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Colleges in Texas

Why go to College in Texas?

Texas offers a wide variety of exciting educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Whether you are looking for a small campus in an intimate setting or a major university in the middle of a big city, Texas has a school that fits your needs. Many schools in the state offer a blend of both city and country life. In most cases, you will find yourself only a short drive away from mainstream entertainment, bustling nightlife, and the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.


Texas has a population of 27.9 million people. Houston (2.3 million) is the largest city in the state, followed by San Antonio (1.5 million). Austin, which is widely considered to be the arts center of Texas, is the 4th largest city and is home to 930,000 individuals.


As the second largest state in the U.S., Texans experience a wide range of climates. The majority of inland locations, away from the Gulf Coast, have drier climates with average high temperatures in the mid-70s.

Number of Higher Learning Institutions

Texas has a total of 506 public and private colleges and universities, including trade schools and career-training institutes.

Sporting Events

Football is the most popular college-level sport in the state. Basketball, ice hockey, and baseball are also highly competitive. Texas has over three dozen colleges that participate in Division I, II, and III NCAA athletics. The most significant sports rivalry in the state is between the two largest universities: Texas A&M University and the University of Texas.


Major cities around the state, including Austin, Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth, offer nightlife attractions like major concerts, theatrical performances, bars, and clubs. Texans are known for their country-western music and dancing, including the Texas two-step, which can be found throughout the state.

What Options are Available for Colleges in Texas?

On-Campus Programs

Attending a college in Texas in a traditional, on-campus format is the right fit for many students. To attend classes in-person, learners must live near campus, within a reasonable commuting distance. Benefits of choosing this traditional option include a deeper sense of community with your fellow students and the ability to engage in on-campus social and educational events. On-campus learns are able to ask their professors questions in-person, attend office hours and tutorial services, and have face-to-face interactions with classmates. Texas universities and colleges offer a wide variety of on-campus experiences, from small-town, intimate settings with just a few hundred students to large city schools with over 55,000 attendees.

Online Programs

Online education, which is sometimes referred to as distance education, is a convenient way for students to enroll in college courses and earn their degree. Unlike traditional on-campus formats, online education provides students with greater flexibility. Students attending an online school in Texas often work at their own pace and meet course deadlines from the convenience of their home. Additionally, for many degree candidates, the distance learning option is more affordable than a traditional program. Some of the individuals pursuing their degree from an online college in Texas are working professionals seeking to advance their skill set, while others have familial obligations; the flexibility of distance education helps these busy students earn their degree in their free time.

Hybrid Programs

Hybrid programs include a mixture of both online and on-campus courses. Depending on the degree and concentration, some online colleges in Texas require students to attend a portion of their courses on campus. In many cases, these are majors that require hands-on learning and training that cannot be completed without particular equipment, laboratory space, or instructor supervision. Alternatively, students may simply prefer a program that includes both the traditional feel of on-campus classes and the flexibility of completing some courses from a distance.

Popular Degree Programs in Texas

Some of the top industries in the state of Texas include agriculture and petroleum. Since both of these are long-standing, defining industries of the state, Texas universities have developed many of the best academic programs in these fields. Both fields require different types of professionals with a number of concentrations and specializations. Historically speaking, Texas has been on the frontier in the fields of agriculture, oil, gas, and other natural resources; each of these continues to be an important part of the U.S. economy. As a result, petroleum engineering and agricultural engineering remain popular majors for college students in the state of Texas.

  • Petroleum Engineering

    Petroleum engineering is the ongoing scientific study of extracting gas, oil, and other natural resources from the earth. Students learn about various petroleum recovery methods, including state-of-the-art oil drilling. Most petroleum engineers work in computer technology-based office positions or travel the world for research and project consulting. Texas is home to some of the largest petroleum engineering facilities in the nation and provides an excellent learning environment for aspiring engineers.

  • Agricultural Engineering

    Agricultural engineers work to improve the quality of farming conditions in order to increase production. They are problem-solvers who are competent in sales, marketing, research, and management. These professionals often specialize in farm structures, mechanical power, electrification, soil and water conservation, or food engineering. With the largest number of farms and ranches in the nation, totaling 248,800 agricultural properties spread over 130 million acres, Texas is heavily invested in educating the next generation of agricultural engineers.

Best Online Colleges in Texas for 2018

Drawing from resources provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, the following section will help you locate the best schools for your educational needs based on the unique characteristics, strengths, and specializations of each online school in Texas. As a distance learner, it is important to understand your options, the online educational experience as a whole, and which types of careers you can seek upon completion of your degree. Below are some helpful resources and information regarding the application process, coursework, degree concentrations, graduation requirements, tuition, and funding for the best online colleges in Texas.


