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2021 Best Value Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Southwest Region

46 Colleges
7,519 Bachelor's Degrees
$23,947 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Value Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies School for You

Best Value Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Southwest RegionParks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies is the #13 most popular major in the country with 54,385 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2018-2019. Of those degrees, 7,519 went to students in the Southwest region of the United States.

For this year's Best Value Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Southwest Region ranking, we looked at 46 colleges that offer a bachelor's in parks and rec. To us, 'best value' doesn't just mean the school with the lowest overall costs. Instead, we are looking at those parks and rec schools that offer a high quality educational experience at a price lower than expected.

To determine the average cost, we look at total expenses - such as tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other related expenses - and then subtract the average financial award a student receives. Knowing this amount can help you determine how much you may have to borrow in loans or take out of savings. Depending on your income and other factors, the cost for you to attend a particular school may be more or less.

More Ways to Rank Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools

Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we've developed the Best Value Parks & Rec Schools ranking, along with many other major-related rankings, to help you make that decision.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

2021 Best Value Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools in the Southwest Region

The following schools top our list of the Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges for the Money.

Top 10 Best Value Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Schools

Texas Lutheran University earned the #1 spot in our 2021 rankings. TLU is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Seguin.

It takes the average student at TLU about 4.3 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $23,694. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from TLU be around $102,121. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#2

Texas State University

San Marcos, TX

Texas State University earned the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of San Marcos, Texas State is a public school with a fairly large student population. As a testament to the quality of education offered at Texas State, the school also landed the #4 rank in our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Southwest Region ranking.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Texas State is 4.6 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $24,274. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Texas State is about $111,418. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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Our rankings recognize University of North Texas as the #3 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of Denton, UNT is a public college with a very large student population. UNT did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #6 on our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Southwest Region list.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at UNT to complete their degree, and it costs about $24,179 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UNT is $109,773. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#4

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX

Texas Tech University earned the #4 spot in our 2021 rankings. Texas Tech is a very large public school located in the city of Lubbock.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Texas Tech is 4.5 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $23,296. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech is $105,298. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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The #5 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Texas Woman's University. Located in the city of Denton, TWU is a public school with a fairly large student population.

The average student at TWU graduates in less than 4.6 years, and it costs about $21,089 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from TWU is $97,431. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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The #6 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Northern Arizona University. Located in the city of Flagstaff, NAU is a public college with a very large student population.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at NAU to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $23,230. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from NAU is about $101,050. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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Sam Houston State University comes in at #7 in this year's ranking. SHSU is a fairly large public school located in the distant town of Huntsville.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at SHSU to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $22,492. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from SHSU be around $101,889. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#8

University of Houston

Houston, TX

University of Houston earned the #8 spot in our 2021 rankings. U of H is a fairly large public school located in the city of Houston. U of H not only placed well in our value rankings. It is also #9 on our Best Colleges for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies in the Southwest Region list.

The average student at U of H graduates in less than 4.6 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $25,217. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from U of H is $116,503. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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Our rankings recognize The University of Texas at San Antonio as the #9 school in this year's rankings. UTSA is a very large public school located in the large city of San Antonio.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UTSA is 4.7 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $20,313. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UTSA is $95,471. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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Hardin - Simmons University comes in at #10 in this year's ranking. Hardin - Simmons is a small private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Abilene.

The average student at Hardin - Simmons graduates in less than 4.3 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $27,555. This means that the average student pays around $118,211 to get a bachelor’s degree from Hardin - Simmons. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges by State

Explore the best parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies colleges for a specific state in the Southwest region.

State Degrees Awarded
Arizona 950
Texas 5,678
Oklahoma 798
New Mexico 92

Parks & Rec Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Health & Physical Education 7,102
Recreation Administration 210
Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 150
Other Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 46
Outdoor Education 11

View All Parks & Rec Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting 7,943
Public Administration & Social Service 4,682
Legal Professions 467
Military Technologies & Applied Sciences 35

View All Parks & Rec Related Majors >

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to NPS Photo/Zurbuch.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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