Home > College Rankings > The 25 Best Colleges in Texas for 2017
College Rankings

The 25 Best Colleges in Texas for 2017

As everyone knows, Texas is a very big state, and colleges in Texas can be just as big. Thousands of students choose to attend colleges or universities in Texas every year. The Lone Star State ranks near the top of the list in terms of the number of colleges and universities and the number of students enrolled. Even community colleges in Texas are grand.

There are many good reasons to choose to attend colleges in Texas. Students enjoy the mild winters and warm springs, as well as the diversity of landscapes and people the state has to offer. In addition to being national leader in business, technology, agriculture, aerospace, and biomedicine, Texas also has the advantage of being one of the safest and most affordable states to live in.

For the Top 25 Colleges in Texas for 2017, we used the same methodology used in our inaugural 2016 edition of The Best Colleges Top 50 Colleges and Universities in America. In our attempt to create a college ranking system that takes into account what really matters to students and their parents, we’ve gone beyond investigating standard indicators of academic quality and student satisfaction used by other major ranking systems to also consider indicators of the economic value of a school and the quality of life offered by the city or town in which it is located.

At the top of this year’s ranking is Rice University, which has long been recognized as one of the premier universities in Texas and the world, as have the schools in the second and third spots, Trinity University and the University of Texas at Austin (though we imagine a few people might take issue with UT-Austin being ranked higher than Texas A&M).

Many exemplary religious schools have made the list, and they cross various Christian denominations from Baptist to Lutheran to Catholic. Those wanting to add a spiritual component to their education will have no trouble finding a school in Texas. The big metropolises are well-represented, with a wide variety of colleges and universities in Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. Students who want to stay connected to vibrant and dynamic population centers have some amazing choices in the best colleges in Texas.

We believe our ranking of the top colleges and universities in Texas provides prospective students an excellent starting point for investigating the best colleges and universities in the Lone Star State. We measured each school across a dozen (12) different data points to come up with an overall score for each school. You can read a more detailed explanation of our Texas ranking methodology and data sources by clicking here.

First, we offer a few notes to help you navigate the rankings list. Underneath the school’s name is a brief introduction to the school, as well as a little information about the city or town in which it is located. Below that is the school’s classification, setting, population and student-to-faculty ratio. By clicking on the magnifying glass icon next to the student-to-teacher ratio, the profile will expand to display additional information on the school and city or town.

What Are The Best Colleges in Texas?

Detailed Ranking Methodology

A college education is among the largest and most important investments of time, effort, and money most Americans will make in their lifetime. The schools in our ranking were put through a rigorous selection process and then objectively evaluated across 12 unique data points in four different categories: economic value, quality of life, academic quality, and student satisfaction. Subjective decisions were limited to which data points to consider and the weight given to each one.

In order to be included in our rankings pool, a school had to be a regionally accredited four-year, bachelor’s degree-granting liberal arts college or university in Texas with at least 500 students, a 25th percentile score of 480 in SAT critical reading and math, and an acceptance rate at or below 80%. This ensured that all Texas colleges and universities considered were of significant size and demonstrated some level of selectivity in its admissions process.

Ranking Criteria and Weights

Economic Value – 35%

Quality of Life – 30%

Academic Quality – 20%

Student Satisfaction – 15%

College Finder