2022 Best Colleges in San Antonio

We've ranked the best colleges in San Antonio to help you in your college search, whether you're looking to attend on campus or online.

portrait of Alison Plaut
by Alison Plaut

Updated May 16, 2022

Edited by Colin Weickmann
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San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the U.S. and one of the best cities to visit in Texas, with many parks and cultural venues. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the River Walk attract tourists and locals alike.

Over 120,000 students are enrolled in San Antonio's many public and private colleges and universities. Some of these institutions are ranked as the best colleges in Texas for their academic excellence. Students in San Antonio have access to world-class museums, theme parks, and events.

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Major industries include healthcare and bioscience, aerospace, IT and cybersecurity, energy technology, and manufacturing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), San Antonio's unemployment rate was 3.7% as of December 2021, well below the national average. For more information about going to college and working in the Lone Star State, check out our Resources for Students in Texas page.

Why Study in San Antonio?

There are more than 20 universities and colleges in San Antonio and the surrounding area. This includes New Braunfels, Cibolo, Schertz, and Seguin.

You'll find Texas A&M University, San Antonio, and The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) in the city itself. Howard Payne University New Braunfels Center and Wayland Baptist University are located in New Braunfels. Texas Lutheran University is in Seguin.

Educational Opportunities

With more than 20 colleges in San Antonio, including both public and private institutions, San Antonio's educational opportunities are as diverse as its population.

Large public institutions include UTSA and Texas A&M University, San Antonio. Popular private institutions include Trinity University and the University of the Incarnate Word.

San Antonio College is a community college that offers two-year associate degrees, certificates, and pre-major transfer credits. It has five branches, including Northwest Vista College, St. Philip's College, and Palo Alto College.

Economy

San Antonio's economy is strong. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the San Antonio Business-Cycle Index — a wide measure of economic activity in the area — increased 10.2% in November 2021 and 0.7% in December 2021. The BLS reports that employer's cost per employee increased about 3.5 percentage points between December 2020 and December 2021.

According to the Dallas Fed, jobs grew 2.7% in the last three months of 2021. Unemployment was just 3.7% in December 2021, reports the BLS. The mean hourly wage in San Antonio is about $24.

Cost of Living

According to Payscale, the cost of living in San Antonio is 14% lower than the national average. The average annual expenditure for living in San Antonio is $55,800, according to the BLS.

Healthcare costs are 9% lower than the national average in San Antonio. The cost of groceries is 17% lower, and the cost of utilities is 11% lower.

According to Payscale, housing costs in the city are 24% lower than the national average. The median home price in San Antonio is about $262,330. The median rent is roughly $820 per month.

Cultural and Community Offerings

San Antonio's community is diverse. Mexican, Tejano, Irish, German, Czech, and other cultural influences come together in this Texas city. The famous San Antonio River Walk hosts varied art, music, and cultural offerings throughout the year.

San Antonio is home to one major league sports team, the San Antonio Spurs. The City is also home to The Tobin Center for Performing Arts, a Six Flags amusement park, and other attractions.

San Antonio is also known as Military City USA, with one of the largest concentrations of military bases in the U.S.

Climate

San Antonio has a warm and temperate subtropical climate. July and August are the hottest months, with an average high of 95 degrees and a low of 74 degrees. Average winter temperatures in January range from 39 to 62 degrees.

San Antonio receives an average of about 33 inches of annual precipitation. San Antonio typically receives the most precipitation in May, June, and October. Snowfall is rare.

San Antonio's inland location also protects it from hurricane winds that may hit the Gulf Coast.

Top Degree Programs in San Antonio

Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

San Antonio Employment Outlook

San Antonio benefits is a major hub for the aerospace industry, and the city has a large military presence. Biotech companies and healthcare organizations also contribute to San Antonio's economy.

In addition, San Antonio has positioned itself as a cybersecurity hub. It is also home to many green companies. The BLS projects that jobs in these industries will grow significantly in the coming years.

San Antonio's recent growth is slower than Austin's and Dallas', but it still ranked in the top 50 best-performing cities in 2021. Unemployment in the city dropped to just 3.7% in December 2021, according to the BLS.

Payscale reports that the average salary in San Antonio was $65,000 as of March 2022. San Antonio's largest employment sectors are trade, transportation, business, and hospitality. Major employers include Walmart, Accenture, Amazon, and the U.S. Army.

5 San Antonio Jobs in Demand for 2022

Solar Photovoltaic Installer

  • Annual Median Salary in the U.S. (May 2020): $46,470
  • Job Outlook in the U.S. (2020-2030): 52% growth

Solar photovoltaic installers assemble, maintain, and monitor solar panels. These professionals may work installing solar panels at private residences or large business compounds. This career requires professionals to spend a significant amount of time outside.

