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2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Texas

67 Colleges
$21,803 Avg Cost*
4.4 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

It's not easy to decide which college to attend when you have so many options available. One of our goals at College Factual is to give you as much information as we can - such as our Best Value in Texas Schools ranking - to help you make that decision.

After analyzing 67 schools, we came up with our list of those that were the best for overall value in Texas. Quality is an important component in this ranking, so it is not just naming the schools with the cheapest price tag. Instead, it is identifying those institutions that offer the most value when taking their educational quality into consideration. Because of this, it is possible for one college to rank better than another, even if the latter college has a lower average cost.

Find out more about our ranking methodology.

When determining average cost, we look at total expenses, such as tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board, and other living expenses, and then deduct the average amount of financial aid awarded to a student. This estimate is meant to give you a better picture of how much money you'll have to pay each year, either through self-pay, loans, or external scholarships.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location and field of study as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors, such as those of importance to veterans and returning adults or those seeking diversity and overall quality.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another!

Top Colleges for the Money in Texas

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

Our 2021 rankings named The University of Texas at Austin the best school for overall value in Texas for students working on their bachelor’s degree. UT Austin is a large public school situated in Austin, Texas. It awarded 10,098 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at UT Austin graduates in less than 4.3 years, and it costs about $22,499 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UT Austin is about $96,746. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

With a freshman retention rate of 95%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, UT Austin is ranked #2 for overall quality in Texas.

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#2

University of Houston

Houston, Texas

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at University of Houston helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for the money in Texas. University of Houston is a large public school located in Houston, Texas that handed out 7,631 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At U of H, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.6 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $19,521. 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 $90,187. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.1%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. U of H also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges in Texas list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

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#3

Texas A&M University - College Station

College Station, Texas

Out of the 67 schools in Texas that were part of this year’s ranking, Texas A&M University - College Station landed the #3 spot on the list. Texas A&M is located in College Station, Texas and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 13,198 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Texas A&M is 4.4 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $24,578. This means that the average student pays around $107,160 to get a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The low student loan default rate of 2.1% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. Texas A&M did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #4 on our Best Colleges in Texas list.

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#4

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

A rank of #4 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list means Texas Tech University is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Texas Tech is a large public school situated in Lubbock, Texas. It awarded 6,599 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Texas Tech is 4.5 years, and it costs about $19,640 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 Texas Tech is $88,773. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Texas Tech also is in the top 20% of our Best Colleges in Texas ranking.

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You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend The University of Texas at Dallas. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas list. Richardson, Texas is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 4,225 students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at UT Dallas about 4.3 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $22,938. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UT Dallas is $98,633. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 88%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. UT Dallas excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges in Texas list.

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#6

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

Sam Houston State University ranked #6 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list. Located in Huntsville, Texas, the large public school handed out 4,343 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at SHSU about 4.5 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $17,819. 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 SHSU is $80,720. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio landed the #7 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking. Located in San Antonio, Texas, the large public school awarded 5,655 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

At UTSA, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.7 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $14,701. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UTSA is about $69,095. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#8

Texas State University

San Marcos, Texas

With a ranking of #8, Texas State University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list. Texas State is a public institution located in San Marcos, Texas. The school has a large population, and it awarded 7,427 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Texas State about 4.6 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $19,906. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Texas State is $91,369. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#9

Austin College

Sherman, Texas

Austin College landed the #9 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking. Austin College is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Sherman, Texas. It awarded 342 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Austin College to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $27,662. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Austin College be around $112,861. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

Austin College excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges in Texas list.

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#10

University of North Texas

Denton, Texas

With a ranking of #10, University of North Texas did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list. UNT is a large public school situated in Denton, Texas. It awarded 7,639 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at UNT about 4.5 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $21,013. 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 UNT is $95,399. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#11

Texas Woman's University

Denton, Texas

Texas Woman’s University ranked #11 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list. Located in Denton, Texas, the fairly large public school handed out 2,061 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at TWU is 4.6 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $16,573. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the TWU is $76,567. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Texas ranking. Located in Edinburg, Texas, the large public school awarded 4,519 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

At UT Rio Grande Valley, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.7 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $15,155. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UT Rio Grande Valley be around $71,380. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#13

Stephen F Austin State University

Nacogdoches, Texas

Stephen F Austin State University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking, coming in at #13. Located in Nacogdoches, Texas, the fairly large public school awarded 2,231 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at SFASU to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $17,930. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from SFASU is $79,609. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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The University of Texas at Tyler did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking, coming in at #14. The University of Texas at Tyler is a medium-sized public school located in Tyler, Texas that handed out 1,904 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at UT Tyler graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $18,827. This means that the average student pays around $85,098 to get a bachelor’s degree from UT Tyler. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#15

Trinity University

San Antonio, Texas

Trinity University ranked #15 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list. Trinity U is located in San Antonio, Texas and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 617 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

At Trinity U, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $35,662. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Trinity U be around $148,711. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

With a freshman retention rate of 89%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Trinity U did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #3 on our Best Colleges in Texas list.

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#16

Midwestern State University

Wichita Falls, Texas

With a ranking of #16, Midwestern State University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list. Wichita Falls, Texas is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,201 students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at MSU about 4.7 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $17,318. 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 MSU is $80,875. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#17

West Texas A&M University

Canyon, Texas

West Texas A&M University came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Texas ranking. West Texas A&M University is a public institution located in Canyon, Texas. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,746 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at West Texas A&M University to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $17,536. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from West Texas A&M University is about $77,509. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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Texas A&M International University ranked #18 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list. Laredo, Texas is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,211 students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.6 years for the average student at Texas A&M International University to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $14,110. 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 Texas A&M International University is $64,342. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#19

Southwestern University

Georgetown, Texas

Southwestern University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking, coming in at #19. Southwestern U is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Georgetown, Texas. It awarded 375 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Southwestern U about 4.1 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $33,948. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Southwestern U is $139,526. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The low student loan default rate of 3.7% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Southwestern U also is in the top 10% of our Best Colleges in Texas ranking.

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#20

St. Mary's University

San Antonio, Texas

St. Mary’s University ranked #20 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list. Located in San Antonio, Texas, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 468 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at St. Mary’s to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $26,726. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the St. Mary’s is $113,586. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

On top of its placing in our value rankings, St. Mary’s also did well on our Best Colleges in Texas list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#21

Tarleton State University

Stephenville, Texas

With a ranking of #21, Tarleton State University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list. Tarleton is a fairly large public school situated in Stephenville, Texas. It awarded 2,530 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Tarleton graduates in less than 4.5 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $18,575. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Tarleton is $83,216. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#22

Rice University

Houston, Texas

Rice University landed the #22 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking. Rice is located in Houston, Texas and has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,228 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes the average student at Rice about 4.1 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $44,796. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Rice be around $184,112. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The student-to-faculty rate of 6 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Rice is ranked #1 for overall quality in Texas.

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#23

Texas A&M University - Texarkana

Texarkana, Texas

Texas A&M University - Texarkana came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Texas ranking. Located in Texarkana, Texas, the small public school awarded 371 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Texas A&M Texarkana about 4.6 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $15,419. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M Texarkana be around $71,082. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#24

Texas Lutheran University

Seguin, Texas

Texas Lutheran University landed the #24 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking. TLU is located in Seguin, Texas and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 278 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.3 years for the average student at TLU to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $24,319. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the TLU is $104,815. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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University of North Texas at Dallas came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Texas ranking. Located in Dallas, Texas, the small public school awarded 561 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

At UNTD, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $17,899. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UNTD is about $79,472. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.4%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • 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 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).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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