Wyoming is known for its natural beauty but the state’s higher education opportunities are just as remarkable, especially with the increase of online colleges in Wyoming.
Tuition and fees at Wyoming’s postsecondary schools are among the lowest in the nation. This, combined with low student debt and high graduation rates, has earned the state a reputation of being a top state for higher education.
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Indeed, Wyoming has a lot to offer students who are looking to further their education.
Online Colleges in Wyoming
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows that approximately 19.6% of undergraduate students in Wyoming were enrolled in fully online degree programs, and another 35.8% were participating in a hybrid of online and on-campus classes.
Those numbers continue to rise as universities and online community colleges in Wyoming increase their offerings to meet the changing needs of college students. Today, various colleges offer online college education. Some offer more than 40 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as certificate and endorsement programs.
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Some online bachelor’s degrees include programs in business administration, family and consumer sciences, and accounting, as well as an RN/BSN completion program. At the community college level, you can take advantage of tremendous online learning opportunities. Online students earn the same degrees as traditional students, and they follow the same application and financial aid process.
WY community colleges offer dozens of fully online associate degree and certificate programs, in fields like accounting, agriculture, health science, and more. Other examples include anthropology, aviation, entrepreneurship, forensic science, museum/gallery studies, nutrition, pre-optometry, and so on. Hybrid students may opt to take some online classes and some in-person classes depending on their schedule.
Common Online Degrees in Wyoming
While degrees offered will vary between schools, listed below are some common Wyoming online degrees you may find when researching schools and their programs.
- Accounting: An accounting degree is ideal for students who want to work in finance or further their education with more advanced accounting degrees.
- Elementary Education: Earning this degree is the first step towards becoming a licensed teacher at the elementary school level.
- Anthropology: This degree can prepare students for careers as archeologists, museum curators, and anthropologists studying societies and cultures.
- Business Administration: A business administration degree prepares students for a wide range of careers, with topics including marketing, finance, and human resources.
- Criminal Justice Administration: Earning this degree prepares graduates for numerous positions in law enforcement, from entry-level to leadership roles.
In addition to the degrees listed above, students may find online degrees for Psychology, Computer Science, and Social Sciences as common online degrees in Wyoming.
Overview of Higher Education in Wyoming
Despite being one of the country’s largest states, Wyoming is home to just 9 degree-granting institutions, according to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Out of that number, 8 of the schools are public and 1 is a non-profit private school. There are no for-profit schools.
Tuition rates in Wyoming are incredibly low. According to the NCES, the average cost of in-state tuition and fees at a 4-year public institution in Wyoming is $4,785, the second-lowest in the nation. That is less than half the national average. For students coming from out of state, it will cost around $14,710, which is more than $12,000 below the national average.
Students coming from nearby western states may also benefit from Wyoming’s low tuition rates, thanks to the state’s partnership with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). WICHE’s Student Exchange Program allows students to enroll in degree programs at any of the 16 participating states and territories for no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate.
The state of Wyoming is focused on increasing the number of residents who pursue and complete higher education goals. In early 2018, Governor Matthew H. Mead issued an executive order with the following goals:
- 67% of residents ages 25-64 will have a postsecondary certificate or degree by 2025
- 82% of residents ages 25-64 will have a postsecondary certificate or degree by 2040
The governor called upon the state’s 7 community colleges and the University of Wyoming, along with the Wyoming Department of Education and the Wyoming Community College Commission to collaborate and implement a plan to achieve these goals and provide the skilled employees that Wyoming’s businesses need.
Employment Outlook for College Graduates in Wyoming
Graduates from Wyoming colleges, universities, and online Wyoming community colleges, may find job market growth in some key industries and careers.
Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in Education and Health Services, Sales, Transportation, and Construction are projected to grow over the next 10 years. Some positions, like Operations Managers and Registered Nurses, pay higher than average salaries, with job growth anticipated to continue.
As job opportunities grow in areas like mining and construction, an influx of workers and families means more jobs in areas like education, sales, and healthcare. Wyoming’s unemployment rate tends to remain around or below the national unemployment rate.
Careers & Salaries in Wyoming
Graduates seeking employment in Wyoming can find career opportunities in numerous areas, including management, education, healthcare, mining and logging, and construction.
Careers with some of the highest employment rates include retail sales, general and operations managers, registered nurses, teaching assistants, and bookkeepers. Graduates may also find seasonal employment opportunities, with leisure and hospitality jobs experiencing growth.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, listed below are 10 careers and salaries graduates pursue after completing their degree online.
|Annual Median Salaries
|General and Operations Managers
|Business Operations Specialists
|Accountants and Auditors
|Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers
|Office Clerks, General
|Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
|Home Health and Personal Care Aides
Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers, like accountants and auditors, are projected to grow 6 percent over the next 10 years.
Should I Study in Wyoming?
If you’re considering studying in Wyoming, there are several factors you can take into account to help you decide.
Ranking how important each of these factors is to you may also help with your decision.
- Lower Tuition: The cost of tuition at most schools in Wyoming is below the national average, making it an affordable option for many students.
- Cost of living: The cost of living in Wyoming is below the national average, making it attractive for students and new graduates just starting their careers.
- Outdoor recreation: As the least populated U.S. state, Wyoming offers expansive areas for outdoor enthusiasts, including two national parks.
- Job opportunities: Demand for jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree continues to grow, with an unemployment rate frequently below the national average.
With lower tuition and cost of living, and many natural attractions, studying in Wyoming can be an attractive option for many students.
Online Wyoming Colleges Admissions Requirements
While admissions requirements will vary by school, listed below are some common requirements for colleges, including online Wyoming community colleges.
- Minimum GPA: Some programs may require you to have earned a certain minimum GPA in your high school courses.
