Photo by Chichi Onyekanne on Unsplash

Four Dallas-Fort Worth area universities have risen through the ranks in a highly anticipated new list of the country's best universities.

Niche, an education review and ranking website, has deemed Texas Christian University the sixth best college in Texas, for the third consecutive year. The university receives an A+ grade in four of the 12 ranking categories, including athletics, student life, and campus. The school also earned an A for its academics and party scene, a B- value and safety, and a B for the campus food.

Texas Christian University also ranked highly in other categories, including:

  • No. 2 out of 333 Best Christian College in America (behind cross-town rival SMU, which came in at No. 1)
  • No. 12 out of 1,287 Best College Campuses in America
  • No. 21 out of 828 Best Colleges for Accounting and Finance in America

More individual rankings can be found here.

TCU regularly earns ranks on lists of the best colleges and universities in the country, including those published by Niche, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report.

"Since starting at TCU, I've felt really happy with the quality of education I've received," a student wrote in a Niche review. "Texas Christian University has made me feel safe and confident in my ability to learn and explore different subjects. The instructors are very knowledgeable and care about their students."

Dallas' Southern Methodist Universityranked right above TCU as the fifth best Texas college (down from No. 4 last year), and the best Christian college in the U.S. SMU earned an A+ in five out of 12 categories, including professors, student life, and party scene. It gets an A for the academics and athletics, an A- for diversity and campus food, and a B for value and safety.

The University of North Texas in Denton made waves as the No. 7 best public university in the state, but only ranked No. 12 in the overall list of best Texas colleges. It earned an A+ for the campus food, an A in student life, diversity, and party scene, a B+ in academics, value, and professors, and a C+ for the dorms.

The University of Texas at Dallas fell from No. 9 last year into No. 14 for the best statewide colleges, but maintained its No. 9 spot in the best public universities in Texas. The university earned an A in diversity, A- in safety, B+ in academics, professors, value, and location, and a C for its athletics and party scene.

Topping Niche’s national list is Yale University, followed by Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Princeton University, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Dartmouth College.

Here are the top 10 Texas schools:

1. Rice University (Houston)
2. University of Texas at Austin
3. Texas A&M University (College Station)
4. Trinity University (San Antonio)
5. Southern Methodist University (University Park)
6. Texas Christian University (Fort Worth)
7. Texas Tech University (Lubbock)
8. University of Houston
9. University of Texas Permian Basin (Odessa)
10. Baylor University (Waco)

“Choosing where to go to college is easily one of the most significant — and expensive — decisions of a person’s life. Niche’s mission is to ensure that every college-bound student has access to easy, transparent and free resources … to help them find their best fit,” Luke Skurman, founder and CEO of Niche, says in a news release.


A version of this article originally ran on our sister site InnovationMap.

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Dallas-Fort Worth tumbles out of top 100 places to live, says U.S. News & World Report

Wrong direction

Dallas-Fort Worth has fallen from grace in a closely watched annual report of the best places to live in the U.S. The Metroplex appears at a dismal No. 113 (out of 150) in U.S. News & World Report's Best Places to Live ranking for 2023-2024.

Last year, DFW landed at No. 32; it was No. 37 in 2021.

Why such a plummet from the top tier to the bottom?

It has to do with criteria and how the metrics are weighted, which U.S. News changes from year to year.

“This year’s rankings are a reflection of the current economic, social, and natural factors that impact a place’s livability for its residents,” says Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News, in a release. “People are considering more than housing when they look at an area’s affordability – they want to know how much goods cost in that area. The ever-present risk for severe weather and a community’s ability to recover – coupled with the area’s opportunities for social activities – are also taken into account when evaluating a best place to live.”

As in years past, 150 large metro areas were evaluated using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. News' own internal resources. This data was categorized into the four indexes and evaluated using a methodology determined by Americans' preferences, the report's authors say.

In 2023, the report evaluated quality of life (36% of total score); value, including housing affordability (23%); desirability, including net migration (22%); and job market strength (19%).

DFW scored a middling 6 out of 10 overall. Breaking down the categories, ratings were:

  • Desirability: 6
  • Value: 5.8
  • Job market: 6
  • Quality of life: 6.1
  • Net migration: 6.3

A few differences from previous years' metrics: 1) The Desirability Index this year included weather temperateness (the number of days annually that the temperature falls between 33 degrees and 89 degrees F). 2) Desirability Index also includes establishment-to-population ratio, meaning the number of restaurants, bars and activities per 1,000 residents. 3) Having been its own Index in previous editions of Best Places to Live, net migration is also now part of the Desirability Index. 4) In light of inflation, the Value Index – which previously focused solely on housing affordability – now factors in price parity, a U.S. census data point on the general cost of goods within an area, they say.

As in past years, DFW gets praised for "both big-city excitement and quiet, suburban living" and "an interesting mix of Texas pride and cosmopolitan offerings."

