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2023 Best Colleges in Texas

116 Colleges
$53,712 Avg Salary*
47% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

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 Top Texas Colleges ranking - to help you make that decision.

Our analysis looked at 116 schools in Texas to determine which ones were the best in terms of overall quality. Our ranking is based on over 20 objective factors, including post graduate earnings, freshman retention, and graduation rate. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another.

Get more details on our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

Since one ranking on its own is not enough to give you a complete understanding of your educational options, you can refine this list by location and field of study. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as value or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Top Colleges in Texas

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Rice University

Houston, Texas

Our 2023 rankings named Rice University the best school in Texas in terms of overall quality for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Rice University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in Houston, Texas that handed out 2,500 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The school boasts an average 4-year graduation rate of 86%, which is excellent when compared to the national rate of 33%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Rice make an average of $77,683 a year.

Read More…

Out of the 116 schools in Texas that were part of this year’s ranking, The University of Texas at Austin landed the #2 spot on the list. Located in Austin, Texas, the large public school awarded 17,613 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.3%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. During the early years of their career, graduates from UT Austin make an average of $67,839 a year.

Read full report on The University of Texas at Austin

#3

Texas A&M University - College Station

College Station, Texas

Out of the 116 schools in Texas that were part of this year’s ranking, Texas A&M University - College Station landed the #3 spot on the list. This large public school is located in College Station, Texas, and it awarded 19,908 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

With a freshman retention rate of 94%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $66,566 during the early years of their career..

Full Texas A&M University - College Station Report

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Southern Methodist University helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in Texas. SMU is located in Dallas, Texas and has a fairly large student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 4,258 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The student loan default rate at the school is 2.1%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from SMU go into careers with an average salary of $72,514 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Southern Methodist University

#5

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, Texas

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Texas Christian University helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in Texas. TCU is a private not-for-profit institution located in Fort Worth, Texas. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 3,058 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The student loan default rate at the school is 2.7%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from TCU make an average of $61,325 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Texas Christian University Report

#6

Baylor University

Waco, Texas

Baylor University ranked #6 on this year’s Best Colleges in Texas list. Baylor University is a large private not-for-profit school located in Waco, Texas that handed out 5,321 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 91%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $60,512 during the early years of their career..

Full Baylor University Report

The University of Texas at Dallas ranked #7 on this year’s Best Colleges in Texas list. This large public school is located in Richardson, Texas, and it awarded 8,460 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.8%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $60,595 during the early years of their career..

Read More…

#8

Lee College

Baytown, Texas

Lee College did quite well in the 2023 Best Colleges in Texas ranking, coming in at #8. Lee College is a medium-sized public school situated in Baytown, Texas. It awarded 3,684 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Lee College go into careers with an average salary of $37,624 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Lee College

#9

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech University ranked #9 on this year’s Best Colleges in Texas list. This large public school is located in Lubbock, Texas, and it awarded 9,710 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The low student loan default rate of 4.5% 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% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $58,435 during the early years of their career..

Full Texas Tech University Report

#10

Trinity University

San Antonio, Texas

With a ranking of #10, Trinity University did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in Texas list. Located in San Antonio, Texas, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 798 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The low student loan default rate of 2.0% 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% During the early years of their career, graduates from Trinity U make an average of $65,315 a year.

Full Trinity University Report

#11

University of North Texas

Denton, Texas

University of North Texas did quite well in the 2023 Best Colleges in Texas ranking, coming in at #11. UNT is a large public school situated in Denton, Texas. It awarded 10,800 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from UNT go into careers with an average salary of $51,232 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on University of North Texas

#12

University of Houston

Houston, Texas

With a ranking of #12, University of Houston did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in Texas list.Houston, Texas is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 11,581 students in 2020-2021.

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% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from UH is $56,763 during the early years of their career.

Full University of Houston Report

With a ranking of #13, The University of Texas at Arlington did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in Texas list. UT Arlington is a large public school situated in Arlington, Texas. It awarded 14,417 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 4.6%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $54,633 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on The University of Texas at Arlington

Texas State Technical College came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Texas ranking. Located in Waco, Texas, the fairly large public school awarded 2,789 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from TSTC make an average of $35,542 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Texas State Technical College

#15

Texas State University

San Marcos, Texas

Texas State University came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Texas ranking. Texas State is a public institution located in San Marcos, Texas. The school has a large population, and it awarded 9,313 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Texas State make an average of $50,671 a year.

Full Texas State University Report

#16

Central Texas College

Killeen, Texas

Central Texas College came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Texas ranking. Located in Killeen, Texas, the medium-sized public school handed out 2,323 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $34,775 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Central Texas College

#17

Northwest Vista College

San Antonio, Texas

Northwest Vista College landed the #17 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in Texas ranking. This fairly large public school is located in San Antonio, Texas, and it awarded 2,838 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Northwest Vista College make an average of $40,280 per year during the early years of their career.

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#18

University of Dallas

Irving, Texas

University of Dallas landed the #18 spot on the 2023 Best Colleges in Texas ranking.Irving, Texas is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 745 students in 2020-2021.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.3%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. During the early years of their career, graduates from UD make an average of $54,695 a year.

Read full report on University of Dallas

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Texas ranking. This large public school is located in Edinburg, Texas, and it awarded 6,962 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

The low student loan default rate of 0.7% 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% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $45,895 during the early years of their career..

Full The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Report

The University of Texas at San Antonio did quite well in the 2023 Best Colleges in Texas ranking, coming in at #20. Located in San Antonio, Texas, the large public school handed out 8,095 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from UTSA go into careers with an average salary of $50,810 during the early years of their career.

Full The University of Texas at San Antonio Report

#21

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

Sam Houston State University ranked #21 on this year’s Best Colleges in Texas list. This large public school is located in Huntsville, Texas, and it awarded 5,395 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $50,125 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Sam Houston State University

Collin County Community College District came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Texas ranking. Collin County Community College District is a large public school located in McKinney, Texas that handed out 5,703 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Collin County Community College District go into careers with an average salary of $44,658 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#23

El Centro College

Dallas, Texas

With a ranking of #23, El Centro College did quite well on the 2023 Best Colleges in Texas list. Located in Dallas, Texas, the large public school handed out 12,775 bachelor’s degrees in 2020-2021.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from El Centro College make an average of $37,543 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on El Centro College

#24

Southwestern University

Georgetown, Texas

Southwestern University ranked #24 on this year’s Best Colleges in Texas list. Southwestern is located in Georgetown, Texas and has a small student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 364 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 86%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Southwestern is $57,053 during the early years of their career.

Full Southwestern University Report

#25

Texas Woman's University

Denton, Texas

Texas Woman’s University came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Texas ranking. TWU is located in Denton, Texas and has a fairly large student population. In 2020-2021, this school awarded 4,310 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from TWU go into careers with an average salary of $49,724 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Texas Woman’s University

Best Colleges in the Southwest Region

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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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