Solar photovoltaic installers must have a high school diploma. Most of these jobs also require up to one year of on-the-job training.

Airline and Commercial Pilot

  • Annual Median Salary in the U.S. (May 2020): $130,440
  • Job Outlook in the U.S. (2020-2030): 13% growth

Pilots fly airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft. While a high school diploma is sufficient for this position, pilots must undergo rigorous training and pass certification tests. One path to becoming a corporate pilot is through military pilot training.

Food Service Manager

  • Annual Median Salary in the U.S. (May 2020): $56,590
  • Job Outlook in the U.S. (2020-2030): 15% growth

Food service managers oversee the operations of restaurants and other facilities that serve food and drinks. Common workplace locations include hotels, restaurants, and cafeterias.

Food service managers are often required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays. While a high school diploma is sufficient for many of these positions, some employers require additional training or an associate degree.

Lodging Manager

  • Annual Median Salary in the U.S. (May 2020): $56,670
  • Job Outlook in the U.S. (2020-2030): 9% growth

Lodging managers oversee hotels, condos, and other accommodations. They ensure guests have a comfortable stay and that the business operations run smoothly.

Due to unexpected situations, this job is often stressful with last-minute changes to fulfill guests' requests. Evening and weekend hours are common.

Truck Driver

  • Annual Median Salary in the U.S. (May 2020): $47,130
  • Job Outlook in the U.S. (2020-2030): 6% growth

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods on both long-haul and short-haul routes. Drivers can be away from home for days or weeks at a time on long-haul routes.

Workers in this field must possess a high school diploma and a commercial truck driver's license. Truck driving can be a demanding career with long hours on the road.

Popular Career Paths in San Antonio

2022 Best Accredited Colleges in San Antonio

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

#1

Trinity University

School Information
Location San Antonio, Texas
Admission Rate 29%
Graduation Rate 76%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 1% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Tuition per Year
Undergraduate | $49,260
Graduate | $30,000

Trinity University is a small liberal arts school that ranks among the best colleges in San Antonio. This private institution holds accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has an enrollment just under 3,000 students. Popular majors include engineering science, communications, and accounting. 

Alongside traditional academic and career services, Trinity University provides various programs to bolster student health and wellness. Undergraduate applicants must submit an online application along with high school transcripts and a personal essay.

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#2

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

School Information
Location San Antonio, Texas
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 3% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Average Cost per Credit
Undergraduate, in state | $260
Undergraduate, out of state | $809
Graduate, in state | $320
Graduate, out of state | $876

Established in 1959, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio offers a variety of degrees that focus on health sciences and biomedical fields. The majority of UT Health San Antonio's academic programs focus on graduate and professional degrees. Popular programs include nursing, dentistry, and respiratory care.

Admissions requirements vary between programs. Undergraduate nursing applicants must submit TEAS exam scores and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. Additionally, prospective students must complete prerequisite courses in math and science before applying.

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#3

The University of Texas at San Antonio

School Information
Location San Antonio, Texas
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 42%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Tuition per Year
Undergraduate, in state | $10,970
Undergraduate, out of state | $26,350
Graduate, in state | $9,360
Graduate, out of state | $27,310

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) enrolls nearly 35,000 students and offers an expansive catalog of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. One of the best colleges in San Antonio, some of UTSA's most popular academic areas include engineering, business, and computer and information sciences.

Prospective undergraduate students can apply through the ApplyTexas platform and must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. Specific admissions requirements may vary between academic programs, but applicants must submit academic transcripts and SAT/ACT scores.

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#4

Texas A&M University-San Antonio

School Information
Location San Antonio, Texas
Admission Rate 44%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Tuition per Year
Undergraduate, in state | $9,820
Undergraduate, out of state | $22,760
Graduate, in state | $6,440
Graduate, out of state | $14,970

Established in 2009, Texas A&M University, San Antonio is a recent addition to the Texas A&M network with an enrollment pushing 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students. As one of the standout colleges in San Antonio, A&M-SA offers over 30 academic programs with popular options including business, education, and arts and sciences.

High performing high school students in the top 25% of their class or with a GPA greater than 3.25 are exempt from submitting SAT/ACT scores. Prospective students should apply online through the ApplyTexas online platform.

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#5

Texas Lutheran University

School Information
Location Seguin, Texas
Admission Rate 56%
Graduation Rate 55%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Tuition per Year
Undergraduate | $33,300

Located in suburban San Antonio, Texas Lutheran University is a private Christian institution that serves around 1,400 undergraduate students. TLU offers small class sizes and Christ-centered academics with popular undergraduate degree options including education and kinesioilogy. The school also offers a five-year bachelor's and master's track in accounting.

TLU students have access to various volunteer, recreational, and religious-based activities on campus. First-year applicants must submit an online application alongside official transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, and a personal essay or graded writing sample.

