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Texas Online Colleges & Universities: Top Schools for 2018

Updated on: 01/04/2018
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The growth of educational technology has made online colleges in Texas an affordable and flexible option for many students. More and more Texas colleges and universities are beginning to offer full courses and certificates within the online platform, and many have graduated to fully online degrees. Texas Tech University, for example, has more than 50 hybrid and fully online degree programs available to students via its TTU Worldwide eLearning. This includes three undergraduate minors, five bachelor’s degrees, 15 master’s degrees, seven doctorate degrees and 20 graduate certificate or prep programs. In addition to Texas Tech, 52 other four-year Texas colleges & universities provided online learning opportunities to students in 2017, including the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.

When exploring Texas colleges online, every student should ask a series of questions to ensure they’re selecting the right school and program. What will my education look like financially? What are the best Texas colleges for my desired career path? This page answers these questions (and more) for students interested in online schools in Texas, and provides more detailed insight into the schools advancing online learning in the state today.

Start your journey here toward a flexible and career-building degree at one of the best online colleges in Texas.

The Best Online Colleges in Texas

The idea of “Best” online colleges in Texas can be subjective, mostly because each student has a unique set of academic wants and needs. One college hopeful may want a list of the best accredited online colleges in Texas, while another wants to identify the best affordable online colleges in Texas. The following rankings of online schools in Texas provides a more comprehensive view of the online college landscape, weighing multiple factors across a broader range of quality and affordability. However, this list of colleges also allows everyone to dive deeper into a number of specific data points. See which schools and universities in Texas made our list of the “Best Online Colleges in Texas for 2018”, and find the institutions where you can earn the online degree that meets your educational and career goals.

  • Accredited public or private not-for-profit institution

  • At least 3 online associate degrees or certificate programs (2-year schools)

  • At least 3 online bachelor’s or master’s degrees (4-year schools)

  • Annual in-state tuition below $5,000 (2-year schools)

  • Annual in-state tuition below $25,000 (4-year schools)

Colleges receive a total score based on performance in the following categories:

  • Average in-state net price for first-time/full-time undergraduates

  • Count and breadth of online programs available

  • Student-teacher ratio

  • 6-year graduation rate (4-year schools only)

  • % of beginning, full-time undergrads receiving scholarship/grant aid from the college

  • Average $ of financial aid students receive directly from the college

  • Availability of academic/career counseling services

  • Availability of job placement services for students and graduates

  • 3-year loan default rate

  • AC Online Peer-Based Value (PBV)*

  • *PBV is a proprietary metric that compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or a similar) qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same (or similar) cost. In short, the PBV calculation denotes the overall value – or ‘bang for your buck’ – of an online degree in Texas.

Our Texas online college rankings are backed by data collected and analyzed from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a program managed by the National Center for Education Statistics. Surveying over 7,500 colleges annually, it is among the most longstanding and trusted providers of U.S. postsecondary information.

  • Most recent “Final Release” data available as of October 2017

Rank University Location Score Annual Tuition # of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher RatioGrad RateCredit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Wayland Baptist University Plainview, TX 100.00 $11,880 31 91% 10:133%yes yes yes

Academic programs and educational opportunities at Wayland Baptist University reach far beyond the borders of Texas. The university has several branch campuses and learning facilities across six different states, a Kenyan center and an online school. In 2001, Wayland created WBUonline to administer online courses and, in 2006, it started offering fully online degree programs. Today, the school offers online degrees at all levels, from associate to doctorate. For example, there are five bachelor degrees available online - applied science, business administration, psychology (BA and BS) and Christian ministry. The Bachelor of Applied Science degree has 10 possible majors to choose from in versatile fields such as early childhood development, environmental studies and computer science. This program is built for students who already have technical or occupational training and are looking to broaden their knowledge and career opportunities in the field. Similarly, the Bachelor of Business Administration offers five areas of concentration and can be completed 100 percent online. Online classes last 11 weeks, and there are four sessions each year. Courses are operated through Blackboard, and multiple resources and tutorials for using the system are offered on WBU’s website.

2 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX 98.89 $6,476 32 55% 20:179%no yes yes

Texas A&M University, located in College Station, TX, has a distance learning department offering online degree and certificate programs to students in areas such as engineering, health sciences, education and agriculture. Texas A&M has both web-based on-campus courses and web-based off-campus courses as part of the university’s distance education programs. While the majority of online programs are offered at the graduate level, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is available to undergrads. This RN to BSN program is completely online, and students interested in enrolling must have an associate degree and credentials as a registered nurse. Because coursework can be completed entirely online, students in the RN to BSN program can take advantage of a discounted tuition rate that does not include technology fees and other campus-related costs.

3 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, TX 98.76 $4,029 17 88% 20:127%no yes yes

As part of the University of Texas school system, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers a variety of bachelor’s degrees through the university’s online education consortium. The agreement allows separate campuses to join forces and offer a broader range of programs through a combined effort. In total, UTPB has 16 online undergraduate programs available, five of which are degree-completion programs offered through the consortium. These fully online degrees can be earned in disciplines such as sociology, child and family studies, industrial technology, and criminal justice. Eight of the 16 online bachelor’s degrees available are conducted in an eight-week format. With shorter course lengths, students have six potential start dates each year. UTPB also offers 10 online graduate degrees and four certificates/endorsements. UTPB notes they not permitted to provide online education to some out-of-state students. To see if online courses and degrees can be offered in your state, visit the school’s State Authorizations page for the most up-to-date information.

4 University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio, TX 98.59 $24,900 19 99% 13:140%yes yes yes

The University of the Incarnate Word, a Christian-based university, has online bachelor’s degrees available through its school of professional studies and adult education department. The programs were developed and sculpted to fit the requirements of working adults, so courses are offered at convenient times on campus or online in asynchronous format. UIW has seven online bachelor’s degrees available, with the opportunity to study in-person if desired. Students can pursue a degree in a variety of fields such as public administration, human resources, applied sciences and several areas of business. Online classes do not require any on-campus work and are provided at an accelerated eight-week rate. This gives students six semesters per year to take classes and the chance to complete their bachelor’s degree in a shorter amount of time. To encourage continued education, some students may be eligible for discounted tuition rates and all undergraduates receive free textbooks. For those interested in a master’s degree or higher, four online graduate degrees are available - a Master of Arts in Administration, MBA, MS in Organizational Development and Leadership, and a Doctor of Business Administration.

5 University of Houston-Victoria Victoria, TX 98.09 $4,151 23 89% 17:1N/Ano yes yes

The University of Houston-Victoria offers several online degrees in a range of fields, from criminal justice to education to publishing, at the bachelor’s and master’s degree level. Students in UHV’s School of Business Administration can earn a bachelor’s degree online with specializations available in supply chain management, marketing, finance, health care management, human resources or general business. The online Bachelor of Business Administration program requires students to complete general education courses either at a community college or at one of UHV’s campuses before beginning upper division work. All core business classes are offered 100 percent online, with the exception of students enrolled in a capstone course, which requires participation in a business conference and competition. Nursing students with an associate degree or diploma program under their belt can enroll in UHV’s RN to BSN program. The degree is offered completely online and requires students have their RN license prior to beginning classes.

6 Our Lady of the Lake University San Antonio, TX 97.98 $23,868 9 97% 13:132%yes yes yes

San Antonio’s Our Lady of the Lake University is a Catholic school with more than 120 years of experience providing liberal arts education to students. With just over 3,000 students enrolled, OLLU offers over 40 different degree programs either on campus or online. Six online degrees are currently offered, with one program available at the baccalaureate level. Undergraduates at OLLU can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice from anywhere they can log on to the internet. An undergraduate minor in criminology and criminal justice is also offered. As attending a private university tends to be more expensive than attending a public school, OLLU helps students find financial aid assistance through scholarships and grants whenever possible.

