144 SCHOOLS in TEXAS
Texas officials declared in 2015 a goal of having at least 3 in every 5 Texas citizens earn a college education by the year 2030, and they have put that intention in action. The state’s flagship institutions – UT Austin and Texas A&M University College Station – are among the largest and most recognized public research universities in the nation, with highly competitive programs in areas as varied as petroleum and energy engineering, medicine, computer engineering, and entertainment. Other highly-ranked, up-and-coming research institutions include the University of Houston and Texas Tech.
Much of the growth in Texas’ higher education sector has been highly motivated and strategic, including initiatives such as HB 588, a bill passed in 1997 that grants top 10 percent high school graduates automatic acceptance into a state university. The other biggest factor in Texas’ growth has been the boom in its population, particularly among Texas’ large Latino and Hispanic community. Such demographic shifts have prompted major investments in education for minority students, the establishment of campuses and institutions in rural areas, and a new focus on professional and technical education, especially in technology and healthcare.