Texas’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in Texas offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Texas’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Texas

Texas offers more than 30 colleges and universities that serve communities of 10,000 students or more. The largest school in the bunch (and in the nation), Texas A&M University in College Station serves more than 65,000 students. The University of Texas at Austin is the next largest, serving about 45,000 students — but it too has a big claim to fame, as the wealthiest public university in the United States. Texas’s private colleges and universities, including Baylor University and Southern Methodist University, are also impressive in size and scope. The majority of these schools have religious affiliations and offer degrees in a variety fields, such as nursing, religious studies, criminal justice, business, and education.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

For students who prefer a more intimate educational environment, Texas offers a long list of smaller public and private colleges and universities, such as Abilene Christian University and University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Additionally, Texas has generous loan forgiveness programs for qualifying nurses, physicians, teachers, legal aid attorneys, and lawyers who work in the Texas Attorney General’s office.

Texas is known for doing things big. Big cities, big open spaces and, of course, big fun. Whether you’re hitting up the live music scene in Austin, catching a Cowboys game in Dallas, or strolling down the River Walk in San Antonio, you’re sure to have a good time. And, with more than 150 higher education institutes, it’s safe to say The Lone Star State is big on education too.

If you’re looking to earn your degree in the state of Texas, you’ll have plenty of higher learning institutes to choose from.


What are Texas’s Colleges & Universities?

Texas’s Best Overall


There are a total of 55 community colleges in Texas. The following list shows the 25 best community colleges in the state with a student body of greater than one thousand students.

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How do we determine Texas's best community colleges?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

25 Best Community Colleges in Texas

  1. #1

    Lamar Institute of Technology

    #4269 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    2K

    Beaumont, TX

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    What is Lamar Institute of Technology known for?

    Lamar Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
  2. #2

    Lamar State College–Port Arthur

    #9080 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    2K

    Port Arthur, TX

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    What is Lamar State College–Port Arthur known for?

    Lamar State College–Port Arthur’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Nursing
  3. #3

    Trinity Valley Community College

    #5442 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    4K

    Athens, TX

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    What is Trinity Valley Community College known for?

    Trinity Valley Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Galveston College

    #4916 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    2K

    Galveston, TX

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    What is Galveston College known for?

    Galveston College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
  5. #5

    Paris Junior College

    #5427 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    3K

    Paris, TX

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    What is Paris Junior College known for?

    Paris Junior College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Law
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Northeast Texas Community College

    #8468 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    1K

    Mount Pleasant, TX

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    What is Northeast Texas Community College known for?

    Northeast Texas Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Computer Science
  7. #8

    Panola College

    #8530 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    2K

    Carthage, TX

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    What is Panola College known for?

    Panola College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Economics
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #9

    Grayson College

    #7740 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    3K

    Denison, TX

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    What is Grayson College known for?

    Grayson College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #10

    Kilgore College

    #4586 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    4K

    Kilgore, TX

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    What is Kilgore College known for?

    Kilgore College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #11

    Lee College

    #4782 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    5K

    Baytown, TX

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    What is Lee College known for?

    Lee College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Earth Sciences
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #12

    College of the Mainland

    #5422 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    3K

    Texas City, TX

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    What is College of the Mainland known for?

    College of the Mainland’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
  12. #13

    Ranger College

    #6608 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    2K

    Ranger, TX

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    What is Ranger College known for?

    Ranger College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #14

    Collin College

    #2520 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    16%

    Student body

    22K

    McKinney, TX

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    What is Collin College known for?

    Collin College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #15

    Texarkana College

    #1987 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    2K

    Texarkana, TX

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    What is Texarkana College known for?

    Texarkana College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #16

    Amarillo College

    #3683 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    6K

    Amarillo, TX

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    What is Amarillo College known for?

    Amarillo College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Law
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Engineering
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #17

    Austin Community College District

    #5774 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Graduation

    12%

    Student body

    25K

    Austin, TX

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    What is Austin Community College District known for?

    Austin Community College District’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #18

    Odessa College

    #5275 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    4K

    Odessa, TX

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    What is Odessa College known for?

    Odessa College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Earth Sciences
    • Mathematics
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #19

    Del Mar College

    #5730 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    13%

    Student body

    5K

    Corpus Christi, TX

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    What is Del Mar College known for?

    Del Mar College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Communications
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #20

    San Antonio College

    #3042 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    11K

    San Antonio, TX

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    What is San Antonio College known for?

    San Antonio College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #21

    El Paso Community College

    #5983 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    17K

    El Paso, TX

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    What is El Paso Community College known for?

    El Paso Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Earth Sciences
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. #22

    Central Texas College

    #4835 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    15%

    Student body

    9K

    Killeen, TX

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    What is Central Texas College known for?

    Central Texas College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Earth Sciences
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. #23

    St. Philip's College

    #7049 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    6K

    San Antonio, TX

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    What is St. Philip's College known for?

    St. Philip's College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Law
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. #24

    Palo Alto College

    #6318 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    6K

    San Antonio, TX

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    What is Palo Alto College known for?

    Palo Alto College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
  24. #25

    Hill College

    #8059 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    3K

    Hillsboro, TX

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    What is Hill College known for?

    Hill College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Education
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Earth Sciences
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

Photo By: Shellyvitanza - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0