2022 Top Public Colleges and Universities in Texas

Public colleges and universities are often the most affordable option for students pursuing higher education, but it’s not just affordability that makes these institutions attractive. Public colleges and universities also rank highly among the best institutions in many states, Texas included.

Public colleges and universities receive state and federal funding. Although they generally have larger class sizes than private institutions, they also tend to offer a wide variety of academic programs, diverse student bodies, and prestigious research opportunities.

2022 Best Public Colleges and Universities in Texas

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

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Showing 30 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    The University of Texas at Austin

    Austin, TX

    Graduation Rate

    88%

    Enrollment

    50,476

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11448

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $40032

    From its location in Austin, Texas, The University of Texas at Austin offers multiple programs as a public institution. The school's accredited programs prepare graduates for the workforce. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $ 10474, making the average tuition cost after aid $ 16892. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Depending on their major, learners complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #2

    Texas A & M University-College Station

    College Station, TX

    Graduation Rate

    83%

    Enrollment

    70,418

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8395

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $36849

    Located in College Station, Texas, Texas A & M University-College Station grants degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the institution helps students reach their educational goals. The institution's bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division requirements. The school's 120-credit bachelor's programs also include general education credits. Upper-division credits emphasize advanced concepts in the major. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #3

    The University of Texas at Dallas

    Richardson, TX

    Graduation Rate

    69%

    Enrollment

    28,669

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13992

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $38970

    From its campus in Richardson, Texas, The University of Texas at Dallas grants degrees as a public institution. The school grants accredited degrees that prepare learners for the workforce. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school reports that students receive an average aid award of $ 16185, making the average tuition cost after aid $ 11185. The institution offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #4

    Texas A & M International University

    Laredo, TX

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    8,525

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3818

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13634

    A public institution located in Laredo, Texas, Texas A & M International University offers a variety of programs. Students earn an accredited degree that prepares them for careers and professional advancement. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Students receive $ 9170 in aid on average, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $ 4165. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #5

    University of Houston

    Houston, TX

    Graduation Rate

    62%

    Enrollment

    47,090

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8449

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20665

    University of Houston grants degrees as a public institution from its location in Houston, Texas. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. A total of 94% of students receive financial aid and 36% take out loans at the school. The school reports a 62% graduation rate. Prospective enrollees can expect an 63% admission rate. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. University of Houston has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

    Edinburg, TX

    Graduation Rate

    47%

    Enrollment

    32,441

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7233

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $17049

    A public institution located in Edinburg, Texas, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers multiple programs. Students earn an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Current students receive an average aid award of $ 9910, making the average tuition cost after aid $ 4419. Learners at the school choose from academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take essential courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #7

    The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

    Houston, TX

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    358

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4553

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $21731

    From its Texas campus, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center offers 11 academic programs. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-1. The amount of aid students receive on average is currently unknown. There is no available data on how many students graduate. Real-world experience helps candidates stand out on the job market. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #8

    The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

    Galveston, TX

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    3,458

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7090

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20710

    The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, a public institution in Galveston, Texas, enrolls learners in multiple programs. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps students reach their educational goals. During a bachelor's degree, students take lower-division and upper-division coursework. Students also take general education coursework during their bachelor's degree. In upper-division classes, students learn advanced concepts in their major. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #9

    Texas Tech University

    Lubbock, TX

    Graduation Rate

    63%

    Enrollment

    40,322

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8683

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20953

    Located in Lubbock, Texas, Texas Tech University operates as a public institution. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or a bachelor's degree. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. At the accredited institution, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 86% of students receive aid, and 40% receive loans. The public institution reports a 63% graduation rate. The admission rate is 70%. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. Texas Tech University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #10

    Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

    Lubbock, TX

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    5,274

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6665

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19344

    Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, located in Lubbock, Texas, enrolls students in 54 programs. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 7-to-1. The amount of aid students receive on average is currently unknown. There is no available data on how many students graduate. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. Learners benefit from internships, research opportunities, and other forms of service learning. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option.

