Students can lock in price for new three-year degree program

Students enrolled in the University of Houston-Victoria’s Degree in Three program, an innovative three-year bachelor’s degree in selected fields, can now receive immunity from tuition and fee increases under a new plan announced Tuesday.

Through a price-locking option, students will be able to freeze their tuition and fees at the rates charged when they enter the three-year, bachelor’s track program so long as they continue to meet certain grade and degree progress benchmarks.

“Although UHV’s tuition and fee increases have been well below its peers during the last several years, our tuition increase immunity plan will be a big advantage for students and come as a welcome relief for parents and supporters,” said Wayne Beran, UHV vice president for administration and finance.

UHV first announced the Degree in Three program, known as the Dn3, in July shortly after the institution was granted permission to welcome its FIRST 200 freshmen in the fall of 2010.

By freezing tuition and fees rates for those in the Dn3, students can save about $1,400 off the cost of their degrees. UHV tuition rates are already among the lowest in Texas. Students entering the immunity program in the fall of 2010 will be able to earn a degree for less than $22,000 in tuition and fees, and will save an estimated $14,000 on a year’s living expenses by graduating in three years instead of four, Beran said.

“Students also will be able to earn an extra year of higher income from a job requiring a college degree,” he said. Those with bachelor’s degrees earn about $1 million more during their lifetimes than those with just a high school diploma, according to a 2002 study published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, he noted.

UHV is engaged in a continuing effort to meet the needs of students in new and innovative ways, UHV’s senior leader said.

“Allowing students to lock in their tuition and fees will save them money, facilitate their financial planning, and allow them to reach their educational goals more quickly,” UHV President Tim Hudson said. “It’s one of our many innovations as we transform UHV into a distinctive destination university.”

Under the Dn3, students can earn a complete, 120-credit hour bachelor’s degree in just three years through a structured program.

“These are some of our most popular degree programs that lend themselves best to an accelerated learning environment,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences, which houses the Dn3 program. “That environment will be enhanced by close relationships with and strong support from faculty, staff and peer mentors.”

UHV has grown from an upper-division teaching center offering junior-, senior- and graduate-level classes in space borrowed from The Victoria College to a rapidly growing institution of almost 3,700 students at face-to-face locations in Sugar Land, Katy and Victoria, and online. On June 19, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill granting UHV permission to add freshmen and sophomores to the Victoria campus. 

“We’re looking for students who want to be pioneers in the world of education and who are in a hurry to make a difference in their lives and society,” Hudson said. “We’re going to enter into a compact with students to help them succeed and allow them to plan their finances if they are ready for the challenge. And from what I am seeing as I meet them, I know that many are.”

The program also will help the entire state reach its educational goals.

“This immunity plan can help Texas elevate its overall level of educational attainment and meet its Closing the Gaps initiatives during these challenging economic times,” Hudson said.

Closing the Gaps is an ongoing effort led by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to increase student participation, student success, excellence and research at state public universities by 2015.

Another way UHV is helping the state’s Closing the Gaps initiatives is the UHV Jaguar Pledge, which was announced April 14. Students in the Dn3 also can qualify for the pledge, which will provide Texas freshmen and sophomores coming to the university from outside the Victoria region in the fall a package of scholarships, grants and employment opportunities to cover at least 50 percent of their tuition and fees their first year. Students must take face-to-face, freshmen- or sophomore-level classes at the Victoria campus to qualify for the Jaguar Pledge.

Students can learn more about UHV and the Dn3 program by contacting Ashlee Wassick, advising specialist in the School of Arts & Sciences, at 361-570-4184 or

For more information about UHV’s FIRST 200, visit

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler