Colleges around the US are doing all they can to make life easier for current students and new students worldwide because of the effects of coronavirus. Most of them have become SAT and ACT optional for the 2021/2022 academic year because few standardized testing centers functioned during the lockdown. Nonetheless, they still expect applicants to have good GPAs to show they can fit into the school setting. 

This article discusses the top 10 colleges in Texas in 2021. It covers the cost of tuition and fees, requirements, financial aid, acceptance and graduation rate, rankings, and some majors.

10 Best Colleges in Texas – 2024

  1. Rice University
  2. The University of Texas at Austin
  3. Texas A & M University
  4. Texas Christian University
  5. The University of Texas at Dallas
  6. Texas A & M International University
  7. Texas State University
  8. Trinity University
  9. LeTourneau University
  10. Southern Methodist University

Rice University

Rice University Houston
Rice University Houston, TX

Rice University is a private institution that was established in 1912 in Houston, Texas. It seeks to do path-breaking research to bring lasting solutions to some problems plaguing society. The school started collaborating with NASA on its first significant research in 1959 and has since made tremendous improvements in the research sector. Rice University instils its values in all students, including responsibility, excellence, community, and integrity. 

Rice University ranks 1st in colleges in Texas and 15th among the top 20 universities in the US. It ranks 7th in Top Schools for Resources, and Niche ranks Rice University among the 7th Best Colleges in the Nation. 

Rice University has a 9% acceptance rate and a 93% graduation rate. Submitting SAT or ACT scores is optional for the 2021/2022 academic year. 

Students have to pay $52,070 for tuition and $825 for fees annually. 57% of undergraduate students are receiving some sort of aid from the university. The average amount of assistance for first-year students is $53,688 annually. 

Here are some majors:

  • Architecture 
  • Bioengineering 
  • Computational and Applied Mathematics 
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 
  • Kinesiology 
  • Music 
  • Neuroscience 
  • Piano Performance 
  • Philosophy 
  • Physics and Astronomy 
  • Religion 
  • Social Policy Analysis
  • Statistics 
  • Study of Women, Gender & Sexuality 
  • Visual and Dramatic Arts 
  • Vocal Performance 

The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin Austin TX 1 1
The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX

The University of Texas at Austin (UT) is a public research university established in 1883. It is among the 2021 best colleges because of its academic and social excellence. Students have access to well-equipped facilities, and they work with professionals from around the globe. UT offers students a balance between their academics and social life, seen in the numerous clubs and organizations available on campus. 

In 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranked UT 14th in Top Public Schools, National Universities. In 2020/2021, the Center for World University Rankings ranks UT 7th in World University Rankings. UT ranked 7th in U.S. Public Colleges in 2020. 

UT has a 32% acceptance rate and an 81% graduation rate. Prospective students applying for admission into UT can decide whether or not to submit their SAT or ACT scores. Undergraduate in-state students pay $12,108 while out-of-state students pay $41,814. UT offers financial aid in exemptions & waivers, grants, loans, and grants work-study. UT graduates have an average starting salary of $56,900, according to 2019 SmartAsset statistics. 

Some majors include:

  • Accounting 
  • Applied Learning and Development 
  • Biochemistry 
  • Communication and Leadership
  • Dance
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering 
  • Finance 
  • Government
  • Health & Society  
  • Informatics 
  • Interior Design 
  • Kinesiology and Health Education 
  • Mathematics 
  • Nursing
  • Music Composition 
  • Pharmacy
  • Public Relations 
  • Social Wo
  • Studio Art
  • Theatre Studies 
  • Urban Studies

Texas A & M University

Texas A M University College Station College Station TX
Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX

It is a public research institution that was established in 1948. It is one of the top colleges in TX, and it developers future leaders of excellent character and moral standing whose work will change the world as we know it. TAMU has the largest student body in the US, with a population of about 71,109 students.

According to Money Best Public Colleges Report, ranked 11th in the US in the Overall Money Rank in 2020. TAMU ranks 4th among public universities in the US, and it ranks 12th among public & private universities in the US. It ranks 4th for the Top 10 Most Affordable Medical Schools in the US. 

Students must not submit their SAT or ACT score for the 2021/2022 academic year because they understand it is difficult to take those tests because of the pandemic. 

Residents pay $13,012 for fees and tuition, while non-residents pay $40,896 for fees and tuition every year. Approximately 72% of TAMU students receive financial aid in scholarships, loans, grants, or campus-based employment or waivers. 

Here are some of its undergraduate majors:

  • Accounting 
  • Biochemistry 
  • Computing 
  • Electrical Engineering 
  • Forensic and Investigative Sciences 
  • Geography 
  • Horticulture 
  • Industrial Distribution 
  • Landscape Architecture 
  • Maritime Studies 
  • Nutritiomnal Sciences 
  • Oceanography 
  • Plant & Environmental Soil Science 
  • Renewable Natural Resources 
  • Supply Chain Management 
  • Telecommunication Media Studies 
  • Urban & Regional Planning 
  • Zoology 

Texas Christian University

Texas Christian University Fort Worth TX 1
Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX

Texas Christian University (TCU) is a private Christian institution with 9,704 enrolled undergraduate students. It was established in 1873 and has since stood by its values to provide quality education while instilling compassion and empathy into students. TCU celebrates all forms of diversity and has a strategic plan to build a community & campus that will positively impact future generations. 