They cite DFW residents' friendliness and note that there are a lot more of us.

The Metroplex landed at No. 98 in U.S. News' 2023 Best Places to Retire rankings.

Dallas-Fort Worth isn't alone in its downward spiral. Almost every Texas city took a hit in this year's national rankings:

  • No. 40 – Austin, down from No. 13 last year (and No. 1 from 2017 to 2019)
  • No. 103 – San Antonio, down from No. 83 last year
  • No. 122 – Killeen, down from No. 108 last year
  • No. 128 – El Paso, down from No. 124 last year
  • No. 131 – Beaumont, down from No. 109 last year
  • No. 132 – Corpus Christi, up from No. 133 last year
  • No. 134 – Brownsville, unchanged from last year
  • No. 137 – McAllen, up from No. 138 last year
  • No. 140 – Houston, down from No. 59 last year

In U.S. News' separate Best Place to Live in Texas for 2023, Austin landed at No. 1, followed by San Antonio at No. 2 and DFW at No. 3.

Green Bay, Wisconsin, grabbed the No. 1 spot nationally in 2023. Huntsville, Alabama (last year's No. 1) came in second, followed by Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina (No. 3), Boulder, Colorado (No. 4), and Sarasota, Florida (No. 5).

Photo courtesy of Fort Worth CVB

Dallas-Fort Worth punches in at No. 2 among top U.S. metros that best attract business


The companies, the jobs, and the people keep moving to North Texas. According to a recent report, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranks No. 2 among U.S. metropolitan areas for attracting new companies.

The ranking, which was researched and published by Site Selection Magazine, found that DFW attracted 426 business projects last year. This put the metro in second place of the list that analyzed larger regions.

It's the third year in a row that DFW has landed in second place, and the metro had a year-over-year improvement in number of deals; 2021 reported 389 new business projects in the area.

In fact, the top three metros – Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Houston, respectively — have remained the same for all three years. For 2022, the Chicago metro garnered 448 projects, while Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land reportedly had 293 projects. Farther down the list, Austin-Round Rock had 132 projects, putting them at No. 7.

Site Selection's report focused on how companies can manage increasing economy digitization, and retain in-office workers while balancing skyrocketing telework opportunities.

Tracy Hadden Loh, a fellow at the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking at Brookings Metro, said though the rise of remote work does "hollow out" downtowns, they're not "all doomed."

“Telework is here to stay, but it is not clear levels of telework have stabilized for the near or long term," she said. "There is also evidence that work agglomeration increases productivity. There is good reason to expect more RTO [return to office] than there has been so far.”

When discussing large, business-centered metros like DFW, Brookings Metro senior fellow Mark Muro says the city is powered by "huge professional services, businesses, and health sectors that continue to become increasingly digital." Muro and his colleague Sifan Liu are studying highly digitized economies and their place in modern society.

“Across the nation’s 56 biggest metros, as much as 30% of all jobs were highly digital as of 2020, while low-digital jobs encompassed just 22% of the workforce,” they said in the report. “By contrast, highly digital occupations account for only 20% of the workforce in the nation’s more than 500 micropolitan areas, where low digital jobs account for 26% of the total. And pay gaps reflect those divides.”

The full report can be found on siteselection.com.

Photo by John Arano on Unsplash

Fort Worth is one of the cheapest U.S. cities for a night out, study says


Inflation may be bringing down the vibes (and the balance) of your bank account, but there's good news if you like to party in Fort Worth.

A study by price-monitoring website PriceListo found that Fort Worth is the No. 9 most affordable U.S. city for a night out.

The study looked at cost-of-living data from U.S. cities with populations above 500,000 to discover the average price of a cocktail, cab fare, bottle of wine, and pint of beer. They also collaborated with hotel deal-finders Vio to determine the median price for a single-night stay in the city.

The overall cost for that late-night buzz adds up to $172.14 in Fort Worth.

Here's how that stacks up: the median single-night price for a hotel stay in Fort Worth will set you back $121.77, while the cost of a three-mile cab fare is $9.47. One cocktail at a downtown club costs $12, while a bottle of good-quality red wine for the table is $15. If you cap off the night at a pub, a pint of beer is just $5.40. And if you need to eat some food to offset the impending hangover, a McDonald’s combo meal costs $8.50. All of that adds up to the ninth most affordable night out in the United States. Don't forget to close out your tabs.

Only one Texas city was more affordable than Fort Worth: San Antonio (No. 2). A night out in the Alamo City costs $134.56. The leading affordable U.S. city for a night out is Las Vegas.

