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10 Popular Colleges in Texas
Here are 10 popular colleges in Texas, followed by all other schools in the state. This list considers a handful of variables to determine popularity, including enrollment size, acceptance rate, and overall reputation.
All school data below comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Tuition and fees are from 2022-2023, while acceptance rates, enrollment statistics, net prices, and number of applicants are from 2021.
1. The University of Texas at Austin
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $11,698 (in state) | $41,070 (out of state)
- Acceptance Rate: 29%
- Total Student Enrollment: 51,991
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more popular Texas college. UT Austin is the only university in the state dubbed a "Public Ivy," a loose term for public schools considered equivalent in prestige to Ivy League schools. UT Austin might be best known for its athletics programs — the Longhorns football team plays in the ninth-largest stadium in the world.
2. Texas A&M University
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $13,239 (in state) | $40,139 (out of state)
- Acceptance Rate: 64%
- Total Student Enrollment: 72,530
Uniting students, researchers, and military cadets, Texas A&M is the largest school in the U.S. by enrollment. It's also one of 17 schools designated as a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university. Additionally, Texas A&M is home to the famous 12th Man and is one of only six schools with a student military organization, the Corps of Cadets.
3. Rice University
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $54,960
- Acceptance Rate: 9%
- Total Student Enrollment: 8,285
Known for its applied science research and overall prestige, Rice has an acceptance rate of just 9% — the lowest in Texas. The private Houston-based university is consistently ranked among the top universities nationwide, giving graduates plenty to be proud about. Rice is also known for producing many NASA astronauts and administrators — fitting considering President John F. Kennedy's historic 1962 Rice Stadium speech.
4. University of Houston
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $9,699 (in state) | $21,891 (out of state)
- Acceptance Rate: 66%
- Total Student Enrollment: 47,031
A whopping 96% of UH's student body hails from Texas. In addition to boasting in-state popularity, UH is one of the top research schools in Texas. The university also offers free tuition and fees for Texas residents whose families earn at or below $65,000 a year, making it one of the most affordable four-year public institutions in the state.
5. University of North Texas
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $11,140 (in state) | $20,932 (out of state)
- Acceptance Rate: 66%
- Total Student Enrollment: 2,441
Based in Denton, UNT is one of the largest and easiest schools to get into in Texas. But that's not a knock on its quality — UNT is among just a few schools in Texas to make an appearance on Carnegie's list of top-tier universities. The university is also home to the largest music program and one of the top jazz schools in the country.
6. Texas Tech University
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $11,852 (in state) | $24,122 (out of state)
- Acceptance Rate: 66%
- Total Student Enrollment: 40,542
Texas Tech's Spanish Renaissance-themed campus in Lubbock might be one of the prettiest in the country. Author James A. Michener calls it "the most beautiful [campus] west of the Mississippi until you get to Stanford." Besides campus aesthetics, Texas Tech is well known for its online learning, which Newsweek ranked No. 1 nationally in 2022.
7. Baylor University
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $51,738
- Acceptance Rate: 57%
- Total Student Enrollment: 20,626
Baylor has the honor of being the world's largest Baptist university. Located in the popular college town of Waco, the institution strives to serve both the church and society. In addition to being a top-tier research university, Baylor is one of the most spirited schools — its annual Homecoming Parade is the oldest and largest in the country.
8. Prairie View A&M University
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $11,299 (in state) | $26,874 (out of state)
- Acceptance Rate: 66%
- Total Student Enrollment: 9,400
Established in 1876, PVAMU is the oldest historically Black college or university (HBCU) in the U.S. and the second-oldest public institution in Texas. Today, it's one of only 11 HBCUs to earn an R2 Carnegie Classification status of high research activity. PVAMU is also well known for producing the highest number of Black architects and engineers in the country.
9. Texas Woman's University
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $8,311 (in state) | $18,103 (out of state)
- Acceptance Rate: 96%
- Total Student Enrollment: 16,338
Located in Denton, TWU has the distinction of being the largest college in the nation that is primarily for women. The co-ed university is home to the Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership, which helps women establish their careers as C-suite executives, business owners, and public officials.
10. Texas State University
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $11,135 (in state) | $22,559 (out of state)
- Acceptance Rate: 70%
- Total Student Enrollment: 37,864
Texas State is a stand-out school for a few reasons. It's one of just a few schools to have the Seal of Excelencia, which recognizes institutions committed to supporting Latino/a students. The San Marcos-based university also ranks No. 1 in Texas for helping at-risk students graduate and for producing the most public school teachers. If that wasn't enough, Texas State has the largest forensics research facility in the world.