7 Dallas Baptist University Dallas, TX 97.88 $23,250 25 91% 13:155%no yes yes

Since 1998, Dallas Baptist University has provided fully online degrees to students, with 75 different programs available to date. At the undergraduate level, DBU gives students 26 potential academic paths to earn their bachelor’s degree online. Students can complete a program 100 percent online in areas such as criminal justice, religious studies, psychology, communication, business and health care management. Online classes at DBU are instructed by the same on-campus faculty, and class sizes are intimate, averaging 11 students per course. Dallas Baptist University also specializes in accelerated online bachelor’s-to-master’s degree programs, giving students the chance to earn two degrees at once. As DBU is a Christian university, the majority of accelerated programs are ministry-based and require completion of either the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, Bachelor of Applied Science in Christian Ministries or a Bachelor of Arts or Science in Christian Studies. Business students can also earn both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the accelerated program, starting with the Bachelor of Business Administration in Management.

8 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX 97.31 $10,864 3 71% 23:163%no yes yes

The University of Texas at Dallas gives graduate students flexible options to earn their degrees. Students can take classes full or part-time and can choose to complete their degree in a self-paced “flex" style or as part of a cohort where students takes classes all together. Regardless of which option a student chooses, they can finish their degree online. UT Dallas has seven online graduate programs and one certificate program through distance learning. Students can choose to study business, criminology, accounting, information technology, management or marketing. How online classes are delivered is left up to the instructor. Classes can include live web conferencing, video streaming, discussion boards and recorded lectures. To help students navigate their digital education, UT Dallas provides online tutorials and resources to keep students on track.

9 Southwestern Adventist University Keene, TX 97.06 $18,840 10 96% 11:138%yes yes yes

Located in the greater Dallas-Fortworth area, Southwestern Adventist University provides online education to students through the school’s distance education department. Southwestern has over 35 years of experience in online undergraduate education, creating alternative ways for students unable to reach campus to earn a degree. The university has nine total programs available, seven bachelor’s degree programs and two associate degrees. Bachelor’s programs can be completed in fields such as religion and theology, business, psychology, history and education. Most options can be completed online, but the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education program culminates with a 14-week practicum at a regional school district, so online students participating in this program will need to complete this in-person requirement. The coursework students complete through distance education is equal to traditional learning, as classes are taught by the same instructors and demand the same learning outcomes.

10 Angelo State University San Angelo, TX 96.96 $3,760 16 59% 19:130%no yes yes

Angelo State University specializes in online undergraduate degrees in the fields of homeland security, intelligence and border security. Currently, the university offers four online bachelor’s programs available in these sectors. Two of these degrees are Air University-Associate-to-Baccalaureate Cooperative (AU-ABC) programs and require students first earn an Associate of Applied Science degree from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF). After graduating with an associate degree, students can enroll in one of Angelo State University’s AU-ABC programs to earn either a Bachelor of Border Security or a Bachelor of Intelligence, Security Studies and Analysis degree. Students who do not have an associate degree from the CCAF can still earn an online Bachelor of Security Studies degree, with a concentration in either intelligence, security and analysis or border and homeland security. Online students can access digital resources, such as tutoring and library services, to help reach their academic goals.

11 Southwestern Assemblies of God University Waxahachie, TX 96.88 $18,570 33 64% 14:133%yes yes yes

Southwestern Assemblies of God University has more than 70 online degree programs available at every level of higher education. Half of these programs are available to undergraduate students, including nearly 30 bachelor’s programs. To be considered for an online program, or any admittance to SAGU, applicants must first demonstrate their religious character and prove a positive relationship with Christianity as the school is fervently based in the faith. Specializing in bible and ministry education, SAGU has 16 online programs available in realms such as pastoral leadership, youth ministry, biblical studies and church leadership. The university also offers online degrees in broader areas such as criminal justice, human services, business, history and education. To help students cut the cost of tuition and complete their degree faster, SAGU gives up to 45 credits for previous experiential learning. Students complete a Portfolio for Review course during their first semester to demonstrate their abilities and how their previous work or life experience applies to their major and degree program to receive credit. Tuition for an online undergraduate at SAGU is more than $100 less per credit hour than a traditional degree.

12 Midwestern State University Wichita Falls, TX 96.86 $5,012 11 68% 18:144%yes yes yes

At Midwestern State University, students can complete their bachelor’s degree 100 percent online through the school’s distance education department. Online classes are facilitated through D2L, MSU’s selected learning management system. Students can take their orientation online and, once started in their program, can access a host of resources provided to help distance learners stay on track. MSU has four online bachelor’s programs available in health care and technical sciences. Three of these programs are designed to build upon an associate degree and relevant work experience. The RN to BSN program is only for current registered nurses holding an associate degree and can be completed in as little as three semesters. Similarly, the RRT to BSRC degree path is a program for registered respiratory therapists to earn their Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care. These programs are specific to the careers of nursing and respiratory therapy, and students must have certifications in both to enroll in the degree-completion program. Students with technical training looking for more concentration options can enroll in the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences program. The B.A.A.S. online degree offers majors in criminal justice, liberal arts, adult education, health care administration and human resource development. Students can also choose from 11 master’s degrees and a post-master’s certificate program.

13 The University of Texas at Tyler Tyler, TX 96.41 $5,370 16 40% 17:144%yes yes yes

The University of Texas at Tyler gives undergraduate students a malleable opportunity to earn their Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree fully online. The B.A.A.S. is a degree-completion program that incorporates a student’s work and life experience in addition to any prior education to help students finish their degree faster. Students with experiences such as work training, military service, volunteerism or any other method of gaining measurable career skills can begin a prior learning assessment (PLA) to transfer experience to college credit. In addition to the online B.A.A.S. program, UT Tyler offers undergraduate students an online RN to BSN program, though it is strictly for registered nurses to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Students can complete this degree in one year without ever having to travel to campus. UT Tyler is authorized to provided online education in 45 states.

14 Stephen F Austin State University Nacogdoches, TX 96.21 $5,304 10 52% 19:143%yes yes yes

Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA), an independent university based in east Texas, provides versatile online degree options for students looking to complete their bachelor’s degree education. Through SFAonline, the school’s web campus, over 20 degrees are available, seven of those being online baccalaureate programs. Through SFA’s Department of Elementary Education, three online Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degrees are provided with teacher certifications in middle school, elementary and special education. While these programs are heavily based online, students may have to attend class on campus, so these programs are recommended for regional students with busy schedules. SFAonline also has two Bachelor of Business Administration degree-completion programs that are fully online, and an RN to BSN program designed for current registered nurses to complete upper-division coursework. To administer web courses, SFAonline utilizes D2L as its platform, creating a virtual classroom for students to interact and finish assignments.

15 Lubbock Christian University Lubbock, TX 96.20 $19,400 4 93% 13:141%no yes yes

At Lubbock Christian University, students can enjoy the attentive nature of intimate class sizes and a school committed to keeping a green campus through clean energy initiatives. For students unable to make it to LCU’s environmentally responsible campus, online education is available at affordable tuition costs. LCU has four graduate programs in hybrid and fully online formats and one undergraduate hybrid program. The Bachelor of Business Administration degree is a mixture of online and face-to-face classes, and several concentrations are available in areas such as economics, marketing, management and finance. Because the cost of college is often an uphill battle, receiving financial aid can make or break a student’s academic dream. At LCU, more than 90 percent of students qualify and receive financial aid.