The top 10 cities that are the most affordable for a night out include:

  • No. 1: Las Vegas – $120.76
  • No. 2: San Antonio – $134.56
  • No. 3: Oklahoma City – $136.98
  • No. 4: San Francisco – $142.94
  • No. 5: Fresno, California – $145.55
  • No. 6: Albuquerque – $157.47
  • No. 7: Jacksonville, Florida – $162.42
  • No. 8: Philadelphia – $168.74
  • No. 9: Fort Worth – $172.14
  • No. 10: Chicago – $173.81

Other Texas cities fared far worse than Fort Worth. Austin came in as the No. 3 most expensive city for a night out, with the overall cost adding up to $221.23, and Houston was the No. 9 most expensive city for a night out at $209.54.

The 10 most expensive cities for a night out are:

  • No. 1: San Diego – $225.27
  • No. 2: Charlotte, North Carolina – $224.75
  • No. 3: Austin – $221.23
  • No. 4: Memphis, Tennessee – $216.25
  • No. 5: Columbus, Ohio – $212.47
  • No. 6: Boston – $211.16
  • No. 7: Seattle – $210.61
  • No. 8: Washington, D.C. – $210.39
  • No. 9: Houston – $209.54
  • No. 10: Tucson, Arizona – $203.39
Dallas ranked No. 24 with the most expensive price for a cocktail ($25) but the cheapest three-mile cab fare at $5.41. Dallas' night out expenses rang up to $181.57.
Getty Images

Fort Worth billionaire is 3rd richest woman on the planet in 2023, says Forbes

Billionaire roll call

Her fortune took a tiny hit this year, but Fort Worth’s Alice Walton is the woman with the third biggest bank account in the world.

According to the 2023 Forbes World’s Billionaires List, released April 4, Walton has a net worth of $56.7 billion. That’s down slightly from $65.3 billion in 2022 and $61.8 billion in 2021.

As third richest woman in the world, Walton sits behind No. 1 Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, a French L’Oreal Beauty heiress worth $80.5 billion; and No. 2, American Julia Koch of Koch Industries, worth $59 billion.

Just 337 women appear on the 2023 Forbes list, making up only 13 percent of the planet’s 2,640 billionaires, they say.

Walton is the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton. While she devotes most of her time and energy now to her Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine in her native Bentonville, Arkansas, Forbes still lists her residence as Fort Worth.

In Forbes' complete list of billionaires for 2023, Walton ranks as the 21st richest person across the globe, just behind her No. 20-ranked brother Rob Walton, director of Walmart, worth $57.6 billion.

For the last several years, Alice Walton has "battled"Elon Musk for the top spot in Texas. The Austin-based founder of Tesla and Space-X continues his reign as the wealthiest Texan this year and, with a net worth of $180 billion, he’s the second richest in the world.

Musk notches his spot between No. 1 Bernard Arnault of France (overseer of the LVMH empire of 75 fashion and cosmetics brands, including Louis Vuitton and Sephora), with a net worth of $211 billion; and No. 3 Jeff Bezos, the American Amazon founder, worth $114 billion.

Other Fort Worth billionaires who made the 2023 list (including their global ranking and 2023 net worth) are:

  • Private equity magnate David Bonderman: No. 390, $6.5 billion
  • Oil and investment guru Robert Bass: No. 534, $5 billion
  • Investor and oilman Sid Bass: No. 699, $4 billion
  • Homebuilder Donald Horton: No. 1,027, $2.9 billion
  • Oilman and investorEdward Bass: No. 1,272, $2.4 billion
  • Oilman and investor Lee Bass: No. 1,312, $2.3 billion
  • Real estate magnate John Goff, No. 1,725, $1.7 billion
Photo courtesy of DFW Airport

Dallas-Fort Worth International lands new honor as North America's best airport


Dallas-Fort Worth has landed near the top in several recent travel rankings, including family friendly vacations and hotels, and now the region can add best airport to that list. The Airports Council International (ACI) has named Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport the winner of the 2022 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award for Best Airport that serves over 40 million passengers in North America.

The ACI ASQ awards recognize airports that exhibit consistent excellent customer service.

ACI's data is compiled through their worldwide passenger departure and arrival surveys. According to their report, the DFW Airport is “the largest airport in the world” to receive the award.

DFW Airport CEO Sean Donohue said in a statement that it was a “tremendous honor” to be declared the best airport in North America, and the award reflects all of the hard work he and his team have done to prioritize their customer service.

“I want to thank and recognize all of our employees, especially our front-line customer experience team, for the passion and commitment they showcase every day in taking such good care of our customers,” he said. “I also want to thank all of our business partners who share our commitment to providing an excellent customer experience."

2023 looks to be one of the busiest years for the DFW Airport since 2019, with 78 million passengers projected to travel at the airport.

More information about the award can be found on the DFW Airport website.

