The average student loan debt in Texas approaches $33,000. So, it’s no wonder Texas students and parents diligently shop around for the colleges delivering the biggest bang for the buck.
By one measure, the University of Texas at Dallas offers one of the best values among public colleges in the Lone Star State.
In ranking released April 20, The Princeton Review declares UT Dallas the 40th best value among public colleges in the U.S. It was the only Dallas-Fort Worth university to make either list of top 50 public or private schools.
UT Dallas ranks especially high among schools for entrepreneurship (No. 18) and game design (No. 20).
"The University of Texas at Dallas provides its more than 20,000 undergraduates with a wealth of resources, financial aid, and opportunities, striving for “a future of talented and smart individuals,” says the report, which was compiled with student input.
It was also lauded for a responsive administration, well-kept campus, and diversity among the student body.
"There is 'no clear majority of one race, creed, or background' at UT Dallas," the report says. "Since most of the 'exceptionally nice' and 'very diverse' people are here for the science, technology, and business, there are 'lots of smart people everywhere' and 'everyone here is so open about the geeky side in everyone.'"
While Fort Worth's Texas Christian University did not make the overall Top 50 list, it did score well in some specific categories, among them: Best Quality of Life (No. 4), Best College Dorms (No. 4), Best Schools for Internships - Private Schools (No. 4), Best-Run Colleges (No. 5), Best Alumni Networks - Private School (No. 6), Best Counseling Services (No. 6), Happiest Students (No. 8), and Most Active Student Government (No. 8).
“These data reveal that TCU excels in some of the most important criteria prospective students use in evaluating colleges,” Heath Einstein, dean of Admission, said in a statement.
Elsewhere in the state, the University of Texas’ flagship campus in Austin was declared ninth best value among public colleges in the U.S. (and the highest ranked in Texas). Texas A&M University in College Station appears at No. 14 on the same list, and the University of Houston claims the No. 44 spot.
Just one private school in Texas shows up on the list for the best value among the country’s private colleges: Houston’s Rice University grabs the No. 10 ranking.
The University of California, Berkeley tops the list of the best public colleges for value, while Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, scores the same ranking among private colleges.
Princeton Review's ratings are based on analyses of more than 40 data points, including academic offerings, cost/financial aid, career placement services, graduation rates, and student debt, as well as alumni salary levels and job satisfaction.
Of more than 650 schools The Princeton Review surveyed this year, 209 made the overall Best Value Colleges list for 2021, they say.
“The colleges that we designate as our ‘Best Values’ this year are truly a select group. They comprise only about 1.2 percent of the four-year undergraduate institutions in the U.S.,” Rob Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review, says in a news release. “These exceptional schools differ in many ways, yet they are alike in that all offer outstanding academics and excellent career services. As important to today’s college applicants and their parents: These colleges have a comparatively low sticker price and/or generous financial aid offerings.”