Established less than 60 years ago, Texas A&M International University is a relatively new school — but one that’s quickly gained a reputation as an economic mobility powerhouse. TAMIU ranked third in the nation in a 2022 analysis from think tank Third Way that looked at which colleges were enrolling and graduating large numbers of low- and moderate-income students. Some 98% of freshmen get grants and scholarships, which helps TAMIU shine in our affordability category.

Students describe TAMIU as accessible, calm and highly engaging, with helpful professors and plentiful opportunities to develop leadership skills. Though the student body is relatively small at about 8,500, the college offers over 100 degree programs.

TAMIU says on its website that it’s “at an enviable crossroads”: The campus is south of San Antonio, west of Corpus Christi and north of Monterrey, Mexico. White-tailed deer and javelinas, aka feral hogs, are frequently spotted on campus (the college begs you not to pet, catch or feed them). Supporting the Dustdevils is essential — students are encouraged to wear maroon on Mondays as a show of team spirit — and games are fun — TAMIU recently had a Renaissance-themed spirit week.