The Princeton Review ranks TCU 5th in the Best-run Colleges and 20th Most Beautiful Campus in the US. It offers the 6th Best Online Masters in Criminal Justice in the US and 4th in Best Colleges for Psychology in the US. 

Submitting SAT or ACT scores is optional at TCU. Undergraduate students pay $51,570 for tuition annually. Graduate students’ education depends on the number of hours they sign up for. About 77% of new students at TCU receive financial assistance in some form. 

TCU graduates have an average starting salary of $49,535 annually, and 85% of them are either in grad school or gainfully employed three months after graduating.  80% of undergraduate students hold internships. 

TCU offers many undergraduate courses, and here are a few:

  • Art History 
  • Child Development 
  • Dietetics 
  • Educational Studies 
  • Film, Television & Digital Media 
  • Geology 
  • History 
  • International Economics 
  • Nursing 
  • Political Science 
  • Sociology 
  • Writing 
  • Youth Advocacy and Educational Studies 

The University of Texas at Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson TX 4
The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX

UTD is a top value public institution established in 1961 by the founders of the co company “Texas Instruments.” It is the largest public university in Dallas and one of the good colleges in Texas. UTD encourages diversity and participation through its 350+ organizations and 26 sorority and fraternity chapters. 

Forbes ranks UTD as the Best Value University in Texas. It ranks 143rd in National Universities and 65th in Top Publ8ic Schools. UTD ranks 68th in Top Performers on Social Mobility. 

UTD has a 79% acceptance rate and a 72% graduation rate. Submitting SAT or ACT scores is optional for students applying to UTD. 

Texas residents pay $13,992 for tuition, while out-of-state students pay $38,970 for tuition annually. About 70% of students in UTD receive financial aid in some form. 

Here are some majors at UTD:

  • Actuarial Science 
  • Biochemical Engineering 
  • Criminology 
  • Data Science 
  • Electrical Engineering 
  • Geospatial Information Sciences 
  • Healthcare Management 
  • Information Technology and Systems 
  • Literature 
  • Mathematics 
  • Neuroscience 
  • Political Science 
  • Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences 
  • Visual and Performing Arts 

Texas A & M International University

Texas A M International University Laredo TX 1 1
Texas A & M International University Laredo, TX

TAMIU is a public university that was established in 1970. It offers a progressive agenda for understanding across all disciplines. It has one of the most well-equipped planetariums in the state of Texas, with a high-class digital projection system. TAMIU is big on community service, and its students have completed more than 292,272 hours of community service. There are 7000+ students from over 40 countries around the world. 

TAMIU is the 2nd highest among Texas public universities and 5th among most affordable public schools with the highest ROI in the US. Additionally, it ranks 1st in Texas and 2nd in the US lowest student debt. It is among the top 10 public universities in Texas. 

TAMIU has no minimum SAT or ACT requirement, but students applying to study at the university must submit their scores. 

TAMIU Graduates make an average salary of $45,800 every year. Texas residents have to pay $9,254, while non-residents and international students pay $23,390 for fees and tuition annually. Students can receive need-based and merit-based scholarships. Additionally, they can get loans, waivers & exemptions, and grants to students who qualify. 

Here are some of the majors that undergraduate students can do while at TAMIU:

  • Art 
  • Petroleum Engineering 
  • Management Information Systems and Data Analytics 
  • Communication and Spanish 
  • Marketing 
  • Criminal Justice and Political Science 
  • Psychology 
  • Transport and International Logistics 
  • Kinesiology with Concentrate in Exercise Science 
  • Interdisciplinary Studies with EC-6 Certification and a Bilingual Emphasis 
  • Music in Performance 
  • Public Health 
  • Nursing 
  • Communication Disorders 

Texas State University

Texas State University San Marcos TX 1
Texas State University-San Marcos, TX

Texas State University (TXST) is a public research institution established in 1899 but only started classes in 1901. It uses a hands-on learning approach to train students on the practical aspects of what they learned in theory. TXST offers 200+ programs to meet the needs of more than 37,000 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate students. Students also get personalized assistance and have access to multiple op[portunities to learn and excel in and out of TXST. Students have access to entrance and exit counseling. 

TXST ranks 13th in Texas university rankings which makes it one of the best Texas colleges. Additionally, Texas State University ranks 119th in Top Performers on Social Mobility.

Texas State University has no SAT requirement, but students need to have a minimum composite score of 1010 to be eligible for admission. It has an 81% acceptance rate and a 54% graduation rate. Texas residents pay $11,860, while nonresidents pay $24,200 for tuition and fees every year. The TXST financial office offers financial aid in the form of work-study, parent loans, grants, or federal student loans after considering your financial need and the cost of attendance. 

