getting the grade

Houston university ranks among top of the class for best schools for the money

The University of Houston is one of the best schools for your money. Photo courtesy of University of Houston

A Houston school is among the head of the class when it comes to bang for your buck. This, according to a recent survey from College Factual, which ranked the best colleges for your money in the Southwest.

The University of Houston comes in at No. 7 on College Factual's list. Seven Texas colleges also score high marks.

Austin College in Sherman, north of Dallas, took the No. 2 spot on the list, and is the highest-ranked Texas college. Following it are Texas Tech University (No. 3), St. Mary's University in San Antonio (No. 5), Texas Lutheran University in Seguin (No. 6), Southwestern University in Georgetown (No. 8), and Trinity University in San Antonio (No. 9).

The three non-Texas colleges that joined them in the top 10?

Ranking first in the Southwest region was St. John's College in Santa Fe, followed by Oklahoma City University (No. 4) and University of Tulsa (No. 10).

To come up with the rankings, College Factual analyzed over 2,000 colleges and universities to determine which ones are best in a variety of categories, such as overall value, quality, diversity, and which schools are the best for each major.

For example, St. Mary's University, a Marist liberal arts school located on the West Side of San Antonio, earned 28 badges, and its highest-ranked major was business administration and marketing. With an average tuition cost of $26,726 and an average of 4.2 years to graduate, St. Mary's earned the No. 5 spot in the Southwest and third in Texas. The study also highlighted the school's 12-to-1 faculty to student ratio, better than the national 15-to-1 average.

Austin College, which landed ahead of St. Mary's at No. 2, is a small, private not-for-profit school that awarded 342 bachelor's degrees in 2018-2019, the report says.

"It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Austin College to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $27,662," they say. "Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor's degree from the Austin College is $112,861. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket."

Much larger Texas Tech University, No. 3 in the rankings, awarded 6,599 bachelor's degrees in 2018-2019.

"You'll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend Texas Tech University," the report says. "The average student at Texas Tech graduates in less than 4.5 years, and it costs about $26,528 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $119,907 to get a bachelor's degree from Texas Tech. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save."

It's been a banner year for the University of Houston, which just raised a massive $1.2 billion in a recent capital campaign.

Read the entire report here.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Thomas Vassiliades of BiVACOR, Katie Mehnert of ALLY Energy, and Don Whaley of OhmConnect Texas. Courtesy photos

Editor's note: In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know — the first of this new year — I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from health care innovation to energy — recently making headlines in Houston innovation.


Thomas Vassiliades, CEO of BiVACOR

BiVACOR named Thomas Vassiliades as CEO effective immediately. Photo courtesy of BiVACOR

Thomas Vassiliades has been named CEO of BiVACOR, and he replaces the company's founder, Daniel Timms, in the position. BiVACOR is on track to head toward human clinical trials and commercialization, and Vassiliades is tasked with leading the way.

Vassiliades has over 30 years of experience within the medical device industry as well as cardiothoracic surgery. He was most recently the general manager of the surgery and heart failure business at Abiomed and held several leadership roles at Medtronic. Dr. Vassiliades received his MD from the University of North Carolina, and his MBA was achieved with distinction at Emory University.

“I am excited and honored to join the BiVACOR team, working closely with Daniel and the entire team as we look forward to bringing this life-changing technology to the market,” says Dr. Vassiliades in the release. “Throughout my career, I’ve been guided by the goal of bringing innovative cardiovascular therapies to the market to improve patient care and outcomes – providing solutions for those that don’t have one. BiVACOR is uniquely well-positioned to provide long-term therapy for patients with severe biventricular heart failure.” Click here to read more.

Katie Mehnert, CEO and founder of ALLY Energy

Katie Mehnert joins the Houston Innovators Podcast to discuss the future of energy amid a pandemic, climate change, the Great Resignation, and more. Photo via Katie Mehnert

Katie Mehnert started ALLY Energy — originally founded as Pink Petro — to move forward DEI initiatives, and she says she started with building an audience first and foremost, but now the technology part of the platform has fallen into place too. Last summer, ALLY Energy acquired Clean Energy Social, which meant doubling its community while also onboarding new technology. On the episode, Mehnert reveals that this new website and platform is now up and running.

"We launched the integrated product a few weeks back," Mehnert says. "The whole goal was to move away from technology that wasn't serving us."

Now, moving into the new year, Mehnert is building the team the company needs. She says she hopes to grow ALLY from two employees to 10 by the end of the year and is looking for personnel within customer support, product developers, and sales and service. While ALLY is revenue generating, she also hopes to fundraise to further support scaling. Click here to read more.

Don Whaley, president at OhmConnect Texas

Texas is about a month away from the anniversary of Winter Storm Uri — would the state fair better if it saw a repeat in 2022? Photo courtesy

The state of Texas is about a month away from the one year anniversary of Winter Storm Uri — but is the state better prepared this winter season? Don Whaley, president at OhmConnect Texas, looked at where the state is now versus then in a guest column for InnovationMap.

"Governor Abbott has gone on record guaranteeing that the lights will stay on this winter, and I am inclined to agree. With the reinforcement of our fuel systems being mandated by the Railroad Commission, 2023 to 2025 should receive the same guarantee," he writes. "Beyond that, as the demand for electricity in Texas continues to grow, we will need to rely on the initiatives under consideration by the PUCT to attract investment and innovation in new, dispatchable generation and flexible demand solutions to ensure long-term stability in the ERCOT market.

Whaley has worked for over 40 years in the natural gas, electricity, and renewables industries, with specific experience in deregulated markets across the U.S. and Canada. He founded Direct Energy Texas and served as its president during the early years of deregulation. Click here to read more.

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