Ranger College, which serves a five county area in North Texas, is one of the most rapidly growing colleges in the state. It was inaugurated as a two year college in 1925, making it one of the oldest and most respected community colleges in the state. The main campus of Ranger College is located in the town of Ranger, with satellite campuses located in the town of Stephenville and in unincorporated Brown County, as well as a commercial trucking program in Early and cosmetology and nursing programs in Brownwood.
Ranger, a community of 3,000 people, is in between Fort Worth and Abilene, just north of I-20 and 90 miles from Fort Worth. The main campus spans 50 acres. The area is marked by forested hills and lakes, which offer innumerable opportunities for outdoor activities including camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, boating, and more.
Ranger College offers Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science degrees. Popular areas of concentration at Ranger College include agriculture, especially animal science; accounting; computing; cosmetology; music; registered nursing; vocational nursing; welding; and wind energy. Ranger both cooperates with local community agencies to promote adult literacy and offers developmental education for students not yet ready to perform college-level work. Like many community colleges, Ranger has an honors program for students pursuing academic excellence. Students must secure the approval of the Dean of Instruction and the President to enroll in the program. Honors students are expected to participate actively in Phi Theta Kappa, take basic humanities courses in addition to their other classwork, and attend Ranger full-time.
Prospective nursing students must successfully complete courses in CPR training, composition, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, general psychology, human grown and development, and microcomputer applications before they are eligible to enter the nursing program. Nursing students are also subject to a FBI criminal history check and a drug test. There are two separate nursing degrees offered at Ranger: the vocational nursing program is a one-year program; the registered nursing program is a two-year program. Comprehensive vocational nursing is offered in Brown County and at the Comanche Center in the town of Comanche.
The college offers cosmetology programs in Stephenville and Brownwood. The cosmetology program is a one-year program. Students learn to shampoo, cut, chemically relax, style, shape, and color hair. They also learn how to give manicures and facials. Upon completing the course, students have an opportunity to take the state exam to become licensed cosmetologists.
In 2010, Ranger began a wind energy program. Students wishing to enter the wind energy program must be drug tested and undergo a background check. Students will need to climb a 270 foot tower as part of the program as well as pay an additional tower climbing charge. Students in the wind energy program learn principles of electricity, the basics of fluid power, wind safety, basic digital electronics, and the details of wind turbine materials and electro-mechanical equipment.
Ranger College recently began developing a distance education program. All distance education classes are equivalent to traditional classes. The school also offers a limited number of interactive video classes.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The mission of the college is to extend educational opportunities to all students seeking the academic, vocational, technical, or developmental programs that they offer. As a result, their admissions are open. To apply to Ranger, visit ApplyTexas.org and fill out the online application, then submit the form to the website.
Incoming students are required to take proficiency tests in reading English, writing English, and college level math skills before enrolling in classes. Students are exempt from these tests only if they have a combined score of 1070 on the SAT with a minimum of 500 in each section, a composite score of 23 on the ACT with a minimum of 19 in the English and math sections, a college degree from another institution, or satisfactory completed coursework in English and math from another college. International students must show competency in English by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), show that they have an appropriate visa for studying in the United States, provide proof of medical insurance, and prepay for a year of classes before enrolling.
Ranger College boasts one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas. Even with low tuition, however, many students receive substantial financial aid. In addition to usual kinds of grants and loans available to college students in the United States, Ranger College also offers a number of unique scholarships that do not have to be repaid. Here are a few of the options:
The High School Honor Graduate Scholarship, awarded to the highest ranking graduate from any accredited Texas high school.
The Lions Club Scholarship, provided by the Lions Club of Ranger for a student who demonstrates good citizenship. Interested applicants should contact the Lions Club directly.
The Ranger College Faculty Scholarship, awarded on an annual basis by the President of the Faculty Association.
The Ranger College Communicative Arts Scholarship, awarded by the speech faculty to the student deemed most deserving.
The Morris Frank Miller Scholarship, awarded annually to a deserving student by the Ranger College Band Director.
The R. Bruce Golemon Scholarship, awarded annually to a local student for study and participation in music at Ranger College. Interested applicants should contact the Ranger College Band Director.
The Britain Mills Scholarship, an annual award based on need and academic interests. Applicants should contact the college president.
Ranger College Grant-in-Aid is a $750 per semester scholarship open to all full-time students attending classes on the main Ranger campus, available through the financial aid office.
The Joe and Polly Alexander Scholarship and the Joe and Barbara Wesley Scholarship are awarded on the basis of need. Interested applicants should contact the college president.
The H.V. and Gaynell O’Brien Scholarship and Lorene Oliver Scholarships are awarded on the basis on need and academic interest. Applicants should contact the college president.
The Letha Robertson Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a student from Eastland County. Interested applicants should contact the college president.
The Clara and Wayne Mathews Scholarship and the Waymond and Jo Ann Greenwood Scholarship are both awarded to students from Eastland County with a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher. Interested applicants should contact the college president.
In addition to the nationally standardized financial aid option, Ranger offers a few grants that are unique to Texas. They are:
The Texas Public Education Grant
This grant was established by the Texas State Legislature for Texas residents based on need. The annual maximum and minimum awards are set by state regulations and are awarded on a first come, first served basis until funds are depleted.
Towards Excellence, Access & Success (TEXAS) Grant Program
This grant was established by the Texas State Legislature to help needy students who complete high school with advanced curriculum. The annual maxiumum and minimum awards are set by state regulations and are awarded on a first come, first served basis until all funds are depleted. This grant is only available to full-time students who are Texas residents.
Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG)
This grant was established by the Texas State Legislature to help needy students who complete high school with advanced curriculum and are pursuing an Associates Degree. These funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are depleted. This grant is only available to full-time students who are Texas residents. In cases of particular hardship, however, the financial aid director may allow a part-time student to use TEOG grant money for tuition.
The state of Texas and Ranger College also provide tuition exemptions and wavers for many students who are blind, deaf, certified education aides, certified fire fighters, children of disabled firemen and police officers, dependents of veterans killed in action, early high school graduates, high school valedictorians, senior citizens, or minors in foster care.
Unlike most community colleges in the United States, Ranger College maintains on-site housing for students. Room and board are packaged together; students who choose to live in the dormitory must also pay for a meal plan. There are four residence halls for men and two residence halls for women at Ranger. The men’s halls are Ranger, Nicksick, Meyerson, and Regent, while the women’s are Wagley and Kuykendall.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The name of the athletics teams at Ranger College is, of course, the Rangers. Ranger athletics have a proud history. In 1978, the football team won the NJCAA national championship. In 2007, the men’s rodeo team won the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Finals—just two years into the team’s existence. Today, Rangers compete in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, softball, cross-country, golf, soccer, volleyball, and rodeo.
2010 Catalog. Ranger College. Web. 13 Apr. 2011.
Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.
International Student Packet. Ranger College. Web. 13 Apr. 2011.
Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.