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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. College Factual was founded, in part, to help students make the decision as to what would be the best school for them. Our Best Value Texas Schools ranking is part of that endeavor.

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:

The University of Texas at Austin tops this year’s ranking as the best school for overall value in Texas. Located in Austin, Texas, the large public school awarded 10,098 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at UT Austin about 4.3 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $22,499. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UT Austin is about $96,746. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 95%. UT Austin also made our Best Colleges in Texas list, coming in at #2.

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#2

University of Houston

Houston, Texas

A rank of #2 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list means University of Houston is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Located in Houston, Texas, the large public school awarded 7,631 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average student at U of H graduates in less than 4.6 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $19,521. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from U of H is $90,187. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, U of H also is in the top 15% of our Best Colleges in Texas ranking.

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#3

Texas A&M University - College Station

College Station, Texas

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Texas A&M University - College Station. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas list. This large public school is located in College Station, Texas, and it awarded 13,198 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at Texas A&M to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $24,578. This means that the average student pays around $107,160 to get a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.1%, which is much lower than the national rate of 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

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Texas Tech University. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas list. Located in Lubbock, Texas, the large public school handed out 6,599 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at Texas Tech to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $19,640. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Texas Tech is $88,773. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

Texas Tech 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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A rank of #5 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list means The University of Texas at Dallas is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. UT Dallas is a public institution located in Richardson, Texas. The school has a large population, and it awarded 4,225 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at UT Dallas graduates in less than 4.3 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $22,938. 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 UT Dallas is $98,633. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

With a freshman retention rate of 88%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. UT Dallas 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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#6

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

Sam Houston State University came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Texas ranking. Huntsville, Texas is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 4,343 students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at SHSU is 4.5 years, and the yearly average 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 students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio landed the #7 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking. UTSA is a large public school situated in San Antonio, Texas. It awarded 5,655 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at UTSA graduates in less than 4.7 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $14,701. 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 UTSA is $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

Texas State University came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Texas ranking. Texas State is a large public school situated in San Marcos, Texas. It awarded 7,427 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.6 years for the average student at Texas State to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $19,906. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Texas State be around $91,369. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#9

Austin College

Sherman, Texas

Austin College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking, coming in at #9. Austin College is a private not-for-profit institution located in Sherman, Texas. The school has a small population, and it awarded 342 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Austin College is 4.1 years, and it costs about $27,662 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $112,861 to get a bachelor’s degree from Austin College. 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

University of North Texas came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Texas ranking. Located in Denton, Texas, the large public school handed out 7,639 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UNT is 4.5 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $21,013. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UNT is $95,399. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#11

Texas Woman's University

Denton, Texas

Texas Woman’s University came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Texas ranking. Texas Woman’s University is a fairly large public school located in Denton, Texas that handed out 2,061 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at TWU graduates in less than 4.6 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $16,573. 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 $76,567. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley landed the #12 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking. Located in Edinburg, Texas, the large public school handed out 4,519 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at UT Rio Grande Valley about 4.7 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $15,155. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from UT Rio Grande Valley is $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 landed the #13 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking. SFASU is a fairly large public school situated in Nacogdoches, Texas. It awarded 2,231 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at SFASU graduates in less than 4.4 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $17,930. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from SFASU is about $79,609. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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The University of Texas at Tyler ranked #14 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list. UT Tyler is a public institution located in Tyler, Texas. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,904 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at UT Tyler graduates in less than 4.5 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $18,827. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from UT Tyler is $85,098. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#15

Trinity University

San Antonio, Texas

Trinity University landed the #15 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking. Located in San Antonio, Texas, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 617 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Trinity U, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and it costs about $35,662 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Trinity U is $148,711. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The impressive student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. Trinity U not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #3 on our Best Colleges in Texas list.

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#16

Midwestern State University

Wichita Falls, Texas

Midwestern State University ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list. Located in Wichita Falls, Texas, the medium-sized public school handed out 1,201 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at MSU is 4.7 years, and it costs about $17,318 per year to attend the school. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from MSU be around $80,875. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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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. Located in Canyon, Texas, the medium-sized public school handed out 1,746 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at West Texas A&M University is 4.4 years, and it costs about $17,536 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the West Texas A&M University is $77,509. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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Texas A&M International University landed the #18 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking. Texas A&M International University is a medium-sized public school situated in Laredo, Texas. It awarded 1,211 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Texas A&M International University, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.6 years, 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. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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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 University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Georgetown, Texas that handed out 375 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Southwestern U to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $33,948. 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 Southwestern U is $139,526. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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

With a ranking of #20, St. Mary’s University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Texas list. St. Mary’s is located in San Antonio, Texas and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 468 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes the average student at St. Mary’s about 4.2 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $26,726. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s be around $113,586. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

St. Mary’s 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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#21

Tarleton State University

Stephenville, Texas

Tarleton State University came in at #21 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Texas ranking. Tarleton is a fairly large public school situated in Stephenville, Texas. It awarded 2,530 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at Tarleton to complete their degree, and it costs about $18,575 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Tarleton is about $83,216. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#22

Rice University

Houston, Texas

Rice University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking, coming in at #22. Rice University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in Houston, Texas that handed out 1,228 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Rice graduates in less than 4.1 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $44,796. 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 Rice is $184,112. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The impressive student-to-faculty rate of 6 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. Rice did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #1 on our Best Colleges in Texas list.

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#23

Texas A&M University - Texarkana

Texarkana, Texas

Texas A&M University - Texarkana landed the #23 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Texas ranking. Texas A&M University - Texarkana is a small public school located in Texarkana, Texas that handed out 371 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Texas A&M Texarkana graduates in less than 4.6 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $15,419. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M Texarkana is $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. Located in Seguin, Texas, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 278 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at TLU is 4.3 years, and it costs about $24,319 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from TLU is $104,815. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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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. UNTD is a small public school situated in Dallas, Texas. It awarded 561 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at UNTD graduates in less than 4.4 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $17,899. This means that the average student pays around $79,472 to get a bachelor’s degree from UNTD. 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 4.4% 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%.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

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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