Designing $10,000 Degrees Tests Colleges

Tim Goral's picture

High school sophomore Cerina Medina makes no secret about competing against her eight siblings to see who can graduate from college first and start making money.

So Medina, 15, was intrigued to hear she could apply college credits earned in high school toward a bachelor's degree in information technology for a little more than $10,000 in San Antonio.

“It's expensive for college, so if it's cheaper on my parents, I wouldn't mind” pursuing the option, said Medina, who wished someone had told her about it sooner.

Aaron Areche, 16, was one of two students in her Travis Early College High School geometry class who had heard of it — a good opportunity, he said, but he wants to study law.

That's the challenge with this and a dozen other promising college programs across the state hailed by Gov. Rick Perry as $10,000 degrees. Many are in narrow specialties, depend on early decision-making by high school students who may not know of their existence, or both.

By the time they find out, the price could well be higher.

Cost creep already has marked the IT degree available through the Alamo Colleges and Texas A&M University-San Antonio. It grew about $400 more expensive between its announcement last spring as a $9,672 package and today, passing the $10,000 mark before its first student has arrived on A&M-San Antonio's campus.

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