LeTourneau UniversityLongview, TX

Admissions Rate 45%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 57%
Online Enrollment 44%

Founded in 1946 by businessman and entrepreneur R.G. LeTourneau, LeTourneau University is a Christian university based in Longview, Texas. With a total enrollment of about 2,700, the university administers branch campuses in Houston, Plano, and at the McKinney National Airport. LeTourneau offers more than 90 academic programs, including 15 that are offered completely online. The school is among online college in Texas accredited by the Southern Association of the Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Home to students from 48 states and 31 different countries, LeTourneau University's academic retention rate is 78% and the school boasts a 14:one student-to-faculty ratio. LeTourneau University is home to a college of aviation and aeronautical science, where it offers 20 different programs and concentrations in such areas as aviation maintenance, aviation students, and professional flight. LeTourneau University offers undergraduate programs in aviation management and aviation studies online.


Dallas Baptist UniversityDallas, TX

Admissions Rate 42%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 58%
Online Enrollment 17%

A Baptist college based in southwest Dallas, Dallas Baptist University was founded in 1898 as Decatur Baptist College. Located a short drive from both downtown Dallas and neighboring Fort Worth, the college offers 73 undergraduate programs, along with 31 master’s programs and two doctoral programs. The school also offers 59 online programs, including undergraduate and master's programs, and graduate certificate programs. Dallas Baptist’s total enrollment numbers reach just under 5,200 and the school boasts an average class size of just 11 students. The school boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1, and the school's graduates enjoy a 70% acceptance rate to medical school -- a mark that is 25% better than the national average. Approximately 84% of undergraduates and 74% of graduates students receive financial aid. Transfer students should contact the school directly to assess which credits may transfer to DBU.


Southwestern Assemblies of God UniversityWaxahachie, TX

Admissions Rate 28%
Default Rate 13%
Retention Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 41%
Online Enrollment 38%

The Southwestern Assemblies of God University traces its roots in the the early 1940s, when three regional Christian colleges -- the Southwestern Bible Institute, the Shield of Faith Bible School, and the Southern Bible Institute -- merged and relocated to the school’s 70-acre main campus in Waxahachie, Texas, located just south of Dallas's suburban ring. Today, SAGU offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. The school is among online colleges in Texas to hold accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The school offers 45 online undergraduate degree programs, many of which focus on biblical studies and approaches to ministry. Among other requirements, SAGU requests that all applicants "must evidence a born again spiritual experience" and submit a "Christian character reference" as part of the application process.


Texas A & M University-CommerceCommerce, TX

Admissions Rate 47%
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 42%
Online Enrollment 33%

Originally founded by William Leonidas Mayo in 1889 as the East Texas Normal College, Texas A&M University-Commerce has today grown to be the second-largest institution in the Texas A&M university system. The school is home to more than 13,000 students who study in one of its four colleges -- the College of Human Services; the College of Humanities, Social Sciences, & Arts; the College of Business and Education; and the College of Agriculture. TAMUC's average class size is 26 students. Offering more than 100 majors, TAMUC provides students with the opportunity to study either at the school's main campus near Dallas or at one of seven off-site locations. TAMUC also offers 14 undergraduate programs online, though only six of those programs are offered in a pure online format. Students looking to transfer into TAMUC should have at least 12 transferable hours as well as a minimum 2.0 GPA on all transferable coursework. The school is among online colleges in Texas to offer scholarship programs that include a waiver in out-of-state tuition for qualified students.


Texas Tech UniversityLubbock, TX

Admissions Rate 63%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 60%
Online Enrollment 7%

Founded in 1923, Texas Tech University is a public research institution located in the West Texas city of Lubbock. The school's 1,839-acre flagship campus is home to nearly 30,000 undergraduate students, as well as more than 6,000 graduate students and 500 law students. TTU employs 1,546 full-time faculty members, along with nearly 200 part-time faculty, who teach in one of the university's 12 colleges and schools. In all, TTU offers more than 150 undergraduate programs, 100 graduate programs, and 50 doctoral programs. The school also offers dozens of online programs; some are delivered entirely through the web while others require some on-campus coursework or in-person meetings. Transfer students who seek to transfer anywhere from 12 to 23 hours must hold a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, while learners looking to transfer 24 or more hours must have at least a 2.25. TTU is among online colleges in Texas to take part in the Big 12 athletic conference, and its 17 varsity teams compete as the Red Raiders in NCAA’s Division I. The university has more than 200,000 alumni worldwide.


