Jaren Zavala ’24
Jaren Zavala is a first-gen student who started as a freshman at UTSA this fall. He chose to become a Roadrunner because the university is close to his family and he loved the campus atmosphere. It also meant a lot to him that the community felt like a family and that UTSA is one of the top Hispanic-serving institutions in the nation.
“It just felt like a place I could go to and enjoy all throughout my four years of college.”
As a UTSA Bold Promise recipient, Jaren’s tuition and fees are completely paid in full. Bold Promise is a commitment by UTSA to provide high-quality, affordable education to incoming freshmen who come from middle- and low-income Texas families. It guarantees that incoming fall freshmen who qualify and are admitted by the financial aid priority deadline on January 15 will have their tuition and fees covered 100% for eight fall/spring semesters (approx. a $40,000 value).
Jaren believes that Bold Promise is an opportunity for students like himself to prosper and receive a higher education that they may not have had access to before. He sees it as creating an equal opportunity for students and families who may have had difficulty affording higher education.
“Bold promise took the weight off my shoulders. Now I won’t have to worry about paying for college or trying to decide how much time I’ll need to spend working while simultaneously balancing my studies,” said Jaren. “It’s given me a unique opportunity to better my life and receive a higher education.”
The next time you’re out picking up healthy fruits or veggies from the grocery store, you might have Jaren to thank. He currently works in the produce department at a local H-E-B. Jaren chose to study management science because he aspires to combine his degree with his experience on the sales floor to one day become a buyer for H-E-B. His major involves studying math, statistics, logistics and leadership—all important skills that will help him be successful in the future.
“Consider all the good things that UTSA has to offer you,” is Jaren’s advice to prospective students who are interested in becoming Future Roadrunners. “To me, the thing that makes UTSA great is just how much the university cares for and supports its first-generation college students.”