New U.S. Department of Education data allow students, parents, and taxpayers to learn which programs at Texas public universities provide students with a meaningful return on their educational investments and which programs lead to excessive student loan debt.

Key points:

  • For the first time, Texas students can now access U.S. Department of Education data showing the earnings and debt of recent graduates of Texas public universities by academic program.
  • The new data will help students, parents, and policymakers make more informed choices.
  • Texas public universities have 58 associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree programs that fail a debt-to-earnings test.
  • Texas’s community colleges perform better than 4-year colleges on the debt-to-earnings test.
  • Policymakers should start using debt-to-earnings tests to ensure that taxpayer funds are not used to support programs where the typical graduate cannot afford to repay their student loans.