2022 Top Private Colleges and Universities in Texas

Private colleges and universities frequently top the lists of the best schools in the U.S. These institutions offer rigorous academic programs for students looking for a personalized college experience.

Private colleges and universities generally cost more than their public counterparts, but students often receive the benefits of smaller class sizes, strong alumni networks, and generous financial aid opportunities.

Unlike public colleges and universities, private institutions do not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state tuition. This means students from anywhere can enroll in Texas's private institutions without paying higher out-of-state rates.

2022 Best Private Colleges and Universities in Texas

  1. #1

    Rice University

    Houston, TX

    Graduation Rate

    93%

    Enrollment

    7,282

    Format

    Online, In person

    Rice University, a private institution in Houston, Texas, enrolls learners in multiple programs. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division coursework. Undergraduates also complete general education classes. Upper-division requirements focus on advanced concepts within a major. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The college charges an average of 2036 per credit. Learners at this accredited institution also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

  2. #2

    Gemini School of Visual Arts & Communication

    Cedar Park, TX

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    11

    Format

    In person

    Located in Cedar Park, Texas, Gemini School of Visual Arts & Communication attracts students with their well-regarded programs. Students take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help learners reach a variety of career goals. Check the program website for specifics on the degree- or certificate-completion timeline. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Students also use financial aid to pay for their college degree or certificate. Gemini School of Visual Arts & Communication holds accreditation from the Council on Occupational Education, an independent accrediting body.

  3. #3

    Grace School of Theology

    Conroe, TX

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    641

    Format

    Online

    Grace School of Theology is a private institution located in Conroe, Texas. Learners learn from experts in multiple disciplines. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. According to the institution, 100% of students receive aid and 7% receive loans. The percent of students who graduate is unavailable. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Prospective applicants can contact the admission department for more information about applying. The school is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, an independent accrediting body.

  4. #4

    School of Automotive Machinists & Technology

    Houston, TX

    Graduation Rate

    91%

    Enrollment

    166

    Format

    In person

    From its campus in Houston, Texas, School of Automotive Machinists & Technology awards degrees and certificates as a top school. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for learners with a variety of professional goals. Enrollees earn their degree or certificate in as little time as a few months or as much time as seven years depending on program type and enrollment status. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department can provide additional resources on applying. Enrollees at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. School of Automotive Machinists & Technology holds accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

  5. #5

    Vogue College of Cosmetology

    San Antonio, TX

    Graduation Rate

    89%

    Enrollment

    124

    Format

    In person

    Offering 4 certificate programs, Vogue College of Cosmetology serves students from a main campus in Texas. Learners complete rigorous curricula emphasizing theoretical and practical knowledge. Students gain skills necessary to enter the workforce or advance professionally. Experiential learning helps enrollees apply knowledge in real-world contexts. The institution undergoes regular evaluations to maintain its accreditation status. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Learners enrolled in a program at the accredited institution can receive federal financial aid. The college's website provides information about each program's residency and practical experience requirements. The postsecondary institution holds accreditation from the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

  6. #6

    Strand Institute of Beauty & Esthetics

    Portland, TX

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    49

    Format

    In person

    Strand Institute of Beauty & Esthetics is a private school located in Texas. Candidates can study online in person in Portland. The school hosts 5 certificate programs. Certificate or diploma candidates build specialized skills in one subject area. Programs feature no general education requirements, making it possible for students to graduate quickly. Diplomas and certificates can impact students careers greatly. Graduates can commonly increase their available job opportunities and salary potential. After earning this credential, some students go on to pursue an associate or bachelor's degree. Some schools enable students to transfer credits from a certificate or diploma to a two- or four-year degree.

  7. #7

    Mission Beauty Institute

    Mission, TX

    Graduation Rate

    85%

    Enrollment

    22

    Format

    In person

    Located in Texas, Mission Beauty Institute is a private school that offers professional training in many fields. Learners interested in a faster course of study can select from 4 certificate programs at the school. Program coursework teaches core topics and specialized training. Enrollees in the program complete rigorous curricula to prepare for careers and further studies. Graduates pursue opportunities in related fields after finishing a certificate. A total of 33% of learners receive financial aid to pay for college. As an accredited institution, learners qualify for federal financial aid. Prospective students should contact the school's admissions department for more information about the application process. The school holds accreditation from the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

  8. #8

    Astrodome Career Centers

    Houston, TX

    Graduation Rate

    97%

    Enrollment

    152

    Format

    In person

    One of Texas's top schools, Astrodome Career Centers offers 2 certificate programs. Certificate and diploma candidates often graduate in weeks or months. These credential programs focus on career advancement, building new skills in an accelerated timeframe. The program develops specialized skills that can make students more marketable for new jobs. The school has received accreditation from the Council on Occupational Education. For more information about the application process, prospective students should contact Astrodome Career Centers's admissions department. Upon completing a program, graduates may enter the workforce.