    #11

    The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

    San Antonio, TX

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    3,478

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6051

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $18855

    The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio enrolls students on its San Antonio, Texas campus as a public institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The percent of students who graduate is unavailable. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #12

    University of Houston-Clear Lake

    Houston, TX

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    9,053

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5856

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19104

    Located in Houston, Texas, University of Houston-Clear Lake ranks as one of the top colleges. The institution offers a variety of degree-granting programs. The school's academic and technical tracks help students meet diverse career goals. Enrollees typically earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in two, and a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. These policies make it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. University of Houston-Clear Lake holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #13

    The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

    Houston, TX

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    5,608

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8274

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $32844

    Located in Houston, Texas, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston awards degrees as a public institution. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. The cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, degree-seekers qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The graduation rate is unavailable at this time. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #14

    Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-El Paso

    El Paso, TX

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    775

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6732

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20229

    Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-El Paso, which operates a campus in El Paso, Texas, often ranks as one of the best colleges. The institution offers a variety of degree-granting programs. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Generally, it takes two years to complete an associate degree, four years to complete a bachelor's degree, 1-2 years for a master's degree, or 3-7 years for a doctoral degree. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #15

    University of North Texas at Dallas

    Dallas, TX

    Graduation Rate

    37%

    Enrollment

    4,164

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6678

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $20109

    Located in Dallas, Texas, University of North Texas at Dallas awards degrees as a public institution. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. The school offers academic and technical programs for students planning to enter the workforce or pursue further studies degree. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that 95% of students receive financial aid and 40% take out loans. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 37%. The admission rate is 93% for new students. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. University of North Texas at Dallas has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #16

    Texas A&M University-San Antonio

    San Antonio, TX

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    6,759

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4708

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $18394

    Texas A&M University-San Antonio enrolls students at its San Antonio, Texas campus as a public institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. At the accredited school, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. A total of 70% of students receive financial aid and 48% take out loans at the school. There is no available data on how many students graduate. The admission rate is 60% for hopeful students. Prospective applicants can contact the admission department for more information about applying. Texas A&M University-San Antonio is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #17

    Brazosport College

    Lake Jackson, TX

    Graduation Rate

    28%

    Enrollment

    3,852

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2629

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4063

    Brazosport College, located in Lake Jackson, Texas, enrolls students in 54 programs. Students enjoy rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. According to the institution, the student-to-faculty ratio stands at 12-to-1. The institution reports that of its total enrollees, 59% receive financial aid. The school reports a 28% graduation rate for its programs. Real-world experience helps candidates stand out on the job market. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements.

    #18

    Texas A&M University-Central Texas

    Killeen, TX

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    2,339

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6425

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16241

    A public institution located in Killeen, Texas, Texas A&M University-Central Texas enrolls students in several programs. Students can earn a degree or certificate that prepares them for the workforce. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. The school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $8032, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $3637. Learners at the school choose from academic and technical programs. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. Texas A&M University-Central Texas has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #19

    Texas State Technical College

    Waco, TX

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    10,654

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6169

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10486

    Located in Texas, Texas State Technical College offers 131 programs for students. Students benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. According to the school, the student-to-faculty ratio stands at 14-to-1. The institution reports that of its total enrollees, 95% receive financial aid. The school reports a graduation rate of 42%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates become more competitive in the job market. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants. Applicants can reach out to the admissions office to learn more about enrolling.

    #20

    Lee College

    Baytown, TX

    Graduation Rate

    48%

    Enrollment

    7,487

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3012

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3552

    Lee College, located in Baytown, Texas, offers 137 programs for degree-seekers. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school provides a student-to-faculty ratio of 15-to-1. The school reports that 71% of students take advantage of financial aid. The public school reports a graduation rate of 48%. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements.

