- About, The Texas A&M University System, Accessed March 2017, https://www.tamus.edu/about/
- Texas Community Colleges, Texas Association of Community Colleges, Accessed March 2017, http://www.tacc.org/pages/texas-colleges
- At a Glance, Texas A&M University, Accessed March 2017, http://www.tamu.edu/about/at-a-glance.html
- Online Programs and Courses, The University of Texas at the Permian Basin, Accessed March 2017, http://www.utpb.edu/online
- Brief History of TWU, Texas Woman's University, Accessed March 2017, http://www.twu.edu/about-twu/brief-history-of-twu/
- About Us, Sam Houston State University, Accessed March 2017, http://www.shsu.edu/about/
- About Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University, Accessed March 2017, http://www.ttu.edu/about/
- Overview, The University of Texas at Austin, Accessed March 2017, http://www.utexas.edu/about/overview
- Distance Education, The University of Texas at Arlington, Accessed March 2017, http://www.uta.edu/uta/academics/distance-education.php
- Academics, University of Houston, Accessed March 2017, http://www.uh.edu/academics/
- History of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Accessed March 2017, http://www.utrgv.edu/en-us/about-utrgv/history/index.htm
- Online Programs, The University of Texas at Dallas, Accessed March 2017, http://www.utdallas.edu/elearning/online-programs/
- Types of Financial Aid, College for All Texans, Accessed March 2017, http://www.collegeforalltexans.com/apps/financialaid/tofa.cfm?Kind=GS
- Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2017-18 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.
As one of the geographically largest states in the nation, Texas is home to a significant number of colleges and universities. These include some of the country's most well-respected public and private institutions.
Many public schools belong to one of the state's university systems. These include The University of Texas System, Texas A&M University System and the Texas State University System, among others. While the flagship campuses for these systems are often the best known, many have high-quality schools based throughout Texas.
Other institutions in the state include independent universities, private colleges and universities and community colleges. Rice University and Baylor University are two notable private schools in Texas.
There are also 50 community colleges that offer technical training and two-year degrees. Students wishing to start their education at one of these affordable institutions can often transfer their credits to a four-year school when they are ready to earn either an on-campus or online bachelor's degree in Texas.
Best 4-Year Colleges in Texas
Whether you want to live on-campus or earn an online bachelor's degree in Texas, here are ten of the top schools in the state.
Founded in 1876, the public flagship campus of the Texas A&M University System can count itself as one of the nation's most prominent institutions. The school is steeped in tradition, and regularly ranks as of the top schools in the country for academics and affordability.
People from all over come to College Station to become Aggies, as the student population is called. However, even those who can't travel to campus have plenty of opportunity to earn a Texas A&M University degree. The school is one of the best online colleges in Texas, in part, because of the large number of online programs it offers. Its 38 distance education programs rank the school second out of 72 Texas institutions for that metric.
Once enrolled, students are likely to stick to their education. Texas A&M University ranks fifth in the state for its retention rate and sixth for its graduation rate.
For an affordable education, look no further than The University of Texas at the Permian Basin. The school ranks first in the state and 13th in the nation for the affordability of its tuition and fees. It offers generous grant aid packages to many students and also scored strongly for its net price and the relatively low amount of debt its graduates carry.
While its campus is located in Odessa, The University of Texas at the Permian Basin is a popular choice for students interested in earning an online degree. Nearly two-thirds of its students enrolled in online courses in 2015, ranking the university third in the state for that metric. Its online programs include popular majors such as psychology, criminal justice and RN-to-BSN. Many are available in an accelerated 8-week format.
The University of Texas at the Permian Basin is part of The University of Texas System.
Texas Woman's University is another of the best online schools in Texas. The school ranks 7th in the state for the number of online programs it offers and 8th in the state for the number of students who enroll in those programs. Online options include a variety of undergraduate completion degrees, graduate degrees and certificates.
Men have been admitted to all programs at Texas Woman's University since 1994, but the school remains one of the nation's largest institutions of higher education that is primarily for women. It is known as an affordable choice and ranks 9th in the state for its tuition and fees.
Outside its degree programs, students may choose Texas Woman's University for its flexible support services. There are remedial classes, career counseling and placement services for graduates. What's more, the university has a tuition guarantee plan and tuition payment plans to make its programs more accessible.
Named for the famous Texan who helped the state gain independence from Mexico, Sam Houston State University is based in Huntsville. It is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in Texas and was founded in 1879. Today, it offers more than 80 undergraduate degrees and 50 master's degrees as well as several doctoral programs.
Sam Houston State University gets high marks for offering flexible learning options. Some students may be able to earn credits for their life experiences. Meanwhile, online school makes it convenient to study around work and family obligations. Plus, there are several supplements to education including, remedial support, career placement and academic advising services.
When it comes to affordability, the university tends to be generous with its financial aid packages. Its ranked 12th in the state when it comes to the amount of institutional grant aid it awards as compared to its tuition and fees.
Texas Tech University is another accredited school known for, among other things, offering online degrees. The school's Worldwide eLearning option allows students to earn one of more than 60 fully online degree programs or certificates. That's enough to rank Texas Tech University as sixth in the state for the number of online programs offered. Available degrees include options in popular fields such as general studies, political science and human services.
High school students may be dually enrolled at Texas Tech University or earn AP credit to be applied toward their degree program. Once enrolled, all students have access to career counseling and, after graduation, career placement. Perhaps thanks to these services, the university has a solid graduation rate and ranks 16th out of 72 schools for that metric.