Sam Houston State UniversityHuntsville, TX

Admissions Rate 73%
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 49%
Online Enrollment 14%

Founded in 1879, Sam Houston State University is a public research institution with a total undergraduate population of just under 18,000. The school is the 12th-largest university in the state of Texas, and offers 140 different bachelor's, master’s, and doctoral programs in its seven colleges. SMHSU's student-to-faculty ratio is 23:1, and 26.5% of the school's classes have fewer than 20 students. SMHSU currently offers nine online undergraduate degree programs, some of which are available in an all-online format. It is among the online schools in Texas to offer numerous web-based graduate and certificate programs, as well. Transfer students looking to transfer up to 11 credit hours must meet Sam Houston State’s standard freshmen admission requirements and hold at least a 2.5 GPA. Learners looking to transfer 18 or more credit hours must have a minimum GPA of 2.0.


Texas Woman's UniversityDenton, TX

Admissions Rate 86%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 41%
Online Enrollment 25%

Texas Woman’s University, originally founded in 1901 as the Girls Industrial College, officially adopted its current name in 1957 and today is home to 15,000 students. The school is located in Denton, Texas, approximately 40 miles from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Though men have been admitted since 1972, women still comprise 87% of the student body, and Texas Woman’s University remains the nation’s largest university primarily for women. The student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1, and nearly half of all classes enroll fewer than 20 students. Thes school offers dozens of bachelor's, master’s, and doctoral programs, as well as teacher certification, and also offers numerous programs online. While TWU offers a variety of courses completely online, many others are only available in hybrid format. The school’s many programs and established strengths in healthcare enable it to graduate more healthcare professionals than any other university in Texas.


University of HoustonHouston, TX

Admissions Rate 60%
Default Rate 9%
Retention Rate 86%
Graduation Rate 51%
Online Enrollment 3%

Founded in 1927, the University of Houston is a public research institution located in downtown Houston, Texas. The school features an undergraduate enrollment of just over 35,000. The University of Houston is home to 14 different academic colleges and offers 110 undergraduate majors and minors, as well as 120 master’s degrees and 47 doctoral degrees. UH offers three online undergraduate programs -- a B.A. and B.S. in psychology, and a B.S. in retailing and consumer sciences. UH administers 25 research centers, and is the only Research One institution in the city of Houston. The school's student-to-faculty ratio is 21:1, and more than a quarter of all classes have fewer than 20 students. Students at UH benefit from access to numerous professional and internship opportunities in a city that sits at the center of the U.S. energy sector, and participate in more than 400 different student clubs and organizations. The Houston Cougars compete in the NCAA’s Division I for athletics, and enjoy great success through the years in both football and men’s basketball.


University of the Incarnate WordSan Antonio, TX

Admissions Rate 92%
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 54%
Online Enrollment 17%

Founded in 1881 as Incarnate Word College, the University of the Incarnate Word is a private, Catholic university located minutes from downtown San Antonio, Texas. With an undergraduate enrollment of about 6,500, along with another 2,500 graduate students, it is the fourth-largest private university in the state of Texas. UIW offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional programs from its 154-acre main campus in Alamo Heights, and the school offers several of its programs in either an all-online or hybrid format. UIW is one of just 20 schools in the nation to feature an optometry school, and remains the only private university in Texas to administer a pharmacy school. The faculty-to-student ratio at UIW is 14:1, and nearly 57% of classes have fewer than 20 students. In recent years, UIW has worked to become more international in its scope. In turn, students at UIC now hail from over 60 different countries, the school has “sister school” partnerships in 40 countries worldwide, and it operates international campuses in both Mexico and Germany. UIC’s 19 athletic teams compete in the NCAA’s Division 1 in the Southland Conference.


University of North TexasDenton, TX

Admissions Rate 70%
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 52%
Online Enrollment 8%

The University of North Texas is a public research institution originally founded in 1890. Its 875-acre campus is in Denton, Texas, a city of 131,000 people located just a short drive from the bustling Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The school is home to more than 31,000 undergraduate students, along with another 6,000 graduates students, and offers more than 200 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. It currently offers five undergraduate programs online, including a bachelor of science in information science. The university is home to 1,900 faculty members, its student-to-faculty ratio is 26:1, and just under 25% of all classes the school offers enroll fewer than 20 students. The school is renowned for its music programs, and has produced such notable alumni as Norah Jones and Roy Orbison. With more than 300 student clubs and organizations and 39 fraternities and sororities, the bustling campus provides myriad opportunities for students to get involved. The school’s athletic teams, the Mean Green, compete in the NCAA’s Division I via their affiliation with Conference USA.


