What are your chances of acceptance?

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Duke University
Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Ivy League Schools in Texas: Does Texas Have Ivies?

What’s Covered:


The Ivy League is renowned for being some of the best universities in the world, and they are all located in the Northeastern U.S. However, you might have heard of terms like Southern Ivies, little Ivies, public Ivies, and others. So, are there Ivy League schools in Texas? Keep reading to find out.


Are there Ivy League Schools in Texas?


Contrary to some misconceptions, there are no Ivy League schools in Texas. The Ivy League, originally an athletic conference, has over time come to represent a group of eight private, highly prestigious universities in the United States. All of these institutions are located in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, not in Texas or anywhere else in the country.


While Texas may not have any Ivies, it is home to one of the schools known as the Public Ivies. The Public Ivies was a term coined by Richard Moll in this 1985 book, The Public Ivys: A Guide to America’s Best Public Undergraduate Colleges and Universities. UT Austin is one of the 15 schools named in that book.


Top 10 Colleges in Texas


While Texas may not have any traditional Ivies, it is home to some quality institutions with the academic rigor of an Ivy, or close to it. Here are the best colleges in Texas:


1. Rice University


Location: Houston, Texas

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 4,200


Rice University is often recognized for its strong academic program and individualized attention, backed by a 6:1 student-faculty ratio. Known for its rigorous academic life, students are offered an array of programs to choose from, including the renowned George R. Brown School of Engineering and School of Architecture. The university also boasts a strong commitment to research and provides numerous opportunities for students to engage in high-level study.


The campus itself is as impressive as its academic reputation, sprawling over 300 acres of tree-lined property, which provides a serene learning environment. The residential college system, which is akin to the style at some Ivy League institutions, fosters a tight-knit community and promotes a balance of both social and academic life. With its rich tradition and commitment to excellence, Rice University provides an enriching and comprehensive academic experience.


2. University of Texas at Austin


Location: Austin, Texas

Acceptance Rate: 29%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 40,900


The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) is one of the largest and most distinguished universities in the U.S. With an acceptance rate of 29%, the university is highly competitive, offering a wide range of programs, notably in business, engineering, and arts. It’s also a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, a testament to its research prowess.


Situated in the heart of Austin, UT Austin provides a vibrant and diverse campus culture, with plenty of extracurricular activities and student organizations. The city itself is known as a tech hub, giving students direct access to a bustling and innovative industry scene. From its rigorous academics to its vibrant city life, UT Austin offers students a dynamic and enriching college experience.


3. Trinity University


Location: San Antonio, Texas

Acceptance Rate: 34%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,500


Trinity University, a private university located in San Antonio, Texas, is well-respected for its liberal arts and sciences programs. Its 9:1 student to faculty ratio ensures that students receive individualized attention, fostering an environment of collaborative learning. It’s also known for its Integrated Curriculum (T-Path), which encourages students to explore, reflect, and tailor their education to their specific interests and career goals.


Campus life at Trinity is just as engaging, with over 100 student organizations and clubs, and a strong emphasis on community service. The university also prides itself on its experiential learning opportunities, including internships, research, and study abroad programs. With its rich blend of rigorous academics and engaging co-curricular activities, Trinity University is committed to preparing students for success in a diverse and interconnected world.


4. Texas Christian University


Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Acceptance Rate: 54%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 10,200


Located in Fort Worth, Texas, Texas Christian University (TCU) emphasizes the holistic development of its students. It seeks to foster ethical leaders and critical thinkers through its diverse range of programs. With a 54% acceptance rate, TCU is known for providing a comprehensive academic experience, with notable programs in nursing, business, and education.


Campus life at TCU is vibrant, with more than 200 student organizations, Greek life, and a strong athletics program. The university also prioritizes community engagement, encouraging students to participate in service-learning experiences and other volunteer opportunities. TCU’s dedication to both academic and ethical development creates a rich and rewarding experience for its students.


5. Southern Methodist University


Location: Dallas, Texas

Acceptance Rate: 53%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,900


Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, provides a dynamic blend of rigorous academic life and urban experiences. The university offers a variety of programs, but it’s especially recognized for its business, arts, and communication programs. SMU is also known for its vibrant research culture, bolstered by facilities such as the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute and the Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity.


