In this Longhorns-Aggies matchup, Texas A&M University wins and Dallas-Fort Worth universities are merely spectators. On August 12, Money magazine unveiled its Best Colleges for Your Money for 2019-20, and A&M not only bested the University of Texas at Austin, it topped every school in the state.
Money's annual report is an analysis of the country's institutions of higher education, "ranging from elite colleges and public universities to smaller specialized colleges."
In order to determine the best colleges, Money compared each school based on three points, all weighted equally to find the final score:
- Quality of education: Graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratio, Pell Grant recipients, etc.
- Affordability: Net costs, time it takes to earn a degree, amount of money borrowed, and student-loan default and repayment rates after graduation.
- Outcomes: Post-graduation salaries, socioeconomic background of the student body, and mix of majors.
Texas A&M ranked No. 18 out of 744 schools. On average, tuition will cost $29,700 for the 2019-20 school year, but Aggies will only pay an average of $20,900 after grants.
The College Station school also had a solid ratio of debt ($18,520) to early career earnings ($59,000).
Discerning Longhorns will also note, however, that A&M also ranked second among "best colleges where more than half of applicants get in." According to recent numbers, the school accepts 67.2 percent of applicants. In comparison, UT only accepts 40.4 percent of applicants.
UT came in 10 spots behind A&M at No. 28. According to Money, tuition will cost $26,600 for the 2019-20 school year, but Longhorns will only pay an average of $15,300 after grants.
Longhorns do come out with more debt, however, racking up an average of $21,500, but UT grads do command slightly higher salaries than A&M at $59,100.
In total, Texas has 21 institutions on the list, including Rice University (No. 24), Trinity University (No. 154), The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (No. 193), St. Mary's University (No. 220), University of Houston (No. 236), and The University of Texas at Dallas (No. 271).
Way down the list were Dallas' Southern Methodist University (No. 357), University of Dallas (No. 567) and University of North Texas (No. 528). SMU's cross-town rival Texas Christian University came in just a few steps behind it, at No. 372. Their former Southwest Conference rival Baylor University lagged behind at No. 515.
Meanwhile, the top five best colleges for your money are: University of California - Irvine, City University of New York - Baruch College, Princeton University, University of California - Los Angeles, and University of California - Davis.