Concordia University-TexasAustin, TX

Admissions Rate 82%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 42%
Online Enrollment 23%

Concordia University, originally founded in 1926 as a high school, became a four-year college in 1980 and is today a private, Christian university located in the dynamic city of Austin, Texas. The university is among online schools in Texas associated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, but students of all faiths are welcomed. Its main campus, opened in 2008, covers nearly 400 acres and is home to 2,500 students. The student body is 60% female, 40% male. The university offers 24 undergraduate majors in such fields as business, the sciences, and nursing, as well as three master’s programs and a doctoral program in education. Concordia also offers a variety of online programs, including seven undergraduate programs. The student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1, and 80% of students receive some kind of financial aid. Concordia also offers a $2,000 scholarship program for transfer students who have completed an associate degree.


Midwestern State UniversityWichita Falls, TX

Admissions Rate 76%
Default Rate 9%
Retention Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 44%
Online Enrollment 18%

Midwestern State University, founded in 1922, is a public institution based in Wichita Falls, Texas. The school’s 255-acre campus is located roughly halfway between Oklahoma City and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and the university is home to 5,300 undergraduates and about 800 graduate students. MSU offers 49 undergraduate programs and 27 graduate programs, many of which are available online. The student body is about 60% female, 40% male, and students hail from 44 states and 54 different countries. The school is home to 209 full-time faculty, its student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1, and 40% of all the school's classes seat fewer than 20 students. Just over 60% of all Midwestern State students receive some kind of financial aid, with the average scholarship or grant award being about $7,000. Transfer students must have at least a 2.0 GPA to be eligible for admission. Students at Midwestern State have the opportunity to participate in more than 100 student clubs and organizations, as well as 14 fraternities and sororities.


The University of Texas at TylerTyler, TX

Admissions Rate 64%
Default Rate 10%
Retention Rate 62%
Graduation Rate 41%
Online Enrollment 24%

Founded in 1971, the University of Texas at Tyler is one of the newest and fastest growing institutions within the massive University of Texas system. Located in the East Texas city of Tyler, the school’s 259-acre main campus is about halfway between Dallas and Shreveport, Louisiana. The school also has in-state campuses in Palestine and Longview. UT-Tyler is home to about 10,500 students who hail from 45 states and 58 different countries. About 1,500 students live on campus. The school features 564 full-time faculty, and its student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. In all, UT-Tyler offers 44 undergraduate programs, 33 graduate programs, and four doctoral programs. It also offers numerous online programs, including a highly regarded online master’s degree program in human resource development. Transfer students must have either completed 30 credit hours at a regionally accredited institution with a 2.0 GPA or meet the school’s freshman admission requirements.


The University of Texas of the Permian BasinOdessa, TX

Admissions Rate 84%
Default Rate 14%
Retention Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 40%
Online Enrollment 47%

Founded in 1973, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin is a public institution and is among online schools in Texas to belong to the University of Texas system. Located in the West Texas city of Odessa, the university is home to approximately 5,000 undergraduate students and 900 graduate students. Students at UTPA hail from 31 states and 31 different countries worldwide, as well as from 183 counties in the state of Texas. The school boasts that 100% of its tenure and tenure-track faculty hold terminal and doctoral degrees in their field. The university offers 31 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. It also offers 16 undergraduate programs in an online format, some of which operate in conjunction with other institutions within the UT system. Transfer students may be eligible for two scholarship programs (one offering $2,000 per year and another offering $1,000 per year).


West Texas A & M UniversityCanyon, TX

Admissions Rate 67%
Default Rate 12%
Retention Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 40%
Online Enrollment 25%

West Texas A&M University, founded in 1910, is a public institution located in the small West Texas town of Canyon, Texas. Among online colleges in Texas to be a member of the Texas A&M university system, the school is home to nearly 10,000 students, 2,500 of whom live on campus. The 135-acre main campus is a short drive from nearby Amarillo, Texas. In all, the university offers 59 undergraduate programs, 38 master's programs, and one doctoral program, as well as several online programs. WTAM employs 317 full-time faculty members and 452 support staff. The institution's student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1 and 35% of all classes on offer seat fewer than 20 students. About 60% of all students receive some type of financial aid. WTAM is a member of the Lone Star Conference and its 15 athletic teams compete in the NCAA’s Division II. The school offers numerous club sports, including bowling and rodeo teams.


