By BVS Staff
In this ranking, we highlight the 10 best value Hispanic-serving colleges and universities in Texas. Our search began with an initial pool of the 49 Hispanic-serving institutes of higher education in Texas as identified by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). We then consulted PayScale.com to determine which of these schools had a 20-year ROI of at least $100,000. This narrowed the pool to just 15 schools. From there, we applied the rating and ranking methodology below. In cases of a tie, the most affordable school appears higher in the ranking. To learn about the online equivalent degrees regarding this information and more visit Best Value Colleges ranking of best value colleges online.
Under $5,000— 5 points
Under $7,500— 4 points
Under $10,000—3 points
Under $15,000—2 points
Under $20,000—1 point
20-Year Return on ROI
Above $400,000— 4 points
Above $300,000— 3 points
Above $200,000— 2 points
Above $100,000— 1 point
Hispanic Student Organizations- 1 point per organization
Hispanic Scholarship Opportunities- 1 point
Awards and Recognition (Regarding Hispanic Higher Education)- 1 point
Additional Hispanic Student Resources (Alumni Associations, Student Advisement Councils, etc.)- 1 point per resource
Hispanic Centers and Institutes- 1 point per center or institute
Hispanic-Focused Degree Program – 1 point per program
#1 – University of Texas—El Paso
El Paso, Texas
A predominately Hispanic research doctoral university, the University of Texas – El Paso is the only Hispanic-serving institution of its kind, boasting a majority Mexican American population. UTEP’s student body is 80% Hispanic, while its faculty is 36% Hispanic. It is home to nearly 24,000 students, and it offers 72 undergraduate degrees, 74 master’s degrees, and 21 doctoral programs. A growing percentage of these programs are offered online. The Hispanic Business Magazine regularly lists the university’s graduate business and engineering programs as some of the very best in the nation. The school’s College of Business Administration houses the Hispanic Center for Entrepreneurship, which provides education, research, and support to facilitate economic development in the El Paso del Norte region. As a high-activity research university, UTEP spends upwards of $90 million per year on studies funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal organizations.
Net Price: $5,713
#2 – University of Texas—Arlington
The University of Texas- Arlington is a thriving Carnegie Research – 1 university with a population of nearly 57,000 in the heart of North Texas. This Hispanic-serving institution is home to over 180 degree programs in a variety of disciplines at the bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD levels. The Hispanic student body at UTA makes up just over 25% of the school’s undergraduate population. The school’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation houses the Center for Hispanic Studies in Nursing and Health, which seeks to improve the health and quality of life of the underserved Spanish-speaking populations in the US through education, research, and advocacy. Student organizations for Hispanic students at the university include a chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Association of Mexican American Students, and the Latin American Student Organization.
Net Price: $11,952
#3 – Texas Woman’s University
Texas Woman’s University is committed not only to success as a Hispanic-serving institution, but also as a university for female scholars. With a population of approximately 15,000 TWU is the largest woman’s university in the country, and nearly 30% of the school’s undergraduate population is comprised of Hispanic students. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts, sciences, nursing, business, and education. Texas Woman’s University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and holds the Carnegie Classification of Doctoral/Research Universities. Many of the school’s programs also hold specialized accreditations.
Net Price: $8,881
#4 – Texas A&M University- Kingsville
Texas A&M University-Kingsville is a mostly Hispanic university, with 62% of its population consisting of Hispanic students. This Hispanic-serving institution is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s and doctorate degrees. It’s also home to the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Mexican American Engineering Society (MAES) as well as a chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta Pi-Lambda, the National Hispanic Honor Society. Although most of the university’s students are from South Texas, 35 states and 43 different countries are represented in the student body, making for a diverse population.
Net Price: $11,789
#5 – Texas A&M International University
Corpus Christi, Texas
Texas A&M International University boasts a 90% Hispanic enrollment, higher than any other university in the United States. Part of the Texas A&M University system, the school offers baccalaureate and master’s degree programs as well as a Doctor of Philosophy degree in International Business to its nearly 7,500 students. The school provides students with a solid educational foundation in the arts and sciences while preparing them for professional success in a global work environment. Its academic hub is comprised of the College of Arts and Sciences, the A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business, the College of Education and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences with its Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing, and University College. TAMIU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $7,021
#6 – Texas State University
San Marcos, Texas
Texas State University is a Hispanic-serving institution with 38,808 undergraduate and graduate students. Among its academic offerings are 98 bachelor’s degree programs, 91 master’s degree programs, and 13 doctoral degree programs. TSU ranks 14th in the country for total bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students. It also has the 6th highest total graduation rates among public universities. Texas State is an emerging research university and is Carnegie-classified as a Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity, Carnegie’s second highest distinction. Each year, the school holds both an undergraduate research conference and an international research conference. Twenty-two of the school’s faculty members have been honored as Piper Professors for their outstanding teaching.
Net Price: $12,647
#7 – Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, Texas
Known as the Island University, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi is both a Hispanic-serving institution and the only university in the country located on its very own island. The university is comprised of five academic colleges, which collectively offer popular degree programs on the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. Students learn from prestigious faculty members, 90% of whom hold terminal degrees in their respective fields. The Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education has named Texas A&M Corpus Christi as one of the top 100 colleges in the United States and one of the top 20 in the state of Texas for Hispanic students.
Net Price: $12,025
#8 – University of Texas- San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas
The University of Texas- San Antonio is a Hispanic-serving institution that nearly 29,000 students call their academic home. As of Fall 2016, 51% of the school’s enrollment was made up of Hispanic students. UTSA offers 71 bachelors degree programs, 70 masters degree programs, 24 doctoral programs, and a handful of undergraduate and graduate certificates. The school has been dubbed an Emerging Tier One Research Institution and was ranked the number one Hispanic-serving institution in the United States by Bloomberg Businessweek. It is also a highly affordable public university, especially considering its location in a major metropolitan area.
