cost only $10,000. Sul Ross will partner with Southwest Texas Junior College to announce a “10K Scholarship Program” that it plans to begin offering in the fall of 2013.
Sul Ross is the third of the Texas schools to offer such a program in response to the challenge by Texas Governor Rick Perry in 2011 that state universities find a way to offer bachelor’s degree programs that won’t drive students into unmanageable levels of debt.
Texas A&M University-San Antonio partnered with Alamo Colleges to offer a bachelor’s of applied arts and sciences in information technology with an emphasis on computer security. In order to keep costs down, students must earn an associate’s degree while still in high school and then take advantage of the lower costs at one of the Alamo community colleges before proceeding to A&M-San Antonio. At the University of Texas-Permian Basin, a $10,000 degreecan be earned entirely at the institution for students who qualify for the new Texas Science Scholar program, essentially providing them a merit scholarship that caps their tuition.
The new program seems to be a combinations of the other two approaches. Sul Ross’s program will be available to all Texas high school students who maintain at least a 2.5 GPA and who are able to earn at least 30 college credits before they graduate high school. After completing their high school education, those who are accepted will transfer to Southwest Texas Junior College for one year and work towards their associate’s degree. They will transfer to Sul Ross for the final two years of their education, and provided they can maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout their college career while carrying a full-time course load, their tuition will be capped at $10,000 via deferred scholarships. The program will allow the students to graduate in with a bachelor’s degree in only three years.
Students who wish to participate will be able to major in either mathematics, biology or chemistry.
“Sul Ross Rio Grande College and Southwest Texas Junior College have worked together for many years to provide thousands of students with the opportunity to earn high-quality, affordable college degrees,” Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall said in a statement. “The ‘10K Scholars Program’ continues this tradition and rewards students who complete their degrees in a timely manner.”