hardest colleges to get into in texas

Last Updated on August 30, 2023

Texas House Bill 588 was passed in 1997 to enhance diversity in college classrooms in the state because high schools in Texas had been historically split racially and economically. With the exception of the University of Texas at Austin, which requires students to be in the top 6% of their graduating high school class, the bill compels public colleges in Texas to admit students who graduated in the top 10% of their high school classes.

The colleges listed below are some of the hardest colleges in Texas. It is the dream of every student to get into one of these colleges! We might not guarantee to fulfill your dream, but we can definitely guide you to your path. Read along with the list to get more detailed information about these colleges.

1. Rice University

Hardest Colleges to get into in Texas

Rice University was founded in 1912. It is also known as William Marsh Rice University. Rich University is a private research university in Houston, Texas. Around 25,000 students fill in application but only around 2,500 gets admitted (10%). Rice University is popularly known for its sciences and engineering courses. The university focuses on academic as well as athletic programs.

Also, read Easiest Colleges To Get Into In Texas

  • Acceptance Rate: 10%
  • Under graduation Enrollments: 4,000
  • Middle 50%, SAT/ACT Score: 1470-1560 SAT, 33-35 ACT  

2. Trinity College – Hardest College in Texas

Hardest Colleges to get into in Texas

Trinity College was founded in 1869. The Trinity college or the Trinity University is a private university in San Antonio, Texas. Around 9,900 students fill the application form but only around 29% get the chance to fulfill their dreams to study in college. Trinity College is best known for its student participation in research as undergraduates. The university offers many courses in various streams like fine arts, business, science, and many more.

The best of getting into Trinity College is that you will get to participate in so many activities like making assignments, debates, and many more. However, if things get a little hard for you, you can always pay someone to do my assignment.

  • Acceptance Rate: 29%
  • Under graduation Enrollments: 9,900
  • Middle 50% SAT/ACT Score: 1290-1420 SAT, 29-32 ACT

3. Texas Wesleyan University

Hardest Colleges to get into in Texas

The Texas Wesleyan University was founded in 1890. The Texas Wesleyan University is a private Methodist university in Fort Worth, Texas. Around 5,500 students fill the application form, but only around 36% of students get admitted to the university. The university offers programs like criminal justice, computer science, marketing. There are various schools in the university:

Also, read 19 Best Economics Schools In Texas

  1. School of Natural Sciences
  2. Graduate Programs of Nurse Anesthesia
  3. School of Business Administration
  4. School of Arts and Letters
  5. School of Education
  • Acceptance Rate: 36%
  • Under graduation Enrollment: 2,000
  • Middle 50% SAT/ACT Score: 930-1100 SAT, 20-24 ACT

4. University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas was founded in 1883. The university is also known as UT Austin, UT, Texas is a public university. The University of Texas strictly adheres to the Texas House Bill 588. Under the bill, the university grants admission to the students in the states who graduate in the top 6% of their high school. The university has eighteen different schools and colleges under which they offer more than 100 undergraduate and 170 graduate degrees.

Also, check out 19 Best Economics Schools In Texas

  • Acceptance Rate: 38.5%
  • Under graduation Enrollment: 40,804
  • Middle 50% SAT/ACT Score: 1170-1410 SAT, 27-33 ACT

5. University of Dallas – Hardest College

University of Dallas

The University of Dallas was founded in 1956. The University of Dallas is a private Catholic university in Irving, Texas. The university has 9 different departments offering various courses. The universities also offer many research programs and have been publishing book series.

Also, check out Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Texas 2021

  • Acceptance Rate: 39%
  • Under graduation Enrollment: 1471
  • Middle 50% SAT/ACT Score: 1120-1360 SAT, 23-29 ACT

6. Baylor University

Top 7 Hardest Colleges to Get Into in Texas | The Best Colleges To Study

Baylor University was licensed in 1845. Baylor University is a private Baptist University in Waco, Texas. The university adheres to many clubs and organizations, Sororities, and Fraternities. The university is also known for its Military Programs. Baylor offers various postgraduate programs in collaboration with the Army Medical Department in San Antonio.

