Texas Tech University

Jarad Higdon Receives 2024 TXCPA Accounting Excellence Award

Higdon will graduate with his accounting bachelor’s and master’s degrees in May 2024 before working full-time at Ernst & Young in Dallas.

Jacob Gordon | February 20, 2024

Jarad Higdon, a fifth-year accounting student at the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business , recently received the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TXCPA) 2024 Accounting Excellence Award. Since 1969, this award has been given to outstanding accounting students at Texas colleges and universities that participate in the programs of the Accounting Education Foundation within TXCPA.

"I am incredibly honored to have been selected for this award," said Higdon. "While I have never sought recognition, it is rewarding to be acknowledged for the hard work I've put in over the last five years at Texas Tech. My success thus far serves as reassurance that I'm on the right career path for me."

Kirsten Cook, director of the Terry Lyons School of Accounting, noted that it was more than just good grades that earned Higdon this award.

"In addition to his academic prowess, Jarad exemplifies the ideal Lyons School of Accounting MSA student: not only is he a phenomenal student, but he is involved, and he is humble," said Cook. "He supports his fellow students and encourages them to excel in their classes as he does."

Higdon sees his close connection to his fellow accounting students as his motivation to succeed at such a high level.

"I am fortunate to have a sincere and ardent group of friends who support each other unequivocally," said Higdon. "I'm always willing to help them with their studies, offer advice and encouragement, or simply be a shoulder to lean on."

Higdon was torn between medicine and accounting when he first entered Texas Tech University. However, he soon started to work at Durbin & Company, a small accounting firm in Lubbock, and he immersed himself in the accounting world. Higdon worked there for three years and learned about different facets of accounting, including auditing, consulting, and data analytics.

"I owe a lot of credit to my coworkers at Durbin," he said. "Not only did they help me expand my knowledge and become a more confident professional, but a lot of them are now great friends and have been a wonderful support system to have throughout college."

As Higdon prepares to graduate in May 2024, he wants to make sure he contributes to his community similarly to what he has done as a student with his work as a mentor in the Bayless Elementary Mentoring Program through the Honors College at Texas Tech University. In the program, Higdon and the other members serve as role models to students of Bayless Elementary, a Title I school located in Lubbock.

"This role has had a huge impact on who I am today and will continue to inspire me to serve in my new community after graduation," said Higdon.

Higdon has a full-time position secured with Ernst & Young in Dallas, where he previously completed a tax internship during the spring 2023 semester.

"I am deeply grateful for the opportunities and support that Rawls College and the Lyons School of Accounting have provided me," said Higdon. "The Lyons School of Accounting professors are second to none, and I feel that the insight I've gained in the classroom has prepared me to be successful on the CPA exam and in my future endeavors."