Laura Berlinsky-Schine 4 min read 11th Grade, 12th Grade, College Lists

What Are the Big 12 Schools? Should You Attend One?

Founded in 1994, the Big 12 describes an NCAA Division I athletic conference. Big 12 is a bit of a misnomer as the conference currently stands; right now, it consists of 10 large universities, down from the original 12: 

 

  • Baylor University
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Kansas
  • Kansas State University
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Texas Christian University
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Texas Tech University
  • West Virginia University

 

In this post, we’ll take a look at the Big 12 schools, and what makes each one stand out.

 

Admissions Stats of the Big 12 Schools

 

School Location Acceptance Rate US News Ranking Middle 50% SAT/ACT Undergraduate Enrollment
Baylor University Waco, TX 45% 79 1210-1370 SAT
26-32 ACT
14,188
Iowa State University Ames, IA 92% 121 1100-1240 SAT 22-28 ACT 29,621
University of Kansas Lawrence, KS 93% 130 1110-1320 SAT

22-29 ACT

19,596
Kansas State University Manhattan, KS 96% 162 22-28 ACT 17,869
University of Oklahoma Norman, OK 80% 132 1130-1310 SAT

23-29 ACT

22,152
Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK 70% 192 1040-1255 SAT

21-28 ACT

20,574
Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX 47% 97 1150-1343 SAT 

26-30 ACT

9,445
University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX 38.5% 48 1170-1410 SAT 

27-33 ACT

40,804
Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX 69% 218 1080-1250 SAT

22-27 ACT

31,957
West Virginia University Morgantown, WV 72% 228 1020-1200 SAT

21-27 ACT

21,155

 

Learn More About the Big 12 Schools

 

1. Baylor University

Location: Waco, TX

Acceptance rate: 45%

U.S. News Ranking: 79

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1210-1370 SAT, 26-32 ACT

Undergraduate Enrollment: 14,188

 

A faith-based, Baptist institution, Baylor University was chartered in 1845. It is the oldest continually-operating university in Texas. The school draws diverse students from all over the world and has a tight-knit community, along with a deep commitment to community service. Baylor has plenty of excellent programs and is especially noted for science, engineering, and business.

 

2. Iowa State University

Location: Ames, IA

Acceptance rate: 92%

U.S. News Ranking: 121

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 110-1240 SAT, 22-28 ACT

Undergraduate Enrollment: 29,621

 

Consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful campuses in the U.S., Iowa State is also one of the largest universities in the Big 12. It is particularly known for its STEM programs and research; in fact, its official name is Iowa State University of Science and Technology. Offering more than 100 majors and more than 850 student organizations, students can explore any number of interests. It draws students from more than 100 countries around the world.

 

3. University of Kansas

Location: Lawrence, KS

Acceptance rate: 93%

U.S. News Ranking: 130

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1110-1320 SAT, 22-29 ACT

Undergraduate Enrollment: 19,596

 

KU, as the University of Kansas is known, is Kansas’ large flagship university. The school offers a wide range of esteemed programs in unique areas like speech, language, and hearing; social health; and music therapy, along with more traditional programs. KU’s debate team is especially strong — it has sent more teams to the National Debate Tournament than any other university in the country, and has won six times. 

 

4. Kansas State University

Location: Manhattan, KS

Acceptance rate: 17,869

U.S. News Ranking: 162

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 22-28 ACT

Undergraduate Enrollment: 96%

 

The oldest public college or university in Kansas, K-State was founded in 1863. Today, the school offers more than 250 undergraduate programs. One particular strength is agricultural sciences — in fact, the school was founded as an agricultural institution. This university is also home to the Landon Lecture Series, which brings many prominent speakers to campus. 

 

5. University of Oklahoma

Location: Norman, OK

Acceptance rate: 80%

U.S. News Ranking: 132

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1130-1310 SAT, 23-29 ACT

Undergraduate Enrollment: 22,152

 

Fifteen colleges make up the University of Oklahoma. The university offers top programs in areas like Native American studies — including language classes — psychology, journalism, kinesiology, and zoology. OU’s Honors College has its own dorms, instructors, and other features and welcomes applications from any student at the university. Despite the large student body, students describe it as having a close, tight-knit community.

 

6. Oklahoma State University

Location: Stillwater, OK

Acceptance rate: 70%

U.S. News Ranking: 192

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1040-1255 SAT, 21-28 ACT

Undergraduate Enrollment: 20,574

 

With top programs in agricultural sciences, fashion merchandising, and information technology, OSU has plenty to offer students. Along with academics, it has an abundance of networking, internship, and employment opportunities. There are more than 500 student organizations, including Greek life. It also prides itself on its commitment to health, calling itself “America’s Healthiest Campus.”

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

7. Texas Christian University

Location: Fort Worth, TX

Acceptance rate: 47%

U.S. News Ranking: 96

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1150-1343 SAT, 26-30 ACT

Undergraduate Enrollment: 9,445

 

The largest Christian-affiliated university, TCU welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds. The university offers plenty of extracurricular opportunities, including numerous religious, service, and Greek life organizations. Popular majors include business, journalism, and psychology.

 

8. University of Texas at Austin

Location: Austin, TX 

Acceptance rate: 38.5%

U.S. News Ranking: 48

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1170-1410 SAT, 27-33 ACT

Undergraduate Enrollment: 40,804

 

The flagship university of the UT system UT Austin is one of the biggest universities in the country, as well as one of the most prestigious public institutions. Business and engineering are just two of the top programs the university offers. Along with academics, UT Austin offers plenty of extracurricular activities, with over 1,000 student organizations to choose from. The Daily Texan, for example, is one of the country’s most prestigious student-run newspapers.

 

9. Texas Tech University

Location: Lubbock, TX

Acceptance rate: 69%

U.S. News Ranking: 218

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1080-1250 SAT, 22-27 ACT

Undergraduate Enrollment: 31,957

 

Texas Tech has a number of strong programs, including a creative writing program taught by award-winning faculty and more than 150 additional programs across its 13 colleges. The university was named a Diversity Champion by Insight Into Diversity four years in a row. Texas Tech has more than 450 student organizations, including a prominent Greek life scene. Its Service Learning Program is particularly noteworthy and emphasizes connections between coursework and service.

 

10. West Virginia University

Location: Morgantown, WV

Acceptance rate: 72%

U.S. News Ranking: 228

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1020-1210 SAT, 21-27 ACT

Undergraduate Enrollment: 21,155

 

Originally chartered as the Agricultural College of West Virginia in 1867, WVU was renamed the following year to reflect a broader range of disciplines. Its Forensics and Investigative Science program is recognized as on the top programs of its kind. But students can choose from a wide range of majors, from journalism to animal sciences. 

 

Hoping to attend a Big 12 school? Find out your chances of admission with CollegeVine’s free Admissions Calculator. We’ll calculate your real odds of acceptance to these and thousands of other top schools, plus give you tips on how to improve your profile for success. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Want more tips on improving your academic profile?

We'll send valuable information to help you strengthen your profile and get ready for college admissions.


Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.