Best Wyoming Colleges & Universities

Become Team
Become Team
September 7, 2021

Wyoming has a growing need for individuals with college training. According to Complete College Wyoming, 65 percent of the jobs in Wyoming will require some form of college credential by 2020. In order to meet this demand, Wyoming has established numerous goals, including increasing completion at community colleges and developing new strategies to help college students stay in school. In order to help students find a college in Wyoming, we explored factors that matter to students, including tuition and financial aid availability, how much alumni make and the net price of colleges in Wyoming. We also put together a list of college planning resources and tools for prospective students to utilize.

Wyoming College Leaderboard: Rankings

Compared to more highly populated states, Wyoming's higher education presence is smaller, but there are still plenty of great options for aspiring students. Those options are the focus of our rankings of best Wyoming colleges. We looked at the factors that matter most to students, such as tuition, future earning potential and student-to-faculty ratio. The rankings provide a great overview of the top Wyoming institutions.

Rankings Methodology Minimum Qualifications
  • Located in Wyoming
  • Public or private not-for-profit
  • Institutionally accredited
  • At least 10 total programs
Ranking Metrics
  • Median annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering the college
  • In-state tuition and fees for undergraduates
  • Student/teacher ratio
  • 6-year graduation rate
  • % of students receiving institutional financial aid (first-time, full-time undergrads)
  • Average amount of institutional aid awarded per student (first-time, full-time undergrads)
  • Availability of placement services upon completion
  • Availability of academic/career counseling services
  • Availability of employment services
  • 3-year student cohort loan default rate
Data Sources

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS): National Center for Education Statistics

Latest 'Final Release' data available as of Fall 2016 College Scorecard: U.S. Department of Education

2-Year Programs

Casper College View School Profile $ 30% 98.73 $32,900 12:1 42% N/A 4 132 Yes No
Northwest College View School Profile $ 26% 93.06 $28,800 12:1 80% N/A 0 87 No Yes
Central Wyoming College View School Profile $ 29% 92.91 $30,500 11:1 67% N/A 3 91 No Yes
Laramie County Community College View School Profile $ 14% 90.72 $32,400 15:1 31% N/A 10 96 No No
Western Wyoming Community College View School Profile $ 53% 89.32 $31,100 16:1 39% N/A 22 77 Yes Yes
Sheridan College View School Profile $ 26% 87.42 $32,300 16:1 54% N/A 6 70 No Yes
Eastern Wyoming College View School Profile $ 35% 86 $26,200 17:1 63% N/A 3 55 Yes No

4-Year Programs

University of Wyoming View School Profile $ 54% 86 $46,200 15:1 65% 98% 3 151 Yes Yes

College Outreach Programs in Wyoming

Prospective students who are interested in attending college might feel they are unable to go due to factors like financial constraints, lack of guidance or academic disadvantage. From scholarships to tuition to free college credits, Wyoming has several programs in place to help high school and other aspiring students overcome these issues and attend college. Below are a few of those programs.

Dual and Concurrent Enrollment

This program provides high school students with the opportunity to take classes that offer college credit. However, what makes this program particularly enticing is these classes are taken while students are still in high school, free of charge. Courses cover vocational and career subjects as well as basic academics that can transfer to another college or university. All of Wyoming's community colleges offer Dual and Concurrent Enrollment courses to high school students.

GEAR UP Wyoming

The Gain Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) serves at least 2,000 low-income students who are at risk of not graduating high school. In order to improve the outlook for these at-risk students, GEAR UP uses a three-pronged approach. First, academic studies are improved. Second, academic expectations are raised so students will work harder to achieve more in school. Finally, GEAR UP educates students about their options to get into college as well as their potential in getting a college degree or credential.

Hathaway Scholarship

The Hathaway Scholarship is a series of five scholarships intended to help Wyoming high school students attend the University of Wyoming or one of the state's seven community colleges. The scholarship consists of four merit-based awards and one need-based award. Awards range between $840 to $1,680 per semester with a sliding scale of academic requirements. Students will need to meet the GPA and curriculum requirements in order to be eligible. Homeschooled students are also eligible to apply.

Cost of College in Wyoming: How Does It Stack Up?

Tuition and financial aid are two important factors prospective college students should examine when deciding how much a school costs. The charts below provide a good look at the average Wyoming tuition, the average financial aid award and the percentage of students who receive financial aid when enrolling in college. This can help students get a feel for just how much they might expect to see tuition drop when their financial aid reward comes in.

Source: CollegeBoard

Source: IPEDS

Source: IPEDS

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a postsecondary institution.

* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Most Affordable Wyoming Colleges

As a whole, the cost of college in Wyoming is well below the national average. However, how do Wyoming's colleges stack up against each other in terms of cost? The following rankings list the most affordable colleges in Wyoming by taking each school's tuition cost and subtracting the typical financial aid in order to calculate an overall net price.