SMU’s location in the heart of Dallas offers students a wealth of resources and opportunities. The city’s thriving arts scene, bustling business world, and numerous internships and job opportunities provide students with practical experiences outside of the classroom. From its strong academic programs to its bustling city location, SMU offers a unique college experience.


6. Baylor University


Location: Waco, Texas

Acceptance Rate: 57%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 15,100


Baylor University in Waco, Texas, is the oldest continually operating university in the state, founded in 1845. It offers a robust undergraduate education, with particularly strong programs in health sciences, business, and music. Baylor is also a research university, with institutes such as the Baylor University Medical Center and the Institute for Air Science.


The campus life at Baylor is vibrant and active, with more than 330 clubs and organizations and a robust Greek life. Sports also play a significant role, with the Baylor Bears participating in the NCAA Division I Big 12 Conference. Baylor University’s commitment to rigorous academics, research, and an active campus life make it a vibrant place for students.


7. Texas A&M University


Location: College Station, Texas

Acceptance Rate: 64%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 56,700


Texas A&M University, located in College Station, is one of the nation’s largest universities. The university is recognized for its programs in engineering, agriculture, and business. As a land, sea, and space-grant institution, it’s known for its research efforts, with entities like the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group.


Beyond academics, Texas A&M boasts a rich tradition and spirited campus culture. The school’s many traditions, like the Aggie Ring and the Midnight Yell, foster a sense of unity and camaraderie among students. Texas A&M’s combination of academic rigor, research opportunities, and deep-rooted traditions provide a unique and comprehensive college experience.


8. Southwestern University


Location: Georgetown, Texas

Acceptance Rate: 51%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,500


Southwestern University, located in Georgetown, Texas, is a small liberal arts university with a strong commitment to undergraduate education. The curriculum encourages interdisciplinary study, and students are encouraged to engage in collaborative research with faculty.


Life on campus is active and community-oriented. With a wealth of student organizations and a strong commitment to service, students at Southwestern University can actively participate in a variety of interests and causes. The small student population fosters a tight-knit community, making it an ideal choice for students seeking a smaller, more personalized college experience.


9. University of Texas at Dallas


Location: Richardson, Texas

Acceptance Rate: 87%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 21,400


The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) offers robust programs in business, engineering, and science. Located in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, the university places a strong emphasis on research and innovation. It’s home to several research centers, including the Callier Center for Communication Disorders and the Center for BrainHealth.


Despite its rigorous academic focus, UT Dallas also provides a variety of extracurricular activities and organizations for students to engage in. Given its location in a major metropolitan area, students have access to the vibrant culture and job market of Dallas. UT Dallas seamlessly blends a rigorous academic environment with the resources and opportunities of a major city.


10. University of Houston


Location: Houston, Texas

Acceptance Rate: 66%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 38,500


The University of Houston is a public research university known for its programs in business and engineering. With over a plethora of undergraduate students, it offers a diverse and multicultural campus, reflective of the Houston area. The university also houses several research centers, including the Houston Advanced Research Center and the Texas Obesity Research Center.


Beyond academics, the University of Houston offers a vibrant campus life with hundreds of student organizations, strong athletics programs, and numerous opportunities for community engagement. The university’s commitment to diversity, coupled with its strong academic and research programs, makes it a dynamic environment for students.


What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?


Given the selectivity of these institutions, it is crucial to have a balanced college list. This means including “safety” schools where your chances of admission are higher, “target” schools where your chances are around the average admitted student, and “reach” schools where your chances may be lower but still possible. All the universities listed above can be considered “reach” schools for many students due to their competitive nature.


Factors such as your academic achievements, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and personal essays all play a significant role in the admissions process. Schools are looking for well-rounded individuals who will contribute positively to their communities, so all aspects of your application will be scrutinized. It can be difficult to form an idea of what your chances of acceptance look like when thinking about applications, but it doesn’t need to be! CollegeVine’s chancing engine tool takes in numerous factors ranging from GPA to extracurriculars and generates your unique chances of getting into an institution of your choosing! 

Short Bio
Varun is a recent graduate from Arizona State University, Tempe, with a degree in Computer Science. He aims to share his knowledge of computer science, the IB Diploma Program, and all things college-related with high school students. In his free time, he can be found performing DJ sets or cooking!