What schools would be a good match for me in Texas

I am a 16 yr old girl , and incoming junior, with a 4.0 gpa , currently rank 1 in my class. I am a dual credit student and I plan on taking all the ap classes my school offers, I am very nervous about picking the “right” college for me the biggest factors for my decision will be how much financial aid I will be given, if the school will accept my college credits, and if the school has a good English program.

  • Passed APHUG with a 3
    -4.0 college gpa taken 7 courses
  • First-gen
    -60,000 parent yearly income -
    -STUCO,NHS,Book club, and UIL,

please help me out :slight_smile:

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Do you go to HS in TX? Does your HS rank? If so, and you are in the top 6% of your class after the 6th semester you would have auto-admit at UT-Austin, although choice of major is not guaranteed. Top 10% of the class will earn auto-admit at many of the TX publics. The Texas colleges are relatively more likely to be generous with your DE credits, as compared to OOS publics, as well as private colleges.

Get a firm budget from your parents, that is an important fact to know. Knowing their income isn’t enough, but it seems like you would qualify for a small Pell Grant, likely $1K or less based on that $60K family income. Then, do each school’s net price calculator on their websites, to see if the school would be affordable. Would UT Austin be affordable? TAMU? UT Dallas? And so on.

You might consider applying to Questbridge for College Prep Scholars later in your junior year, QuestBridge | College Prep Scholars Program: Who Should Apply, and ultimately apply to colleges thru QB’s National College Match program.

Lastly, you might spend some time studying for the PSAT this Fall. Doing well on that can open up college scholarship money. It is important to also do well on the AP tests you take, ideally scores of 4 and 5. I know a 3 is passing, but if you had an A in the class, it suggests there may be grade inflation at your HS.


As other have said, any public school will be open to you. But with a 4.0, you’ll also get huge scholarships and dirt cheap tuition at other out of state schools and may even qualify for free housing, etc. a school like Troy, for example.

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Definitely check out A&M. They have shown us a lot of love. They have a lot of support for first gen students and Hispanic students too. They gave my daughter the most scholarship money out of any of the schools she applied to and we don’t qualify for any need based aid, so she was only eligible for merit based. Connect with your local prospective student center. You can find your local PSC here:


Thank you for replying and yes I do go to a TX HS.

Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience with a Texas school!

Ranked number 1 in your class, you will be auto accepted to any state school in Texas. With a family income of $60,000, if I am not mistaken, you should qualify for full tuition, room and board at Rice, if you were to apply and be accepted. (I believe the cutoff is now $75,000 and anything under $100,000 qualifies for full tuition. (I was trying to find the details but I couldn’t) You are first generation which will help a little. I am assuming based on your name you are also hispanic? Which may also help a little bit, but can also help with some scholarships like National Hispanic Recognition Program through College Board, which could get you a partial tuition merit scholarship to A&M and some other schools on top pf financial aid. It’s tough to get merit for UT Austin, but you would definitely qualify for need based aid. Have you taken the PSAT and SAT yet? Also, with a 4.0 and first gen, if your SAT scores end up being high, you could have a lot of out of state opportunities if you are interested, like U of Arizona, Mississippi State and U Alabama, to name a few.

Edit: adding from Rice page: “Students with family incomes below $75,000 will receive grant aid covering not only full tuition, but also all mandatory fees and room and board. Full-tuition scholarships will be awarded to eligible degree-seeking undergraduates with family incomes between $75,000 and $140,000. In addition, students with family incomes between $140,000 and $200,000 will receive scholarships covering at least half of their tuition.”


You should apply to need blind schools like Princeton, Harvard, Yale. I don’t see why not.


Intended major?

While top 6% automatically admits a Texas student to Texas public universities, it does not mean automatic admission to specific majors. CS, engineering, and business majors may be more competitive. Additionally, Texas A&M has secondary admission to CS and engineering majors where 3.75 college GPA admits, or competitive for those below 3.75 (but CS and ME have no or few admits below 3.75).


I’m assuming English or something related. In the first post, the OP asked for a TX university with “a good English program.”

True, but she is not just top 6%, she noted she is #1. If anything, would have to worry more about yield protection (i.e. - they might think you are only applying as a safety and therefore not accept you or defer you). For almost all Texas state schools, top 6% or #1 in this case, will get you accepted into any school, any major. The only exceptions are some majors/schools at UT Austin and the real possibility of yield protection and a handful of majors at Texas A&M. The way around that at those two schools is to apply very early. Typically, applications open August 1st, so apply in August so that they think you are serious about the school if you really want to go there. That isn’t to say that is the only way in, it just is a less stressful way in, as you will most likely be accepted in one of the first waves. For English major, if that is the intended major, I dont think that is one of the majors that would be problematic at either. (typically McCombs Business, Engineering, CS a few others at UT and Engineering and CS at A&M)


UT waives tuition for low income. And that’s true for most in-state schools. You have the grades and scores for a full ride. That probably would be your best bet, because it takes the pressure off of both you and your parents. One option is UT-Dallas. In fact, apply for full ride scholarships in every Texas university. You’re a valedictorian, you’ll get one.


Is that accurate? It’s not the case in my state… not to the extent of making a blanket statement.

I did a quick search for documentation of this for UT but could not spot it. Would you please provide a link? Thanks!!!


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Thanks. I don’t see info on a tuition waiver for low income. I see a commitment to making college affordable and to contact financial aid for more information. Am I missing something?

Also this is specifically UT-Dallas, not UT systemwide.

Side note: There are certain tuition waivers exemptions listed on the UT-Austin site but related to military and other designated status.


It’s not exactly a waiver, but UT-Austin covers tuition for in-state students with family income up to $65k AGI and offers partial tuition grants up to $125k AGI.

Admittedly, this info is difficult to find in the bewildering jungle of the UT website. The landing site pushes you toward Texas One-Stop, but that’s just the office that collects payments and provides logistical details about how financial aid money actually moves around.




  • 4 AP Spanish
    -4 APWHM
    And I just finished an amazing summer program with NHI LDZ

The main reason I am not applying is because I do not think they will take my credits :frowning:

Don’t think doesn’t = you know. Call and talk to a counselor. Do the legwork if u have interest in the schools @neela1 mentioned.