Online Colleges in Texas
The Lone Star State is shining bright when it comes to higher education.
In 2015, Texas launched 60x30TX, which sets a number of lofty goals for its residents, including:
- 60% of young adults (25-34) will hold some type of postsecondary credential by 2030
- At least 550,000 students will complete a certificate, associate, bachelor’s, or master’s from a Texas institution in 2030
- Graduates will have identifiable marketable skills regardless of major
- Students will not graduate with debt exceeding 60% of their first-year wages
Clearly Texas is committed to promoting access, affordability, quality, success and cost efficiency when it comes to higher education, and it appears to be succeeding.
Overview of Higher Education in Texas
Texas is home to 272 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2015-2016 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Just two states – California and New York – have more schools to choose from. Of Texas’ 272 schools, 106 are public, 71 are private non-profit and 95 are private for-profit.
Tuition rates in the state are very competitive, falling just below the national average. According to a 2016-2017 report by Collegeboard.org, in-state residents can expect to pay around $9570 to attend one of the 4-year public institutions, while non-residents will pay closer to $24,130.
Students who have trouble finding their chosen major at in-state institutions can take advantage of the state’s involvement in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), which encourages resource sharing among 15 participating states. Through this program, Texans can enroll at colleges in participating states will paying in-state tuition rates.
About Online Colleges in Texas
Texas is the largest state in the contiguous U.S., which can make it difficult for residents to attend the school of their choice. Online programs make it easier for students to further their education without moving or sacrificing professional or personal commitments.
In 2012 the NCES reported that 8.9% of college students in Texas were enrolled exclusively in online courses, and another 16.2% were enrolled in a combination of online and on-campus courses. Those numbers have continued to rise as schools have increased their online offerings.
Today, one of the state’s most impressive resources for online students is the UT Online Consortium, which allows students to register and enroll in online courses offered through any of the University of Texas locations. This opens up a massive catalogue of courses to students, rather than limiting them to those offered at their home school. During the 2016-2017 academic year, the UT Online Consortium reported 1646 cross-campus enrollments. Through the UT Online Consortium undergraduates may consider online degree programs in Child and Family Studies, Criminology, Industrial Technology, Sociology and several other fields, and there are also a number of online graduate and certificate programs to choose from.
West Texas A&M University also offers a robust online program, which has been recognized multiple times by U.S. News and World Report and was ranked among 2018’s Top 10 Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees. The school offers undergraduate degrees in Business Administration, Criminal justice, General Studies and Health Sciences, all of which can be earned 100% online. They also offer hybrid programs, which involve some on-campus requirements. Both formats are also available for graduate students.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Texas
In order to receive financial aid to attend one of Texas’ colleges or universities, you should first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will unlock the door to federal, state and private financial aid.
It’s important to fill out the FAFSA as early as possible, since most of the aid is awarded on a first come, first served basis. It will be available to you starting on October 1st of the year before you plan to attend college.
The application itself is simple. You will need to provide financial information for yourself and your parents (unless you are considered “independent”). The data you provide will be used to determine how much need-based aid is offered to you.
The ideal types of financial aid are grants and scholarships, because they do not have to be repaid.
The state of Texas has a number of grant and scholarship programs available to make college more affordable to residents. Here are a few examples:
- Toward EXcellence, Access and Success Grant Program (TEXAS Grant) – Need-based; Must maintain satisfactory academic progress; Amount varies
- Tuition Equalization Grant Program (TEG) – Need-based aid to attend a private, non-profit college or university; Must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher and complete at least 24 credit hours per year; Up to $3364
- Top 10 Percent Scholarship Program (Top 10%) – Must graduate in the top 10% of high school class and attend a public college or university; Up to $2000
- Texas Public Educational Grant Program (TPEG) – Need-based aid; Public colleges and universities set their own requirements and award amounts
- Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program (TEOG) – Need based aid to attend a public two-year college; Amount varies
More information about these and other state-based financial aid programs can be found at the website College for all Texas, an excellent online resource provided by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to help Texans plan, apply and pay for college.
In addition to federal and state aid, students can find more “free money for college” by using scholarship search sites like Fastweb.com. Scholarships may be need or merit-based, but may also be awarded based on intended major, geographic region, athletic skills, hobbies or other unique factors.
