Best public colleges in Texas

dfwnewsa | December 1, 2023 | 0 | Texas News

Best public colleges in Texas

Matej Kastelic // Shutterstock

Best public colleges in Texas

Students listening to their professor speak in a large lecture hall.

If you’re going to go to college—or send your child to college—you want to choose the best one. But what exactly that means is different for each person. 

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There are a lot of factors, including how big the college is both overall and in terms of class sizes. It also matters whether a college has good programs for the fields you’re more interested in studying, the types of sports or other student activities that interest you, decent access to student housing either on or off campus, and a high graduation rate. There’s also life after college to consider: Does a college have a good support system for people seeking employment, a strong alumni network, or a high rate of job placements at or just after graduation?

Colleges themselves suggest the most important factors for students are, or should be, emotional ones, like “whether you feel comfortable on campus,” as the University of South Florida puts it, or “how the school made you feel,” as Concordia College puts it.

But Money.com is just one of the independent sources that suggests cost is in fact the most important factor when choosing a college. U.S. News & World Report cautions that the baseline price can be misleading. In-state students at public colleges have the lowest so-called “sticker prices,” averaging $10,338 in the 2021-2022 school year, as compared with $38,185 at private colleges. That means less need for scholarships, loans, or family penny-pinching. But some of those more expensive colleges help to counter the price difference with generous financial aid packages—and some promise to ensure students have no debt upon graduation.

With so many factors to consider, it’s important to look beyond just the basic data on a college’s website. Stacker reviewed data from Niche to compile a list of the best public colleges in Texas. Niche’s methodology rates academic quality as the most important—which includes the quality of professors, the college’s acceptance and graduation rates, and how much they spend on research. Next in Niche’s importance is value—which includes the average cost students pay after financial aid is factored in, the average loan amount students take out each year, and metrics about graduates’ earnings and ability to repay student debt. 

The analysis also considers other factors, including diversity on campus, quality of student life, campus housing and food options, and data about aspects of the surrounding community, including crime rates and rent prices. 

Read on to see which public colleges in Texas rank the highest.


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#25. University of Houston – Downtown

A student filling out a scantron form in pencil.

– Houston, TX
– #285 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B
– Acceptance rate: 95%
– Net price: $13,460
– SAT Range: 920-1080


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#24. University of Texas – El Paso

A professor meeting with students outside.

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– El Paso, TX
– #281 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B
– Acceptance rate: 100%
– Net price: $10,538
– SAT Range: 940-1130


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#23. Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi

College students working on computers at the student library.

– Corpus Christi, TX
– #271 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B
– Acceptance rate: 91%
– Net price: $14,349
– SAT Range: 970-1180


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#22. Sam Houston State University

A college student meeting with a tutor at Student Services.

– Huntsville, TX
– #262 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B
– Acceptance rate: 97%
– Net price: $14,287
– SAT Range: 950-1120


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#21. Midwestern State University

Three students chatting before class.

– Wichita Falls, TX
– #259 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B
– Acceptance rate: 95%
– Net price: $11,160
– SAT Range: 910-1100


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#20. West Texas A&M University

Two college students looking at a tablet outside a brick academic building.

– Canyon, TX
– #228 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B
– Acceptance rate: 97%
– Net price: $13,802
– SAT Range: 980-1170


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#19. University of Texas – San Antonio

A college student completing a homework assignment.

– San Antonio, TX
– #215 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B
– Acceptance rate: 90%
– Net price: $11,013
– SAT Range: 1020-1220


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#18. Stephen F. Austin State University

Four college students completing group work in class.

– Nacogdoches, TX
– #197 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B
– Acceptance rate: 83%
– Net price: $16,819
– SAT Range: 980-1160


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#17. Texas Woman’s University

A full college lecture hall.

– Denton, TX
– #181 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B+
– Acceptance rate: 96%
– Net price: $11,627
– SAT Range: 950-1160


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#16. University of Texas – Arlington

College notes surrounded by highlighters, pens, and coffee.

– Arlington, TX
– #172 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B+
– Acceptance rate: 93%
– Net price: $15,301
– SAT Range: 1000-1220

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#15. Tarleton State University

A stack of open textbooks.

– Stephenville, TX
– #170 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B+
– Acceptance rate: 57%
– Net price: $13,752
– SAT Range: 960-1140


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#14. Texas A&M International University

An empty college lecture hall.

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– Laredo, TX
– #162 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B+
– Acceptance rate: 54%
– Net price: $5,155
– SAT Range: 910-1110


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#13. Angelo State University

A closeup on three students’ hands and their notebooks.

– San Angelo, TX
– #151 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B+
– Acceptance rate: 70%
– Net price: $12,835
– SAT Range: 950-1160


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#12. University of Houston – Victoria

Two college students taking a test in a lecture hall.

– Victoria, TX
– #138 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B+
– Acceptance rate: 53%
– Net price: $11,375
– SAT Range: 930-1090


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#11. University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley

College students studying and laughing together.

– Edinburg, TX
– #134 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B+
– Acceptance rate: 94%
– Net price: $6,244
– SAT Range: 900-1120


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#10. Texas State University

A group of college students having a discussion under a tree on campus.

– San Marcos, TX
– #132 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B+
– Acceptance rate: 70%
– Net price: $16,385
– SAT Range: 990-1180


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#9. University of Texas – Dallas

A student wearing a backpack holding two books as they walk to a college class.

– Richardson, TX
– #124 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B+
– Acceptance rate: 87%
– Net price: $12,924
– SAT Range: 1220-1450


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#8. University of Houston – Clear Lake

College students laughing and having fun at a tailgate party.

– Houston, TX
– #118 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B+
– Acceptance rate: 91%
– Net price: $16,737
– SAT Range: 990-1170

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#7. University of North Texas

Bookshelves forming a hallway in a college library.

– Denton, TX
– #113 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B+
– Acceptance rate: 81%
– Net price: $11,915
– SAT Range: 1010-1240


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#6. University of Texas – Tyler

A student taking notes in a library.

– Tyler, TX
– #108 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: B+
– Acceptance rate: 94%
– Net price: $11,183
– SAT Range: 1040-1250


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#5. University of Texas – Permian Basin

An empty college dorm room with bunkbeds.

– Odessa, TX
– #83 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: A-
– Acceptance rate: 65%
– Net price: $9,447
– SAT Range: 920-1140


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#4. University of Houston

A college professor giving a lecture.

– Houston, TX
– #66 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: A-
– Acceptance rate: 66%
– Net price: $14,339
– SAT Range: 1140-1330


Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#3. Texas Tech University

A group of college students working together on a group project in a library.

– Lubbock, TX
– #50 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: A
– Acceptance rate: 68%
– Net price: $17,057
– SAT Range: 1110-1280


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#2. Texas A&M University

An empty college classroom.

– College Station, TX
– #16 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: A+
– Acceptance rate: 64%
– Net price: $22,253
– SAT Range: 1140-1380


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#1. University of Texas – Austin

A group of college students working on their laptops.

– Austin, TX
– #6 nationally
– Overall Niche Grade: A+
– Acceptance rate: 29%
– Net price: $16,589
– SAT Range: 1230-1500

This story features data reporting by Emma Rubin, writing by Jeff Inglis, and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 50 states.


The post Best public colleges in Texas appeared first on KVIA.

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