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Our Research

This list features some of the best online schools in Texas. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

All the online colleges on our best-of list are accredited, which means they meet or exceed stringent standards for educational excellence. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredits most of the Texas schools on the list based on six core values. Another accreditor you’ll see is the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a nonprofit organization that accredits Christian colleges and universities in the United States and overseas.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Online College Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Texas

Best Online Colleges in Texas Badge

Texas Tech University

University of North Texas

University of Houston at Clear Lake

LeTourneau University

Texas A&M University at Commerce

Sam Houston State University

Southern Methodist University

University of Texas Permian Basin

Parker University

Texas A&M University at College Station

Lamar University

Baylor University

Stephen F. Austin State University

University of Texas at Arlington

University of St. Thomas

Wayland Baptist University

University of Houston

Concordia University Texas

University of Houston-Downtown

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Texas Woman's University

Southwestern Assemblies of God University

West Texas A&M University

Tarleton State University

University of Dallas

University of Texas at El Paso

Texas State University

Dallas Baptist University

University of Houston-Victoria

St. Edward's University

University of Texas at Austin

Texas Christian University

Houston Christian University

Angelo State University

Abilene Christian University

Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Texas A&M University at Central Texas

University of Texas at Dallas

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Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in Texas

Does Texas have good online colleges and universities?

Yes. The state offers a wealth of online educational opportunities, such as the University of Houston’s Online Bachelor’s in Retailing and Consumer Science and the University of Texas at Arlington’s Online Bachelor’s in Public Health. After you graduate, you may want to consider staying in Texas to complete a master’s degree while you work in one of the state’s many growing fields, such as computing or law. Texas is rich in online graduate school options, including Rice University’s Online Master’s in Computer Science and Baylor University’s Online Master’s of Business Administration (MBA).

It’s also worth mentioning that we selected Texas A&M University as one of the 30 best schools in the entire United States for distance education. For more information, check out our guide to the best accredited online colleges. In addition to showing you the top options in the country for remote learning, this guide offers expert advice on how to choose a college and complete the application process.

Do online college credits in Texas cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some schools offer discounted rates for online courses, while others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. Texas became a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) in 2015. This means out-of-state students who live in a SARA-participating state can take online courses from Texas schools without incurring additional fees.

Why should you choose Texas for online higher education?

From affordable community colleges to top public research universities, Texas offers something for every type of online college student. One option that stands out as particularly appealing is Abilene Christian University, which offers undergraduate degree programs for a wide variety of different subject areas, including healthcare administration, organizational leadership, and marketing.

The Cost of Online College in Texas

How much does an online degree in Texas cost?

The cost of an online degree in Texas depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you decide to pursue. For example, undergraduate degrees are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you’ll probably find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save money on indirect expenses, such as transportation and housing, by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the lowest and highest rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in Texas below:

Most affordable online college in Texas: University of Texas Permian Basin, $219 per credit

Most expensive online college in Texas: The University of Texas at Tyler, $1,344 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in Texas to get in-state tuition rates?

Typically, you will be eligible for in-state tuition rates after you have lived in Texas for 12 consecutive months. Some groups, such as military veterans, tribal members, and graduate fellows, are entitled to in-state tuition rates without meeting this one-year requirement.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in Texas?

The TEXAS Grant (an acronym for Toward Excellence, Access & Success) was established by the Texas Legislature in 1999 to provide financial support to students who are attending a Texas public university. To receive a TEXAS Grant, you must: be a Texas resident, be registered with (or exempt from) the Selective Service System, have financial need, be enrolled in college full-time, have not previously earned a baccalaureate degree, and have not been convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in Texas

If you don’t qualify for a TEXAS Grant, there are many other sources of financial support available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are based on income, while others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent scholarship options for you below:

Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program

This award of up to $15,000 is available to students who agree to complete a bachelor’s degree program and then serve as a commissioned officer in any of the armed services or join one of the following organizations: Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, United States Coast Guard, or United States Merchant Marine.

Who’s eligible? In addition to the requirements listed above, applicants must also have at least a 3.0 GPA and SAT score of 1070 or ACT score of 23.

Contact information: Online form | 800-242-3062

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Horatio Alger State Scholarship

This national scholarship program, funded by numerous foundations in Texas, is named after American author Horatio Alger. It’s offered to students who exhibit integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity. Recipients may begin their studies at a two-year institution and later transfer to a four-year institution.

Who’s eligible? High school juniors who have at least a 2.0 GPA, financial need, and Texas residency.

Contact information: [email protected] | 844-422-4200

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Celebrate the West

Students from Texas are eligible to enter this annual art scholarship competition hosted by the Western Governors’ Foundation and sponsored by Americans for the Arts. The annual competition asks high school students to create original works inspired by their state.

Who’s eligible? In addition to being Texas residents, entrants must be enrolled in grades 9-12 and submit a digital copy of their artwork that expresses a western theme. Eligible formats include painting, drawing, lithography, silkscreen, mixed media, computer graphics, and collage.

Contact information: [email protected] | 303-623-9378

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Top 5 Fast-Growing Industries in Texas

If you still don’t know where you will attend college, you may also be undecided on your major. In that case, one of the most important factors you should consider is which industries are growing the fastest in Texas — this will make it easier to find a job, and more demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By consulting the U.S. Department of Labor’s Long-Term Occupational Projections (2020–2030), we’ve determined that the following five careers have some of the highest projected growth rates in Texas:

Nurse Practitioners

NPs are advanced practice registered nurses who specialize in diagnosing and treating patients with an emphasis on preventative care and health education. They are quickly becoming many Americans’ preferred primary care professionals. NPs tend to be well-compensated; in Texas, they earn an average salary of $124,660.

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts monitor and manage an organization’s computer networks and systems. Specifically, information security analysts keep an organization’s data safe. As cybersecurity and information security become increasingly important in our digital world, security analysts are in high demand. They are also well-compensated, making an average annual salary of $115,570 in Texas.

Occupational Therapy Assistants

Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) support occupational therapists in their patient care, helping people regain the ability to carry out their daily activities. OTAs typically have at least an associate degree and earn an average yearly salary of $74,750 in Texas.

  • Growth: 46.9%
  • Degree options: Associate in Occupational Therapy Assistance

Physician Assistants

Physician assistants (PAs) are one of the most in-demand health professionals. They work under physicians to support patient care and must complete extensive education and medical training. They are not as highly compensated as physicians, but they still tend to make six-figure salaries. The average annual PA salary in Texas is $132,980.

Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) specialize in treating speech impediments and other issues that arise related to the mouth and throat area, including chewing and swallowing food. Demand for SLP services is expected to rise greatly in Texas and across the country, largely due to the aging population and prevalence of health issues such as stroke and Alzheimer’s, which can impair speech and eating skills. In Texas, SLPs make an average annual salary of $85,530.

  • Growth: 37.1%
  • Degree options: Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology

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