Texas A&M and Rice University "offer unique benefits that can be overlooked when the numbers are crunched." At least that's the conclusion The Daily Beast came to when the news site included the two Texas universities in their 25 " Amazing but Overlooked" colleges list.
Even without The Daily Beast's kind acclamation, A&M is nothing to sneeze at, holding impressive rankings as a public institution and for its research funding. But the Beast zeroed in on something more specific: social media savvy. With a 5,200-acre campus filled with 50,000 students, the university has adeptly employed online tools to unite current students and attract prospective ones, the Beast claims. A campus-wide scavenger hunt using Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and YouTube helped ignite a follower base two years ago. Now the university brags 66,506 Twitter followers and "record engagement" on its Facebook page, which was ranked one of the top 10 pages in the U.S. last year. The Aggies even have 18 boards on Pinterest, including "14 Days of SEC!" and "Aggie I Do."
Located beside Houston's museum district, Rice, too, is a nationally ranked university—number 17 according to U.S. News & World Report. However, it's not recognized nearly enough for its diversity, the Beast argues. Of the 3,700 undergraduate students enrolled in 2011, less than half were from in-state; ten percent were international students. The institution is racially diverse too, the Beast reported: a fifth of students are Asian and another fifth are Hispanic or African-American.
Disagree with The Daily Beast's Top 25? Or think more Texas U's oughta be on that list? Nominate them here.