In August, Affordable Colleges Online damn near blew up the Internet when it dared to declare a Texas A&M University degree more valuable than a degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Now it has released a new analysis that ranks A&M's academics just a single point behind UT's.
In the first installment of the site's "College Showdown," AC Online returns to a century-old rivalry, pitting the Longhorns against the Aggies. The site compares everything from professor merits, social scene and, of course, sports, "using a combination of quantifiable metrics, culture reporting, student polls and other resources."
Despite UT's recent ranking as the 25th best university in the world, it earns only one point more than A&M in the academic reputation category.
Although UT does come out on top, it's by just four points. "We tried to make this as objective as possible by using data points to support our scores," says Dan Schuessler, CEO of AC Online.
For Longhorns, who have considered themselves to be historically the academic strongman of the two rivals, perhaps the most confusing aspect of the report is that, despite UT's recent ranking as the 25th best university in the world, it earns only one point more than A&M in the academic reputation category. In professor rankings, the universities tie.
"Both are outstanding academically relative to the thousands of colleges in the U.S.," says Schuessler. "Keep in mind A&M has been increasing its ranks in this area."
Aggies — and Longhorn fans who watched the BYU massacre last weekend — may be shaking their heads at the sports category, which ranks UT above A&M. The home of Johnny Football can't compete with UT's overall national championship titles, conference titles or the fact that the Longhorns have their own television network.
But it's Austinites who might find themselves the most confused. Under the category of location, Austin racked up nine points in comparison to College Station's seven. Though the Live Music Capital of the World was ranked one of the 10 best college towns in the U.S., for the close rank, AC Online points to Bryan-College Station's being recently named the third best place to live in the U.S. with a population of under 1 million.
In total, UT scored 59 points out of 70, with A&M racking up a respectable score of 55.