Wyoming College Net Price vs. National Average

Average
Annual Net Price
WYOMING $18,100
$18,073

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Wyoming Colleges with Highest Alumni Earnings

In order to determine the return on a college investment, prospective students may want to look at their future earning potential. Though the potential income earned by graduates depends on many factors, a few schools tend to produce graduates who make higher wages than others. The following data represents the top two Wyoming colleges with respect to alumni who make the most money ten years after entering college.

Wyoming Alumni Salaries vs. National Average

Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After Entering College
WYOMING $37,500
$42,759

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Colleges in Wyoming With Least Alumni Debt

Another method of calculating the return on a college investment is looking at how much debt graduates carry after college. Student loans can significantly burden a graduate's future professional and personal goals, so it is important to leave college with as little debt as possible. The following list shows the best Wyoming colleges in terms of alumni debt.

Wyoming College Grad Debt Vs. National Average

Median Federal Student
Loan Debt After Graduation
WYOMING $23,128
$23,145

Source: College Scorecard
Note: Rankings/data represent 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Wyoming Cost of Living: College Expenses Beyond Tuition

The final piece in calculating the cost of college in Wyoming is determining the cost of living for the area where a particular school is located. Overall, according to Sperling's Best Places, Wyoming has a cost of living about 4 percent greater than the national average. However, that does not mean that all metro areas of the state are going to be too expensive for students to live comfortably while going to school. This chart details the cost of living in those areas and in the state as a whole.

area composite index housing groceries utilities transportation health care misc.
Statewide Average 93% 89% 100% 99% 91% 98% 93%
Cheyenne 94% 90% 103% 99% 87% 96% 95%
Laramie 93% 87% 98% 100% 96% 100% 91%

Source: The Council for Community and Economic Research

Accrediting Agencies for Colleges in Wyoming

When choosing a Wyoming college, accreditation status is vitally important. Accreditation ensures that a degree or credential comes from a school that has met the standards of a quality education. Employers recognize degrees from accredited institutions, financial aid options might be more abundant for those who attend accredited schools and often times credits from one school will only transfer to another if the transferring institution is accredited.

Accrediting bodies usually accredit schools as a whole, known as institutional accreditation, or they will accredit individual programs. The Higher Learning Commission, a regional accrediting organization, accredits Wyoming schools at the institutional level. Two examples of accrediting agencies for specific programs include the following:

Major College Cities in Wyoming

Cheyenne

According to the City of Cheyenne website, Cheyenne got its roots as a frontier town and now serves as the state capital. With a bustling downtown and busy outdoor scene, residents can partake in everything from a thriving nightlife to rock climbing. While not an average college town, students who attend one of the few post-secondary educational institutions will have plenty to see and enjoy in Cheyenne.

College Name School Type Annual Net Price Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

CheyenneLaramie County Community College Public $9,010 $32,400
LCCC has 3,500 full-time equivalent students and offers a variety of programs, including agribusiness technology, nursing, anthropology, computer science, web design and music. Students can choose from 67 programs that lead to associate degrees and 25 programs that award certificates. This community college provides strong support for organized athletics, including soccer, rodeo and volleyball.
Laramie

Laramie has evolved into a quaint town with strong historical culture. For college students who love the outdoors, Laramie will be a very enjoyable place to study. While Laramie isn't a typical college town, the University of Wyoming and Wyoming Technical Institute are big draws for students from across the state.

College Name School Type Annual Net Price Annual Median Earnings
10 Years After College

Only includes former students who received federal financial aid.

LaramieUniversity of Wyoming Public $11,292 $46,200
With a student body of 14,000, the University of Wyoming provides over 190 areas of study, including pharmacy, law, energy resources, business and engineering. Even though the University of Wyoming is a major state institution, class sizes are a reasonable 29 students on average. Students interested in studying abroad will appreciate the fact that the university has the single largest endowment for study abroad support.
LaramieWyoming Technical Institute Private for-profit $29,810 $41,500
WyoTech originated in 1966 in a single building. Today, Wyoming Technical Institute has several campuses nationwide, including the flagship in Laramie. WyoTech currently serves as a major vocational training institution for Wyoming students by providing over 300,000 square feet for instructional learning. Courses offered are primarily based in automotive studies and include automotive technology, collision refinishing technology and diesel technology.

Source: College Scorecard

College Resources for Students in Wyoming

Attending college is a big step. This list of resources can help students with career development, financial assistance and general college information.

Daniels Fund Scholarship Program

This program provides a renewable scholarship to students based on character, financial need and academic merit. Eligible students must come from a mountain west region like Wyoming.

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education works to improve higher education in western states, including Wyoming. WICHE offers several programs to help Wyoming students attend school outside of Wyoming and vice versa.

Wyoming Community College Commission

This commission is an online resource for students that offers information about various Wyoming community colleges, program availability and financial aid support.

Wyoming Department of Education

The mission of the Wyoming DOE is to improve the number of Wyoming students who are ready for college or a professional career.

Wyoming Department of Workforce Services

This department is tasked with the development of Wyoming's workforce. Information on various training programs is available here.

Wyoming Transfer Advance (WTA)

WTA is a program designed to facilitate the transfer process of associate degree holders from Wyoming community colleges to the University of Wyoming.

Become Team
Become Team
Contributing Writer