By one measure, earning a degree at the University of Texas at Austin is one of the smartest moves in the Lone Star State.
In its eighth annual ranking of colleges and university that give students the best return on their educational investment, personal finance website SmartAsset places UT Austin at No. 2 in Texas, behind Houston's Rice University, also earned No. 10 in the U.S. Rice is the only Texas school to break into the national top 10.
To determine the best-value colleges and universities in each state, SmartAsset crunched data in these categories: scholarships and grants, starting salary for new graduates, tuition, living costs, and retention rate.
Regarding tuition ($10,610) and student living costs ($15,896)), UT's numbers are in the middle range among the top 10 Texas schools on the list, but the average amount of scholarships and grants ($10,643), average starting salary ($65,900), and retention rate (97 percent) are among the highest.
According to UT, tuition, fees, on-campus room and board, books, and personal expenses for the 2022-23 academic year range between $29,406 and $32,346. That range, which excludes financial aid, applies to a full-time, degree-seeking student (and Texas resident) living on campus.
"When you come to the University of Texas at Austin, you’ll get one of the best values in public education," says the school's office of admissions website. "Innovative, hands-on learning opportunities and a strong foundation in critical thinking will prepare you to lead in your chosen field. Texas is an experience, and a first-class education that will help define you for the rest of your life."
Other schools on SmartAsset’s list of the biggest-bang-for-your-buck schools in Texas are:
- Rice University in Houston, No. 1
- University of Texas at Dallas, No. 3.
- Prairie View A&M University, No. 4
- University of Houston, No. 5.
- Texas A&M University-College Station, No. 6.
- Texas Tech University in Lubbock, No. 7.
- LeTourneau University in Longview, No. 8.
- University of North Texas in Denton, No. 9.
- Texas State University in San Marcos, No. 10.