I’m sure you’ve heard about how everything in Texas is bigger. Any state that is the home of Big Tex (he is coming back!) and an appetite for BBQ that can create this kind of grill to be used for private occasions rightfully earns the reputation that precedes it. Well, the institutions of high education are no exception in this state. Texas is home to some of the largest public universities in the United States, with two in the national top ten for largest undergraduate enrollment. However, Texas A&M (39,867 undergraduate, 52,378 total!) and the University of Texas (38,437 undergraduate, 52,213 total!) are not the only large state schools in Texas. Close – relatively – behind those two schools are the University of Houston (40,747 total), the University of North Texas (35,836 total), Texas State University (34,229 total) and Texas Tech University (32,611 total).
However, it is not just the student body populations that are large in Texas. Texas also ranks first in the number of four-year universities within one state. This means that it has the most opportunities for students to get a bachelor degree in the United States. Diversification in student body is important, but so is diversity in college options. There are small, private colleges in Texas (Austin College, St. Mary’s, or TCU to name a few with under 10,000 enrollment) to go along with the giants. Some students find the smaller the better, and Texans don’t mind small (sometimes…).
Also, there are specialty colleges that allow for mastery of certain vocations. Some of these include Lincoln College of Technology, The Art Institutes, or Vista College. They provide training for specialty skills that are just as needed today as a Bachelor’s in Business like training to be an Electrician, Mechanical repairman, chef, or a dental assistant. Without jobs like these the lights don’t turn on when we want them, the air conditioner doesn’t run (just when it happens to be 100 degrees outside), restaurants don’t fill us, and your teeth decay. People don’t talk about them as much as the cash cows of Texas universities, but they are just as important this time of year.
Finally, what must be discussed any time schools start up every year in Texas is college football. The Fall in Texas brings the State Fair, with the storied UT-OU Red River Rivalry (or Shootout for those who remember the good ol’ days…). With story lines as big as the Rio Grande, college football brings people together in celebration or agony depending on the outcome. Whether it be Big 12 shootouts or SEC “smash-mouth” football, drama happens every Saturday in the Fall. For Baylor, UT, or A&M fans you might think about celebrating victories (or drowning sorrows in salsa) with a nice college-themed gift basket from Texas Treats.
What football also brings is tailgates! Who doesn’t love a good Texas tailgate, featuring chips and salsa or grilled burgers and washers? Sitting out shootin’ the breeze with old friends is sure to bring back old memories and good stories. Whether or not your a Texan or care about college football, don’t be afraid to jump into tailgate season full force an enjoy some time with friends!