Thursday, March 15, 2018
  Announcements, Alumni

By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – When you meet triplets Oscar, Karen and Karla Romero together on campus, you won’t see triple: They’re fraternal, not identical. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t extremely close.

The Romeros, who are from Roma, just started their second semester at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and branching out into the world has taken some adjusting.

Because they are fraternal – not identical – many people just walk right past the trio on campus, with absolutely no idea about their bond. And that has taken some getting used to.

“In high school, everybody knows who ‘the triplets’ are, but in college, nobody knows,” Karla said. “When we mention that we’re triplets, people are surprised.”

They say being a triplet in college has been an immensely different experience from being a triplet in high school. In fact, they all have one class together and the professor has no idea they’re related – something they never could have gotten away with in high school.

Perhaps the biggest similarity is that all three are pursuing a higher education out of a desire to help others, albeit in vastly different ways.

  • Oscar wants to be an architect so he can help fight the kind of housing crisis he witnessed growing up. “I’ve always had an admiration of building something. Where we live, there’s a lot of poor people, so I want to help,” he said. 
  • Karen, a psychology major, wants her own practice as a psychologist. “That way, I can help others and be my own boss,” she said.
  • And Karla, an English major, wants to go into counseling. “So I can help young students understand how important it is to go to school,” she said.

They have spent most of their 19 years together, and now they share an apartment in Edinburg, and as with much of what they do in life, they split their cohabitation roles in thirds.

Oscar – who claims he’s the favorite sibling with their parents, with little contention from his sisters – does most of the driving. Karla and Karen make sure bills are paid. If someone gets sick or needs someone, the other two are there to back them up.

So far, so good.

And while leaving a smaller, more insulated community like Roma has been tough at times, the Romeros say they are just about ready to branch out.

“Growing up, we didn’t have the same individuality that others did at school,” Karla said. “Now, we need to grow up and go our different ways.”


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.