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

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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Building Houston


Velostics has fresh funding to support growing its logistics software solution. Photo courtesy of Velostics

A Houston company that's providing software solutions for middle-mile logistics challenges has raised fresh funding.

Velostics Inc., which has an enterprise software-as-a-service model that specializes in automating inbound logistics at industrial facilities — like terminals and warehouses — announced it has raised $2.5 million. The seed round was led by Kansas-based Flyover Capital with participation from Small Ventures USA, Cultivation Capital, Starboard Star, Congress Avenue Ventures and BioUrja Ventures.

Founded by Gaurav Khandewal, Velostics targets the $37 billion inbound logistics management market, a so-called "log jam" for businesses that the company's software strives to make flow a lot more optimally.

“Flyover is incredibly excited to support the Velostics team in their mission to transform inbound logistics,” says Keith Molzer, managing partner at Flyover Capital. “This segment of the supply chain is ripe for better technology to address challenges of congestion, driver labor shortages, and the growing demands of ecommerce. Gaurav and team are an exceptional group of entrepreneurs ready to drive efficiency and a better customer experience at industrial facilities.”

The fresh funding will go toward recruiting top talent for Velostics's team, particularly in its account management, inside sales, and marketing departments, as well as continuing to develop the AI-driven product, which has an impact for both its users and the environment.

“Idling trucks waiting outside facilities emit over 42 million tons of CO2 annually — eight times the US national average. By orchestrating the movement of trucks in and out of facilities, not only do we provide tremendous supply chain benefits, we also help the environment," Khandewal says in the release. "We’re excited to partner with our customers and our investors to solve global congestion.”

Flyover Capital was founded in 2014 and has a keen interest in the Houston market, Dan Kerr, principal at the firm, previously told InnovationMap.

Houston is "one of the cities among those that fall in our region where we plan to spend a significant amount of time," Kerr said in May of last year. "We cover a lot of ground, but there are certain cities were we try to get there quarterly. Houston is definitely one of those places."

In September, Khandewal joined the Houston Innovators Podcast and discussed how he has been a champion of Houston innovation since he started ChaiOne in 2009. He shared how he thinks the city has a great opportunity to be a leader in logistics technology.

"I think that there are some trends in Houston that I'm seeing as a founder, and one of them is logistics," Khandewal says on the show.

Gaurav Khandelwal, CEO and founder of ChaiOne and Velostics Gaurav Khandelwal is the CEO and founder of Velostics. Photo courtesy

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