To pay each credit every semester, find sustainable housing within campus, transportation and materials needed for each class, most students opt for a loan they will have to spend the rest of their lives paying back. The university or college that promoted job opportunities by attaining a degree is one that now riddles it’s graduates with debt. Nonetheless, when searching for options for the best higher education, we understand that money is important but not the only priority. When looking for a university’s best attributes, one looks at the programs offered in the curriculum, campus extracurriculars, campus life and others.
Every detail is important since it will delineate the rest of your future.
7 reasons why you should study in the University of Puerto Rico.
1. Flexibility in declaring a major
Academic flexibility sometimes can be costly. Deciding a major on paper is one thing, but after learning other fields of studies and taking classes unrelated to your major, sometimes interests divert in these formative years. These costs come in the form of extra credits that must be pay, plus time lost with indecisiveness.
In the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), like most universities in the United States, students are required to declare their field of study when they apply. Nonetheless, when already accepted in UPR, exploring other majors is possible. Options vary between taking an elective to explore that certain interest, to taking a career as a minor or changing majors completely. It is a common practice within the UPR campus. Therefore, most bachelor’s degrees require a certain number of credits in general education that are accepted in all majors, giving time to students to choose correctly without wasting money.
2. General education
The University of Puerto Rico’s undergraduate programs require core classes of each student. These work as a reinforcement for those teachings learned at school, offering a leveling field to those who didn’t have the same opportunities back at home. These courses range from science to writing, ideal to experience to make an educated choice when choosing your major.
For those dreading general classes, don’t be alarmed! There are several advanced tests provided by the University one can take to skip some basic courses, simultaneously saving you time and money.
3. Programs offered
The University of Puerto Rico is an institution of national and international prestige and recognition. It’s excellent performance of professors and researchers has been recognized in multiple academic competitions, ones you may join one day.
These are due, not only to our students, but to our variety of programs. The University of Puerto Rico offers 127 master’s programs and 27 doctorates. 27 of these are solely offered at the Río Piedras Campus. In addition, the UPR is accredited by the main North American professional entities, which makes it easy to pursue graduate studies in the United States.
4. Exchange programs
The University of Puerto Rico is an institution with many opportunities for exchange students. UPR promotes and supports doctoral study, research, and exchange programs with universities around the world through alliances with global institutions and provides students with learning, research, and extracurricular experiences. Our programs vary in price range and country. Most of our students opt to be an exchange student in Spain due to our main language being Spanish, aside from Spain’s rich cultural history. Other opportunities allow our students to study in Europe and the United States within the price range of the UPR, making the travel cost and housing cheaper.
5. Diversity in campus
As mentioned before, many of our students want to travel and explore. At the same time, the University of Puerto Rico receives an influx of students from other countries, either it be through an exchange program, or as newly residents in Puerto Rico. This not only makes the campus a diverse place to enjoy, but a place to be exposed to other cultures. The mesh of cultures can be seen in student activities, study groups or inclusivity inside the classroom.
The University of Puerto Rico is proud to include everyone in their education by allowing them to express themselves. Some decide to do so through painted murals, public dances, colorful clothing, or weekly meetings for everyone with the same interests to join.
6. Campus life
The University of Puerto Rico’s diversity is not the only reason foreign students choose to study here. Apart from academic excellence, its campus offers many spaces to relax and study.
The Rio Piedras campus, the first of 11 UPR other facilities, offers a beautiful and natural scenery as you walk to class. The streets centered in said campus only allow passage of a UPR trolley, free of cost, making the campus a safe pedestrian landscape. Our tropical climate in Puerto Rico even allows some of our classrooms inside our oldest structures to be free of air conditioners since fans and the natural breeze is enough to feel fresh. These oldest structures have their own history, them being built in 1903 as the first university in Puerto Rico.