- Official Transcripts: Many programs will require copies of your official transcripts from high school or any other college courses you have taken.
- SAT / ACT scores (if applicable): If required, some schools may look for a minimum SAT or ACT score.
In addition, most schools will require you to complete an online application. Some schools may have different requirements for certain programs like Nursing or Accounting.
WY Online Colleges Accreditation
When looking into schools in Wyoming that offer online degrees, one important consideration is the school’s accreditation status. Colleges and universities that are accredited have programs that meet agreed-upon educational standards.
Regional accreditation is the most widely accepted type among schools and employers. Many schools will only accept degrees or transfer credits from other regionally accredited schools. Earning a degree from a regionally accredited school may also affect your employment opportunities, as some employers look more favorably on these degrees.
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You can visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website to learn more about the accreditation process and find information on specific schools.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Even with some of the lowest tuition rates in the nation, many students in Wyoming will need financial assistance in order to attend. To receive this assistance, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
When choosing to attend one of the many Wyoming online colleges, other forms of financial aid include grants and scholarships, which do not have to be paid back.
Here are some examples of programs available to Wyoming residents:
- Douvas Scholarship: $500
- Glen Legler Memorial Scholarship: $1,000
- Hathaway Scholarship: $840-$1,680
- Lael Harrison Scholarship: Varies
- Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Engineering Scholarship: Varies
- Wyoming County Commissioners’ Scholarship: $500 per semester
- Wyoming Homemakers Scholarship: Varies
If you are still in need of financial assistance, contact the financial aid office at the school you have chosen. Most institutions have programs, both need and merit-based, to help students bridge that gap.
Wyoming Online Education Resources
As you look into Wyoming online degrees and programs, know that there are various online education resources to help you.
- Wyoming Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators: Provides students with financial aid resources, including federal student aid and links to financial aid by school.
- GEAR UP Wyoming: Offers college prep and academic support to help students prepare for and be successful in their postsecondary education.
- Wyoming Community College Commission: Provides information about funding, programs, and degrees for online Wyoming community colleges.
As you look into individual schools, you may also find online resources the school offers for enrolled students.
How Much Does It Cost to Go to an Online College in Wyoming?
The cost of tuition for an online degree in Wyoming will vary based on several factors, including the type of school, potential tuition discounts, and other fees they may charge.
On average, you can expect to pay approximately $130 to $200 per credit for in-state tuition at a public four-year university in Wyoming. Tuition from online Wyoming community colleges is usually less than that of a 4-year public university. In-state tuition at a 2-year college is, on average, $110 to $170 per credit.
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While out-of-state tuition is more, many schools charge less for online courses, with some schools charging the same for online courses, regardless of residency status.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
As part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), Wyoming seeks to provide reduced out-of-state tuition for residents of select participating states.
The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) includes over 160 schools in 16 states and territories, including universities and online Wyoming community colleges. Schools that participate in the WUE tuition discount program cap their out-of-state tuition at no more than 150% of what they charge for in-state tuition.
Online tuition will vary by school, as will other fees that schools may charge, including fees for technology services, library access and online resources, and other materials you may need.
What Jobs Are in Demand in Wyoming?
As more people move to Wyoming in response to job demand in areas like mining, more jobs are needed to support those workers and their families.
Based on data from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, listed below are some of the most in-demand occupations in Wyoming.
- Management Occupations: Projected growth of 17.7%
- Business and Financial Occupations: Projected growth of 16.1%
- Health Practitioners and Technical Occupations: Projected growth of 14.3%
- Education, Training, and Library Occupations: Projected growth of 11.8%
- Sales and Related Occupations: Projected growth of 9.7%
Jobs in transportation, construction, and administrative support are also experiencing job growth and demand.
What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Wyoming?
The salary for any job will vary based on several factors, including where the job is located, your prior work experience, and your education level.
Based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, listed below are some of the highest-paying jobs in Wyoming and their annual median salaries.
|Annual Median Salaries
While many of these careers require advanced degrees, careers in management, sales, construction, and mining can potentially pay higher-than-average salaries.
List of Online Colleges in Wyoming
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Central Wyoming College offers online programs for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Common programs include childhood education, business entrepreneurship and leadership, pre-legal studies, and criminal justice. Instructors and students typically communicate through online discussion forums, phone, and e-mail. Courses tend to follow a semester schedule with 2 sessions in the summer.
Central Wyoming College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Laramie County Community College offers a number of associate’s degrees online or in a hybrid format. Potential programs include applied management, cybersecurity, and healthcare administration. Courses may be taught in both synchronous and asynchronous formats and are commonly 8, 12, or 16 weeks long.
LCCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Northwest College Wyoming offers a number of associate’s degree programs and 2 bachelor’s degree programs online or in a hybrid format. Programs may include adventure education, anthropology and archaeology, professional studies, and art and graphic design. Courses are commonly offered in full- and half-terms with multiple start dates.
Northwest College – Wyoming is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Wyoming offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs online. Popular programs include family and consumer science, kinesiology and health, and accounting. Courses are typically taught in both synchronous and asynchronous formats and tend to follow a regular semester schedule with start dates commonly offered in the fall, spring, and summer.
The University of Wyoming is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Western Wyoming Community College currently offers 14 online degree and certificate programs online, including associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. Typical programs include business management and criminal justice. Most courses are taught in an asynchronous learning format. Some courses are available in 7 week blocks and may be completed in as little as 16 months.
Western Wyoming Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Online Degree in Wyoming
Ranked among the best states for higher education, and with the nation’s lowest tuition rates, Wyoming is the perfect place to pursue a postsecondary degree.
If you’re ready to take your education to the next level, you may want to consider researching accredited Wyoming online colleges that offer your chosen degree program.