16 University of Houston Houston, TX 95.98 $7,651 7 54% 21:148%no yes yes

The University of Houston has four bachelor-completion programs and 18 graduate degree programs available online to students. UH’s undergraduate programs are suited for students who have already finished the general education requirements and lower-division courses that a four-year degree requires. After completing the first half of a degree, students can finish the final two years of their psychology, nursing or consumer science bachelor’s degree online at UH. The UH main campus is the largest member of the University of Houston System Online Program, which brings all four campuses’ distance education degrees together in one database. In total, 120 certificate and degree programs are offered among the four University of Houston System schools. Through the Student Pathways program, undergraduates are able to take online credits through another campus, giving students access to more diverse courses. Currently, the program allows a maximum of six credits to be completed away from a student’s home campus.

17 Texas Woman's University Denton, TX 95.84 $5,650 16 43% 18:141%no yes yes

With three Texan campuses and a virtual school, Texas Woman’s University claims the top spot as the largest academic institution for women, enrolling nearly 15,000 students. Through TWU’s e-learning campus, students have 40 degree programs available both 100 percent online and in hybrid structures. For undergraduate students, TWU provides 12 degree-completion programs primarily online. Degree-completion programs only incorporate the final two years of a bachelor degree, which can be either fully or partly online at TWU. Six of these programs are 100 percent online, and students can major in sociology, dental hygiene, general studies, nursing, criminal justice and health studies. The remaining half of the programs require at least one component of on-campus coursework and are offered in subjects such as business, marketing, human resources and accounting.

18 Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX 95.61 $3,696 11 52% 19:143%yes yes yes

Part of the Texas A&M University system, Tarleton State University has six campuses and seven academic centers, educating more than 13,000 students. Through the school’s global campus, students living across the country can earn a degree online from TSU. Tarleton State has 10 online bachelor’s degree programs, delivering education to students in fields such as information technology, administrative systems, business and criminal justice. Several of the online undergraduate programs are provided as degree-completion tracks. For example, the fully online B.A.S in Veterinary Technology degree requires completion of an associate degree before entry and the B.A.A.S in Business program is tailored for students with any technical or vocational training, for which they can receive 33 college credits. Students with a wealth of work experience can enroll in the B.A.A.S in Manufacturing and Industrial Management and earn up to 84 credits for their experience. For those living outside of Texas, TSU is authorized to provide online education in every state apart from Massachusetts.

19 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX 95.60 $8,878 14 51% 25:140%no yes yes

With 20 years of experience in virtual education, the University of Texas at Arlington provides over 700 online courses, allowing students to earn their degree 100 percent online. Web courses at UTA are delivered through the virtual education platform Blackboard and enable students to experience the same content as on-campus students. As part of the University of Texas System, UTA participates in the school’s Online Consortium, through which students can enroll in number of programs offered to all UT schools. The Finish@UT program is a 100 percent online bachelor’s completion program provided by UTA through the consortium. This program works with students who have previous education, are looking to transfer or have occupational experience to create an online degree path that suits their needs. Courses can be completed in eight- or 15-week sessions, during which students can take a maximum six credits. UTA also offers online bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice and nursing.

20 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX 95.53 $4,896 19 22% 21:151%yes yes yes

At Sam Houston State University, distance education students have many online program options. SHSU Online, the university’s digital campus, provides more than 40 degree programs that students can complete 100 percent online, blended with face-to-face classes or through self-paced online modules. Traditional online courses at SHSU are synchronous and last either seven and a half or 15 weeks. Undergraduates can earn their bachelor’s degree fully online in history, business administration, general studies or criminal justice. The criminal justice faculty at SHSU has been recognized by the Journal of Criminal Justice Education for their research, and the school’s online master’s degree programs take the number one spot in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings. Undergraduate students can complete four additional programs mostly online. However, some lab and other classwork requires campus attendance. These programs are available in nursing, sociology and psychology.

21 Texas A & M University-Commerce Commerce, TX 95.49 $3,832 17 45% 20:145%yes no yes

Texas A&M University - Commerce has three divisions for online degree programs based on the amount of distance education that is offered: 100 percent online, fully online, which ranges from 86 to 100 percent, or hybrid, which is 50 to 85 percent online. In the 100 percent division, undergraduate students can complete one of three bachelor’s degree programs without ever traveling to campus. These programs are offered through the College of Education and Human Services and the College of Science and Engineering and bestow graduates with a Bachelor’s of Applied Arts and Sciences degree or Bachelor of General Studies. The online B.A.A.S. and B.G.S. programs are designed for students with occupational experience, awarding college credit for that experience. Classes also operate on seven-week cycles so students can finish their program quickly. Undergraduates can also enroll in fully online or hybrid programs. However, students should keep in mind that attendance on campus may be required depending on the program. There are 10 degree programs within these divisions offered in sectors such as business, computer science and sociology.

22 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX 95.43 $5,110 18 35% 22:159%no yes yes

With more than 100 online degree programs, Texas Tech University gives students living in Texas and beyond the chance to start or finish a degree completely online. Most web courses use Blackboard as the learning management system and follow TTU’s traditional on-campus class schedule. Students have six fully online bachelor degree programs available in general education, human sciences, university studies, applied leadership, early child care and plant and soil sciences. The bachelor of applied arts and science in applied leadership degree requires students to first earn an associate degree before entry to the bachelor program. To compliment an online degree, TTU provides eight undergraduate minors 100 percent online in areas such as agricultural leadership, public health, integrative studies, wind energy and personal finance. Students residing outside of Texas can take advantage of in-state tuition applied to all fully online programs.

23 University of Houston-Clear Lake Houston, TX 95.25 $4,536 13 31% 16:1N/Ano yes yes

Undergrads who already have their freshman and sophomore years of college under their belt can enroll in an online bachelor degree from the University of Houston Clear Lake. UHCL has four bachelor of science degree programs that are fully online at the junior and senior level. Through this “completer” program, undergraduates can earn a BS in finance, general business, anthropology or public service leadership. Online students at UHCL have multiple resources available to them at the click of a button, including online tutoring in math and writing, personal counseling and academic advising. Non-Texans are eligible to enroll in UHCL’s online programs with the exception of students living in Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. as UHCL is not yet authorized to provide online education to residents in these states. In 2016, UHCL’s online programs won an effective practice award from the Online Learning Consortium.

24 University of North Texas Denton, TX 95.10 $6,904 16 45% 25:150%no yes yes

The University of North Texas provides seven online undergraduate and 36 possible graduate programs to students living across the nation. UNT is partnered with the National Council of Reciprocity Agreements to allow virtual education to flow across state borders. Non-residents of Texas however, pay a higher cost for their education at UNT than in-state students and fees vary from program to program. The undergraduate programs at UNT are provided 100 percent online and are designed as completion programs for students with some previous college credits, work or technical training. Students can complete a bachelor of science degree in rehabilitation studies, criminal justice or information science online and complete a concentration or certificate in 12 credit hours. UNT also offers a flexible online bachelor of applied arts and science degrees in leadership development to help students earn the degree that best compliments their future career.

25 Lamar University Beaumont, TX 94.81 $5,232 21 18% 19:134%yes yes yes

Lamar University's division of distance learning brings online education directly to the homes of students unable to take traditional campus classes. Through LU Online students have bachelor and graduate degree programs available as well as single courses. Twelve bachelor degree programs are offered online in majors such as computer science, general studies, engineering, business, communication and sociology. The bachelor of science in industrial engineering and in industrial technology degrees are completion programs for those who either have an associate degree or have completed the first two years of a bachelor program. Similarly, the bachelor of arts and applied science and bachelor of nursing programs are geared towards adults with work experience in the field. Students in LU’s online programs can take classes in accelerated eight-week periods or in a traditional 15-week semester, although not all courses are offered in acceleration.

