Texas secured only two spots within the top 100 U.S. colleges this year, as per the Wall Street Journal's annual ranking of the country's 400 best universities.
In the Journal's 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S. list, Texas A&M University - College Station claimed the state's lone top-50 position, ranking 38th overall. Remarkably, A&M achieved this standing despite a recent national scandal involving the university's hiring misstep of distinguished journalism professor Kathleen McElroy earlier in the summer.
Rice University, located in Houston, also made it into the top 100, securing the 64th position.
Notably, the University of Texas at Austin did not secure a spot within the top 100, instead landing at No. 118.
In total, Texas boasts twenty colleges and universities that made the prestigious top 400 list. Notable mentions include the University of St. Thomas in Houston at No. 158, Texas Woman's University at 204 and Sam Houston State University in Huntsville at No. 206.
The University of Houston claimed the No. 208 spot, with the University of Houston - Downtown following closely at No. 224. Waco's Baylor University also made the cut, securing a ranking of 331.
Princeton University took the top spot overall, boasting a weighted score of 91.6.
These rankings were compiled in collaboration with research groups College Pulse and Statista, who analyzed a wide array of data. Factors assessed included expected student salaries, time required to pay for attendance, and the quality of "learning-related facilities" and on-campus diversity.
The WSJ then derived an overall score and ranking for each institution by comparing their performance on various key data points. The most critical factor in determining rankings was "salary impact versus similar colleges," measuring how much the school's attendance boosted graduates' salaries above the expected average for similar institutions.
Other heavily weighted factors included the time needed to pay off the net cost of attendance and graduation rates compared to similar colleges.
Factors such as student satisfaction with learning facilities and ethnic and socioeconomic diversity were ranked lower in significance.