Rice University has a lot to brag about this week as two national publications have named it the best college in the state of Texas.
On Forbes' seventh annual list of America's Top Colleges, Rice is the top-ranked Texas college. It ranks No. 32 in the nation — up a spot from last year, when it was rated No. 33. And on the inaugural The Best Colleges for Your Money list from Time Inc.'s Money, Rice ranks No. 20 in the nation and is tops in the state.
Forbes looked at 650 colleges and universities' return on investment by analyzing 12 factors in five categories, including student satisfaction, academic success, amount of student debt, graduation rate and alumni career success.
In compiling a list of colleges that offer the most bang for your tuition buck, Money ranked the nation's 1,500 four-year colleges by screening those with below-average graduation rates and ranked the remaining 665 universities on 17 factors in three categories: educational quality, affordability and alumni earnings (provided by PayScale.com).
Texas A&M University ranked second in the state (No. 24 nationally) on the Money list, trumping the University of Texas, which ranked third in Texas and 53rd nationally. UT gets some redemption on the Forbes list, where it ranked second in the state (No. 76 nationally); College Station came in as the fifth Texas university on the list (No. 137 nationally).
Southern Methodist University ranked third in Texas (No. 101 nationally) on Forbes' list, but came in eighth in the state (No. 257 nationally) according to Money's rankings.
Rounding out the top five Texas schools on Forbes' list was San Antonio's Trinity University at No. 4 (No. 132 overall). And on Money's list, the top five in-state schools included Texas Tech University at No. 4 (No. 154 overall) and Texas Woman's University in Denton at No. 5 (No. 169 overall).
Recent rankings from the Center for World University Rankings' 2014 report differ greatly. In that report, the University of Texas at Austin is tops in Texas (as well as the No. 22 institution in the country and No. 29 in the world), while Rice is No. 108 in the world, No. 58 in the nation, and No. 5 in the state.