Here are some examples of scholarships available to Texans:
|Scholarship Name||Details||Scholarship amount|
|Don Miller Memorial Scholarship||For high school juniors or seniors who plan to pursue a career in the field of intellectual and developmental disability services||$2000|
|Dan Whitworth Memorial Scholarship||For high school or college students who plan to pursue a career in sports sciences, kinesiology, conservation, physical education, recreation and tourism management or a related field; Must be in the top quarter of the class or have a GPA of 2.5 or higher or an SAT score of 850 or higher or ACT score of 21 or higher||$1000|
|Hermine Tobolowsky Scholarship||For females pursuing careers in public service, political science, government, history, or law; Must have GPA of 3.0 or higher||$3000|
|Bounce Energy BE MORE Scholarship||For high school seniors or college students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher||(3) $2500|
|Mike Lozano Scholarship||For high school senior athletes in the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle; Must plan to pursue a career teaching and coaching at the high school level; Must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher||$2500|
Finally, be sure to check with the financial aid office at the college or university of your choice. Most schools offer need and/or merit-based aid to admitted students and they can help you figure out what funds may be available and how to apply.
List of Online Colleges in Texas
|Online Colleges in Texas||Location||Annual Tuition||Accreditation||Application Fee|
|Abilene Christian University||Abilene, Texas||$32,070||Regional||$50|
|University of Texas – Arlington||Arlington, Texas||$9,616||Regional||$60|
|University of Texas – Austin||Austin, Texas||$10,092||Regional||$75|
|Lamar University||Beaumont, Texas||$8,146||Regional||$25|
|West Texas A & M University||Canyon, Texas||$7,699||Regional||$40|
|Texas A&M University – College Station||College Station, Texas||$11,036||Regional||$75|
|Texas A&M University – Commerce||Commerce, Texas||$7,750||Regional||$0|
|Dallas Baptist University||Dallas, Texas||$26,180||Regional||$25|
|Southern Methodist University||Dallas, Texas||$50,358||Regional||$60|
|Texas Woman’s University||Denton, Texas||$7,238||Regional||$50|
|University of North Texas||Denton, Texas||$10,153||Regional||$75|
|University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley||Edinburg, Texas||$7,438||Regional||$0|
|Southwest University||El Paso, Texas||$15,000||National||$0|
|University of Texas – El Paso||El Paso, Texas||$7,548||Regional||$0|
|Texas Southern University||Houston, Texas||$9,000||Regional||$42|
|University of Houston||Houston, Texas||$9,519||Regional||$75|
|University of Houston – Clear Lake||Houston, Texas||$6,502||Regional||$45|
|Sam Houston State University||Huntsville, Texas||$7,762||Regional||$45|
|University of Dallas||Irving, Texas||$37,230||Regional||$50|
|Lubbock Christian University||Lubbock, Texas||$21,166||Regional||$25|
|Texas Tech University||Lubbock, Texas||$8,428||Regional||$75|
|South Texas College||McAllen, Texas||$3,606||Regional||$0|
|Stephen F. Austin State University||Nacogdoches, Texas||$7,716||Regional||$45|
|University of Texas – Permian Basin||Odessa, Texas||$5,774||Regional||$0|
|Wayland Baptist University||Plainview, Texas||$15,060||Regional||$35|
|University of Texas – Dallas||Richardson, Texas||$11,192||Regional||$50|
|Vista College||Richardson, Texas||$40,500||National||$0|
|Our Lady of the Lake University||San Antonio, Texas||$27,160||Regional||$35|
|Palo Alto College||San Antonio, Texas||$2,188||Regional||$0|
|San Antonio College||San Antonio, Texas||$2,188||Regional||$0|
|St Philip’s College||San Antonio, Texas||$2,188||Regional||$0|
|Texas State University||San Marcos, Texas||$9,605||Regional||$75|
|Tarleton State University||Stephenville, Texas||$7,140||Regional||$45|
|University of Houston – Victoria||Victoria, Texas||$7,369||Regional||$0|
|Southwestern Assemblies of God University||Waxahachie, Texas||$19,560||Regional||$35|
Texas boasts more than 250 colleges and universities with online and on-campus programs, competitive tuition rates, and generous grant and scholarship programs.
With a wealth of support and opportunities, students are never alone in the Lone Star State!