Cheapest Colleges in Texas

It's easy to earn your college degree in Texas without going broke. Check out our guide to the cheapest colleges in Texas.
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Texas is no slouch when it comes to higher education. The Lone State State serves more than 1.4 million college students annually across over 140 colleges and universities.

If you're like most college students, one of your top concerns when choosing a school is the cost. Luckily, Texas is home to various affordable colleges of all sizes.

Our guide to the cheapest colleges in Texas highlights schools that combine respected academic programs with affordable tuition. Read on to learn more about top colleges, typical tuition rates, and scholarships for Texas students.

3 Popular Affordable Colleges in Texas

Here, we highlight three popular cheap colleges in Texas. We chose these schools by considering factors like cost, overall academic reputation, and number of applicants.

1. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $8,105
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 31,559

A major public school based in South Texas, UTRGV operates a main campus in Edinburg, near the Texas-Mexico border. Known as one of the most affordable colleges in Texas, UTRGV ranks first in the state for lowest cost of attendance and second in the country for least student debt.

UTRGV hosts top academic programs in areas including English language and literature, fitness and kinesiology, and nursing. The school is also a top producer of Hispanic graduates in engineering and visual/performing arts.

2. The University of Texas at El Paso

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $9,563
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 23,880

Based in West Texas near the New Mexico border, UTEP is another member of the prestigious University of Texas System. Ranked as the country's leading Hispanic-serving college, UTEP serves an 84% Hispanic student body. Known as a top research university, UTEP also ranks among the cheapest colleges in Texas.

UTEP offers more than 160 programs at all academic levels. Some of the school's most popular majors include biology, criminal justice, and psychology.

3. Texas A&M International University

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $5,383
  • Acceptance Rate: 48%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 8,505

Located in Laredo on the Texas-Mexico border, TAMIU is a member of the statewide Texas A&M University System. Known as one of the cheapest 4-year colleges in Texas, TAMIU offers degrees at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. Given its location near the U.S.-Mexico border, the school emphasizes international perspectives and global awareness.

Some of TAMIU's most popular academic programs include business administration and management, criminal justice/law enforcement, and psychology.

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15 Most Affordable Colleges in Texas

We've created a list of the 15 most affordable four-year nonprofit colleges in Texas. You can use the table below to compare data on student population, average net cost, acceptance rate, and number of applicants.

The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Schools with fewer than 500 undergraduates were excluded from this list.

Affordable Colleges in Texas
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
Texas A&M International University 8,505 $5,383 48% 7,848
Jarvis Christian University 729 $7,365 100% N/A
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 31,559 $8,105 88% 13,744
The University of Texas at El Paso 23,880 $9,563 100% 10,493
University of North Texas at Dallas 3,685 $10,351 94% 2,474
The University of Texas Permian Basin 5,848 $10,370 95% 1,475
Texas A&M University-Texarkana 2,110 $10,646 91% 2,018
Texas A&M University-San Antonio 7,309 $11,043 96% 9,110
Texas College 642 $11,174 100% N/A
Wiley College 698 $11,246 100% N/A
Texas A&M University-Kingsville 6,092 $11,347 97% 5,768
Midwestern State University 5,784 $11,361 92% 5,507
Texas Woman's University 15,958 $11,682 94% 7,286
Lamar University 16,803 $11,757 84% 6,214
University of Houston-Victoria 4,057 $11,761 82% 1,970
Source: NCES

What Is the Cost of College in Texas?

Cost of College in Texas in 2020-2021
Institution Type Average Tuition & Required Fees
Public 4-year (in-state) $8,016
Public 4-year (out-of-state) $25,471
Private 4-year $37,450
Public 2-year (in-state) $2,828
Public 2-year (out-of-state) $7,764
Source: NCES

Scholarships for Texas Students

Wherever you choose to attend college, you can take advantage of a wide variety of scholarships for Texas students. Keep in mind that most of these scholarships serve state residents only, so you may not qualify if you're moving from another state to attend school in Texas.

Rocco C. Caffarelli Scholarship

Deadline: January 12

Amount: $5,000/year (up to four years)

The Rocco C. Caffarelli Scholarship offers financial support for the entire duration of your bachelor's degree. To qualify, you must be a young man from a Texas high school who demonstrates financial need and outstanding character. The scholarship only serves bachelor's students at nonprofit Texas colleges.

Texas Department of Transportation Grants

Deadline: April 1

Amount: Up to $8,000/year

The Texas Department of Transportation offers conditional grants for full-time undergraduate students in approved engineering and business programs. To qualify, you must demonstrate financial need and be eligible to work in Texas. You'll also need either a minimum 3.0 high school GPA, a minimum 900 SAT score, or a minimum 21 ACT score.

Minnie L. Maffett Scholarship

Deadline: March 31

Amount: $5,000/year

The Texas Business and Professional Women's Foundation offers this scholarship for female students in medical and nursing programs at all academic levels. To qualify, you must be enrolled at a Texas college and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. You'll also need to submit a short application essay and two letters of recommendation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cheap Colleges in Texas

Is it cheap to study in Texas?

In general, the cost of college in Texas is lower than in many U.S. states. According to NCES, in-state students at Texas colleges paid an average of $8,016 in tuition and fees in 2020-2021, which was below the national average of $9,375.

Who gets free college tuition in Texas?

While not universal, many Texas colleges offer free tuition for students whose families fall below certain income levels. However, this varies widely among colleges. Some schools, like the University of Texas and Texas State University, offer free tuition to students with a family income of $25,000 or less. Texas A&M offers free tuition to students with a family income of $60,000 or less.

What is the average student debt in Texas?

According to The Institute for College Access and Success, Texas college graduates in the 2019-2020 school year held an average debt load of $26,273. However, debt amounts vary widely among colleges. Graduates of the private Baylor University held the highest average debt, at $46,475. Conversely, public University of Texas Rio Grande Valley students held some of the lowest average debt, at just $15,803. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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