best in class
Annual report ranks Houston university as the best in Texas
There's something to be said for consistency. In a new report card from Niche.com, Rice University retains its No. 7 ranking among the best colleges in the U.S. and its No. 1 ranking among the best colleges in Texas.
Niche.com, which helps students and parents pick schools, relies on data from sources such as the U.S. Department of Education to compile its annual rankings, as well as reviews and ratings from current students, alumni, and parents.
Here are the top 10 schools in Niche.com's ranking of the country's best colleges:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Harvard University
- Stanford University
- Yale University
- Princeton University
- Duke University
- Rice University
- Brown University
- University of Pennsylvania
- Dartmouth College
Only two of the top 10 schools — Rice and Stanford — are west of the Mississippi River.
In this year's ranking, Niche.com de-emphasized the importance of SAT and ACT scores by 50 percent. In making that decision, Niche.com cited socioeconomic and racial disparities perpetuated by standardized tests, challenges making appointments for in-person tests due to COVID-19, and a rising number of institutions adopting test-optional policies.
"Our team recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as new variants such as the delta variant arise, will continue to have an outsize impact on the college admissions process this year," Luke Skurman, founder and CEO of Niche.com, says in an August 16 news release. "We wanted to make sure our 2022 rankings reflect the current reality."
Rice is no stranger to accolades like the Niche.com ranking. It appears at No. 16 on U.S. News & World Report's most recent list of the top national universities, and at No. 16 in the most recent The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings of top U.S. colleges. In both cases, Rice is the top-rated school in Texas.
On Niche.com's national list, the highest-ranked Texas school behind Rice is the University of Texas at Austin (No. 52). Meanwhile, UT holds the No. 14 spot nationally among the best colleges for student life, making it the top Texas school in that category.
Among nationally ranked schools, UT Austin is followed in Texas' top 10 by:
- Texas A&M University in College Station, No. 80
- Southern Methodist University in Dallas, No. 88
- Trinity University in San Antonio, No. 96
- Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, No. 115
- Baylor University in Waco, No. 145
- LeTourneau University in Longview, No. 162
- Texas Tech University in Lubbock, No. 168
- University of Texas at Dallas, No. 209