best in class

University of Houston System snags spots on list of schools with affordability and potential salary

The University of Houston-Clear Lake Campus is among the three UH System schools that give its students more bang for their buck. Photo via UHSystems.org

Three University of Houston campuses earn spots on a new list of the 111 U.S. colleges that excel when it comes to affordability and potential salary.

Showing up on the new Optimal Choice list produced by Optimal, a provider of higher education data, are the University of Houston-Clear Lake, the University of Houston-Downtown, and the main campus of the University of Houston.

Optimal researched salary and tuition information for more than 1,700 colleges that offer bachelor's degrees to find the schools that offer robust salary outcomes without the high price tag. To appear on the list, a school had to achieve a salary score in the 60th percentile or higher and a below-average tuition rate.

"Our Optimal Choice list provides affordable and accessible college choices for most students rather than focusing on elite schools that accept only a few," Sung Rhee, CEO of Optimal, says in a news release . "In other words, this list is the anti- U.S. News rankings list."

Here are the findings for the three Houston-area schools:

  • University of Houston-Clear Lake, $7,310 tuition and 71.77 salary score.
  • University of Houston-Downtown, $6,788 tuition and 66.75 salary score.
  • University of Houston, $9,221 tuition and 61.87 salary score.

Here's the full list of Texas schools that made the cut:

  • University of Texas at Austin, $10,824 tuition and 83.25 salary score.
  • University of Texas at Permian Basin in Odessa, $6,666 tuition and 76.33 salary score.
  • Texas Tech University, $9,300 tuition and 74.18 salary score.
  • Texas A&M University in College Station, $12,153 tuition and 72.97 salary score.
  • University of Houston-Clear Lake, $7,310 tuition and 71.77 salary score.
  • University of Houston-Downtown, $6,788 tuition and 66.75 salary score.
  • University of Texas at Arlington, $11,040 tuition and 64.84 salary score.
  • Lamar University in Beaumont, $8,494 tuition and 63.01 salary score.
  • University of North Texas in Denton, $11,044 tuition and 62.78 salary score.
  • University of Houston, $9,221 tuition and 61.87 salary score.

Optimal notes that more than 85 percent of the schools on the list are public. Of the private schools on the list, three-fourths offer courses primarily online.

"Choosing the optimal college has long been a difficult process that can take months of stressful research. Many students pore over college rankings that highlight elite, expensive schools," the company says. "However, for the majority, the best path is not the most costly or prestigious. Rather, the better determinant of an optimal choice lies in two factors: the cost of the school, and whether one can make a good living after graduation."

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