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

 
 

Planning to open in the coming months, The Ion Houston has made great progress on its construction. Scroll down to view the slideshow. Photo by Natalie Harms

The Ion Houston is expected to open its doors this year, and the building's exterior is close to completion. Now, the construction team is focusing on interiors and then tenant build outs.

The 270,000-square-foot coworking and innovation hub owned and managed by Rice Management Co. is slated to be a convening building for startups, corporations, academic partners, investors, and more. The building is organized as follows:

  • The underground Lower Level will act as academic flex space with a few classrooms and open-concept desks for The Ion's accelerators, including: The Ion Smart and Resilient Cities Accelerator, DivInc, the Rice Alliance's Clean Energy Accelerator, and the Aerospace Innovation Hub and Accelerator. There will also be an event space and The Ion's own programming.
  • On the first, street-level floor, The Ion's restaurant tenants will reside with access from both the greenspace as well as into the building. The Ion's first three restaurant tenants include: Late August, Common Bond, and STUFF'd Wings.
  • Additionally, the first floor will be home to a venture studio and the prototyping lab. There is additional space available for other tenants.
  • On the second floor, there will be 58,000 square feet of coworking space managed by Common Desk. Note: For floors 2 and up of the Ion, tenants will have access cards that allow them entrance. The first and lower floors will not require access cards.
  • The third floor of the building will house eight to 10 tenants each with 5,000 to 10,000 square feet of space. Chevron was announced as the first tenant and will reside on this floor.
  • On the fourth and fifth floors, The Ion will house one to two larger tenants on each level. These levels of the building were added on to the existing structure. The fourth floor features two balconies that tenants will have access to. Microsoft is signed on to have its space on half of the fifth floor.
The Ion is still planning on an open date in late spring or summer. For leasing information, click here. Scroll through the slideshow of construction images and renderings to see the progress of the building.

Exterior nears completion

Photo by Natalie Harms

The building's exterior is almost complete and kept much of the original building's facade. The new materials brought in match the existing color scheme.

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