    #21

    University of North Texas

    Denton, TX

    Graduation Rate

    57%

    Enrollment

    40,953

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $8295

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $18111

    University of North Texas, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Denton, Texas. The college offers multiple degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Learners typically earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in two, and a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. This makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Students at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. University of North Texas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #22

    Galveston College

    Galveston, TX

    Graduation Rate

    25%

    Enrollment

    2,060

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2010

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4260

    Galveston College enrolls learners from its Galveston, Texas campus. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career goals. Academic programs can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete, depending on degree or certificate type. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department can help students apply to the school. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover educational costs. Galveston College has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #23

    Paris Junior College

    Paris, TX

    Graduation Rate

    37%

    Enrollment

    4,421

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3210

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4710

    Paris Junior College, located in Paris, Texas, grants degrees and certificates as a public institution. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports that 80% of learners receive financial aid, while 2% take out loans. The school reports a graduation rate of 37%. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Paris Junior College has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #24

    Northwest Vista College

    San Antonio, TX

    Graduation Rate

    30%

    Enrollment

    18,542

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6450

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13980

    Located in Texas, Northwest Vista College enrolls students in 85 programs. The institution's many rigorous academic programs rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 31-to-1. According to the institution, 72% of enrollees receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a graduation rate of 30%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates become more competitive in the job market. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #25

    Midland College

    Midland, TX

    Graduation Rate

    23%

    Enrollment

    4,737

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4860

    From its campus in Midland, Texas, Midland College enrolls students in programs as a public institution. Students can earn a degree or certificate that prepares them for the workforce. The institution offers academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $5422, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $7420. Learners at the school choose from academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take essential courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #26

    San Jacinto Community College

    Pasadena, TX

    Graduation Rate

    27%

    Enrollment

    31,110

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3240

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5040

    A public institution located in Pasadena, Texas, San Jacinto Community College offers a variety of programs. Students leave the school with credentials that prepare them for the workplace. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Students receive $4873 in aid on average, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $9625. Learners at the institution choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. San Jacinto Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #27

    Tarleton State University

    Stephenville, TX

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    14,016

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4951

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14123

    From its campus in Stephenville, Texas, Tarleton State University grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the institution helps students reach their educational goals. During a bachelor's degree, students take lower-division and upper-division coursework. Students also take general education coursework during their bachelor's degree. Upper-division credits focus on various concepts in the major. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Tarleton State University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    #28

    College of the Mainland

    Texas City, TX

    Graduation Rate

    28%

    Enrollment

    4,335

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2550

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3450

    College of the Mainland, which offers programs from its Texas City, Texas campus, often ranks among the top schools. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. The school's academic and technical tracks help students meet diverse career goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department provides more information about the application process. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree or certificate. College of the Mainland holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #29

    Wharton County Junior College

    Wharton, TX

    Graduation Rate

    18%

    Enrollment

    6,099

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $768

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $2016

    Wharton County Junior College, located in Wharton, Texas, offers 83 programs for degree-seekers. Students enjoy rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school reports a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. A total of 66% of students receive some form of financial aid. Students earn their degree from the school at a rate of 18%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers stand out. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #30

    Amarillo College

    Amarillo, TX

    Graduation Rate

    32%

    Enrollment

    9,079

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $1128

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $2664

    Located in Amarillo, Texas, Amarillo College educates students as a public institution. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students complete courses and experiential learning opportunities to bolster their knowledge. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant. Amarillo College has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    Why Choose a Public College or University in Texas?

    Texas is home to 109 public institutions, second-most in the United States. Naturally, even big public schools (and college football rivals) like the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University can coexist here, where “everything is bigger.”

    Roughly 667,000 students enrolled in public Texas colleges and universities in fall of 2020, especially in the state’s metroplex, central, southern, and Gulf Coast regions. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board forecasts an enrollment of more than 700,000 at public institutions in Texas in 2025.

    Public colleges and universities in Texas attract students seeking nationally renowned academic programs and the quintessential college experience. While Texas is also home to the nation’s third-highest number of private colleges, its legendary public institutions offer distinguished research and agriculture programs, award-winning athletics teams, and military corps traditions.

    Texas participates in the Academic Common Market at the graduate level, enabling graduate students in Texas and other participating states to enjoy reciprocal academic programs and in-state tuition rates. Texas also upholds the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement for distance programs.