26 Wiley College Marshall, TX 94.63 $9,240 3 35% 18:122%yes yes yes

Founded in 1873, Wiley College is a private university with a rich past, being among the oldest historically black colleges located west of the Mississippi River. Wiley enrolls around 1,400 students annually and provides bachelor degree programs online and through a combination of face-to-face and online programs. Wiley’s web-based programs were created for working adults over the age of 25, searching for the opportunity to conveniently start or finish a degree. Students have three online degree tracks to choose from: a bachelor of business administration in organizational management, bachelor of arts in criminal justice, or a bachelor of science in interdisciplinary studies program. The BS in interdisciplinary studies program gives students the chance to study what interests them with nine concentrations available in areas such as communications, diplomacy, environmental studies, justice administration and business technology. Classes are provided at accelerated rates with multiple start dates per year.

27 University of Houston-Downtown Houston, TX 94.60 $4,470 16 27% 20:114%yes yes yes

The University of Houston Downtown has 15 bachelor degree options for students looking to complete their degree online. UHD’s online bachelor programs build upon a student’s previous education and offers upper-division coursework (junior and senior years) all online. Students can finish their degrees in a grab-bag of different subjects including professional writing, international business, criminal justice, supply chain management and interdisciplinary studies. Web courses are delivered through Blackboard, a portal for students and professors to engage in an online classroom. Through Blackboard, students can access class materials and discussions and submit assignments. Before beginning an online program, students first undergo an orientation to college totally online. UHD is permitted to providing online programs to residents in all states except for Massachusetts and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.

28 Prairie View A & M University Prairie View, TX 94.58 $5,898 3 49% 18:137%no yes yes

Prairie View A&M University's distance learning department brings education to the student through online courses and degree programs. The university has four master’s degrees available online in counseling, juvenile justice, business administration and educational administration. PVAMU provides its web courses through the D2L class platform and offers resources for using the system online. Courses that are hybrid, both web-based and on campus, also use D2L. To take exams online, some instructors require face-to-face proctoring while others use a digital proctoring service, and inform students prior to beginning class. UT Dallas is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, allowing the school to provide online education to students living beyond Texas. Tuition for online students follows campus guidelines and out-of-state residents must pay a higher rate.

29 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg, TX 94.52 $4,176 5 46% 22:139%no yes yes

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American) provides several options for distance education through the school’s center for online learning and teaching technology. Students can take single online courses or complete an entire degree, either fully online or through a hybrid format. UTRGV’s web courses are brought to life through Blackboard, the digital portal where online students have full access to the virtual classroom. The university has fully online master’s degrees and partially online bachelor programs, as well as accelerated degrees at both levels. After completing the first two years of a four-year degree, undergraduates can then enroll in one of UTRGV’s online bachelor programs in either criminology and criminal justice, multidisciplinary studies or health services technology. Students who are currently registered nurses can earn their bachelor of science in nursing entirely online. This program is provided in an accelerated seven-week course structure and takes one year to finish.

30 Texas A & M University-Kingsville Kingsville, TX 94.49 $4,366 8 36% 21:134%yes yes yes

At Texas A&M University Kingsville students can earn a graduate degree in education, business or engineering totally online. Educators in their master’s degree programs can specialize in either adult, bilingual or special education, kinesiology, instructional technology or administration. TAMUK’s master of business administration degree is an online-only program and can be finished in as little as one year. The MBA program allows students to complete complimentary certificates in energy finance and logistics, business analytics or health informatics. In 2012, TAMUK’s M.S. in industrial engineering degree earned the number one spot as the best online graduate engineering program in Texas by the U.S. News & World Report. In all of the available degree programs, students can choose to attend school either full or part-time. Web-based courses use Blackboard, a learning management system, and fall into several categories based on the percentage of online coursework as outlined by TAMUK.

31 The University of Texas at Brownsville Brownsville, TX 94.35 $3,998 13 21% 20:126%yes yes yes
32 Dallas Christian College Dallas, TX 94.02 $14,592 5 98% 13:130%yes no yes

Dallas Christian College provides non-traditional education opportunities to students through the university’s FlexCampus. DCC’s FlexCampus allows students to complete a course in six weeks. Students have class scheduled once per week and can choose to participate on campus, online through live conferencing or on demand, in which students watch a recording of the class on their own time. Students can earn their bachelor of science degree through the FlexCampus in practical ministries and bible, business, psychology and interdisciplinary studies. These programs have concentrations available in areas such as bible studies and ministry, business administration and nonprofit management. Completing a bachelor’s program can take two to four years, depending on the student’s previous education, if any. Students can also earn alternative credit for work experience and must demonstrate their abilities by creating a portfolio for review or by examination (such as the CLEP or DANTES tests). A maximum of thirty credit hours can be awarded for experience.

33 Texas Southern University Houston, TX 93.97 $1,400 3 34% 18:116%yes yes yes

Texas Southern University, situated on a 150-acre campus, is one of the biggest historically black universities in the U.S. The 10 colleges within the school system include law, education, business and communications and offer 100 undergrad and grad programs. The university has four fully online degree programs, which are master’s degrees in education, business administration, public administration and administration of justice. Individual classes are also available online that provide a hybrid education, blending on-campus and online learning for a more flexible learning experience. The Robert J. Terry Library offers electronic databases arranged alphabetically or by subject, so even distance education learners can access a wide range of resources through the library. The Office of Information Technology lists a number of resources that can be accessed online, including Blackboard, Grades First and Starrez, which links students to online housing forms and roommate selection. Students can also access the tuition calculator online to accurately estimate the cost of their higher education program. Scholarships are available from the university and outside sources, and further financial aid options and applications can be found online.

34 Texas A & M International University Laredo, TX 93.78 $3,731 5 25% 19:143%yes yes yes

Texas A&M International University, located in the quickly developing city of Laredo, offers one fully online undergraduate degree, RN to BSN. Eleven master’s degrees and three graduate certificates can also be completed online. Graduate online programs are non-thesis unless otherwise specified. Online classes are available 24/7 for added convenience, and some distance education courses are in video conference or remote classroom format. Many degrees can also be earned on-campus or as a hybrid option, incorporating both online and on-campus courses. Texas A&M International’s degree programs range from fields of study like marketing to music vocal track to communication disorders. The Sue & Radcliffe Killam Library website provides online databases that can be accessed from anywhere. The university ranks as one of the most affordable four-year public universities in the U.S., but students in need of financial aid should visit the Financial Aid office to search through grants, scholarships and loans that might apply to them. In addition to traditional aid, Texas A&M International gives veterans access to services and financial aid options unique to them.

35 Sul Ross State University Alpine, TX 93.59 $3,984 4 29% 15:127%no yes yes

Sul Ross State University, spread among its four Texas locations in Alpine, Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Uvalde, boasts small class sizes and only 2,000 students on the main Alpine campus. Its four colleges, College of Professional Studies, College of Agricultural and Natural Resource Management, College of Arts and Sciences and Rio Grande College, offer degrees in fields such as criminal justice, behavioral and social sciences, education and animal sciences. Degrees may be earned online, in-person, via face-to-face interactive TV courses or as a hybrid. The distance education options may vary by location and degree, so interested students should contact an advisor or learn more about the degree options online. The university library provides access to online databases and journal collections for use in any location. Scholarships offered through Sul Ross State vary from aid based on financial need and academics to enrollment in specific programs.

36 Parker University Dallas, TX 93.56 $23,486 4 100% 10:1N/Ano yes yes

Parker University offers many of its courses fully online. Most bachelor’s programs but also some master’s and associate degrees can be completed via distance education. The university is separated into three health-related departments: chiropractic, applied sciences and business of health. The level of on-campus participation varies depending on the program, so students should be sure to check out their desired degree program’s requirements. For example, a Doctor of Chiropractic is a 10-trimester program for which hands-on, in-person experience is a must, whereas a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems is available totally online. The Parker SHARE Bookstore allows students to buy or rent textbooks or buy academic program materials via the website and have them delivered to their door. Some products, however, can be bought only in the physical store. Tuition details are outlined on the website and divided by degree. Financial aid options are offered in the form of grants, scholarships, federal loans, and military and VA benefits.

