As we put the wraps on the first week of a new semester here in Aggieland, there’s a lot of good news beyond the resolution of 2012 Heisman Trophy-winning sensation Johnny Manziel’s future at quarterback.
By all indications, both incoming freshmen and their families have reason to feel secure about their educational investment, thanks to far bigger breaking news than who’s under center this season. In case you haven’t heard, Texas A&M ranks as the top university in Texas (second overall to Rice University, which is private) and fourth in the nation among public institutions for return on investment for a degree, according to AffordableCollegesOnline, a national website that tracks college pricing and, as the name suggests, overall affordability. Matter of fact, after all their algorithms are said and done, that choice to attend Texas A&M could translate to being $1 million richer. Holy future bargaining, Bat Man!
Judging from local real estate sales to traffic (vehicle and foot), the secret of Aggieland’s allure appears to be out – or at least well on its way. Another study from SquareFoot.com pegs College Station as the second-fastest-growing college town in the country behind Raleigh, North Carolina, one of three anchors in the coveted Research Triangle. In fact, the home of Texas A&M University is expected to top 100,000 during the next couple of months, and that’s not even taking into account the weekend swell for home football games.
Yep, by all accounts, it’s a good time to be a Texas Aggie. Of course, I thought so 25 years ago when I fell in love with the place my older brother called his collegiate home while I was here for a summer honors program. I applied later that fall, was accepted, enrolled for my freshman year in 1989, and never looked back. Now that I’m still here and raising my own family, I have to admit, it’s one decision in life that I’ve never regretted, let alone even second-guessed. The older I get, the more I realize that’s the kind of peace of mind money can’t buy.
Thanks and gig ‘em, Aggies!