Tarleton State UniversityStephenville, TX

Admissions Rate 50%
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 44%
Online Enrollment 10%

Founded in 1899, Tarleton State University is a public institution located in Stephenville, Texas. The school’s 125-acre main campus is about an hour’s drive southwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Total enrollment reaches just over 13,000 students. The university is home to seven colleges, and offers nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, along with a doctoral program in education. TSU also administers 10 undergraduate degree programs in an online format. The school employs 870 faculty members and 716 support staff, and its student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1. Around 32% of all the school's classes enroll fewer than 20 students. TSU's athletic teams compete in the Division II Lone Star conference, and students can participate in nine recreational sports as well.


Northwood University-TexasCedar Hill, TX

Admissions Rate 86%
Default Rate N/A
Retention Rate 100%
Graduation Rate 40%
Online Enrollment 29%

A private university based in Alma, Michigan, Northwood University was founded in 1959 by friends and business partners Arthur E. Turner and R. Gary Stauffer. Today the school offers both in-person and online programs from its campus in Cedar Hill, Texas. The school emphasizes "the advantages of an entrepreneurial, free-enterprise society", and is home to about 3,000 undergraduate and 500 graduate students who hail from 26 different countries worldwide. NU's student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1 and its average class size is 21. Around 97% of all faculty at Northwood hold advanced degrees. The school claims more than 35,000 alumni worldwide, with many alumni located in the Netherlands, China, Germany, and Switzerland. Northwood is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission is a member of the North Central Association.


Southwestern Adventist UniversityKeene, TX

Admissions Rate 49%
Default Rate 13%
Retention Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 45%
Online Enrollment 6%

Southwestern Adventist University, founded in 1892, is a private Christian institution located in the southwest Texas town of Keene. Its 150-acre main campus is just a half-hour drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The school has about 800 students and offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs, several of which the school conducts online, along with a number of pre-professional programs in such areas as engineering, pharmacy, and public health. Students looking to transfer to SAU must provide transcripts from all colleges attended, and those with less than 24 credits must submit either an ACT or SAT score. SAU accepts transfer credits from students who have completed a course with a grade of "C-" or higher. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Our Lady of the Lake UniversitySan Antonio, TX

Admissions Rate 68%
Default Rate 10%
Retention Rate 59%
Graduation Rate 37%
Online Enrollment 33%

Founded in 1895 by the Congregation of Divine Providence, Our Lady of the Lake University is a private Catholic university located in San Antonio, Texas. The school administers branch campuses in Houston and the Rio Grande Valley, and offers six online programs (five at the master’s level, along with a bachelor’s program in criminology and criminal justice). The school is home to more than 3,100 students, and enrolled learners benefit from the opportunity to participate in more than 50 student organizations and clubs. The university also fields 13 varsity athletic teams. OLLU's student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1, and nearly 64% of all of its classes seat fewer than 20 students. The school offers a variety of programs and scholarships for military veterans.


University of Houston-VictoriaVictoria, TX

Admissions Rate 53% Default Rate 7% Retention Rate 61% Online Enrollment 44%

The University of Houston-Victoria, founded in 1973, is a public institution located in the southeast Texas town of Victoria. A member of the University of Houston system, the school’s 20-acre main campus is just two hours away from four of the largest cities in Texas (Houston, Austin, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio). UHV serves a student body of about 4,100 (3,000 undergraduates, 1,000 graduates), and students at UHV come from 23 states and 38 countries. The school is home to three colleges -- the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business Administration, and the School of Education, Health Professions and Human Development -- and offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs. Several programs are offered in an online-only format. UHV's student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1, and 42% of all classes offered enroll fewer than 20 students.


Stephen F Austin State UniversityNacogdoches, TX

Admissions Rate 62%
Default Rate 15%
Retention Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 41%
Online Enrollment 9%

Founded in 1923, Stephen F. Austin State University is a public institution located in the East Texas city of Nacogdoches, Texas. The university’s flagship 430-acre campus is located near the Louisiana border, about two hours northwest of Houston. SFA's total enrollment is just under 13,000 and 64% of its student body consists of females. The school employs more than 519 full-time faculty members, and offers more than 120 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. SFA's student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1, and its average class size is 27. Beyond its traditional on-campus programs, the school offers six undergraduate programs in a completely online format and numerous graduate programs. Transfer students interested in these online programs should have at least a 2.0 GPA. According to the school, SFA's undergraduate retention rate is 71%.