At its campus in Lubbock, Texas Tech University has 10 colleges as well as both a medical school and a School of Law. This learning institution was founded in 1923.
The accredited University of Texas at Austin is not the place to earn an online bachelor's degree in Texas, but it does have a lot of other positives going for it. While there are no online degree programs offered, the school can boast being ranked first in the state when it comes to the number of programs it offers on-campus.
Its retention and graduation rates are among its other strengths. The university ranks seventh in the Texas for its retention rate, a measure of how many students return to school the following year. Meanwhile, its graduation rank is even better. The school ranks fourth out of 72 Texas institutions when it comes to graduating its students on time.
The University of Texas at Austin first opened its doors in 1883. It now serves as the flagship campus for the The University of Texas System.
Austin isn't the only home to a top ten school within The University of Texas System. The campus at Arlington also made the cut. The University of Texas at Arlington is known for offering a wide variety of education programs.
Since 1998, the university has offered online learning in addition to its on-campus degree programs. The University of Texas at Arlington has hundreds of individual courses online. Plus, Finish@UT allows students who have an associate degree to earn a fully online bachelor's degree in Texas. These completion programs build upon the student's previous education and allow them to complete their upper level classes from the convenience of home.
Once financial aid is factored in, The University of Texas at Arlington offers one of the more affordable educations in the state. It ranks 13th for net price and 10th when it comes to the relatively low amount of student debt held by graduates.
As the flagship campus in the system bearing the same name, the University of Houston calls itself the "powerhouse." It was founded in 1927 and has grown from one campus to a system including four locations.
The University of Houston is ranked fifth in the state in terms of the number of programs it offers. Of those, 16 are online master's degree programs. Plus, the University of Houston has put more than 950 of its courses online, making it easy for all students to craft a convenient class schedule.
In terms of affordability, the University of Houston gets high marks for the amount of institutional aid it offers. Its total grant aid, when calculated as a percentage of its tuition and fees, ranks the school sixth in the state. The school also receives strong rankings for its retention and graduation rates.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley holds the distinction of having the state's lowest average net price. It ranks first in that metric for all students and second when it comes to the average net price for low income students. Given its affordable tuition, it's not surprising The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley also garners the number three spot in the state when it comes to the low median debt held by graduates.
As one of the best online colleges for Texas, the university has fully online programs including a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and an accelerated RN-to-BSN. Students get access to 24/7 online learning support and benefit from the university's other support services.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is the latest addition to The University of Texas System. It was created in 2013 by combining the The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College and The University of Texas-Pan American.
Taking the final spot on this top ten list is another school from The University of Texas System. Like its counterpart in Rio Grande Valley, The University of Texas at Dallas is notable for being affordable. It ranks sixth in the state for average net price. That ranking is likely due in large part to the amount of financial aid the university hands out. The school ranks first out of 72 Texas schools when it comes to the institutional grant aid it awards as a percentage of its tuition and fees.
The Jindal School of Management at The University of Texas at Dallas offers several of its graduate programs online. A few of the available options include master's degrees in business administration, marketing, management and accounting.
Both online and on-campus students have access to the same support services. Tuition payment plans and a tuition guarantee are available to make this affordable school even more accessible.
Most Popular Degree Programs in Texas
There are many on-campus and online Texas degrees available. However, the following programs are the ones that have proven most popular with students in recent years.
In-Demand Careers in Texas
Before deciding on a degree program, students might find it beneficial to review which jobs are expected to grow most in the coming years. Here's a look at the in-demand careers for Texas.
|Career Title||Projected Job Growth||Total Employment||Annual Salary|
|Wind Turbine Service Technicians||129.6%||1,440||$53,650|
|Occupational Therapy Assistants||49.2%||3,750||$74,070|
|Diagnostic Medical Sonographers||45.5%||5,190||$77,370|
|Operations Research Analysts||45%||10,620||$82,260|
|Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers||43.9%||4,100||$43,680|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||43.4%||6,780||$71,780|
|Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians||43%||5,160||$54,230|
|Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters||42.6%||1,750||$28,690|
|Interpreters and Translators||42.5%||4,030||$50,670|
|Forensic Science Technicians||41.7%||1,030||$51,700|
|Cartographers and Photogrammetrists||41.6%||1,590||$63,480|
|Home Health Aides||39.6%||67,180||$20,550|
|Personal Care Aides||38.9%||188,790||$18,620|
|Occupational Therapy Aides||38.1%||400||$31,260|
|Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Except Emergency Medical Technicians||35.4%||800||$25,410|
|Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food||35.3%||330,510||$19,520|
|Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other||35.2%||8,750||$42,430|
|Ophthalmic Medical Technicians||34.9%||4,210||$34,010|
Financial Aid and Scholarships in Texas
Financial aid is available to many students attending traditional and online colleges in Texas. Students can apply for federal assistance, but the state also offers grants and scholarships specifically to its residents. These include the Texas Public Educational Grant Program, the Top 10 Percent Scholarship Program and the TEXAS Grant Program among others.
July 1 (fall); January 2 (spring)
Renewable if recipient completes 12 credit hours per semester and maintains a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study.
November 15 (Early Action admissions deadline)
Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.25 GPA and full-time status.
- The University of Texas System
- The University of Texas System Online Consortium
- The Texas A&M University System
- The Texas State University System
- Texas Association of Community Colleges
- University of Houston System
- College for All Texans
- Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board