Thursday, January 30, 2020

By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is first in the nation among public institutions for least student debt, according to recent rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

According to the rankings, UTRGV students who graduated in 2017 incurred an average debt of $10,054.

The national average that year, according to U.S. News & World Report, was $30,000.

Overall, among public and private universities, UTRGV ranks fourth behind Harvard ($6,100), Princeton ($7,500) and Duke ($9,200). 

“At UTRGV students can obtain a high-quality education without mortgaging their future, and this prestigious ranking is proof of that,” said UTRGV President Guy Bailey. “I truly believe that UTRGV provides the best value of any university in the country.”

UTRGV implements several initiatives to help keep tuition costs low for students:

  • Low Price Point: UTRGV has the lowest average tuition ($3,718) in the UT System and second-lowest among the state’s 37 public universities, according to 2018 data compiled by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • Tuition Advantage: Beginning Fall 2020, the newly established UTRGV Tuition Advantage grant will cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for students with a family income of $75,000 or less.
  • Guaranteed Tuition: UTRGV’s tuition is guaranteed for all students for four years, meaning costs will not increase during this time period.
  • 12-Hour Cap: UTRGV caps tuition charges at 12 hours, which means any additional course(s) a student enrolls in after 12 hours are free. For example, if a student enrolls in 15 hours, the extra class is free. If a student enrolls in 18 hours, the two extra classes are free.

“Everything we do at UTRGV centers around student success,” Bailey said. “Our tuition costs and additional incentives are in place to help ensure that our students enroll, graduate and embark on successful careers with as little debt as possible.”


According to U.S. News & World Report, the rankings include schools whose 2017 graduates had the lightest debt loads. The data is of loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education – the vast majority of student loans. The Typical Total Debt After Graduation figure is the median cumulative amount by graduates who borrowed. Undergraduates Receiving Federal Loan is the percentage of all graduates who borrowed.

Top 10 Public Universities with Lowest Student Debt
Top 10 Universities with Lowest Student Debt


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.