dcsimg

Online Colleges in New Mexico

Most Affordable Online Colleges
School Interviews
Dr. Teresita E. Aguilar
- Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, New Mexico Highlands University
"We have found that our more successful online students are highly motivated, disciplined, and have a good support base from family members or employers."
See entire interview

Introduction

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the unemployment rate in New Mexico was 6.6 percent in 2012, better than that of the rest of the country. Some growing industries in New Mexico are:

  • Mining and Lodging
  • Leisure and Hospitality
  • Education and Health Services

Of the 1.3 million New Mexicans who are older than 25, one in 10 has a graduate or professional degree and nearly 15 percent have earned a bachelor's degree, according the U.S. Census Bureau. One in three has an associate degree or have attended college without earning a diploma. Among the 200,000 residents who are between 18 and 24, more than 40 percent have earned an associate degree or have attended some college.

New Mexico's 784,000 workers earn an average of $19.94 an hour, for an annual average income of $41.470, according to the BLS. Those who are interested in returning to school, either to complete their undergraduate degree or to simply get started on earning a diploma, can choose from 20 different colleges or universities that offer Bachelor's degrees. More than half of those schools are public institutions.

Most Affordable Colleges in New Mexico

The following list ranks schools in New Mexico that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs. This ranking is based on a number of factors that are important to prospective students such as the number of degree programs taught online, and information on tuition fees, graduation rate and accreditation. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students. See our Methodology section for more details on the ranking methodology.

1

New Mexico Highlands University

Tuition/Year
$4,000
Graduation Rate
18,500%
# of Online Degrees
1
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

New Mexico Highlands University, located in the Four Corners area of the state, offers many courses online that lead to a Bachelor's or Master's degree. However, it's only fully online degree program is in Nursing, and is offered to students with an Associate degree in Nursing.
School Website: 
GO
2

Eastern New Mexico University

Tuition/Year
$4,558
Graduation Rate
29%
# of Online Degrees
22
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Eastern New Mexico's fully accredited online degrees cover a wide range of disciplines and are noted for their personal, flexible approach. Online Bachelor's degree programs include Applied Arts and Sciences; Aviation Science; Communicative Disorders; Electronics Engineering Technology; Nursing; Occupational Education; Religion; and University Studies. Online Master's degrees: Business Administration; Education Administration; Elementary Education; Elementary Education-Alternative Licensure; Nursing (emphasis in nursing education); Pedagogy and Learning (emphasis in reading, TESOL, ELED, SPED, Ed Tech, and BLED); Physical Education (emphases in coaching or sports administration); Career and Technical Education; Reading and Literacy; Secondary Education-Alternate Licensure; Secondary Education-for Licensed Teachers; Special Education-Alternative Licensure; Special Education-for Licensed Teachers; Special Education-Early Childhood; Nursing-Nursing Education.
School Website: 
GO
3

Western New Mexico University

Tuition/Year
$4,723
Graduation Rate
17%
# of Online Degrees
14
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

Western offers primarily asynchronous online programs, which means students can access their course assignments at any time or place. Some programs do require synchronous meetings for such things as labs or scheduled meetings via web-conference. Associate degrees are offered online in Liberal Studies and Criminal Justice, and Bachelor's degrees online are offered in Criminal Justice; Interdisciplinary Studies; Nursing; Rehabilitation Services; and Social Work. Online graduate degree programs include Business Administration; Educational Leadership; Interdisciplinary Studies; Occupational Therapy; Reading; Social Work; and Teaching.
School Website: 
GO
4

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Tuition/Year
$5,714
Graduation Rate
44%
# of Online Degrees
4
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

At NMIMT, distance students are brought into the classroom through Tech's multimedia-enabled classrooms, which allows online students to hear the same lectures and ask questions just like those who are physically present. Students can earn graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering; Materials Engineering; and Engineering Management, and a certificate in Hydrology Engineering. A Master of Science for Teachers degree is also available.
School Website: 
GO
5