Lubbock Christian UniversityLubbock, TX

Admissions Rate 96%
Default Rate 12%
Retention Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 42%
Online Enrollment 8%

Founded in 1957, Lubbock Christian University is a private institution based in the West Texas city of Lubbock. Its 155-acre campus is home to nearly 2,000 students. LCU offers more than 65 undergraduate programs as well as numerous master’s programs, and currently offers undergraduate online degree programs in the behavioral sciences, education, nursing, and Bible study. LCU's student-to-faculty ratio stands at a low 12:1, and nearly 70% of all classes the school offers enroll fewer than 70 students. With historic strengths in education and medicine, LCU boasts a 96% placement rate for graduates of its education program and an 85% acceptance rate to medical school for its pre-med students (both marks are well above the national average). The school claims more than 9,000 alums worldwide. Athletic teams at LCU participate in the NCAA’s Division II.


Lamar UniversityBeaumont, TX

Admissions Rate 79%
Default Rate 16%
Retention Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 32%
Online Enrollment 39%

Founded in 1923 and a member of the University of Texas system, Lamar University is a public institution located in the coastal city of Beaumont. The school’s nearly 300-acre main campus is located about an hour’s drive east of Houston and is home to about 15,000 students. More than 2,500 of the school's students live on campus, and LU offers more than 100 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. The school also offers dozens of undergraduate and graduate programs online. Its student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1, and 34% of all classes offered enroll fewer than 20 students. Learners looking to transfer to LU with fewer than 18 hours of college credit must also provide an ACT or SAT score with their application. LU students can participate in more than 100 student clubs and organizations, and the university's varsity programs participate in the NCAA’s Division I as part of the Southland Conference.


Angelo State UniversitySan Angelo, TX

Admissions Rate 77%
Default Rate 15%
Retention Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 37%
Online Enrollment 14%

Angelo State University, founded in 1928, is a public institution based in of San Angelo, Texas, about three hours west of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The school is home to nearly 10,000 students, and offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs -- including online programs -- via its six colleges. ASU employs 441 faculty members and its student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1. Students looking to transfer to ASU must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA and learners who seek to transfer fewer than 18 credit hours must also meet the school’s standard freshman admission requirements. The school administers more than 100 student clubs and organizations, as well as 20 intramural sports programs, and its varsity athletic teams compete in the Lone Star Conference of the NCAA’s Division II.


The University of Texas at El PasoEl Paso, TX

Admissions Rate 100%
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 40%
Online Enrollment 6%

The University of Texas at El Paso, founded in 1914, is a public research institution and a member of the University of Texas system. The school’s 421-acre main campus is located in the southwest Texas border city of El Paso, home to nearly 700,000 people. Total enrollment at UTEP stands at about 24,000, and the university offers 72 undergraduate programs, 74 master’s programs, and 21 doctoral programs, along with numerous online programs. The university is home to more than 1,300 faculty members, and 95% of all tenured or tenure-track faculty hold either doctorates or terminal degrees in their fields. UTEP's student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1, and 32% of all classes offered have fewer than 20 students. The university generates $90 million in research expenditures each year, which ranks it third among all member institutions of the University of Texas system.

How We Ranked the Schools

To determine the best programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the best online master’s in management information systems programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.

Education Trends in Texas

When compared to the national average, Texas spends slightly more on postsecondary education per full-time student, as well as a considerably higher percentage of state tax revenue. However, the percentage of adults over the age of 25 who have earned associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees are all under the national average. Some online schools in Texas have made an effort to encourage students to finish their degree programs by offering affordable and flexible distance programs.

  Texas United States
Source: SHEEO and U.S. Census
Postsecondary Education Spending per Full-Time Student $7,748 $6,954
Percent of Tax Revenue Allocated to Higher Education 7.5% 5.8%
Percentage of adults over 25 with associate degree 6.7% 8.1%
Percentage of adults over 25 with bachelor’s degree 18.2% 18.5%
Percentage of adults over 25 with graduate degree or higher 9.4% 11.2%

Paying for College in Texas

In many cases, residents of the state in which their school is located pay a reduced tuition. Attending college as a full-time student often comes with lifestyle changes, new living situations, and additional daily expenses. Some of the additional expenses a student should keep in mind while looking for an affordable education include books, transportation, rent, entertainment, and other daily living expenses. Fortunately, scholarships, grants, and loans can help offset these costs.

Tuition Prices

The following table displays the average prices for in-state tuition at both two-year and four-year institutions in Texas. While tuition in Texas is slightly below the the U.S. national average, these estimates do not account for a wide variety of expenses incurred by most college students.