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#6

St. Mary's University

School Information
Location San Antonio, Texas
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Tuition
Undergraduate | $17,080 per semester
Graduate | $1,070 per credit hour

St. Mary's University is a private Catholic institution that offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees to its nearly 3,500 students. In addition to popular undergraduate degrees in business and exercise science, St. Mary's offers online graduate programs in international relations, theology, and software engineering.

For first-time undergraduate applicants, St. Mary's only requires the submission of an online application and high school transcripts. Prospective students have the option to submit a letter of recommendation, resume, and personal statement as supplementary admission materials. St. Mary's does not consider SAT/ACT scores when making admission decisions.

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#7

University of the Incarnate Word

School Information
Location San Antonio, Texas
Admission Rate 94%
Graduation Rate 51%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Tuition
Undergraduate | $16,220 per semester
Graduate | $440-$1,080 per credit hour

Founded in 1881, the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is a private Catholic school that ranks among the best colleges in San Antonio. UIW is the largest Catholic institution in Texas and offers over 100 undergraduate, master's, and doctoral programs. Popular undergraduate majors include business administration, nursing, and biology.

UIW applicants submit an online application and high school transcripts. While not required, applicants can submit letters of recommendation, send in standardized test scores, and complete a campus interview.

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#8

Our Lady of the Lake University

School Information
Location San Antonio, Texas
Admission Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 42%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Tuition
Undergraduate | $30,200 per year
Graduate | $480-$1,030 per credit hour

Established in 1895, Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) is a private Roman Catholic institution that provides various undergraduate and graduate degrees for on-campus and online learners alike. In addition to campus-based programs, OLLU offers multiple online degrees in academic areas like business analytics, counseling, cybersecurity, and business.

OLLU also provides students with student support services like tutoring, a writing center, career counseling, a various holistic wellness initiatives. Prospective students must submit an online application with high school transcripts. OLLU is a test-optional institution.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Colleges in San Antonio

How many colleges are in San Antonio?

There are more than 20 colleges in San Antonio. Public universities include the UTSA, Texas A&M University, San Antonio, and the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Top private universities in San Antonio include Our Lady of the Lake University and the University of the Incarnate Word. Other private universities include St. Mary's University of San Antonio, Texas Lutheran University, Trinity College, and Wayland Baptist University.

The Alamo Colleges District encompasses five community colleges with over 90,000 students. These institutions are diverse, with 73% of students from minority backgrounds.

Does San Antonio have good colleges?

San Antonio has a number of nationally-ranked colleges and universities known for excellent educational outcomes for students in both in-person and online programs.

The University of Texas at San Antonio is highly ranked for excellent programmatic offerings in many departments. The University of Texas Medical Branch is known for its nursing program. Trinity College is ranked as the third-best online college in Texas.

The Alamo Colleges District includes three of the best accredited community colleges in Texas. Northwest Vista College is ranked as the third-best community college in Texas. Palo Alto College is ranked 10th, and St. Philip's College is ranked 18th.

How much does it cost to go to college in San Antonio?

How much it costs to go to college in San Antonio depends on the university and program a student chooses. In general, community colleges and online programs are less expensive than four-year institutions and in-person programs.

The cost of in-district tuition at the five Alamo Colleges is $99 per credit hour. In-state tuition is $215 per credit hour, and out-of-state tuition is $466 per credit hour.

At UTSA, tuition is $10,970 for in-state students and $26,350 for out-of-state learners. In addition to tuition, UTSA estimates that students will need to spend between $9,440 and $15,390 on housing, transportation, books, and food.

What is the cheapest college in San Antonio?

The cheapest institutions in San Antonio are the Alamo Colleges: Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College, St. Philip's College, and San Antonio College.

In-district tuition is $99 per credit hour. In-state tuition is $215 per credit hour, and out-of-state tuition is $466 per credit hour.

Another lower-cost San Antonio college is Baptist University of the Americas, with an annual tuition for full-time students of $6,050. Christ Mission College is also a low-cost option. Tuition is about $7,160 for full-time students.

Is San Antonio a good place to live and study?

San Antonio has a lot to offer. The cost of living is 14% lower than the national average, and the city also has a low unemployment rate.

There are 20 universities and colleges in San Antonio, including some with low out-of-state tuition. Popular degree programs include health sciences, business, and computer and information sciences.

Students can take advantage of rich cultural opportunities in San Antonio, from the River Walk to the Tobin Center of Performing Arts. San Antonio degree-seekers can also see historic architecture and visit the arts district, five museums, and many theaters.

Cultural events throughout the year highlight San Antonio's diverse population. And students can also attend sports games and visit theme parks.

Feature Image: Walter Bibikow / DigitalVision / Getty Images

BestColleges.com 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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