37 West Texas A & M University Canyon, TX 93.36 $4,602 8 24% 21:140%no yes yes

West Texas A&M University’s online programs rank among the best in 2018 in bachelor’s degrees, graduate business, MBA programs, veterans MBA and graduate computer information technology, according to U.S. News & World Report. West Texas A&M provides 58 undergraduate programs, 39 graduate programs and one doctoral program. Students can receive an education on campus, online or as a hybrid, for which some aspects of the classes must be in person, like field experience or a specific face-to-face course. A handful of both undergrad and graduate programs can be completed totally online or as hybrid learning. Three undergrad completion degrees, such as the RN to BSN program, can be finished 100 percent online. The Cornette Library website has a library chat service and an email-a-librarian option for assistance. Through the website, students can browse databases and journals for research purposes. The university admits out-of-state distance education learners who are part of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements or who have an agreement with Texas, which the university can verify.

38 The University of Texas at El Paso El Paso, TX 93.14 $5,606 12 38% 20:139%no no yes

The University of Texas at El Paso offers fully online bachelor’s and master’s degrees, graduate certificate programs and online regulations. The university is part of the the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements and can accept out-of-state students whose home state is part of the council. Online degrees are offered in majors such as criminal justice, media advertising and systems engineering. Tuition for an in-state distance learner is $284.21 per semester credit hour. The University of Texas at El Paso was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its lowest net tuition of U.S. research universities. The university was also selected in 2016 as a Military Friendly School. In terms of financial aid, military benefits, scholarships, loans and installment plans are all options available to UTEP students. The university has also set up a page dedicated to succeeding online that outlines how to use the Blackboard online classroom and gives advice on what to expect and how to avoid snags in online education.

39 South Texas College McAllen, TX 92.78 $2,330 3 1% 24:1100%no yes yes

South Texas College boasts one of the lowest tuition rates in the country, providing an education at a value for thousands. Students can choose from 32 online programs that result in associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees or certificates. Students can obtain a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technologies, medical and health services management, technology management or organizational leadership. The Online Student Services department outlines subjects of interest for distance learners, including admissions, financial aid, online advising, student assessment, career opportunities, online tutoring, online textbook purchases and ADA services. Full library services can be accessed online as well. Further student IT support is provided by phone, email, or online chat for password, computer or Blackboard online classroom issues. South Texas College prides itself for its comprehensive Veterans Affairs services, which include health and wellness and educational benefit programs. Students can apply for federal aid and pay via installment plans online. Scholarships are awarded based on merit, need and department and are provided via private or state funds.

40 Criswell College Dallas, TX 92.61 $7,200 3 67% 9:124%no no no

Criswell College, a Christian college in Dallas, Texas, presents higher education to students interested in shaping their academic and spiritual development. The college provides programs that result in one associate, five bachelor’s and six master’s degrees. Students can obtain a bachelor’s in biblical studies, Christian ministry, psychology or education as well as a degree in philosophy, politics and economics. Up to a quarter of any program may be completed online for added flexibility in learning and scheduling. Two master’s degrees are offered totally online: the Master of Arts in Christian Studies and the Master of Arts in Christian Leadership. Students can complete online classes in half the time as a traditional on-campus course, finishing three credits within eight weeks. Courses are text-based and include writing assignments, exams and research and are enhanced with devotional materials and videos. To determine attendance, distance education students are expected to participate online in a variety of methods, such as a discussion board posting. An extra cost of $150 is applied to each online class. Additionally, the online DTS Book Center helps students with their textbook, reference and supply needs.

41 Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX 92.55 $4,623 8 14% 19:140%no yes yes

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, the Island University located in the Texas Gulf Coast, stakes claim as the only university in the U.S. on its own island. The school’s five colleges, Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Science and Engineering, furnish top-ranking degree programs. The university provides its students with a host of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates that can be completed online, and it has plans in the works to keep expanding these offerings. Out-of-state distance learners are accepted if they meet certain criteria. The eLine (Electronic Learning in Nursing Education) and eLine-Military are self-paced programs that allow total completion of nursing degrees online. Students can access important information, such as free online classes, research sources, textbooks and digital libraries, online on the Open Educational Resources webpage. The school’s Career & Professional Education resource offers thousands of online non-credit programs from self-guided studies to in-depth career skills training.

42 King's University Southlake, TX 92.36 $9,120 7 65% 13:1N/Ayes no yes

King's University’s seven fully online degree programs include one associate, four bachelor’s and two master’s degrees, three of which have the option of a Messianic Jewish Studies concentration. The university, ranked in the top 50 bible colleges in 2017, offers its online courses 24/7 so students can log in to class when it’s convenient for them, reaping the benefits of this added level of flexibility. Seven-week sessions are the standard for accelerated online classes; however, some courses are taught in the traditional 15-week increments. It is estimated that the seven-week programs will demand that students spend 12-15 hours on the coursework per week. King’s University even offers an online orientation to help prepare distance learners for what will be required of them. The tuition rate for online learning is the same as that of traditional on-campus classes, but a fee is charged for each online course taken. As if accelerated courses weren’t enough, King’s University also allows transfer students to apply as many as 90 previously earned credit hours to significantly shorten the amount of time to earn their degree.

43 Grace School of Theology Conroe, TX 91.21 $4,320 5 N/A 12:1N/Ano yes yes

Grace School of Theology, self-described as “A Seminary to the World," prides itself on being an Evangelical Christian higher education institution. Students have the luxury of choosing to earn their degrees 100 percent online or to take classes at one of the various campus locations in Texas. Students may earn a variety of religious-based certificates, bachelor’s degrees, such as Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, or master’s degrees, including the Master of Divinity. One postgraduate Doctor of Ministry is also available. Tuition costs for undergrad and grad programs are $200 per credit hour, and the doctoral program is $400 per credit hour. Non-credit program costs are determined by the overall length of the classes, ranging from one week to 15. The financial aid office can process federal loans, veterans benefits and military tuition assistance and provides the GRACE Tuition Assistance Program. Tuition benefits may also apply to spouses. Career and Ministry Services provides a listing of available jobs that meet the needs of its graduates, but Grace makes no claims or guarantees about the percentage of employed graduates.

44 The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio San Antonio, TX 91.03 $5,101 4 N/A 8:1N/Ano yes yes

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, with its more than 30 years of EMS education, employs faculty who actively practice in their fields and ultimately provide their students up-to-date health care education. The university offers only two online degrees: the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Respiratory Care. The bachelor’s 32 credits can be completed in as little as one year or as many as three years. In-state students would pay $2,615 for both fall and spring semesters if completed in one year. Financial aid options include grants, scholarships, loan programs, fellowships, departmental payouts, and the Hazelwood Act for Texas veterans and their immediate families. Other traditional on-campus degree offerings include a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Health Sciences, Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology, and EMT and paramedic certifications, which require clinicals and other hands-on education opportunities before graduation. The university also boasts of its Physician Assistant graduates’ 100 percent pass rate of the national certification exam on their first try.

45 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock, TX 90.87 $5,580 3 N/A 5:1N/Ano yes yes

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center offers online degrees from two of its colleges, the School of Health Professions and the School of Nursing. The nursing degrees are an accelerated version of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing for RNs or veterans and two master’s programs. The School of Health Professions offers more choices with a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management, four master’s degrees and a Doctor of Science, as well as a certificate and post-baccalaureate. Library Resources for Distance Learners provide access to online databases and journals, books and audiovisuals, photocopies, Interlibrary Loan and more. The Technology Support for Distance Learners helps online students troubleshoot issues and provides a how-to guide for navigating common problems. Students can navigate the multiple financial aid options online, including veteran and military assistance and scholarships by degree.

