Students in Wyoming can go out of state for college, but our analysis of the best traditional and online colleges in Wyoming and elsewhere in the U.S. suggests that one of their best options might be closer to home.
We gathered a ton of data on four-year schools nationwide, mostly from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, and ran it through a 13-point methodology in order to find out which institutions stood out above the rest. We've also pulled together a list of the top degree programs in the state, provided some information about state-based financial aid programs for Wyoming residents and laid out some career market data to help you get an idea of how you might use your degree once you've earned it.
If you're a student at one of Wyoming's seven two-year schools, remember that your associate degree courses can transfer directly to the University of Wyoming with only a few exceptions. Check with a community college advisor on your campus for more information.
Best 4-Year College in Wyoming
Here's a full rundown of how the University of Wyoming ranked among all the schools we surveyed nationally. Click the button below if you want to see just how we came up with the rankings. When you're done here, be sure to read up on the best Wyoming community colleges, too.
Founded in 1886, the University of Wyoming is a land-grant research institution with a total headcount enrollment of more than 12,000 students. Its main Laramie campus plays host to over 10,000 learners, while close to 200 students attend classes at a satellite location in Casper and around 1,800 are seeking exclusively online degrees.
Accredited online degree programs are available at all collegiate levels at UW. Undergraduates can pursue online degrees in business administration, nursing and family and consumer sciences, while master's degrees in health care, business and education dominate the online graduate catalog. Numerous certificates can also be earned through online courses.
Keeping educational costs down is a priority for many students at the nation's top colleges and universities. In Wyoming, however, it's a way of life. The annual tuition and fees at UW came in at just over $5,200 in 2017-18 -- nearly half of the nationwide average of $9,970 calculated across all four-year universities.
If you've got some credits or an associate degree from one of the top regional schools in Wyoming, don't forget to look into UW's resources for transfer students. The university maintains outreach centers at some Wyoming community colleges to help you learn about your options.
Although UW ran unopposed for the top spot among the best schools in Wyoming, universities in the region and around the country could stand to learn a few things from its inexpensive, student-focused approach. Don't overlook this homegrown gem if you're a Wyoming student.
Most Popular Degree Programs in Wyoming
Knowing which degree programs are most popular among Wyoming students can help you better understand the approach to college that your fellow students are likely to be taking. Check out this list of the state's top degrees by enrollment.
In-Demand Careers in Wyoming
If you're hoping to transition out of college and into the job market with as little pain as possible, it's a good idea to be aware of career sectors that are likely to be searching for an education background like yours. Here's a quick rundown of some of Wyoming's hottest careers.
|Career Title||Projected Job Growth||Total Employment||Annual Salary|
|Wind Turbine Service Technicians||148.7%||160||$46,140|
|Extraction Workers, All Other||90.3%||150||-|
|Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas||82.8%||250||$61,510|
|Derrick Operators, Oil and Gas||81.3%||260||$55,040|
|Service Unit Operators, Oil, Gas, and Mining||79.4%||1,800||$55,410|
|Roustabouts, Oil and Gas||79%||1,920||$44,490|
|Geological and Petroleum Technicians||67%||150||$59,410|
|Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters||39%||190||$65,800|
|Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas||38.8%||110||$49,830|
|Crane and Tower Operators||35.9%||100||$60,750|
|Physical Therapist Aides||32.4%||100||$26,080|
|Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators||31.6%||-||-|
|Diagnostic Medical Sonographers||31%||70||$66,090|
|Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners||29.2%||110||$44,190|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||28.6%||140||$56,520|
|Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity||28.1%||260||$36,160|
|Home Health Aides||27.8%||630||$28,060|
|Software Developers, Applications||27.4%||290||$72,210|
|First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers||27.1%||2,700||$75,210|
|Hazardous Materials Removal Workers||26.7%||70||$50,240|
Financial Aid and Scholarships in Wyoming
Wyoming residents can offset some of the costs of tuition with state financial aid programs like the Douvas Scholarship, which awards $500 each year to a first-generation American who plans to attend either the University of Wyoming or one of the state's community colleges. Other options include the Hathaway Scholarship which includes four separate merit-based awards and an additional need-based award that can supplement the others. Also available is the Daniels Scholarship, a variable four-year award available to graduating high school seniors in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.
MAX. AWARD AMOUNT
MAX. AWARD AMOUNT
MAX. AWARD AMOUNT
MAX. AWARD AMOUNT
- University of Wyoming
- Wyoming Department of Education
- Dual & Concurrent Enrollment
- Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP Wyoming)
- Hathaway Scholarship
- CollegeInvest Wyoming
To get our list of the best colleges, we ranked 1,383 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S. Each school was scored on a 100-point scale, using the following data points and the weights specified. In order to be included in the ranking, schools had to report data for each of the following data points:
- The in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016-17
- The average amount of institutional grant aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduate students as a percentage of in-state tuition and fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Median debt of graduates, College Scorecard, 2015-16
- 3-year student loan repayment rate of graduates, College Scorecard, 2015-16
- No. of degree and certificate programs offered on campus, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- No. of degree and certificate programs offered via distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
- Percent of students enrolled in any distance education classes, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2016
- Full-time student retention rate, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2016
- Graduation rate within six years, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016-17
- Percent of students working and not enrolled 6 years after entry, College Scorecard, 2013-14
- Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016-17
- Dual credit
- Credit for life experience
- Advanced Placement credit
- Programs of study that can be completed entirely on weekends or in the evening
- Remedial services
- Academic and career counseling
- Job placement services for graduates
- Guaranteed tuition plan
- Tuition payment plan
- Any other alternative tuition plan
Note:Tuition prices are based on data for the 2016-17 academic year reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.
All of the National Center for Education Statistics data came from IPEDS:
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2015-16, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
- School pages, accessed May 31, 2018: About UW, University of Wyoming, http://www.uwyo.edu/uw/aboutuw/; Brown & Gold Report, Fact Book, University of Wyoming, https://bi-eeik.analytics.us2.oraclecloud.com/analytics/saw.dll?portalpages; Distance Programs, University of Wyoming, http://www.uwyo.edu/distance/programs/index.html; Transfer Resources, Admissions, University of Wyoming, http://www.uwyo.edu/admissions/transfer/resources.html; Transfer Colleges, Eastern Wyoming College, https://ewc.wy.edu/academic-services/transfer-colleges/;
- Tuition and Fees and Room and Board over Time, Trends in Higher Education, The College Board, accessed May 31, 2018, https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-fees-room-and-board-over-time
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
- Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2016-17, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
- Wyoming Department of Education, accessed June 14, 2017: Douvas Scholarship, https://edu.wyoming.gov/beyond-the-classroom/college-career/scholarships/douvas/; Hathaway Scholarship, https://edu.wyoming.gov/beyond-the-classroom/college-career/scholarships/hathaway/;
- About the Scholarship, Hathaway Scholarship, accessed June 14, 2017, http://hathawayscholarship.org/hathaway-scholarship/about-the-scholarship/
- Daniels Fund Scholarship Program Overview, Daniels Fund, accessed June 14, 2017, http://www.danielsfund.org/scholarships/#Daniels%20Fund%20Scholarship
- Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2017-18 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.