University options outside of San Antonio beckon

By Humberto Macias
Pulse staff reporter

Student pondering at a crossroads.

As the semester wanes, decisions need to be made.  Figuring out what university you plan on transferring to is a top priority. A common answer to leaving San Antonio is choosing Texas State University or the University of Texas at Austin.

Above all else, you want to earn your degree.  The data suggests attendees at UT-Austin have a greater success rate. Fifty-two percent of students graduate from UT within four years compared to Texas State’s 26 percent.

For some students, class size matters.  More students per class would suggest less interaction with their professor. The student population at Texas State is at 37,980. With a full-time faculty force of 1,294, the average class size in an undergraduate class is 24 students.

On class size, Mabel Maltos, a Palo Alto and Texas State graduate, said, “After transferring, I was taking classes toward my major, Social Work. The classes I took had a lot of the same people. Aside from one auditorium-style lecture, I never had class with more than 15 students.”

UT’s student population is 50,900 and has a full-time faculty staff of 2,759. Ten percent of classes have over a hundred students. Sixteen percent of classes have between 50 and 99 students.  Fifteen percent of classes have between 30 and 49 students.  Twenty-four percent have 20 to 29 students, and 35 percent have a class size of less than 19 students.

College is an investment, and it isn’t cheap.  For a student taking 15 hours of college credit, the cost of tuition and fees for a year at UT is $9,800 and $8,950 at Texas State. Aside from tuition, you also need to look at housing and decide what you’ll be able to afford. For someone looking for a humble apartment, San Marcos has a greater selection. A quick search on pulls up 16 apartment complexes with rent below $600 a month compared to just six complexes in Austin.

The home of each school is night and day. It’s a choice between urban and suburban. Austin is a vast city that spotlights its weirdness and has more going for it than just burnt orange. On the other hand, San Marcos is a college town with a community feel.

Cesar Sifuentes, a Palo Alto graduate who’s now at Texas State, said, “I like the vibe here. Running errands or getting groceries is almost like being on campus. I run into classmates frequently.”

Social opportunities are bountiful at both schools with Greek life and clubs available for those looking to join. Both do have sports teams, but UT gets national attention for its sports teams.

Nicco Vasquez, a former Northwest Vista College student now at UT, said, “Tailgating before home games is one of my favorite parts of coming here.”

There is no wrong choice between these two universities. The unique attributes of each school can sway you in either direction, and it depends on what you are looking for in a university.