Also, read Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Texas 2021

  • Acceptance Rate: 45%
  • Under graduation Enrollment: 14,188
  • Middle 50% SAT/ACT Score: 1210-1370 SAT, 26-32 ACT

7. Texas Christian University

Texas Christian University

The Texas Christian University was founded in 1873. The Texas Christian University is a private Christian university in Fort Worth, Texas. A huge number of 19,000 students fill the application form and only 10% of those students get the chance to study in the university. The university is best known for its Greek life organization. Texas Christian University also offers many other courses covering many fields.

At some schools, students who graduate within the top 25%, or even 50%, will also be automatically admitted, provided they have certain SAT or ACT scores. 

That means that if you meet these requirements, some of the schools on this list won’t actually be that difficult for you to get into.

At some schools, students who graduate within the top 25%, or even 50%, will also be automatically admitted, provided they have certain SAT or ACT scores. 

That means that if you meet these requirements, some of the schools on this list won’t actually be that difficult for you to get into.

Top 10 Hardest Colleges to Get Into in Texas in 2021 - Viebly

best colleges in texas

Many of the colleges and universities in Texas are located in the cities of HoustonDallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso, Corpus Christi and the state capital – Austin. Two of the state’s publicly funded universities – the University of Texas—Austin and its former rival Texas A&M University—College Station – are among the largest universities in the country, with each enrolling about 40,000 undergraduate students. In addition to large research universities, Texas is home to many midsize colleges, small liberal arts schools and several notable private colleges and universities.

List of the Best Texas Colleges

Rice UniversityRHouston, TX credit: Katie Haugland Bowen / license

Rice University

Private 4 Year

 2 reviews

#1 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 7,124enrollment
  • $20,335net price
  • 9%acceptance rate
  • 1470-1570SAT range
  • 33-35ACT range
  • 3.96*Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances Southern Methodist UniversityYES, CONNECT ME!SDallas, TX credit: Jeffrey Beall / license

Southern Methodist University

Private 4 Year

 0 reviews

#2 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 11,649enrollment
  • $40,404net price
  • 47%acceptance rate
  • 1300-1480SAT range
  • 29-33ACT range
  • 3.7Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances Trinity UniversityTSan Antonio, TX credit: source / license

Trinity University

Private 4 Year

 0 reviews

#3 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 2,637enrollment
  • $30,505net price
  • 29%acceptance rate
  • 1290-1450SAT range
  • 29-32ACT range
  • 3.5Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances Texas Christian UniversityYES, CONNECT ME!TFort Worth, TX credit: source / license

Texas Christian University

Private 4 Year

 3 reviews

#4 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 10,918enrollment
  • $37,509net price
  • 47%acceptance rate
  • 1150-1350SAT range
  • 25-31ACT range
  • 3.68*Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances The University of Texas at AustinTAustin, TX credit: ejmc / license

The University of Texas at Austin

Public 4 Year

 3 reviews

#5 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 51,832enrollment
  • $15,502net price
  • 32%acceptance rate
  • 1230-1480SAT range
  • 27-33ACT range
  • 3.8*Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances Texas A & M University College StationTCollege Station, TX credit: eschipul / license

Texas A & M University College Station

Public 4 Year

 5 reviews

#6 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 68,679enrollment
  • $19,237net price
  • 58%acceptance rate
  • 1160-1390SAT range
  • 26-31ACT range
  • 3.68*Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances 3A//www.collegesimply.com&dtd=3176Baylor UniversityBWaco, TX credit: cogdogblog / license

Baylor University

Private 4 Year

 8 reviews

#7 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 17,217enrollment
  • $38,372net price
  • 45%acceptance rate
  • 1200-1380SAT range
  • 26-32ACT range
  • 3.74*Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances University of DallasYES, CONNECT ME!DIrving, TX credit: source / license

University of Dallas

Private 4 Year

 3 reviews

#8 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 2,542enrollment
  • $26,761net price
  • 45%acceptance rate
  • 1130-1360SAT range
  • 24-30ACT range
  • 3.82Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances Southwestern UniversityYES, CONNECT ME!SGeorgetown, TX credit: source / license

Southwestern University

Private 4 Year

 1 reviews

#9 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 1,434enrollment
  • $27,757net price
  • 49%acceptance rate
  • 1140-1320SAT range
  • 23-29ACT range
  • 3.6*Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances Austin CollegeASherman, TX credit: source / license

