Friday, June 21, 2024
  Accolades, Community

By Victoria Brito Morales

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – JUNE 21, 2024 –  When deciding where to attend college, location can be a major factor, and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is located in two of the top five best places to live in Texas according to U.S. News and World Report.

In its latest rankings, U.S. News and World Report ranked the top 150 major cities in the United States to find the best places to live. McAllen ranked second of the Rio Grande Valley cities in Texas and 48th overall in the U.S. while Brownsville came in fifth in the state and 87th overall.

According to the publication, to make the list, the location must have good value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life.

Dara Newton, UTRGV associate vice president for Strategic Enrollment, said selecting a college or university can be a hard decision and location is often a strong factor during the selection process. Newton said it was wonderful to see the Rio Grande Valley represented at this level. 

“Knowing that a student can attend a university situated in a community that is rich in culture and affordable only complements the education students receive,” Newton said. “This ranking is a testament to the experiences and opportunities they have inside and outside of the classroom at UTRGV.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, McAllen boasts a population of 142,210 while Brownsville has a total population of 186,738. UTRGV has campus and off-campus research and teaching facilities in both municipalities as well as in Edinburg, Weslaco, Harlingen, South Padre Island and Rio Grande City. 

Other cities that made the list that are home to UT System schools included Austin, first in the state and ninth overall; El Paso, third in state and 62nd overall; San Antonio sixth in state and 89th overall; Dallas, ninth in state and 95th overall and Houston, 10th in state and 97th overall. 

In 2023,  WalletHub ranked the City of Edinburg No. 1 and Brownsville No. 3 as the most “wallet-friendly” U.S. college towns as part of its Best College Towns & Cities in America rankings. 


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.