    Pros and Cons of Attending a Public College or University in Texas

    Pros

    • Check Circle
      Four-year public institutions in Texas receive significant federal funding, which means more financial aid for students.
    • Check Circle
      Resident students in Texas enjoy a lower cost of living than the national average, especially for housing and groceries.
    • Check Circle
      Among the most culturally diverse states in the U.S., Texas offers unique recreational and social activities for students.

    Cons

    • X Circle
      Larger enrollments and class sizes (even at small public schools) can mean less face time with instructors.
    • X Circle
      Big public schools may offer so many options that registration for preferred courses is difficult.
    • X Circle
      The prospect of navigating a sprawling university campus may overwhelm some students.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Texas

    As their names suggest, nonprofit and for-profit institutions differ in their financial practices. Nonprofits, which include most public colleges and universities in Texas, receive funding from the state and the federal government to cover operating expenses. This funding enables nonprofit schools to offer discounts like in-state tuition rates and federal financial aid packages to students.

    For-profit schools are typically private and require higher tuition to make up for the lack of federal funding they receive. Texas is home to 63 for-profit institutions. Students enrolled in for-profit schools must rely on merit-based financial aid and loans, and they tend to accrue more student debt.

    How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Public College or University in Texas?

    Attending a public college or university in Texas cost an average of $8,598 in (in-state) tuition and fees in 2019-2020, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Students at public state schools spent an additional $10,112 in room and board fees that year. Out-of-state tuition and fees for public colleges and universities in Texas reached nearly $25,000 during the same period.

    The average tuition and fees at a private college or university in Texas was $36,014 in 2019-2020, according to NCES. By contrast, the University of North Texas offers tuition rates as low as $50 per credit for some programs.

    Residency status, along with course load, full- or part-time enrollment, and online learning options can also affect the cost of attendance.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges and Universities in Texas

    How many public colleges and universities are there in Texas?

    Texas houses 109 public institutions, second in the nation for the highest number of state-run four-year schools.

    Public colleges and universities in Texas emphasize renowned research, agriculture, and liberal arts programs, not only in the state’s most populous cities but also through rural outreach. Texas is also home to more than 60 private, for-profit colleges.

    What is the most expensive public college or university in Texas?

    University of Texas at Dallas costs $14,564 in tuition and fees per year for Texas residents. Other public colleges and universities in Texas with hefty price tags include Texas A&M College Station ($13,012 in tution per year) and Texas Tech University ($11,852 per year).

    Out-of-state students can expect to pay more than double the in-state tuition rate in most cases. Four-year institutions in Texas can provide generous financial aid packages. Many public state colleges and universities offer low tuition rates for online students, and some offer discounts for border-state-residents.

    What is the least expensive public college or university in Texas?

    AmongTexas’ least expensive public schools is the University of North Texas, with rates as low as $50 per credit for Texas residents for some programs. Midwestern State University and the University of Texas Medical Branch also offer affordable in-state tuition rates of $4,790 and roughly $5,000 per semester, respectively.

    Undergraduate applicants typically submit the FAFSA for financial aid consideration. Public colleges and universities in Texas generally honor a variety of federal financial aid awards, including scholarships, grants, work-study jobs, and set and in-state tuition rates.

    What is the biggest public college or university in Texas?

    Texas A&M is the largest public institution in Texas and among the biggest in the United States. Texas A&M enrolls more than 60,000 students at multiple campuses throughout the state and around the world.

    The University of Texas at Austin also boasts one of the largest enrollments in the state and among the top 10 largest public colleges and universities in the U.S., with a student population of nearly 52,000. The UT college system also includes multiple campus locations and programs, statewide.

    Is a public college or university right for me?

    Choosing a public institution in Texas is a highly personal decision.Students may consider attending a public college or university for a variety of reasons, including affordable tuition rates and financial aid, diversity of programming, and myriad student engagement opportunities.

    Since a public four-year college may not suit every student, Texas also offers a variety of two-year, technical, and online programs through its public schools. Students should seek out a program to fit their individual needs with considerations for key elements like campus amenities, career development, and student support services.