You aren't alone if you see the benefits of online colleges in Texas. The state boasts some of the top colleges and offers affordable tuition rates. But many other reasons make Texas a popular choice for students.
Read this guide to learn more about the best online colleges in Texas, what they cost, and how much you can earn in the state.
Why Consider Online Colleges in Texas?
- Texas is home to many prestigious colleges and universities, including the University of Texas at Austin and Rice University.
- Many online schools in Texas offer lots of flexibility so you can easily balance work and family commitments.
- Earning an online bachelor's degree or graduate degree can boost your earning potential.
- Online colleges in Texas offer programs in many high-paying and popular fields.
- Tuition at public colleges in Texas tends to be cheaper than in more expensive states like Vermont and Illinois.
Did You Know?
Student enrollment at Texas colleges increased by 537,000 from 2000-2013, and enrollment for Hispanic and Black students doubled. Texans earn an average salary of $57,380 — that's slightly above the national average. Four-year graduation rates at Texas public colleges rose 18.7 percentage points from 2000-2019.
Check Out Our Featured Online Programs
Does Accreditation Matter for Online Colleges in Texas?
Institutional accreditation guarantees a quality education. That means accredited online colleges in Texas have undergone extensive evaluation by recognized accrediting agencies.
The accreditation process happens on an ongoing basis. Colleges must continue to meet evaluation criteria in order to renew their accreditation status.
Attending an accredited online college in Texas ensures you can transfer credits to other accredited institutions and earn a recognized degree. Attending an unaccredited college could limit your career prospects and ability to get federal financial aid.
Here are a few accrediting agencies to look for when researching online colleges in Texas:
- Higher Learning Commission
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
- WASC Senior College and University Commission
Top 5 Accredited Online Colleges in Texas
#1 The 5 Best Online Colleges in Texas
Texas A&M University-Commerce
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Many students choose Texas A&M University-Commerce because of its high-quality online programs. The public school offers 39 online programs for degree-seekers throughout the country. The college prepares its 7,879 distance learners for the workforce through rigorous coursework, a supportive learning community, and institutional resources.
The online learning platform allows enrollees to complete group projects, attend virtual office hours, and develop a supportive academic network. Although requirements vary by program, online learners complete general education coursework and advanced classes in their field. Academic advisors help students explore elective options and other academic opportunities. To be more competitive for professional roles, enrollees can conduct original research and complete internships while earning their degree.
To reduce the financial burden of earning a degree, applicants should explore their funding options and contact the financial aid office. Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for federal grants, scholarships, or work-study programs.
#2 The 5 Best Online Colleges in Texas
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
LeTourneau University's online offerings deliver exceptional academic quality and increased scheduling flexibility. In addition to programs at its Longview campus, the school offers 35 academic options in an online format. The institution enrolls 1,884 degree-seekers in its remote online programs.
Students benefit from a supportive online learning community. Participants learn alongside colleagues and communicate through email, chat, and discussion boards. Students can complete internships to gain professional experience, which may help them secure a job after graduation. Institutional resources including online academic advising help distance learners select classes that match their professional goals. Job fairs provide opportunities for enrollees to explore professional options and meet prospective employers.
Many students apply for aid to reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. Learners can also receive institutional funding based on financial need or academic merit. To help pay for their educational program, 100% of enrollees receive financial aid, according to the institution.
#3 The 5 Best Online Colleges in Texas
University of North Texas
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
The University of North Texas is a leader in online education. Delivering 20 online programs in various fields, the school educates 19,118 online enrollees, in addition to those studying on campus. Online programs offer flexible scheduling options, which can be ideal for working professionals and other busy learners.
The institution's online learning environment helps students make professional connections and receive academic support. In addition to internships, research projects provide opportunities for learners to collaborate with professionals in their field and gain practical experience. Academic advisors assist enrollees with course enrollment and provide insights into their field. As they near completion of their program, students can participate in career workshops to prepare to secure employment after graduation.
Financial aid counselors assist applicants with locating the best funding options to minimize student debt and reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. The federal government supports enrollees with financial need through loans, grants, and work-study programs. The school indicates that 82% of students are awarded financial aid.
#4 The 5 Best Online Colleges in Texas
Tarleton State University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Tarleton State University’s online degrees provide enrollees with a competitive education, preparing them for their future careers. Enrolling 7,073 online learners, the school delivers 18 distance programs, each of which meets the highest standards of quality. The institution's online programs feature flexible scheduling options, which can be ideal for students with personal or professional responsibilities.
The virtual classroom environment allows enrollees to connect with classmates and instructors. Internship opportunities allow degree-seekers to practice field-specific skills while bolstering their resume. The institution provides resources including career services and academic advising, which help students reach their academic and professional goals. Learners can participate in mock interviews, career workshops, and job fairs.