Financial Aid

Students in every state should take full advantage of all financial aid opportunities available to them, including funding opportunities at the local, state, and federal levels. Aid that comes in the form of scholarships, awards, and certain types of grants does not have to be paid back; these should be the first funding sources you accept. Loans, whether federal or private, must be repaid. The U.S. Department of Education uses the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for federal and state financial aid, loans, grants, and work-study opportunities. Work-study programs offer students part-time work to help fund their education while they are enrolled. In any case, are only be considered for federal financial aid if you complete the FAFSA. Every student should explore funding opportunities at all levels and submit applications by the appropriate deadlines.

Cost for Online Programs in Texas

The financial aid opportunities described above generally apply to online schools in Texas in the same way that they do for on-campus programs. Online degree programs are often the same price as their on-campus counterparts and cover the same course content. However, because distance learners often save money on transportation, activity fees, digital books, and childcare, the overall cost of going to an online college in Texas is generally less expensive than a traditional on-campus degree. Furthermore, online degree candidates tend to have a more flexible schedule and can maintain a steady job in addition to completing coursework.

Cost of Living by Region

Your cost of living varies greatly depending on where you live and which school you choose to attend. While it is important to consider the overall cost of attending college, keep in mind that your location may also affect your education and your future career prospects. Be sure to explore job opportunities offered by both your institution and its surrounding location. If it would benefit you to be in a rural area or major city, narrow your school search to those types of locations and find the most cost-effective education that meets your needs.

Scholarships for Texas College Students

Aimee Melissa Davis Scholarship

$5,000; must be a graduate from a Travis or Williamson county high school and be living with insulin-dependent diabetes.

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The TSJCL Lourania Miller & Gareth Morgan Scholarships for High School Seniors

$1,000; must be a graduate from a public or private high school in Nevada with at least a 3.25 GPA.

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Association of Texas Leaders for Education Scholarship

$1,000; must be a graduating Texas resident with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

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Barbara Odom-Wesley Spirit of Achievement Scholarship

$2,000; must be an African-American woman attending a high school in the Arlington and Tarrant County area with a 2.5 GPA or higher.

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Dwaraka R. Iyengar PMI Dallas Chapter Area Scholarship

$2,500; must be a Dallas-area high school student. Preference is given to students planning to attend a college in the 75000-75900 zip code range.

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Education and Training Vouchers for Youths Aging Out of Foster Care in Texas

$5,000; for Texas students who are currently or formerly in foster care, between the ages of 16 and 23, and beginning or completing post-secondary education or training programs.

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George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation Scholarship

$18,000; award for up to 70 high school seniors in the Houston area (Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, or Waller County) who are pursuing undergraduate study.

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Hope Pierce Tartt Scholarship

$5,000; must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Harrison, Gregg, Marion, Panola, or Upshur County for at least 24 months, and have a GPA of 2.0 or higher.

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Mike Lozano Scholarship

$5,000; awarded to a student athlete from northern Texas with a GPA of 2.0 or higher.

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Natural Resources-Excellence in Education

$10,000; offered to five students annually who are majoring in a natural resource-related field with a 2.0 GPA or higher.

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Rebekah Assembly of Texas Irma Gesche Scholarship

$1,000; must be a Texas resident applying to a two- or four-year program and have a strong record of community service, personal development, and financial need.

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Society of Professional Women in Petroleum Scholarship

$10,000; must be a Houston-area, female high school senior entering a college in Texas.

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Texas Urban Scholarship

$2,000; must be a Texas resident in financial need who attended a high school in one of the following cities: Abilene, Amarillo, Arlington, Austin, Beaumont, Brownsville, Carrollton, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garland, Grand Prairie, Houston, Irving, Killeen, Laredo, Lubbock, McAllen, McKinney, Mesquite, Midland, Pasadena, Plano, San Antonio, Waco, or Wichita Falls.

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The Bounce Energy 'BE More' Scholarship

$2,500; awarded to three students annually who attended high school in Texas, are under the age of 24, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

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Tommy Tranchin Award

$1,500; must be a high school student residing in north Texas with a physical, emotional, or intellectual disability.

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Woman-to-Woman Scholarship

$500; applicant must be a woman, 50 years of age or older, residing in the South Plains area of Texas, in financial need, and planning to attend a college or university.

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AQHA Jay Pumphrey Animal Sciences Scholarship

$6,000; must be an American Quarter Horse Association member from Texas with a ranching background and minimum GPA of 3.0.