46 Texas A & M University-Central Texas Killeen, TX 90.78 $3,982 14 N/A 13:1N/Ayes no yes

Texas A&M University-Central Texas students can choose from six bachelor’s degrees and three master’s degrees, all offered in a 100 percent online format. Bachelor’s degrees in fields like aviation science offer upperclassmen coursework all online, but internships through the university’s partnerships must be completed in person. The university library has eJournals and digital archives that distance learners can tap for their research, and the InterLibrary Loan allows users to request items from different libraries that can’t be accessed at the university. Distance learning fees are $80 per credit hour, and, depending on the internship, the price tag could range from $100 to $3,000 in addition to the regular tuition costs. Students in need of financial aid can look over their multiple financial assistance options, including scholarships with a broad range of criteria. The university also strives to help students prepare for life after college. For example, the Career and Professional Development service is dedicated to helping students land a successful career post-graduation.

47 The University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX 89.97 $5,731 7 N/A 24:1N/Ano yes yes

The University of Texas Medical Branch, located in Galveston, Texas, offers bachelor’s degrees in clinical laboratory sciences and respiratory care; master's degrees in clinical laboratory sciences, occupational therapy, health professions, nutrition and metabolism, and physician assistant studies; and a professional doctorate in physical therapy. Most degree programs through the university, such as physical therapy and rehabilitation science, require students to perform hands-on tasks, so distance learning options are limited. The Clinical Laboratory Sciences department, however, offers a hybrid learning option to qualified students, which allows them to finish most coursework online. The distance learning instruction is provided in the form of streaming videos, PowerPoint lectures, online interactive labs, discussions and online testing, with some on-campus lab sessions required. Tuition plus fees, including a distance-learning fee per credit hour, can make for a pricey education, so students in need of financial aid should be sure to check out the school’s options. Financial aid opportunities range from federal aid to scholarships to work-study programs.

48 Messenger College Euless, TX 89.63 $7,500 3 8% 16:116%yes no yes

Messenger College, a Christian-based higher education institution, believes in creating and empowering spiritual leaders in their Christ-led missions. The college offers two programs, both of which are a hybrid mixture of online and residential courses: counseling, which offers a four-year bachelor’s degree, or Christian ministry, for which students can spend one year earning a certificate, two years for an associate degree or four years for a bachelor’s. Several fees are tacked on to the tuition rate of $325 per credit hour, including an online program fee of $300 per semester. The college encourages students to apply for financial aid through the Federal Pell and SEO grants, subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans or Parent Plus loans. Veterans and their dependents may be eligible for financial assistance through the Veterans Education Act, but should contact their local Veterans Affairs office for more information.

49 Amberton University Garland, TX 88.18 $7,260 6 N/A 19:1N/Ayes no yes

Amberton University focuses its education on adult learners and, by doing so, strives to provide a flexible education whether students opt for online or on-campus instruction. The classes are divided into four 10-week sessions per year. Distance learning and classroom instruction are available for six of the university’s seven bachelor’s degrees, including professional development, general business, management, project management, applied studies, and human relations and business. Likewise, 11 of the 15 master’s degrees can be completed in either of these formats. The university utilizes the same part-time and full-time professors for its distance education courses and its on-campus courses. Admission, costs and expectations of students remain the same regardless of whether the classes are taken online or on campus. Amberton provides Distance Learning Tips, such as using time management and communication skills, to help ensure students’ success in their online courses. The On-Line Portal connects online students to discussion forums, research materials, online courses and school email. And, for those who need help paying for school, the university gives tips on applying for federal aid on its financial assistance page.

50 Northwood University-Texas Cedar Hill, TX 88.00 $21,950 7 N/A 6:130%yes yes yes

Northwood University-Texas has earned several awards or recognitions for its online courses, ranking as the best online school for a Bachelor in Accounting degree and in the top 20 universities for its online marketing degree program. Through the Adult Degree Programs, online students can earn their Bachelor of Business Administration in a variety of programs, such as accounting, automotive marketing and management, and health care management. The degree can be completed totally online or in a hybrid format of both online and on-campus classes. The Adult Degree Programs are specifically designed to meet the demands of busy adults who need flexible scheduling in education. Most or all of the coursework for a Master in Finance or Organizational Leadership degree can also be completed online. Adult degree students can also take advantage of financial aid options geared specifically toward them. In addition to providing stellar courses, the university’s Career Advancement service helps prepare and connect students and graduates to available internships and jobs in their degree field.

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Best Online Colleges in Texas (2-Year Schools)

Rank University Location Score Annual Tuition # of Online Programs Financial Aid % Student-Teacher RatioGrad RateCredit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Western Texas College Snyder, TX 100.00 $1,950 14 48% 16:1N/Ayes yes yes
2 Odessa College Odessa, TX 98.00 $3,240 34 22% 19:1N/Ano yes yes
3 Panola College Carthage, TX 97.49 $600 5 42% 18:1N/Ano yes yes
4 Tyler Junior College Tyler, TX 97.26 $2,310 18 20% 20:1N/Ano yes yes
5 Central Texas College Killeen, TX 97.22 $2,790 41 16% 16:1N/Ayes yes yes
6 Trinity Valley Community College Athens, TX 96.43 $960 21 31% 24:1N/Ano yes yes
7 Grayson College Denison, TX 95.49 $2,088 4 29% 21:1N/Ayes yes yes
8 Weatherford College Weatherford, TX 95.34 $3,720 3 18% 18:1N/Ayes yes yes
9 Collin County Community College District McKinney, TX 94.57 $2,130 19 3% 25:1N/Ayes yes yes
10 North Central Texas College Gainesville, TX 94.25 $1,968 6 7% 22:1N/Ano yes yes
11 Navarro College Corsicana, TX 94.19 $1,260 8 10% 22:1N/Ano yes yes
12 Lone Star College System The Woodlands, TX 94.14 $2,688 18 16% 17:1N/Ayes yes yes
13 McLennan Community College Waco, TX 94.02 $2,976 4 27% 17:1N/Ayes no yes
14 El Paso Community College El Paso, TX 94.00 $1,824 6 4% 26:1N/Ayes yes yes
15 San Jacinto Community College Pasadena, TX 93.91 $2,136 17 2% 18:1N/Ano yes yes
16 Amarillo College Amarillo, TX 93.82 $1,008 18 10% 19:1N/Ano yes yes
17 College of the Mainland Texas City, TX 93.81 $2,550 5 20% 14:1N/Ano yes yes
18 Tarrant County College District Fort Worth, TX 93.58 $2,064 11 11% 26:1N/Ayes yes yes
19 Alvin Community College Alvin, TX 93.34 $2,112 6 9% 14:1N/Ano yes yes
20 Lamar Institute of Technology Beaumont, TX 93.34 $2,878 4 7% 16:1N/Ayes yes yes
21 Cisco College Cisco, TX 92.79 $4,260 7 32% 17:1N/Ano no yes
22 Houston Community College Houston, TX 92.66 $2,280 6 4% 24:1N/Ayes yes yes
23 Austin Community College District Austin, TX 87.64 $2,010 12 10% 21:1N/Ano no yes

Paying for Online College in Texas: Tuition & Financial Aid

Almost every student knows the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition, at least on the surface. If you have established residency in the state for a certain period, e.g. 6 months, you qualify to pay a reduced tuition rate. However, students who have lived in the state for less than six months, or who continue to live elsewhere, usually pay a much higher cost per credit or per semester. Here’s a glance at in-state and out-of-state tuition averages in the state of Texas for the 2016-2017 school year:

In-state tuition: $5,384

Out-of-state tuition: $14,383

Source: U.S. Department of Education, 2017

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Do students pay in-state or out-of-state tuition for online schools in Texas?

