Tops in Texas

Tops in Texas: Rice University up, University of Houston down on Best College lists

Tops in Texas: Rice University up, UH down on Best College lists

Rice University framed by trees
Rice University ranked No. 32 on Forbes' "America's Top Colleges" list and No. 20 on Money's "The Best Colleges for Your Money" list, making it the No. 1 university in Texas. LSRCommunities.com
Kyle Field Texas A&M Home of the 12th Man fans in stadium
Texas A&M University came in at No. 2 in the state on Forbes' list and at No. 5 in Texas on Money's list. AggieMedia.TAMU.edu
University of Texas at Austin aerial
The University of Texas at Austin ranked No. 3 in the state according to Money's list and No. 2 in Texas on Forbes' list. Photo via Tex.org
News_University of Houston
The University of Houston dropped to No. 389 on the Forbes list of Best Colleges. Courtesy photo
Rice University framed by trees
Kyle Field Texas A&M Home of the 12th Man fans in stadium
University of Texas at Austin aerial
News_University of Houston

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 tops in the state.

To come up with the rankings, 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 compliling 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).

The University of Houston is No. 389 on Forbes' list, down from No. 344 last year, making it the No. 11 university in the state. It did not make it onto Money's list.

Among other Texas schools:

  • The University of Texas at Austin ranked second in the state (No. 76 nationally) on Forbes' list, as well as third in Texas (No. 53 nationally) on Money's list.
  • Although Texas A&M University in College Station came in as the fifth Texas university (No. 137 nationally) on Forbes' list, the university ranked second in the state (No. 24 nationally) on Money's list.
  • Southern Methodist University in Dallas ranked third in Texas (No. 101 nationally) on Forbes' list, but came in eighth in the state (No. 257 nationally) in 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 in Lubbock at No. 4 (No. 154 overall) and Texas Woman's University in Denton at No. 5 (No. 169 overall). 

However, in a sign of how rankings differ markedly, the 2014 report from the Center for World University Rankings ranks the University of Texas at Austin as 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 behind the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Texas A&M).

The University of Houston ranks 162 in the world, according to the list.