UTSA student graduates with in-demand skills for a bright future. Credit: Brandon Fletcher

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It’s a discouraging fact: Texas has the 11th highest poverty rate in the nation. In the city of San Antonio, the picture is even more troubling, with nearly 18% of the population struggling to make ends meet.

What if there was a way to break this cycle and build a brighter future for our community?

Enter The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). It's on a mission to empower Texans through preparation for in-demand careers that will lead to better lives for themselves and their families.

But does higher education really make a difference when it comes to an enriching (and financially comfortable) life? Let's see how things stack up, fact or fiction.

Fact or fiction: UTSA grads land jobs at top Texas companies

Fact! UTSA boasts an impressive track record, with 90% of recent graduates landing jobs in Texas and top companies like Dell, USAA and H-E-B actively seeking and recruiting Roadrunners. UTSA’s strong network and industry-aligned degree programs open doors, giving over 7,000 new grads a head start each year.

Fact or fiction: UTSA is expensive compared to other Texas universities

Fiction. When compared to others like the University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University, the 2024 Wall Street Journal/College Pulse analysis named UTSA No. 1 in “best value” among Texas public universities. Over the last decade, UTSA has reduced the time to graduation from 5.4 years to 4.4 years, which has helped shrink students’ overall cost of education.

Fact or fiction: UTSA students graduate debt-free

This one's a bit of a mix. Here are the facts: currently UTSA students graduate with $5,000 less in debt on average compared to Roadrunners who graduated 10 years ago. Those with debt pay it off in just 1.4 years on average, while 39% graduate with no loan debt at all. Additionally, UTSA’s Bold Promise offers qualified freshmen an opportunity to have all tuition and mandatory fees covered at 100%. So, while there’s no guarantee Roadrunners graduate debt-free, it's definitely manageable.

Fact or fiction: UTSA prepares you for the real world

Fact! UTSA takes “career-ready” seriously. It has built a reputation for making significant investments in its Classroom to Career (C2C) initiative, which aims to have 75% of all undergrads participate in a real-world learning experience by 2028. This bridges the gap between classroom learning and the marketable skills employers crave.

Fact or fiction: A UTSA degree guarantees you a job

Fiction — after all, this is a tough one to guarantee. That said, UTSA has strong partnerships with leading companies that create pathways for impactful careers. UTSA has employee recruitment partnerships with 350 Fortune 500 companies, and over 138,000 jobs are available to Roadrunners. Combine these opportunities with on-demand tools to polish resumes and sharpen interview skills, and we’d say you have a pretty good chance of securing the job of your dreams!

Fact or fiction: A UTSA degree pays off

Big fact! UTSA grads earn an average of $28,000 more annually than those San Antonians with only a high school degree. Additionally, the average salary of all UTSA students who graduated in the last three years is $65,000 annually, in comparison to the San Antonio metropolitan annual salary of $54,060 and Texas’ average salary of $57,300. That's a significant jump in earning potential!

The verdict

UTSA's focus on career preparation, strong industry connections and affordable education make it a compelling option for Texans seeking a brighter future. While there are no guaranteed fairytale endings in life, the facts show UTSA equips graduates with the tools and skills to succeed in Texas' competitive job market.

Explore how UTSA empowers Texans to pursue a higher quality of life for generations to come.

Alyssa Luna joined UTSA’s communications team in 2023 after working as a digital content producer in broadcast news.