Some online colleges in Texas have strayed from the tuition norm, making in-state rates more widely available to those looking to enroll in their online degree programs or courses. This cost reduction stems from two specific changes in the higher education landscape: online learning and the mobile student. With online learning, Texas schools may keep their online degree programs (and some individual online courses) at the in-state rate, regardless of where their students reside. This attracts a wider range of qualified students who may or may not be able to attend classes in person. Before enrolling in an online program at a Texas college, it’s critical to fully understand your intended college’s or university’s payment structure to avoid potential surprises come pay day.

For students interested in hybrid programs (combinations of in-person and online classes), or who have mobile careers or nomadic lifestyles, a variety of Texas colleges offer tuition reciprocity through the Academic Common Market. This means that for qualifying programs, Texas residents pay in-state rates at any of the 1,900 undergraduate and graduate degree programs at 15 participating institutions in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Quick summary on tuition:
  • 1.Online students, regardless of residency, may qualify for in-state tuition rates.

  • 2.The Academic Common Market allows students in Texas to pay in-state tuition in 14 other states.

How Do I Apply for Financial Aid in Texas?

For federal financial aid, U.S. citizens should fill out the FAFSA application form. The sooner the better, but the ideal date to maximize your changes of receiving aid is March 15 — before the following academic year. Non-citizens must go through the Texas Application for State Financial Aid. Here the state will ask for tax records (from you and/or your parents) and school transcripts or other enrollment records. A successful application will result in student classification as a Texas resident for tuition purposes.

The state of Texas has a handful of requirements (and benefits) that everyone who plans to apply for aid should know. First, each student needs to make “satisfactory academic progress, or SAP. SAP requirements are part of Texas’s Maintain My Eligibility initiative, and include the following achievement and commitment criteria:

  • A minimum GPA

    2.0 at the baccalaureate level and 3.0 at the master’s and doctorate levels.

  • A minimum time commitment

    At least 67% of attempted credits per semester must be completed. Class drops, withdraws, incompletes, and class repeats excluded from GPA do NOT count.

  • Maximum credit loads

    Federal aid only covers a certain amount of instruction hours: First bachelor’s (180 credit max), second bachelor’s (45), teacher certificate (60), master’s degree (104), and doctoral degree (113). All courses that exceed maximum credit load must be paid for by the student.

If your GPA or credit loads dip and are not improved by the end of spring semester, you’ll receive notification from the state through your Texas State email address. All federal aid will be withheld until grades or credit loads meet expectations. For more information on reinstatement of benefits, and for a detailed rundown on how to apply or appeal, please visit the state of Texas Maintain My Eligibility page.

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College Scholarships & Grants in Texas

A wide range of scholarships and grants exist for college-bound Texans. Unlike financial aid, these awards are usually merit- and needs-based and don’t need to be repaid after graduation. Because they can be federal, state, private, vary by amount, and even focus on a specific course of study, it’s important to research each one individually to make sure you understand the requirements before lining up your college finances. Here’s a look at the common scholarship-related questions that come in from Texas online college students, and how each one pertains to the research and application process:

Which college scholarships and grants can I apply for?

The good news is, many Texas students learning on campus or in an online degree program have a ton of scholarships for which they can apply. The first and most important step is to find them. Start by searching through updated databases of scholarships specific to the state, including the Texas page on scholarships.com and the Texas list on collegescholarships.com.

How do I apply for Texas scholarships and grants?

Once you’ve found a few that fit your academic goals and desired award amount, find the list of application requirements. This usually entails a minimum GPA, filling out a formal application, writing an essay, providing work or academic samples, and potentially an interview. Also, be very mindful of the application deadline. Give yourself plenty of time to complete everything, and don’t forget to have a peer or mentor go through your materials with you before you hit SEND.

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Finding the Best Texas Online College for You

Every student has different priorities when evaluating potential colleges: saving money, program quality, a spacious campus, a great career center. Because student needs can vary widely, we’ve polled students from across the state to see what’s on their mind and why. Here are three of the most popular questions about online colleges in Texas that came up, and the answers and info needed for students to make the right decision about their online education.

Which Texas online colleges accept transfer credits and work/life experience?

Just about every college and university in Texas accepts transfer credits. The key is figuring out if a specific class you’ve taken previously will count toward your new degree program. The state of Texas uses the Automated Transfer Equivalency (ATE) system to help students identify if a course credit is transferable and, if so, which course at their new institution it maps to. Even if there’s a clear mapping, some caveats may apply, including your grade in the previous course and whether or not your new program requires a certain number of credits earned within their department.

A number of campus-based and online colleges in Texas award credits for work and life experiences. Earning such credits usually falls within three main categories: credit by examination, credit for military training, and credit for civilian training, e.g. the police academy. Central Texas College gives students thirteen opportunities to earn academic credits from work- and life-related experiences. Texas State University offers similar benefits through its Department of Occupations, Workforce, and Leadership Studies. Here students can earn up to 24 credits toward a bachelor’s degree.

Do I need to pick an online school in Texas if I live in the state? Can I take online classes in another state?

No. Residents of Texas are not required to attend online colleges in Texas. In fact, many online schools outside of the state encourage Texas college students to apply for admission. Further, many out-of-state schools offer their online students in-state tuition rates.

How do I pick an online college in Texas?

Start by identifying the qualities you need in a college and an online program: reputation, accreditation, affordability, attention (via student-faculty ratio), or great support services – then order them by importance. Second, find a complete list of colleges in Texas that offer online programs – the ranking on this page and the search tool below are great places to start. Once you have your list of schools, filter them by your most important data point. For example, if you’re focusing on affordable options, try circling all the schools with tuition rates under $10,000 per year – then rinse and repeat for the remainder of your desired school qualities. This should help you narrow your search down to a small handful of candidates. From there, think about physical visits or phone conversations with counselors for more info.

Explore every accredited online college in Texas to find the academic program that’s right for you with our School Search Tool.

Online Programs & Departments in Texas

To get a better sense of the true landscape of online learning in Texas, we asked each of the colleges on our list to answer a few questions about what makes their programs unique. We heard back from a few of the state’s best institutions. See what they said below:

How would you describe your institution’s approach to online learning?

We combine the best parts of the classroom experience with the best of online learning. Our FLEXCampus allows students to choose each week whether to attend in the classroom, to attend via a fully interactive web conference, or to attend by watching the recording of the class session. FLEXCampus allows students to choose the best way to attend based on their location, schedule, and learning style.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our mission is “to educate and mentor,” because we believe that a great education should transform the whole person. Therefore, we integrate personal growth into the heart of our curriculum and coach students throughout their path to graduation. The FLEXCampus at Dallas Christian College makes that education available even when “life” makes it difficult to go to college.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

We are adding two new degree programs in the Spring of 2014 and will continue to add degree programs. We expect to enhance our life-coaching program to be even more personal. We expect to enhance our national accreditation with regional accreditation.

How would you describe your institution’s approach to online learning?

At Lubbock Christian University, our goal is to provide our online students with the same personalized attention a student would get in our face-to-face classes. We keep our online classes small and expect our teachers to interact personally with students throughout our courses. Students receive prompt and thorough feedback on assignments. In addition, we try to surround students with a variety of supportive services, including a personal support services coach, disability support services, an online chapel, and an online writing center. We utilize a variety of online teaching strategies and try to utilize cutting edge technology to create an interactive and innovative approach to our online learning. Our mission at Lubbock Christian University is to challenge students to think critically, to excel in their disciplines, and to model Christ.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our online programs are valuable to students because they prepare our students for professional advancement and for living a Christian life. Our students graduate with excellent written and oral communication skills and with the discipline-specific knowledge they need to be successful in their careers. At the same time our students also get to examine ethical dilemmas and professional situations with the mentoring of Christian professors who will help students think critically about how their Christian worldview intersects with their professional responsibilities.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Our online programs will continue to utilize the best pedagogy and research available to develop programs that equip students to be outstanding professionals and dedicated servants of God. Our commitment to students is and will remain that they will get personalized attention and mentoring to help them develop as students and as people. We believe that the college experience should involve more than classroom learning; it should also involve developing critical thinking skills and Christian morals and principles. Whatever the technology or teaching strategies, we will continue to hold true to our values as an institution and do everything we can to provide an unrivaled experience for students.

