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Texas Colleges

Texas Colleges


Texas became a state in 1845 and ever since then has been the state noted for being BIG.  Today it is neither the largest state in area nor the most populous, but it is both an industrial and agricultural giant.  It leads all states in the production of cotton and of cattle and sheep products.  Other major products include wheat and hay, barley and dairy products. 


The driving force in the Texas industrial sector has been oil, for the last one hundred years or so.  Oil production, oil refining and petroleum based products are still a major component of the state’s industrial production; Texas leads all states in the production of oil.   The manufacture of drilling and refining equipment is another niche, along with automobiles, aerospace and aircraft parts and food processing machinery.  Computers and computer parts have become a substantial segment of the state’s industrial output; both Dell and Compaq are headquartered there.


The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, as the area is called, is also known as “Silicon Alley” because of the migration of high tech research and manufacturing to the area.  One of the contributing factors in the development of the electronic industries in the area is the defense contracts that have flowed in.  Dallas has become a financial center for the state with its collection of banking and insurance company headquarters.  Oil refining, publishing and printing are important industries in the area.


Houston is the largest city in Texas with a population of about two million.  It sits at the heart of a metropolitan area of over five million in a ten county area, although the city itself covers six hundred square miles.  The city lies close to the Gulf Coast and is connected to the Gulf of Mexico via the Houston Ship Channel.  Unknown to most, Houston is the sixth largest port in the world.  The city is also a financial center, second only to New York in its service as headquarters to Fortune 500 companies. 


The oil business has been a primary concentration in Houston for decades.  Other concentrations of enterprise include the aerospace industry; NASA has a large installation there.  The Texas Medical Center in Houston is the world’s largest concentration of medical research and healthcare institutions.  The city has also gained recognition for its concentration of performing arts organizations and facilities.


Austin is set in Texas’ “hill country,” serving as the state’s capital and as home to the University of Texas.  The city itself has aout750, 000 residents with roughly twice that in the metropolitan area.  In recent years, Austin has become a magnet for people drawn to its eclectic mix of neighborhoods, cultures, its music and its college town atmosphere.  Add to that the mix of a major state capital, its politicians and lobbyists, and you’ve got a fairly interesting place.  It is also nominally the center of a thriving regional music scene.


Austin has also become an extension of “Silicon Alley,” as major facilities have been established there by Apple, IBM, Dell, AMD and Samsung.  The University is one of the finer in the state; tuition for an out of state undergraduate starts at about $15,000.  There are scores of other colleges in the big state, public and private.  In a state as large and diverse, it will take some substantial research just to select a destination.

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