“I think [the best part] is being able to complete my dream in a good time frame and also having the flexibility to continue with my day-to-day life.” –Carlos Aragones, online BBA in accounting student 

As we spoke to UTPB student Carlos Aragones, he was eight months away from completing his online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting with The University of Texas Permian Basin. He previously applied for a job with USAA (United Services Automobile Association) but was turned down due to his lack of a college degree. The company was impressed by him, however, and later invited him to apply for an internship.

By 36, Aragones had become a husband and father, and he returned to school to complete his bachelor’s degree. Here he tells us why he chose UTPB over other available online programs, which unique financial incentive made his UTPB education possible, and what very exciting professional opportunity arose from his efforts in the UTPB program and USAA internship.

Eight-Week Sessions Stand Out

Aragones shared how he first discovered UTPB and the main reason he chose us. “I looked into different online programs, but I wanted to stay in the UT System. I started seeing UTPB’s advertisements online and [they] really got my attention, so I started looking into the program, and I was like, this is something that will work for me. The programs they have. The tuition. The length of the classes. That was the most important one, the length of the sessions, because I thought, well, I can take more classes if they’re shorter. They’re not harder but they’re condensed, you know, but I can do it.”

The Unexpected Advantages of Online Learning

Aragones and his family live in San Antonio, a five-and-a-half-hour drive from the main UT Permian Basin campus in Odessa—itself reason enough to choose an online program. But he had other reasons, as he explained: “The flexibility. I can do my homework anywhere. I can be in class anywhere. I can continue my education, keep on learning online.”

Aragones soon discovered additional advantages of our program, including the faculty. “I think they’re great,” he said. “Everybody’s included. It’s not like because you’re far, you’re on your own. I think people sometimes hesitate to ask for help, but it is there. It’s just actually a matter of asking for help or reaching out to your teachers or your peers.” Aragones sees a distinctive benefit in requesting help via the digital realm: “If I ask you a question face-to-face, you answer it, and I might get it right there and then [in] that moment. But then if I have it in an e-mail or in a discussion, I can always go back to it.”

Earning a UTPB Bachelor’s Degree for Free

Any concerns Aragones might’ve had about paying for his degree were quickly alleviated. “I have Falcon Free,” he said, referring to the exclusive UTPB scholarship that enables qualifying Texas residents to earn a bachelor’s degree with no tuition costs or mandatory fees. “I applied. I wasn’t expecting it. So, when I got it, it was a huge help, especially right now that I’m not working and I’m kind of tight with money and, I mean, having the kids, the mortgage, the wife, the life. Huge help. Not everybody offers that. I think no one does.”

Two Big Reasons to Look Forward to Graduation

Earning a degree in accounting and demonstrating his capabilities during his internship paid off in a big way for Aragones, who was offered and accepted the position of Audit Associate III with USAA while still enrolled in his bachelor’s program. “I will start that full-time position in June,” he said, noting that could even be sooner if he increases his course load. Having a job lined up well before graduation—in his chosen field and directly corresponding to his degree—is certainly reason for Aragones to feel proud.

Aragones is also excited about graduation because he plans to attend the ceremony with his family: “It’s very important for me because it will show everything [I did]: my hard work, all the time, all the effort. And not only mine, my wife’s, my kids’. It’s an example for them, too. I think it’s teamwork, not only me, because I have to spend a lot of time doing homework, doing exams, and working. So, it is important that I show up to graduation.”

Sharing the Benefits of Online Education

Aragones has already shared his enthusiasm for UTPB’s program with others. “I have friends and family, people I get to know, and I always recommend it. I just did to a friend yesterday. He’s a veteran and he has some college but he’s like, ‘I need to go but I don’t know which school. I don’t wanna drive.’ I’m like, ‘Dude, let me show you this program. You save on the parking, you save on the gas, you save on the insurance, you save on the food. There’s a lot of convenience.’”

For his veteran friend and other potential applicants, Aragones added this advice and encouragement: “Most important is don’t procrastinate. I got really good when it comes to time management and also setting up my priorities. That’s a skill that was a huge opportunity for me while doing all my classes. Now I know how to work my time and use it wisely.”

Just like Carlos Aragones, you can experience life- and career-changing benefits from our online BBA in accounting! Get program details, request more information, and apply here.