Image credit: dszc / E+ / Getty Images
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List of All Texas Colleges and Universities
The following table is a complete list of four-year nonprofit colleges in Texas. You can find information on each school's student enrollment, average net cost, acceptance rate, and number of applicants.
|School||Total Student Enrollment||Avg. Annual Net Price||Acceptance Rate||Number of Applicants|
|Abilene Christian University||4,912||$29,734||70%||8,208|
|Angelo State University||10,826||$12,835||70%||3,515|
|Arlington Baptist University||216||$20,863||N/A||N/A|
|Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary||112||N/A||85%||20|
|Baptist University of the Americas||156||$6,713||N/A||N/A|
|Christ Mission College||44||$10,289||N/A||N/A|
|College of Biblical Studies-Houston||418||$14,550||N/A||N/A|
|Concordia University Texas||2,137||$30,280||89%||1,441|
|Dallas Bapist University||4,340||$27,599||94%||6,916|
|Dallas Christian University||317||$23,422||17%||1,100|
|East Texas Baptist University||10,395||$5,617||65%||1,618|
|Grace School of Theology||669||$12,698||N/A||N/A|
|Houston Baptist University||4,120||$20,089||85%||9,685|
|Howard Payne University||931||$23,603||59%||1,333|
|Jarvis Christian University||721||$11,601||N/A||N/A|
|Lubbock Christian University||1,661||$24,079||95%||893|
|Midwestern State University||5,797||$11,160||95%||3,887|
|North American University||821||$15,991||N/A||N/A|
|Our Lady of the Lake University||2,550||$18,362||66%||3,933|
|Paul Quinn College||384||$7,306||87%||1,117|
|Prairie View A&M University||9,400||$14,927||77%||6,753|
|Sam Houston State University||21,612||$14,287||97%||11,556|
|Southern Methodist University||12,385||$41,986||53%||15,685|
|Southwestern Adventist University||852||$18,472||58%||1,099|
|Southwestern Assemblies of God University||1,843||$22,245||85%||658|
|St. Edward's University||3,577||$24,668||92%||4,940|
|St. Mary's University||3,432||$17,899||88%||4,305|
|Stephen F. Austin State University||12,000||$16,819||83%||7,811|
|Sul Ross State University||2,100||$15,580||100%||549|
|Tarleton State University||13,995||$13,752||57%||10,657|
|Texas A&M International University||8,455||$5,155||54%||5,263|
|Texas A&M University-Central Texas||2,219||$8,089||96%||49|
|Texas A&M University-College Station||72,530||$22,253||64%||43,763|
|Texas A&M University-Commerce||11,504||$13,639||87%||5,203|
|Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi||10,762||$14,349||91%||7,222|
|Texas A&M University-Kingsville||6,405||$12,028||93%||4,936|
|Texas A&M University-San Antonio||6,893||$12,235||73%||10,684|
|Texas A&M University-Texarkana||2,112||$13,810||96%||1,681|
|Texas Christian University||11,938||$42,574||54%||19,782|
|Texas Lutheran University||1,468||$19,829||63%||2,630|
|Texas Southern University||7,524||$9,921||63%||10,554|
|Texas State University||37,864||$16,385||70%||31,073|
|Texas Tech University||40,542||$17,057||68%||33,756|
|Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center||5,378||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-El Paso||785||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Texas Wesleyan University||2,531||$21,495||58%||3,977|
|Texas Woman's University||16,338||$11,627||96%||5355|
|The King's University||650||$20,962||100%||13|
|The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary||2,071||$10,414||100%||87|
|The University of Texas at Arlington||45,949||$15,301||93%||15,498|
|The University of Texas at Austin||51,991||$16,589||29%||66,077|
|The University of Texas at Dallas||29,696||$12,924||87%||18,838|
|The University of Texas at El Paso||24,003||$10,538||100%||10,153|
|The University of Texas at San Antonio||34,734||$11,013||90%||21,726|
|The University of Texas at Tyler||9,687||$11,183||94%||3,577|
|The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston||5,796||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio||3,499||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center||358||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston||3,484||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|The University of Texas Permian Basin||5,534||$9,447||65%||1,212|
|The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley||31,940||$6,244||94%||14,386|
|University of Dallas||2,538||$25,620||58%||4,990|
|University of Houston||47,031||$14,339||66%||29,721|
|University of Houston-Clear Lake||9,279||$16,737||91%||1,793|
|University of Houston-Downtown||15,077||$13,460||95%||6,148|
|University of Houston-Victoria||4,189||$11,375||53%||2,272|
|University of Mary Hardin-Baylor||3,732||$30,191||99%||14,587|
|University of North Texas||42,441||$11,915||81%||24,858|
|University of North Texas at Dallas||4,120||$6,575||90%||2,618|
|University of North Texas at Health Science Center||2,472||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|University of St. Thomas||3,877||$20,130||98%||1,140|
|University of the Incarnate Word||7,508||$21,161||94%||8,999|
|Wayland Baptist University||3,508||$23,378||81%||733|
|West Texas A&M University||9,602||$13,802||97%||5,743|
Frequently Asked Questions About Colleges in Texas
What are the three biggest colleges in Texas?
According to NCES, the three biggest colleges in Texas by enrollment are:
- Texas A&M University
- The University of Texas at Austin
- University of Houston
Texas A&M had a total student population of 72,530 in 2021, making it the biggest university in the U.S. by enrollment. This was followed by UT Austin, which had 51,991 students, and UH, which had 47,031 students.
What is the hardest college to get into in Texas?
Rice accepted just 9% of undergraduate applicants in fall 2021, making it the hardest college to get into in Texas. UT Austin boasts the state's second-lowest acceptance rate at 29%, while Trinity University has the state's third-lowest acceptance rate at 34%.
What is the most fun college in Texas?
Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Stephen F. Austin State University are among the top colleges in Texas for overall fun and partying, according to College Gazette. These schools rank highly for extracurriculars like college sports, Greek life, music, and art, as well as for cultural diversity.
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