Austin College

Private 4 Year

 0 reviews

#10 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 1,299enrollment
  • $23,824net price
  • 51%acceptance rate
  • 1110-1310SAT range
  • 24-29ACT range
  • 3.56Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances The University of Texas at DallasTRichardson, TX credit: Oemar / license

The University of Texas at Dallas

Public 4 Year

 2 reviews

#11 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 28,755enrollment
  • $10,455net price
  • 79%acceptance rate
  • 1240-1460SAT range
  • 26-33ACT range
  • 3.9Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances LeTourneau UniversityLLongview, TX credit: source / license

LeTourneau University

Private 4 Year

 1 reviews

#12 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 3,175enrollment
  • $24,609net price
  • 45%acceptance rate
  • 1090-1310SAT range
  • 22-29ACT range
  • 3.62Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances University of St ThomasSHouston, TX credit: source / license

University of St Thomas

Private 4 Year

 0 reviews

#13 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 3,223enrollment
  • $19,544net price
  • 87%acceptance rate
  • 1058-1243SAT range
  • 20-26ACT range
  • 3.61Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances Saint Edward's UniversitySAustin, TX credit: source / license

Saint Edward’s University

Private 4 Year

 0 reviews

#14 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 4,301enrollment
  • $28,214net price
  • 88%acceptance rate
  • 1060-1245SAT range
  • 22-28ACT range
  • 3.53*Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances Dallas Baptist UniversityYES, CONNECT ME!DDallas, TX credit: source / license

Dallas Baptist University

Private 4 Year

 1 reviews

#15 Best Colleges in Texas

  • 4,766enrollment
  • $27,259net price
  • 90%acceptance rate
  • 1030-1250SAT range
  • 21-26ACT range
  • 3.5Avg GPA

CompareCalculate my chances

Hardest Colleges To Get Into In Texas

Read about the Hardest Colleges To Get Into In Texas to learn more. With the battle over admissions rules to the University of Texas and Texas A&M seeming to rage whenever politicians get together, it would be easy to assume the state’s two flagship campuses are the most competitive to get in to. 

However a recent ranking from Niche shows that it’s actually Houston’s prestigious Rice University that takes the title of most selective school in Texas. The competition isn’t even close. 

10 Hardest Colleges to Get Into in Texas

Check out the 10 Hardest Colleges to Get Into in Texas as you continue to read

1. Rice University

Location: Houston

Acceptance rate: 9%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1470-1560 SAT, 33-35 ACT

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,992

One of the most prestigious research universities in the United States, Rice was founded in 1912. Today, it’s particularly known for its focus on science and engineering — although it offers many different disciplines — as well as its small class sizes and emphasis on teaching and learning. Rice is also famous for its varsity athletics programs, particularly baseball.

2. Trinity University

Location: San Antonio

Acceptance rate: 29%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1290-1420 SAT, 29-32 ACT

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,477

Trinity University is a member of the Annapolis Group, which includes independent, liberal-arts focused institutions. This institution prioritizes critical thinking and leadership, and offers a broad range of majors across areas like business, science, fine arts, and engineering. More than 80% of students participate in research or internships as undergraduates. 

3. Texas Wesleyan University

Location: Fort Worth

Acceptance rate: 36%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 930-1100 SAT, 20-24 ACT

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,704

Consistently ranked as a top regional university by U.S. News and World Report, Texas Wesleyan is a Methodist-affiliated university with programs in diverse majors, including marketing, criminal justice, and computer science, and many pre-professional tracks. Along with academics, the school is also notable for its community outreach.

4. University of Texas at Austin

Location: Austin

Acceptance rate: 38.5%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1170-1410 SAT, 27-33 ACT

Undergrad Enrollment: 40,804

UT Austin is the flagship university in the UT system and one of the largest universities in the country. The university offers more than 150 top-ranked undergraduate degree programs, with 18 schools and colleges, including the Cockrell School of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, and the College of Liberal Arts. UT is also a member of the Big 12 athletic conference.

5. University of Dallas 

Location: Irving

Acceptance rate: 39%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1120-1360 SAT, 23-29 ACT

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,471

A private Catholic university, the University of Dallas is a top-ranked regional university with three undergraduate schools: Constantin College of Liberal Arts, the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business, and the School of Ministry. Study abroad is emphasized; according to the university, 80% of graduates from the class of 2010 participated in an international program.

