The College With The Best Music Program In The Country Is… SMU?

Earlier this week, USA Today released its ranking of the top 10 music colleges in the United States.

And with the North Texas region's rich musical history, it probably isn't much of a shock to find that out that one local college program not only cracked the list but landed the top spot.

According to the list — which took into consideration such factors as the mid-career salaries of a program's graduates, how many students graduate from a school's music program on a given year, what percentage of the school's students are enrolled in the music program compared to other majors and how many different music-related majors each school offers — the No. 1 music school in the country is Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts.

In other news: The University of North Texas' own noted music and jazz program didn't even crack the list.

Apparently, though, the USA Today folks used a methodology that emphasized the amount of financial aid offered to potential students over the fact that a program like UNT has graduated the likes of Norah Jones, Pat Boone, Schoolhouse Rock music director Bob Dorough, Don Henley, Late Show with David Letterman tumpeter Frank Greene, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Blues Brothers/SNL trombonist Tom “Bones” Malone, Roy Orbison, and Dave Matthews Band/Bela Fleck & the Flecktones saxophonist Jeff Coffin, plus members of Brave Combo, Snarky Puppy and too many other Grammy-winning musicians to count.

Of course, given that its program is that prestigious and the slots in it are so hard to come by, UNT probably doesn't really have to offer up as much aid. So, there's your pre-packaged defense, UNT alums, next time a smug SMU grad tries to shame you.

Meanwhile: Congrats, SMU.

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