Therefore, you will never see the campus empty, always open to the community. We count with multiple libraries around and inside campus, each one with tranquil designated places to study, copying machines, and an online system for their catalogue of books. Within those libraries, we must mention that our Law School library, established in 1913, has the best facilities and is the biggest in the whole Caribbean.
If you’re also looking for alternatives for fun as you take a break from your studies, no worries. Inside campus you will find multiple places to buy lunch. At nightlife, in the surrounding areas of campus, you will find a variety of local kiosks with food, Mexican food and even Korean. Also, we must mention that the main Avenue leading to UPR Río Piedras, the Juan Ponce the Leon Avenue, is riddled with fun bars, places to eat and our hotel Dreams Hotel. Due to students lodging nearby, it’s rare to see the avenue empty.
7. Financial Aid
The University of Puerto Rico has many ways to help their students. It offers options and scholarships that help international students and locals, allowing each to focus on their education and not worry about the money. These services vary from counseling to programs for economic help.
Some of these programs are:
- Pell Grant
This federal program provides financial aid to the undergraduate student towards obtaining a first bachelor’s degree. Student eligibility is determined by a uniform formula that treats all applicants consistently. This formula considers economic indicators of the family such as: income, assets, number of people in the family, number of university students in the family group (except parents) and others. The amount a student receives depends on their EFC (Expected Family Contribution), cost of study, and whether they are enrolled full-time, part-time, or less than half-time.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
This federal program provides additional money in the form of scholarships to help undergraduate students. The priority in granting these scholarships will be based on the financial need of the student, the determined EFC and the degree credits enrolled, until the available budget is exhausted.
- Work-Study Program
Students eligible for the Pell Grant are eligible for this program. Its objective is to provide the student with the opportunity to gain experience in areas related to their studies. This program provides employment inside and outside the Campus. The hours worked will not exceed twenty (20) a week and the student will be paid according to what is established by the University, always being equal to or greater than the prevailing federal minimum.
- LEAP Program
This program provides financial aid to undergraduate students with extreme financial need. The money comes from a combination of federal and state funds.
- ACG Program (Academic Competitiveness Grant)
This federal program provides funds for freshmen and sophomores in college. It’s a complementary program to the Pell Grant, aimed at students with high academic performance. Students participating in this program may receive up to a maximum of $750.00 per year if they are first year and $1,300.00 if they in their second year.
- SMART program
Third and fourth-year students in the fields of science, mathematics and/or languages are eligible for this program. They must participate in the Pell Scholarship Program. Eligible students may receive up to $4,000.00 annually in supplement to Pell Grant funds.
- “Stafford” Loan Program
This program provides low-interest loans in which the lending agency sends the check to the student through the university. There are two types of loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. The subsidized loan is based on financial need and the federal government pays the interest on the loan while you are enrolled. An unsubsidized loan is not awarded based on financial need and the student is responsible for paying the interest from the time of disbursement until it is paid in full. The student has the option of capitalizing the interest (added to the debt) on the unsubsidized loan. Undergraduate and graduate level students are eligible.
- Legislative Scholarship
This legislative program provides aid to eligible undergraduate and graduate students, which serves as a complement to other aid. The granting of the scholarship will be based on the financial need of the student, the determined EFC and the degree credits enrolled, until the available budget is exhausted.
Other aids available are:
SLEAP Program, GEER Loans and Private Scholarships.
As you can see, there are many options to choose from if you’re eligible for one of the programs mentioned. Aside from the scholarships, the University of Puerto Rico’s price per credit is considered lower in comparison to those in the United States. Not to mention, our living cost in the island is just as low, which is ideal for a student focused on saving money for their future. Lodgings near the campus are withing an affordable price range and close enough to not need transportation.
If you want to travel to San Juan Puerto Rico to know more about the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. Contact us to make your reservation at Dreams Hotel Puerto Rico.
Don’t miss the opportunity to study in a prestigious university with a perfect weather all year long.
Dreams Hotel Puerto Rico, Reserve now; 787-688-5818 or www.puertoricodreams.com