Students in different programs often have unique costs and educational expenses. For specific information regarding program costs, applicants can contact an admissions counselor. The institution offers awards to eligible enrollees, which can lower overall program costs.
#5 The 5 Best Online Colleges in Texas
Texas Tech University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
At Texas Tech University, online students can access programming of equivalent quality to in-person academic options. Delivering 22 online programs in various fields, the school educates 20,198 online enrollees, in addition to those studying on campus. Online programs offer flexible scheduling options, which can be ideal for working professionals and other busy learners.
Like on-campus students, those pursuing a degree online receive opportunities to develop connections with classmates and instructors. Many employers prefer candidates with professional experience, which learners can gain by completing internships or research projects while in school. Career counselors connect enrollees with resources such as job boards and resume assistance. Mock interviews allow students to practice their interpersonal skills and improve their chance of landing a job after graduation.
Financial aid counselors help applicants understand their funding options and more easily afford higher education. Enrollees can apply for scholarships based on their field of study or personal background. Of all students, 78% receive some form of financial aid.
Online Colleges in Texas: 4 Popular Cities to Check Out
Many of the best online colleges in Texas have campuses in the largest cities in the state in terms of population. These popular cities often offer more career opportunities and higher earning potential.
How Much Does Online School in Texas Cost?
Online colleges in Texas cost anywhere from $2,000-$36,000 a year in tuition and fees.
In general, public in-state two-year colleges will be your cheapest option, and private four-year colleges will be your most expensive option.
How much you spend on your online degree from Texas will ultimately depend on the length of the program, whether the school is public or private, and how much financial aid you get.
Some online schools in Texas offer discounted or in-state tuition rates to all students, regardless of residency. Even the best online colleges in Texas can cost less than schools in high-tuition states like Vermont and New Hampshire.
Many online colleges in Texas offer scholarships and grants, so be sure to fill out the FAFSA.
Popular Online Degrees in Texas
What Are the Fastest-Growing Jobs in Texas?
Roughly 14.5 million people make up the civilian labor force in Texas, a state with a population of more than 29 million. Hospitality, healthcare, tech, and green energy are some of the fastest-growing industries in Texas.
Many in-demand jobs in Texas offer salaries above the national average.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Texas has an unemployment rate of 4% as of September 2022, which is similar to the national unemployment rate of 3.7%.
|Job||Job Growth Rate (2021-2031)||Median Annual Salary (May 2021)|
|Wind Turbine Service Technicians||102%||$51,560|
|Information Security Analysts||50%||$100,680|
|Occupational Therapy Assistants||47%||$75,710|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||45%||$71,950|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||43%||$102,110|
What Are the Highest-Paying Jobs in Texas?
You likely already know it: If you want to get paid well in Texas, you usually need a college education. The degree you'll need, though, will depend on the industry.
Some of the highest-paying jobs in Texas, like doctor and dentist, require a master's or doctoral degree. But other top-paying careers, like engineering manager and air traffic controller, only require an associate or bachelor's degree.
|Job||Median Annual Salary (May 2021)||Minimum Education Required|
|Family Medicine Physicians||$207,950||Doctorate|
|Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons||$169,420||Doctorate|
|Architectural and Engineering Managers||$163,890||Bachelor's|
|Air Traffic Controllers||$153,050||Associate|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$151,260||Bachelor's|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||$139,050||Master's|
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Schools in Texas
How long do you need to live in Texas to get in-state tuition?
You need to have lived in Texas for 12 consecutive months in order to qualify for in-state tuition, according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
You must establish residency before you enroll in a public Texas college to be eligible for in-state tuition. If your parents or guardians claim you as a dependent on their tax returns, your residency will depend on how long they have lived in Texas.
What Texas colleges are online?
Many top-ranked colleges and universities in Texas, including the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, and Rice University, offer fully online programs and classes.
In total, you can choose from among 148 postsecondary institutions to attend in Texas. This number includes state colleges, universities, community colleges, and trade schools.
Does the University of Texas offer online degrees?
Yes, the University of Texas system offers some degrees 100% online. It also offers some individual online courses.
Online bachelor's programs include criminal justice, nursing, and psychology. Online master's programs include creative writing, kinesiology, and special education.
Can I get a job with an online degree in Texas?
Yes, you can. This is because an online degree holds the same value as a traditional in-person degree. Your diploma likely won't indicate whether you earned your degree online or on campus anyway.
Employers do not differentiate between in-person degrees and online degrees. As a result, graduates of the best online colleges in Texas can apply for the same jobs as those who earned their degrees on campus.
What is the cheapest college in Texas?
According to NCES data, the cheapest four-year colleges in Texas include Texas A&M International University (2020-21 net price: $5,155), the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley ($6,244), and the University of North Texas at Dallas ($6,575).
Attending an online college in Texas as an out-of-state student can greatly increase how much you pay in tuition and fees.