6. Baylor University 

Location: Waco

Acceptance rate: 45%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1210-1370 SAT, 26-32 ACT

Undergrad Enrollment: 14,188

The oldest continually-operating university in Texas, Baylor is a Baptist institution originally established in 1845. It’s known for its tight-knit, faith-based community, along with outstanding programs in science, business, and engineering. Baylor is also a member of the Big 12 Conference. 

7. LeTourneau University


Acceptance rate: 45.5%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1090-1320 SAT, 21-28 ACT

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,801

LeTourneau is an interdominational Christian-based institution that offers a wide range of programs in areas like aviation, biblical studies, business, criminal justice, engineering, liberal arts, psychology, and more. The school seeks to “integrate faith and work,” while helping students develop academic skills and serve their communities.

8. Texas Christian University

Location: Fort Worth

Acceptance rate: 47%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1150-1343 SAT, 26-30 ACT

Undergrad Enrollment: 9,445

The largest Christian-affiliated university, TCU welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds. The university offers plenty of extracurricular opportunities, including numerous religious, service, and Greek life organizations. It’s also a member of the Big 12 Conference. Popular majors include business, journalism, and psychology.

9. Southern Methodist University

Location: Dallas

Acceptance rate: 47%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1320-1450 SAT, 29-33 ACT

Undergrad Enrollment: 6,479

SMU is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, although its instruction is nonsectarian. It is a place to explore diverse areas, including business, communication, engineering, and social science, along with more than 100 additional majors. The university is home to many social organizations, including fraternities and sororities. In addition to its flagship campus, the institution also has a campus in Taos, New Mexico.

10. Southwestern University

Location: Georgetown

Acceptance rate: 49%

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1150-1310 SAT, 23-29 ACT

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,430

Southwestern is a four-year college that is made up of three schools: the Brown College of Arts and Sciences, the Garey School of Natural Sciences, and the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. It is the oldest university in the state. With plenty of student groups, it accommodates a wide range of interests, from social activities to religious groups to Greek life.

Texas is home to some of the top colleges in the country. If you’re looking to study STEM, liberal arts, and many other specialties, chances are, you’ll find a strong program at one of the many institutions in the state.

Exactly which colleges in Texas are the most selective, though? We’ve rounded up the top schools in the state with the lowest acceptance rates. Keep reading to learn all about these prestigious schools. You cannot know the Hardest Colleges To Get Into In Texas, Overview of Texas Automatic Admissions, 10 Hardest Colleges to Get Into in Texas unless you explore this article completely.

most competitive high schools in texas

Most Texas high schools offer a four-year curriculum at a single campus, but some school districts have chosen to operate separate campuses for ninth grade students or for ninth and tenth grade students. In this analysis, the performance metrics for Texas high schools that are a part of these multiple campus arrangements are combined and the schools are evaluated in the same manner as the four-year, single-campus high schools. Other independent school districts and some charter districts operate schools that teach more than four grades. The STAAR assessment student performance metric used in this best Texas high schools ranking is for all grade levels taught at those schools.

About 80 percent of the 1,620 high schools included in the comprehensive public high schools in Texas ranking analysis presented on this Texas high schools page are open enrollment schools operated by local independent school districts. The remaining schools are pretty evenly split between selective enrollment schools, also by operated by local school districts, and charter schools operated by non-profit corporations, higher education institutions and governmental entities, including independent school districts. Clicking on these 2020 top Texas open enrollment high schools2020 top Texas selective enrollment high schools and 2020 top Texas charter high schools jump links displays those rankings.

