Best Value Colleges in Texas

There is no shortage of colleges in Texas, and PayScale's College ROI Report helps make choosing a college in Texas easier by using our salary data to show which college alumni earn the most after graduation.

Students who attend school in the Lone Star State can choose from many distinguished colleges while enjoying the state's amazing weather, its Gulf Coast beaches, its vibrant cities and the unique culture.  Read More

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1Rice University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$701,000
Total 4 Year Cost$213,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,400
2Texas A&M University - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$628,000
Total 4 Year Cost$85,700
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,100
3University of Texas (UT) - Austin(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$571,000
Total 4 Year Cost$103,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,600
4Texas A&M University - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$563,000
Total 4 Year Cost$151,000
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,100
5Texas Tech University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$538,000
Total 4 Year Cost$86,300
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,000
6University of Houston (UH)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$526,000
Total 4 Year Cost$88,400
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,500
7University of Texas at Dallas(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$507,000
Total 4 Year Cost$97,400
Grad Rate71%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,500
8Texas Tech University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$505,000
Total 4 Year Cost$119,000
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,000
9University of Houston (UH)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$490,000
Total 4 Year Cost$124,000
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,500
10LeTourneau University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$481,000
Total 4 Year Cost$153,000
Grad Rate51%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,800
11 (tie)University of Texas (UT) - Austin(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$476,000
Total 4 Year Cost$198,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,600
11 (tie)University of Texas at Arlington (UTA)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$476,000
Total 4 Year Cost$88,300
Grad Rate42%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,800
13Prairie View A & M University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$472,000
Total 4 Year Cost$71,900
Grad Rate38%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,700
14Lamar University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$457,000
Total 4 Year Cost$87,300
Grad Rate33%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,200
15Texas A&M University - Kingsville Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$452,000
Total 4 Year Cost$82,200
Grad Rate35%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,700

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

No matter what draws you to the state, using PayScale's data to zero in on the best value colleges in Texas can help make sure you don't get stuck in student loan debt you can never pay back.

Ranking number 30 on the national College ROI list, Rice University offers the best return on investment of all Texas colleges. The cost of attending Rice University is high - over $200,000 for four years of college without financial aid, but alumni report a median return of investment of $701,000 in the two decades following graduation. That figure skyrockets to $836,000 with the average Rice financial aid package. Consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world, Rice is an esteemed engineering school that has produced many illustrious alumni, including numerous Rhodes Scholars, Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and Fulbright Scholars. Best known for its applied science programs, Rice is certain to give you remarkable bang for your buck.

Texas A&M and the University of Texas at Austin have a famous sports rivalry, but when it comes to college ROI, the winner is clear. As the fourth-largest university in the U.S., Texas A&M University, often referred to as A&M or TAMU, has the second-highest 20-year ROI ($628,000 without aid; $688,000 with financial aid) in Texas. Texas A&M performs well nationally as well - it's ranked 51st in terms of 20-year net ROI. No wonder so many students flock to tiny College Station, Texas. The sprawling university in a tiny town is home to the George Bush Presidential Library and includes a senior military college with a full-time corps of volunteer cadets. It's also home to the most famous all-male cheer squad in the country, the Yell Squad. The famously conservative school counts several NASA astronauts and former Texas governor Rick Perry among its alumni. Texas A&M's Aggies are also famous for their school spirit.

With its location in notoriously hip, quirky Austin -- which also happens to be the state capital -- the University of Texas delivers a serious value for the cost of a college education. Regarded as a "Public Ivy" because it offers a quality of education found in the Ivy League while still being a public institution, UT has an undergrad population of nearly 40,000. The cost to earn a degree from this well-regarded school averages around $100,300 for four years if you're a Texas resident, helping UT make it into the top tier of PayScale's Texas College ROI Report rankings. Ranked 81st nationally, UT Austin has a 20 year net ROI of $571,000, which increases to $603,500 with financial aid factored in. The Longhorns don't just perform on the football field, they go on to have prosperous careers.