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Mr Gatti's Pizza returns to home turf Fort Worth with Camp Bowie location

Pizza News

A Fort Worth-based pizzeria concept has opened a location in Fort Worth: Mr Gatti's Pizza has opened a restaurant off Camp Bowie at 2812 Horne St. #100, a space previously occupied by Helen's Hot Chicken, where they're open with pizza, pizza rolls, and their signature ranch dressing.

The location is a franchise owned by Kirk Jefferies, who also owns and operates franchises of Jason’s Deli and Chicken Express. This is his first Mr Gatti’s, but he has more locations planned.

“When people talk about Mr Gatti's Pizza, you can see a spark in their eyes. We love being able to bring that 'excitement' and combine it with our passion for pizza,” Jefferies says in a release. “Mr Gatti's Pizza has been satisfying cravings for over 50 years. It truly is an honor to be a part of this legacy brand that people cherish."

Menu favorites from about a dozen pizza options include The Sampler, The Deluxe with sausage, pepperoni, & smoked provolone, and BBQ chicken. A basic 12-inch cheese pizza with one topping is $12.

There are lunch specials from 10:30 am-3 pm including pepperoni rolls and salad for $10; 8 wings and salad for $13; and a medium pizza with 2 salads for $15.

The chain was first founded in Stephenville, Texas as The Pizza Place, in September 1964. In 1969, founder James Eure moved to Austin and opened the first Mr Gatti’s Pizza, named for his wife's maiden name.

They have a major presence in South Texas but only two in the DFW area: Plano and Allen.

There was a location that opened in Fort Worth in 2016, at 3280 W. Seventh St. in Museum Place, which at the time, was the first to use the Mr. Gatti’s name; the chain had been going by "Gatti's." So many name changes! It closed in 2018. There was also a location in North Richland Hills which opened in 2016 and closed in early 2019; and a location in Richardson that closed in 2018.

Back in the day they had a big buffet as well as a big game room, two features for which many longtime fans are nostalgic. But this location is just about the pizza.

There are now more than 70 locations in states across the Southeast, including Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Surprising Fort Worth suburb named No. 5 most family-friendly U.S. city

a great place to live

If Fort Worth-area residents are looking for the perfect new place to buy a home and raise a family, they should steer their interest toward Watauga. The northeast Fort Worth suburb, impressively, has been named the fifth most family-friendly city in the U.S. by real estate marketplace Opendoor.

Opendoor's second annual "Family-Friendly Cities" list focuses on local communities that offer plenty of recreational outdoor activities that are suitable for families of any age. Watauga was the only city in Dallas-Fort Worth to make the new list and the only Texas city to make the top 10. (Bellaire, near Houston, ranks No. 12.)

Cities were identified using the average number of family-friendly activity tags found on OpenStreetMap that are used for addresses in a city where the marketplace operates. Factors that were considered include cities with community centers, gardens, museums, parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, and more.

Watauga - which is bordered by Fort Worth to the west, Keller to the north, Haltom City to the southwest, and North Richland Hills to the south and east - has plenty of family-friendly attractions. Yet it often gets overshadowed by bigger, busier, more affluent Northeast Tarrant cities like Grapevine and Southlake.

There are seven different parks around Watauga, including the popular 37-acre Capp Smith Park, with its four pavilions, two playgrounds, amphitheater, and several acres dedicated to open space and stunning views.

The City of Watauga calls the park the heart of the city's recreational activities.

"[Capp Smith Park] features a lighted one mile walking trail that surrounds a spring fed one acre pond fully stocked with several species of aquatic wildlife," the city's website says. "In addition, the park is home to several other forms of wildlife which have also taken up residence in the park."

The park is also the host of Watauga Fest, an annual family-friendly festival that brings in carnival rides, food trucks, vendors, and much more for all residents to enjoy.

In addition, Watauga residents can make use of a thriving public library, visit the city's 9/11 Memorial and Veterans Memorial, Foster Village Park, a splash pad, and more. The city is also adjacent to the expansive Arcadia Park, with its many trails, playgrounds, tennis courts, and disc golf course.

According to recent reports, the average home price in Watauga is $283,845 - significantly less than the average home value in Fort Worth proper, $307,939. It's become an attractive place for new restaurants and retailers in recent years.

Opendoor's 15 best family friendly cities in 2023 are:

  • No. 1 – Somerville, Massachusetts
  • No. 2 – Berkeley, California
  • No. 3 – Cliffside Park, New Jersey
  • No. 4 – Arlington, Virginia
  • No. 5 – Watauga, Texas
  • No. 6 – Chandler, Arizona
  • No. 7 – Denver, Colorado
  • No. 8 – Portland, Oregon
  • No. 9 – Valley Stream, New York
  • No. 10 – Garden Grove, California
  • No. 11 – Coral Gables, Florida
  • No. 12 – Bellaire, Texas
  • No. 13 – Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • No. 14 – Mission, Kansas
  • No. 15 – Avondale Estates, Georgia
The full report can be found on opendoor.com.