How would you describe your institution’s approach to online learning?

MSU has systematically chosen programs to deliver to students online. The effort began in the Health Science fields where learners were in need of continued educational opportunities while working in their trained professions. The online programs allowed these students to continue their employment while earning the advanced degree for skills and advancement opportunities.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

MSU is an exceptional value regardless of the methodology. However, the opportunities presented to the online students have an increased value due to access and flexibility in residence. The Health Science programs and the Adult Completion degree (BAAS) are targeted to the experienced learner with clear learning and professional objectives in mind.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

MSU will continue to choose the programs and courses developed for online delivery carefully. There are plans to expand in the professional degrees as well as increased course offerings for the students that are taking traditional campus courses. An online M.A. in Criminal Justice and an online MBA will be coming in late 2014 or early 2015.

How would you describe your institution’s approach to online learning?

Schreiner’s online students benefit from the same one-on-one attention and mentorship that its traditional face-to-face students enjoy. Technology is not a barrier to student engagement, but an enhancement.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Most online students are seeking flexibility to fit education within their busy schedules, plus personal attention from faculty who are committed to student success. Schreiner delivers this effective combination.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Schreiner will continue measured growth in its online courses and degree programs, ensuring the integrity and effectiveness of each student’s experience.

How would you describe your institution’s approach to online learning?

South Texas College’s faculty and staff believe that learning should provide the same quality student outcomes regardless of instructional medium. With that in mind, online learning at South Texas College attempts to provide students with multiple modes of learning and assessment in a given course or program of study.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

South Texas College offers over 20 fully online certificate and degree programs. These certificates and programs are especially valuable because today’s students are “time-bound” by their family and work responsibilities. Online courses and programs allow students to continue their education while still balancing all their other responsibilities.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

In five years, South Texas College plans to provide at least 5-7 more online programs and enhance its students services provided to students. As enrollment increases, the college sees that this mode of learning will become more mainstream, and our students will greatly benefit from the opportunities that they provide.

We have worked diligently to develop online programs, especially at the graduate level, that are regionally relevant, but have a broad national and international appeal. Examples of this are our MS in Criminal Justice, the MA in Translation and the MBA in Spanish. We think of our online programs as passport degrees to global opportunities

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our faculty are top-notch educators adept at online teaching. Each has substantial research expertise that also taps into our unique location, cultural confluences and the international experience that infuses our programs. These strengths, combined with our low cost and flexible entry, are proving most attractive to students.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

We will continue to build on our innovative online programs that have a regional economic impact, but can clearly be exported nationally and internationally. Our campus and programs are at an enviable crossroads of the Americas, which will continue to fuel our online programs in Spanish for Spanish-speaking countries in this Hemisphere and beyond.

How would you describe your institution’s approach to online learning?

Our instructors are dedicated to creating online courses that engage students in authentic activities and prepare them for problem solving and careers in the world beyond school. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi currently offers fully online degree programs. Several core curriculum courses and hundreds of other courses are blended or fully online. Students are well supported by instructors, support services, and the Islander community. Instructors who teach online participate in professional development that ensures that their courses are well organized, rigorous, highly interactive, and engaging.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

The expertise of our instructors in their fields, as well as their dedication to their students, is what makes our programs so valuable. Instructors put a lot of time into developing rigorous, engaging courses. Those who teach online attend 24 workshops that cover best practices for online learning and how to develop authentic learning experiences. Online courses are reviewed for quality and faculty work in mentoring pairs to provide input and critical peer-review. The Center for Faculty Excellence also provides professional development experiences for faculty to support their effective teaching. Instructors and staff work in concert to clarify expectations for students, provide the support they need to succeed, and provide individualized attention and feedback. With Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s online programs students find convenience, choice, and more flexible scheduling. Students are able to tailor their experience to their individual situations and learning styles. Online instruction tends to provide multimodal presentations of content that is more accessible to people with disabilities as well as to students who speak English as a foreign language. Unlike in face-to-face lectures, students can review online content as often as they need to. Many students have expressed a preference for learning online as opposed to the face-to-face classroom.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Currently, most instructors are delivering their courses with online components. Within five years, all instructors will deliver their courses as web-enhanced, blended, or fully online. Our institution is rapidly expanding its online offerings. Within five years, we will offer many more certificate and degree programs online. We also envision many partnerships with off-campus organizations that will facilitate authentic experiences for students beyond the physical classroom.

How would you describe your institution’s approach to online learning?

The University of Texas-Pan American offers online graduate programs to be innovative and entrepreneurial. They provide better access to students to the great programs that we offer at UTPA. We strive to maintain a student perspective and respond to their need as far as program delivery. Some of our online programs are scheduled during the same semester period as our on-campus program whereas other programs offer an online, accelerated format that offers the same curriculum at a much faster pace. It’s all about offering students several options that make sense for their own learning styles and personal obligations.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

All of the graduate programs at UTPA – online and on-campus – offer added depth to the learning experience based on extensive faculty expertise and research, some of which is focused on the unique characteristics and research on an international, border region.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

UTPA expects to consistently increase our offerings of online graduate programs in response to student demand. This growth will come from offering a second delivery format for existing programs and offering new degree programs solely online. We believe that online education will have a transformative effect on UTPA. As faculty develop new ways to consider the interaction with students, these techniques will then be transitioned to the on-campus programs.

How would you describe your institution’s approach to online learning?

University of Houston – Clear Lake (UHCL) is a SACS accredited university and offers quality online programs in the fields of business, science, education and human science and humanities. Currently, the Bachelor’s programs are all completer programs. One can take the lower level courses at a community college and complete the program online by taking the upper-level courses at UHCL. Online Master’s offerings at UHCL could be completed fully online. The online programs offered are affordable, career-oriented and caters to the needs of a modern student population. University faculty and staff are well equipped and in tune with changing technology and pedagogy.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Online programs at UHCL are attainable, user-friendly, student-centered and applicable to real-life careers. A student can achieve a certificate, a bachelors or a master’s degree while working a full-time job and/or raising a family. The university faculty and staff strive hard to offer quality online courses and programs by maintaining the state and national standards to make the student learning experience an excellent one. The current programs could be found in:

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

In the future, UHCL plans to grow fully online programs in the field of science and technology, education, leadership, and behavioral sciences. Beyond the next five years, UHCL will offer selected lower level courses online to provide yet another pathway for freshman and sophomores to take required courses to meet their program requirements.

How would you describe the institution’s approach to online learning?

UHV provides programs that meet the needs of working students in the Crossroads region and beyond who cannot find a way to attend face-to-face classes. Many students now take courses in online programs but also hybrid courses that have some face-to-face requirements. In effect, UHV does not make distinctions between its face-to-face and online program delivery.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

These programs are convenient for students who wish to balance work, family and education.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years?

UHV views its mission as one of expansion, extending its online program inventory to meet workforce needs, while expanding program quality through new technologies and electronic pedagogy.

How would you describe your institution’s approach to online learning?

West Texas A&M University’s approach to online learning is to focus on delivering high quality, up to date programs taught in a robust online environment. We seek to maintain quality instruction in the spirit of continuously improving our courses and programs.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

These programs are convenient for students who wish to balance work, family and education.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Our expectation for the next five years and beyond is that WTAMU will continue to expand online program offerings and will incorporate technological advances in a way that will enhance quality in order to remain a leader in the delivery of distance education.