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Horatio Alger Ronald C. Waranch Scholarship Program (Texas)

$10,000; awarded to two students annually who have a GPA of 2.0 or higher.

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Texas Occupational Therapy Scholarship

$2,000; must be a Texas resident and member of the Texas Occupational Therapy Association.

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Jake Jones Memorial Scholarship for the Learning Disabled

$500; must be a Texas resident with a documented learning disability graduating from a high school in one of the 26 northernmost counties in the Texas panhandle.

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Can All Scholarships Be Used for Online Programs?

Most private scholarships may be applied to any type of on-campus or online program in Texas. Additionally, awards and scholarships can usually be used for a variety of expenses, including books, fees, tuition, and supplies. To be sure you are following the guidelines of any scholarships you might receive, and that they are eligible for use at online schools in Texas, it is best to communicate directly with the awarding institution or organization.

Employment Outlook in Texas

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), both Texas’ unemployment rate and annual mean wage in May 2017 were slightly below national averages. These numbers are drawn from the BLS’s Local Area Unemployment Statistics program, which produces monthly and annual evaluations about employment in metropolitan areas around the state. The BLS also uses monthly employment statistics from over 634,000 individual worksites around the state to provide detailed reports on workers’ wages.

  Texas United States
Source: BLS and BLS
Unemployment Rate, May 2017 4.2% 4.3%
Annual Mean Wage, May 2016 $47,770 $49,630

Top Employers and Industries in Texas

Top Industries in Texas

  • Agricultural Industry: The agricultural industry utilizes various methods for cultivating natural resources and includes harvesting crops, plants, and livestock feeding. Professionals in the industry concentrate on developing new technologies to increase production and efficiency.
  • Petroleum Industry: Professionals in the petroleum industry harvest fossil fuels and crude oil. These commodities are used by innumerable companies to create fuel, construction materials, roads, and plastics. The world’s oil supplies are controlled by state agencies and not private corporations.
  • Education and Research: Some of the largest employers in this field are research-intensive institutions of higher education and technology development companies. Professionals in this field find ways to expand their fields of expertise, secure funding for further research projects, and ensure that educators of the highest quality are placed in teaching positions.

Top Employers in Texas

  • Koch Industries (Texas Locations): 8,500 employees
  • Shell Deepwater Development: 44,000 employees
  • University of Texas at Austin: 21,000 employees

Accreditation for Colleges in Texas

When choosing a school to further your education, it is important to pick an institution that is accredited. For a school to be accredited, either regionally or nationally, it must meet certain standards of quality. While most schools are accredited as a whole and receive the same designation across the board, some programs may receive specialized accreditation. Some distance learning programs may fall into this category, depending on the school. Accredited online colleges in Texas usually have the same credentials as traditional campuses.

National accreditation is usually reserved for schools that focus on a particular type of education, such as technical colleges and vocational schools. These also tend to be for-profit schools. Regional accreditation is more common for schools that are degree-oriented, nonprofit, or state-owned. Credits from accredited schools are generally transferrable between one another, whereas credits from non-accredited schools may not transfer to an accredited institution. Of the two types of accreditation, regionally-accredited schools are generally considered more prestigious than those with national accreditation. Schools and programs usually display their accreditation information prominently on their websites. While looking at online colleges in Texas, you can do further research by visiting the website of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Resources for Students in Texas

  • College for All Texans: This is a diverse resource that can help you locate and complete important financial aid forms, register for standardized tests like the ACT and SAT, and locate a college that best suits your academic needs. This site is useful for new college applicants, adult learners, and military personnel.
  • Higher Education Guide for Students with Disabilities: This handbook offers advice for new college students and their parents as they prepare for a student’s next academic journey. The guide focuses on the application process for colleges and universities in Texas and provides details and contact information for disability services at schools across the state.
  • Texas Higher Education Data: This site provides detailed information about financial aid in the state as well as employment data and statistics for graduates. It also outlines a new higher education initiative, “60x30TX,” which is designed to increase the number of young adults earning a postsecondary credential.
  • Texas Veterans Portal: Veterans and their families might be eligible for significant federal or state financial assistance while pursuing their education. This site provides links to education funding options and support for military families, services for women veterans, and individual scholarships offered around the state and nationally.
  • TEXASgenuine Career and Technical Education: This site provides an online assessment for students who are unsure of which educational or career path might be best for them. Based on your career aspirations, TEXASgenuine helps narrow down your educational trajectory and offers resources to achieve those goals. This site can be used to find the school in Texas that offers the best training and/or degree in your chosen field.
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