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Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX): Southwestern may be the best-kept secret in Texas. One of the university's standout features is the Paideia Learning Experience where students work with professors to determine subject material to study or research, connect different classes in new ways, and collaborate with other students, faculty, and staff. It is not uncommon for the university president to invite students to dine at his home to discuss topics or meet special guests. A small campus with good merit awards and solid liberal arts curriculum, Southwestern has been named one of Loren Pope's "Colleges that Change Lives."
St. Edward's University (Austin, TX): A former commuter school, St. Edward's U has transformed itself with a solid liberal arts curriculum, good merit aid, and strong study abroad. Its location in the heart of Austin provides for good internship and shadowing opportunities and a diverse student culture. Professors at St. Edward's are engaged and the university's business program is really taking off.
Trinity University (San Antonio, TX): A midsized San Antonio university with a $1-billion endowment, Trinity offers housekeeping in its dorm rooms, all new buildings, and a test-optional admissions policy. In addition to a new STEM focus, the university has excellent neuroscience and early childhood research programs.
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