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Online Schools in Texas

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In 2015, national GDP growth in the U.S. was 2.4 percent. Texas's economic growth during the same time frame was 3.8 percent, a strong showing compared to many other states. This is perhaps due in part to the fact that the Lone Star State is the second most populous one in the U.S., behind only California. These factors make Texas and online schools in Texas an attractive option for individuals seeking a post-secondary education.

Spotlight on Careers in Texas

Here's a roundup of five spotlight careers in Texas based on total employment and mean annual salary according to 2015 numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Career Total in-state employment 2015 mean annual salary
General and operations manager 175,580 $128,940
Business operations specialist 61.970 $79,640
Registered nurse 198,650 $69,890
Sales representative (wholesale and manufacturing) 123,890 $72,530
Laborers and freight, stock and materials movers 180,270 $26,430

Popular Programs and Degrees in Texas

According to the National Center for Education Statistics' IPEDS database, the most popular majors in Texas during the 2014-15 school year were as follows:

  • Business, management, marketing and related support services, with more than 43,750 graduates
  • Liberal arts and sciences, general studies and the humanities, with 40,062 graduates; the popularity of liberal arts degrees may be result from the fact that the skills and knowledge gained in these majors may be applicable to many possible jobs
  • Health professions and related programs, with a total of 35,407 graduates
  • Education had a total of 13,958 graduates

Online schools in Texas offering these majors may help students prepare for a wide variety of careers.

Spotlight Schools and Cities in Texas for Education

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) divides the state's 35 public institutions into three tiers: four national research universities in Tier 1, six emerging research universities in Tier 2, and 25 comprehensive universities in tier three. According to the THECB, as of fall 2015 enrollments in institutions of higher education were as follows:

  • 619,175 in public universities
  • 707,858 in community and state colleges
  • 10,689 in Texas state technical colleges
  • 125,440 in independent two- and four-year institutions

In all, nearly 1.5 million individuals are currently being served by Texas's various institutions of higher education. The five largest cities in Texas are Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth. There are many colleges and universities in or near these cities. However, the rapid growth of online education means that students do not necessarily have to live in a major metropolitan area to pursue a degree.

Texas education costs (tuition fees and cost of living) and student aid

In 2015-2016, tuition and fees costs in Texas averaged the following by institution type according to the College Board:

  • $2,361 for public two-year in-state schools
  • $9,117 for public four-year in-state schools
  • $32,405 for private nonprofit four-year schools (national average)

Individual institutions may charge more or less than average compared to their category. For students hoping to support their higher education with financial aid, Texas supports a variety of programs including:

  • Bordering States Waiver
  • Good Neighbor Scholarship Program (GNSP)
  • License Plate Insignia Scholarship (LPI)
  • Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program (TEOG)
  • Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG)
  • Texas Tuition and/or Fee Exemptions
  • Top 10% Scholarship Program
  • Towards EXcellence, Access & Success (TEXAS) Grant Program
  • Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG)

Eligible students should also file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Texas Accreditation Standards

Texas is a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its affiliate organization, the Southern Association of Community, Junior and Technical Colleges. It's important for students to make an institution's accreditation status an important factor during their college or university selection process. Not only do schools operating without accreditation potentially fail to provide students with the skills necessary to obtain a job in today's competitive market, Texas-based financial aid is contingent on attending an accredited institution.

Sources

  • May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Texas, Occupational Employment Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tx.htm
  • IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/Default.aspx
  • Tuition and Fees by Sector and State over Time, College Board, http://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-and-fees-sector-and-state-over-time
  • Gross Domestic Product by State: First Quarter 2016, U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, http://bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/gsp_newsrelease.htm
  • State of Texas Financial Aid, Every Chance Every Texan, http://www.everychanceeverytexan.org/funding/aid/aidtx.php
  • Texas Higher Ed Enrollments, Texas Higher Education Data, http://www.txhighereddata.org/
  • The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, http://www.sacscoc.org/

Online Schools in Texas