  9. #9

    Trinity University

    San Antonio, TX

    Graduation Rate

    76%

    Enrollment

    2,606

    Format

    Online, In person

    Trinity University, located in San Antonio, Texas, grants degrees and certificates as a private institution. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 99% of students receive financial aid and 34% take out loans. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 76%. The admission rate is 29% for prospective students. Prospective applicants can contact the admission department for more information about applying. Trinity University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

  10. #10

    Avenue Five Institute

    Austin, TX

    Graduation Rate

    81%

    Enrollment

    277

    Format

    In person

    Avenue Five Institute, located in Texas, offers 4 certificate programs. Learners complete rigorous curricula emphasizing theoretical and practical knowledge. Students gain skills necessary to launch their career or pursue promotions. The school's focus on experiential learning pushes learners to apply lessons in real-world contexts. The accredited institution meets high academic standards. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. As an accredited institution, learners enrolled in a program at the school can receive federal financial aid. Prospective degree-seekers can learn about requirements through the school's website. The institution has been accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

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Why Choose a Private Institution in Texas?

Choosing the right college is an important decision. One decision you will have to make is whether you want to attend a public or a private college. Traditionally, private colleges are viewed as a more expensive option, but that is not always the case.

There are well over 100 colleges in Texas, including more than 40 private institutions. With diverse cities full of big industries and a relatively low cost of living, students have many reasons to enroll in a college in Texas.

Although Texas has a variety of public schools, a private institution may be a better fit for your situation. Students often choose to attend private colleges because they want to enroll in a specific program, they're offered generous scholarships, or they want to take advantage of smaller class sizes.

Pros and Cons of Attending a Private Institution in Texas

Pros

Class size: Traditionally, private colleges offer smaller class sizes than public schools. This can help students feel more engaged in their classes.Community: Because private schools tend to enroll fewer students, the community is often more intimate.Academics: Many private colleges offer top academic programs led by professors who are experts in their fields.

Cons

Fewer options: Public colleges and universities generally offer more majors and have a larger course catalog than private colleges.Less diverse: Because of their smaller size and higher cost, private colleges and universities can have a less diverse student and teaching population than public institutions.Cost: Although private colleges often offer large scholarship packages, the average cost of tuition at private colleges and universities is substantially higher than at public institutions.

Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Texas

When researching private institutions in Texas, you should determine whether a school is a nonprofit or for-profit college or university. Depending on your situation, there may be different pros and cons to attending a for-profit institution.

For-profit colleges and universities are private colleges whose primary goal is to make money. These colleges are predominately funded by student tuition, and many school-related decisions are made by investors and shareholders. For-profit colleges and universities have a reputation for misleading students, and many graduates of for-profit schools struggle to find work upon graduating. However, admission standards tend to be lower at for-profit schools, which may appeal to some students.

In contrast, all public colleges and universities and many private colleges are nonprofit institutions. A board of trustees governs these institutions, and their primary focus is the quality of education provided at the school.

How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Private College or University in Texas?

When considering the best private schools in Texas, cost is a key factor for many students. The average cost of tuition and fees at a private four-year college in Texas was about $36,000 for the 2019-20 academic year. Additionally, the average cost of room and board at private institutions in Texas for that same timeframe was about $12,000. In comparison, the average cost of tuition and fees at a public four-year college in Texas for in-state students was roughly $8,600 for the 2019-20 school year.

However, there are many misconceptions about paying for college. For example, did you know you may be eligible for tuition-free college, even at a private school? Few students pay the full sticker price when attending school. To calculate the true cost of college, you need to factor in tuition, housing costs, fees, and other expenses, as well as your financial aid.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges and Universities in Texas

How many private colleges and universities are there in Texas?

According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, there were 38 private institutions in Texas as of 2018. The state also boasts over 100 public institutions of higher education.

Popular private colleges and universities in Texas include Baylor University, Rice University, and Southern Methodist University. Along with these large private four-year colleges, Texas offers many smaller private schools and liberal arts colleges.

What is the most expensive private college or university in Texas?

Southern Methodist University consistently ranks as one of the most expensive private colleges and universities in Texas. For the 2022-23 academic year, SMU is charging undergraduates nearly $62,000 in tuition and fees. When factoring in the average cost of housing and meals, SMU estimates total costs will be $79,730 for the year.

There are several reasons why college is so expensive, and the costs of many private and public institutions continue to rise. Nonetheless, some private colleges are relatively affordable.

What is the least expensive private institution in Texas?

Several private institutions in Texas have annual tuition and required fees below $20,000. Keep in mind that the out-of-pocket cost of tuition and fees can vary widely depending on your financial aid package.

One of the least expensive private institutions in Texas is Southwestern Christian University. The cost of tuition at SCU during the 2021-22 academic year was $541 per credit.

Is a private institution right for me?

Only you can decide if a private college or university is right for you. When making your decision, consider factors like location, class size, and cost. You should also determine what field of study you want to enter.

You can also consider a school's alumni network, internship opportunities, student clubs and activities, and student support services. Create a list of what is most important to you and what you can afford when determining whether a private institution is right for you.

Can I get more scholarship money at a private institution?

Although tuition and fees are typically higher at private institutions than at public schools, many private colleges and universities offer scholarships and need-based financial aid to students.

In addition to the money you can receive directly from a private institution, you can also seek out independent scholarships for college students. Thousands of private scholarships are available.