Texas Tech University

Rawls College Student Named a Finalist in Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway

Hailey Walker

Patrick Herrera standing in front of the Texas Tech University seal with a Dr Pepper bottle.

Patrick Herrera is one of 20 finalists competing for $100,000 in tuition.

Patrick Herrera, a sophomore marketing and management student at Texas Tech University's Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, is a finalist in the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway. Herrera will compete for his share of nearly $1 million in scholarships during the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, IN on Dec. 7.

Herrera, originally from Tahoka, TX, found out about the scholarship opportunity from one of his former high school teachers, who encouraged him to apply. As part of his application, Herrera was required to create a 60-second video explaining how the tuition money would help him make an impact on the world. In his video, Herrera explained how he hopes to use his degrees to impact the future of farming.

"I want to start a revolution in the agriculture industry," said Herrera. "Growing up in a small town in West Texas, you realize the importance of agriculture." In his video, Herrera notes that many practices in the agriculture industry are outdated and that resources are sometimes wasted. "I want to change that," said Herrera. "I want to make new business models and practices."

On Nov. 11, Herrera received a phone call notifying him that he was selected as one of 20 finalists. "I was met with cheers and congratulations," he said. "I teared up and thanked them very much for the opportunity."

As a finalist, Herrera will travel to Indianapolis, where he will compete in a preliminary competition before the game in an effort to secure his spot in the finals. The top two performers from the preliminary round will then take the field at halftime the following day during the Big Ten Championship Game. Finalists will compete against each other and attempt to throw the most footballs into an oversized Dr Pepper can in 30 seconds.

Dr Pepper will also host contests at the PAC-12 Championship Game in Santa Clara, CA, on Dec. 6; SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, GA on Dec. 7; the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington, TX on Dec. 7, and the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, NC on Dec. 7.

According to a press release from Dr Pepper, to date, the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway has provided college students with more than $10 million in tuition, which has enabled them to achieve their goals and realize their academic dreams. The four winning contestants, one from each championship game, will walk away with $100,000 in tuition and the runner-ups will receive $25,000 in tuition. The preliminary round participants will each receive a $2,500 scholarship.

"Dr Pepper and college football go hand-in-hand, and the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway not only demonstrates our commitment to the sport, but it is also our way of giving back to the fans by enabling them to make their academic goals a reality," said Derek Dabrowski, Vice President of Brand Marketing for Dr Pepper. "This is an incredible group of finalists, all of whom have big plans to make a difference with the money they are trying to win. We are proud to be a part of their journey, and we can't wait to see them take the field this weekend."

In an effort to prepare for the big day, Herrera enlisted the help of his family. "My dad made me a mock setup and I have been practicing ever since," said Herrera. "I am practicing every day by throwing at least 100 footballs."

Herrera looks forward to the competition and encourages everyone to apply in the future. "It only takes a 1-minute video, which can pay for your tuition," he said. "It is a life-changing experience that everyone needs to try."

For more information about the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway, visit their website.

About Dr Pepper

Dr Pepper, a brand of Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), is the oldest major soft drink in the United States. Since 1885, the 23 flavors of Dr Pepper have earned legions of fans that enjoy its unique, refreshing taste. The brand is available in Regular, Diet, Caffeine Free and Cherry varieties. For more information, visit DrPepper.com or keurigdrpepper.com. For the brand's latest news and updates, follow Dr Pepper at Facebook.com/DrPepper or Twitter.com/DrPepper.