Net Price: $12,107
#9 – University of Houston
The University of Houston is one of only three Tier One public research universities in the United States designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HIS) by the US Department of Education. The school is classified as a R1 university with the highest research activity Carnegie classification and is home to 25 different research centers. UH offers 110 undergraduate majors and minors, 120 masters degrees, and 47 doctoral degrees. The school also houses a Department of Hispanic Studies open to all of its 43,500 students regardless of their language or ethnicity. The university is located in Houston, the fourth largest city in the US.
Net Price: $15,571
#10 – West Texas A&M University
West Texas A&M University is a Hispanic-serving institution with just under 10,000 students enrolled. Slightly less than a quarter of those students are Hispanic. The university offers 58 different undergraduate degree programs, 39 master’s degree programs, and 1 doctoral program. The school also offers a certificate in Hispanic Cultural Studies. In terms of student life, Hispanic students are invited to join the Hispanic Student Organization and the Hispanic Bilingual Education Student Organization. West Texas A&M has routinely been recognized by US News & World Report for its undergraduate and graduate programs.
Net Price: $12,022
About Hispanic-Serving Colleges and Universities
The US Department of Education provides funding for institutes of higher education that serve the Hispanic population as part of the White House’s Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. In order to receive funding and be designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution—or HIS—the college or university must meet certain criteria. For instance, these schools must have a Hispanic student population of at least 25% in order to be eligible. They must also offer two or four-year degree programs and have a certain percentage of low-income students. In addition, they must formally apply for the designation through an application process. Once they receive federal designation, HSIs receive funding for academic services, curriculum development, teaching supplies, facility renovations, student support services, and more.
About the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) is the only educational association in the country that represents Hispanic-serving institutions. As of this writing, it is comprised of more than 470 colleges and universities in the US, Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Spain. HACU members in the United States are collectively home to more than two-thirds of Hispanic college students in America. The organization conducts research and analyzes policies that affect the higher education of Hispanics in the US. It also offers support to Hispanic students in the form of scholarships, internship opportunities, career services, and more.
Best Value Hispanic Serving Colleges and Universities
The Hispanic-serving colleges and universities in this ranking provide exceptional value to their population of Hispanic students. Not only are these institutions affordable, but they also support Hispanic students through student organizations, special scholarship opportunities, and in some cases, academic programs directly related to the Hispanic culture. The Hispanic students who attend these schools in pursuit of a degree will find a supportive community of diverse students, professors, and faculty members who celebrate their heritage and unique contributions to the learning environment and overall college experience.
Hispanic-Serving Colleges and Universities: Background
Advocates of Hispanic higher education began lobbying for increased federal funding for institutions serving Hispanic students beginning in the 1980s. At that time, many Hispanic students who began a degree program failed to finish the program while others lacked access to postsecondary education. It became apparent that something must be done to accommodate those Hispanics who desired a quality college education. In 1992, Hispanic-serving institutions received formal designation under federal law, and three years later in 1995, Congress granted $12 million to eligible colleges and universities under the Higher Education Act. Since then, hundreds of millions of dollars have been granted to HSIs. These funds go towards improving the learning environment for Hispanic students through academic tutoring, counseling and advisement services, student resources, and more.
Hispanic-Serving Colleges and Universities: Financial Aid
Finances are always a concern when it comes to deciding where to attend college. For Hispanic students, many of whom come from low-income families, affording the cost of a higher education can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are some types of financial aid reserved specifically for Hispanic students, including both scholarships and grants. Scholarships and grants are the best types of financial aid for students to have, since unlike student loans, neither have to be paid back!
General Scholarships for Hispanic Students
Below are some examples of scholarships Hispanic students may apply for:
• HSF General College Scholarships
• Ronald McDonald House Charities/HACER Scholarship
• Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Foundation Scholarship
• NBC Universal/LNESC Scholarship
• Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) Scholarship
Specialty Scholarships for Hispanic Students
In addition to general scholarships reserved for Hispanic students, there are specialized scholarships available to those Hispanic students who meet certain criteria. Some of these specialty scholarships include:
• scholarships for Hispanic women
• scholarships for Hispanic graduate students
• scholarships for first generation Hispanic students
• scholarships for migrant workers and their families
Why Attend a Hispanic-Serving College or University?
Is a Hispanic-serving institution right for you? While that’s certainly a personal choice, there are many reasons why students opt for HSIs. The majority of Latino students attend Hispanic-serving colleges and universities, and many of them report feeling at home at a school that embraces their culture and language. While they want to get to know students of all races and ethnicities, it’s also comforting for them to be around some students who are from similar backgrounds as their own. Hispanic-serving institutions also tend to have more Hispanic faculty members, and this can be helpful for students as well. These faculty members can seamlessly take on the position of mentor and role model for Hispanic students who may be struggling to transition into college life.
By definition, Hispanic-serving institutions are accustomed to meeting the unique needs of Hispanic students. Unlike many of their classmates, Hispanic students tend to be first-generation students, and many of them come from low-income families as well. Often, students in these circumstances lack financial and moral support from their parents and other family members. Some may be juggling the demands of college life while also maintaining a full or part-time job and fulfilling obligations to their families. Without adequate support, students facing these kinds of circumstances struggle to stay in school and may, in fact, drop out before earning a degree or completing their education. HSIs understand the pressure that many Hispanic students are under and provide resources to aid and support them. These resources may include one-on-one tutoring outside of class hours, remedial programs, and alternative schedules including night and/or online classes, for example.