The table below shows Texas top selective enrollment high schools

% students met criteria
1School for the Talented and GiftedDallas ISD359100.0A9998.5%98.5%100.0%
2School of Science and EngineeringDallas ISD49795.4A9899.0%98.6%95.6%
3Carnegie Vanguard High SchoolHouston ISD80894.4A9897.9%100.0%83.8%
4Liberal Arts and Science AcademyAustin ISD1,23894.4A9998.8%91.8%58.2%
5Rangel Young Women’s Leadership SchoolDallas ISD54991.6A9890.8%93.9%83.1%
6DeBakey High School for Health Professions ISD89190.8A9897.8%100.0%55.0%
7Health Careers High SchoolNorthside ISD86285.1A9878.9%94.8%39.5%
8Kinder High School For Performing And Visual ArtsHouston ISD75277.2A9665.1%91.6%25.7%
9Washington High School for the Performing and Visual ArtsDallas ISD99973.7A9570.0%74.9%56.3%
10Challenge Early College High SchoolHouston ISD46373.6A9576.9%81.2%9.4%
11Lassiter Early College High SchoolDallas ISD24573.5A9650.9%82.7%50.9%
12Garcia Early College High SchoolLaredo ISD42072.8A9592.0%55.5%22.0%
13Sanders Law MagnetDallas ISD40971.7A9653.3%72.3%26.7%
14Eastwood AcademyHouston ISD43271.7A9578.1%83.4%4.8%
15Clear Horizons Early College High SchoolClear Creek ISD44371.7A9560.4%91.7%34.4%
16Kerr High SchoolAlief ISD79671.5A9561.0%88.2%13.3%
17The Science Academy of South TexasSouth Texas ISD77471.3A9474.0%81.2%37.7%
18School of Health ProfessionsDallas ISD54971.0A9738.8%76.1%31.7%
19Richards School for Young Women LeadersAustin ISD85670.9A9376.3%84.4%57.0%
20Sharyland Advanced Academic AcademySharyland ISD38569.1A9464.5%73.1%41.4%
21School of Business and MagementDallas ISD50568.5A9643.3%75.8%23.5%
22Garza Early College High SchoolDallas ISD43867.5A9631.7%73.3%21.3%
23Achieve Early College High SchoolMcAllen ISD48366.6A9567.9%47.5%17.9%
24International School of AmericaNorth East ISD49466.5A9456.3%71.5%37.1%
25Sorrells School of Education and Social ServicesDallas ISD30666.2A9454.8%71.5%20.2%

university of texas at austin

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin is one of the world’s leading universities, one of America’s top 10 public universities and the best university in Texas, according to the Center for World University Rankings [global ranking] released this month.

UT Austin ranks No. 33 in the world, No. 21 in the U.S. and No. 7 among U.S. public universities in the 2020-2021 Center for World University Rankings. The rankings, published each year since 2012, are based on seven factors: education quality, alumni employment rates, faculty quality, research output, publishing, influence and citations.

The center gave UT Austin especially high marks for its world-class faculty members who have won many major academic distinctions, including the Nobel Prize in chemistry, the Wolf Prize in physics and the Abel Prize in mathematics within the past year. The university also ranked highly for the volume, reach and influence of its research, which spans a diverse set of academic disciplines and includes researchers leading the global fight against COVID-19 through vaccine development and pandemic modeling.

“The University of Texas at Austin is defined by the exceptional talent of its faculty and students, and this ranking reflects their immense abilities, imagination and creativity, and the positive impacts they are making on the world,” said UT Austin interim President Jay Hartzell. “But we’re not done — not even close. This great university has yet to realize its full potential, and I look forward to working with our students, faculty and staff to find ways to build on our strengths, increase our impact and achieve even more so that we can serve our state, nation and society at the absolute highest level.”

Other University of Texas System institutions ranked in the top 100 are UT Southwestern Medical Center (No. 53) and UT MD Anderson Cancer Center (No. 99). The only other Texas university ranked in the top 100 is Texas A&M University (No. 73).

The 2020-2021 top 10 public universities in the U.S. according to the CWUR are:

  1. University of California, Berkeley
  2. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  3. University of California, Los Angeles
  4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  5. University of Washington – Seattle
  6. University of Wisconsin – Madison
  7. University of Texas at Austin
  8. University of California, San Diego
  9. University of California, San Francisco
  10. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This is just the latest global ranking to recognize UT Austin as one of the world’s best universities, including No. 34 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities ranking and No. 31 in the Times Higher Education’s World Reputation Rankings. Two new specialty rankings from U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Ranking also ranked UT Austin No. 14 in the U.S. for first-year experience and No. 16 for undergraduate research and projects this year. And more than 40 UT Austin graduate programs were ranked among the top 10 in the nation by the 2020 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools ranking. Copy linkEmail Share LinkTwitter Share LinkFacebook Share LinkLinkedIn Share Link

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