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You mentioned you were attending UT. I'm assuming you're referring to Austin right?
As far as oil/gas, I have several clients that are oil/gas geologists and every one of them has overall been pretty negative about the field. One went so far as to emphatically tell me not to do it. Although there is a lot of money to be made they all claim that it is such an unstable area of geology that it makes it tough to get by.  Because of me needing stability I'd be willing to not make as much and thus I'm leaning towards hydrology. As the years go by our most precious resource is getting harder and harder to come by. One would think this would raise the prospects of hydrologists but attempting to read the future in the past hasn't worked out very well for me. 
I was speaking to a professor recently and he briefly mentioned having the school pay for my grad work also. My interpretation was that he was describing either being a TA or GA. Would you be willing to provide some more information about how one goes about having the school pay for the education and how you then receive a stipend on top of it. This would be a huge relief to know that I would not be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars upon graduation.
JimBob and Bass, though they may have suffered extensive permineralization ...
Similar to the oil business, mining and exploration tends to boom and bust cycles.
With that being said, find a field that you love.