Undergraduate students can study any of the following majors:

  • Advertising and Mass Communication 
  • Biology 
  • Civil Engineering 
  • Digital Media and Mass Communication 
  • English 
  • Finance 
  • Health Sciences 
  • Interdisciplinary Science 
  • Management 
  • Mathematics 
  • Nursing 
  • Physical Geography 
  • Recreation Administration 
  • Sound Recording Technology 
  • Technology Management 
  • Wildlife Biology 

Trinity University

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Trinity University-San Antonio, TX

Trinity University is a private university that was founded in 1869 that currently has about 2500 students. It is the first and sole liberal arts college in the state of Texas. Trinity University grooms students to answer questions and question answers for authenticity.  Students get hands-on education that is rooted in sciences and liberal arts. It has more than 115 organizations and clubs for students to participate in. 

Trinity University ranks 42nd among Liberal Arts institutions in the U.S. It ranks 113th in 2021 best colleges in the nation. Trinity University is the 2nd in Best Value Schools and 3rd in Best Undergraduate Teaching. 

Trinity University has a 29% acceptance rate and a 77% graduation rate. 80% of Trinity University students take part in undergraduate research and internships. Students have more than 50 entrepreneurship start-ups. 

All Trinity students, except those receiving some form of financial aid, have to pay $47,392 for tuition and fees in a year. Trinity offers scholarships, grants, and loans to deserving students based on their needs or merit. 

Here are some majors:

  • Ancient Mediterranean Studies 
  • Business Administration 
  • Computer Science 
  • Earth Systems Science 
  • Finance 
  • Geosciences 
  • Human Resource Management 
  • International Business 
  • Mathematical Finance 
  • Neuroscience 
  • Political Science 
  • Religion
  • Sociology 
  • Theatre 

LeTourneau University

LeTourneau University Longview TX 1 1
LeTourneau University Longview, TX

LeTourneau University (LETU) is a private Christian polytechnic university in Texas where work and learning are both transformed by faith. It is a small school that uses a one-on-one approach to provide its students with the best learning experience possible. LeTourneau aims to give students comprehensive professional education that will spur them in the right direction and prompt them to spread the gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth. Students must join a group activity such as sports or the school band. 

LETU ranks 1st in Best Online College in Texas and 1st in Best Online College in the US. It ranks 1st in Most Conservative Colleges in Texas and 4th Best College for Education in Texas. LETU is the 5th Best Christian College in Texas and 1st among Best Colleges with no application fee in Texas. 

LETU requires students to maintain a GPA of 3.58 and a minimum SAT score of 1155. 

Students have to pay $30,520 for fees and tuition annually. Over 90% of LETU students receive financial aid in some form to cater to their needs. 

LETU offers traditional and online learning education. Here is a list of some of the majors that students can choose from:

  • Aviation Management 
  • Biomedical Sciences 
  • Computer Science and Engineering Technology 
  • Criminal Justice 
  • Healthcare Management 
  • History with Foreign Language as a Supplemental Field 
  • Information Systems 
  • Kinesiology 
  • Mathematics 
  • Nursing 
  • Physical Sciences 
  • Psychology
  • Theological Studies 

Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University Dallas TX 1
Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX

Southern Methodist University (SMU) is a private Christian research university that was founded in 1911. It has a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1, which lets professors know their students and help them personally. SMU campus life offers students a vibrant community to learn, grow and network with others from various cultures and backgrounds. Students have access to many resources to help improve their skills and teach them new ones. 

SMU ranks among the top 20% of Best National Universities in the US. It ranks 38th in Best Colleges for Veterans and 66th in National Universities. It is the 151st in Best Value Schools and 102nd in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs. 

SMU is one of the good colleges in Texas, with a 47% acceptance rate and a 79% graduation rate. Students in SMU have an average composite SAT score of 1390 and an average ACT score of 31.

SMU students pay $58,540 annually for tuition and fees. 75% of undergraduate students in SMU receive financial aid and or scholarships. This makes it possible for up to 72% of students to graduate with no student debt. 

Students have access to a host of majors and minors, and here are a few:

  • Advertising 
  • Business Administration 
  • Computer Science with Cyber Security Specialization 
  • Dance Performance 
  • Earth Sciences 
  • Fashion Media 
  • Human Rights 
  • International Studies 
  • Management Science 
  • Public Policy 
  • Real Estate
  • Risk Management and Insurance 
  • Statistical Science 
  • Women’s and Gender Studies 

Why Study in Texas?

Texas is situated in the Wild West, and it has beautiful landscapes with vibrant and colorful traditions. It has some of the best religious and non-religious colleges in the US, offering quality hands-on education practically. The colleges are affordable, accessible, and they have strong alumni to support current students. Texas has many high-end companies willing to provide students and graduates internship opportunities in their sector of choice. 


The top 10 colleges in Texas have a couple of things in common. They have affordable tuition & fees and offer financial aid to students who either or deserve it because of academic excellence. They take practical learning seriously and offer students internship opportunities on and off-campus. Furthermore, the best universities in Texas are concerned with building leaders whose theoretical and practical knowledge will go a long way to change society. 

Helen Vlasova
Helen is the co-founder of, a career guidance website for students and young professionals. She has a degree in English from the University of Michigan. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.

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