Alex Hernandez, 19, a freshman criminal justice major from Brownsville, and Angelica Rangel, 18, a freshman psychology major from Donna, sit in the Endowment Courtyard at UTB/TSC.
Alex Hernandez did not decide to apply to The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College until after graduating from Brownsville’s Hanna High School in May.
He does not advise high school students to wait until right before the new college academic year in the fall.
“It’s better to think about it when you are a sophomore (in high school),” Hernandez, 19, a freshman criminal justice major, said. “Take some dual enrollment classes, which can help you earn credit hours before you start on campus.”
UTB/TSC’s new student relations staff begin attending college and career fairs in September to get the word out to potential students about admissions and what opportunities are available to them.
“We really share with them the importance of a college education and how earning a degree from UTB/TSC can really provide them access to careers,” New Student Relations Program Director Carlo Tamayo said.
Students and parents interested in learning about the campus themselves can take a tour. They will see new construction, such as the recently opened University Boulevard Library and the Recreation, Education and Kinesiology Center; and older buildings, such as Gorgas Hall.
During the tour, students will also learn about the university’s certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. Academic programs are diverse, ranging from architecture to physics.
Once students decide UTB/TSC is where they want to be, they can fill out an online application.
“We really encourage them to fill it out early before their last year of high school, early on I think is a really good plan,” Tamayo said.
UTB/TSC is an open admissions campus, which means there is not a requirement for admissions testing, but potential undergraduates applying need to pass the English, reading and mathematics portions of one of four tests: the THEA, Accuplacer, COMPASS or ASSET.
The university does not require the SAT or ACT tests, but can consider scores as part of admission. Students as early as ninth grade should begin thinking about taking the COMPASS or any of the other approved tests.
The Testing Center administers the COMPASS test several times a month at area high schools, said Director Patrick McGehee.
The Testing Center tests about 5,000 high school students on their campuses each year. Applying students must also send in proof of residency to the Admissions Office and have their high school send official transcripts to the Admissions Office as well.
Students interested in getting financial aid need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid online by March 1 of the year they plan to graduate from high school.
Angelica Rangel, 18, a freshman psychology major from Donna, said it is never too early to start thinking about college.
“With the economy being what it is right now, you have to apply early,” she said. “It’s not a ‘should I” or ‘shouldn’t I.” It’s a “must.” If they get a career in college, they will achieve their goals, so they should plan on coming. It’s a good experience.”
For more information, please contact New Student Relations at (956) UTB-4YOU.