New Mexico State University

Tuition/Year
$6,220
Graduation Rate
43%
# of Online Degrees
28
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

New Mexico State University has become a leader in the Land of Enchantment through its online degree-completion programs for Bachelor's degrees as well as its offerings for graduate and doctoral students. The seven undergraduate degrees include Sociology; Business Administration (General business); Criminal Justice; Information and Communication Technology; Business Administration (Marketing); Elementary Education; and Nursing. Their 18 Master's degrees run from Agricultural and Extension Education to Nursing Administration. Doctorate programs are offered in Curriculum and Instruction; Nursing; and Educational Leadership.
School Website: 
GO
6

University of New Mexico

Tuition/Year
$6,846
Graduation Rate
48%
# of Online Degrees
21
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

According to UNM, the university supports its online students the same way it supports students on its brick-and-mortar campus - with advisement and personal attention. Online Bachelor's degrees programs are offered in Business Administration; Communication; Organizational Communications; Dental Hygiene; Liberal Arts; and Integrative Studies; Medical Laboratory Sciences; Nursing; and Radiologic Sciences. Online Master's degree programs include Dental Hygiene; Elementary Education (with a focus on Teacher Leadership); Secondary Education (with a focus on Teacher Leadership); Educational Leadership; Engineering; Computer Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Nursing; Family Nurse Practitioner; Nurse Administrator; Nursing Education; and Organization, Information & Learning Sciences (General Concentration and eLearning Concentration). The school also offers a doctoral program in Nursing.
School Website: 
GO
7

University of New Mexico - Los Alamos

Tuition/Year
$6,846
Graduation Rate
7%
# of Online Degrees
29
Accredited
 
School Type
2-year

About

In recent years, this branch of the University of New Mexico has been greatly expanding its online degree programs. Bachelor's degrees are now offered online in Business Administration; Communication; Computer Science; Dental Hygiene; Early Childhood & Multicultural Education; Emergency Medical Services; Liberal Arts and Integrative Studies; Medical Laboratory Sciences; Nursing; and Radiologic Sciences. Master's degree programs range from Dental Hygiene to Nuclear Engineering. The doctoral program is in Nursing.
School Website: 
GO
8

National American University (Visit School Site)

Tuition/Year
$12,423
Graduation Rate
25%
# of Online Degrees
36
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

National American has campuses in several large Western and Midwestern states, and has grown considerably since it was founded in 1941 in Rapid City, South Dakota. The 14 Associate degree online programs include Accounting; Applied Information Technology; Business Administration; Business Logistics; Computer Security; Criminal Justice; Electronic Health Record Support Specialist; Health and Beauty Management; Health Information Technology; Information Technology; Management; Medical Administrative Assistant; Medical Staff Services Management; and Small Business Management. Bachelor's degrees are offered in Business, Education and Computer fields.
School Website: 
GO
9

University of the Southwest

Tuition/Year
$14,280
Graduation Rate
14%
# of Online Degrees
13
Accredited
 
School Type
4-Year

About

The University of the Southwest is based in Hobbs, New Mexico and has been teaching "Christ-centered values" since its founding in 1962. Online Bachelor's degree programs include Business Administration; Criminal Justice; and Psychology. Master's degrees online are offered in Business Administration; Sport Management and Recreation; Curriculum and Instruction (including traditional, bilingual and TESOL tracks); Early Childhood Education; Educational Administration; School Counseling; Mental Health Counseling; and Special Education.
School Website: 
GO
School Interviews

Teresita Aguilar

Dr. Teresita E. Aguilar, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, New Mexico Highlands University

Q. Can you tell us about the online educational opportunities available at the New Mexico Highlands University?

New Mexico Highlands offers two fully online undergraduate degrees, a Bachelor of Science in nursing for students who already hold an associate of nursing and a bachelor of business administration for students holding an associate degree. Our graduate MBA program is also fully online.

Q. Do you see interest in online education growing at your school?

Highlands is currently developing its five-year strategic plan, and the expansion of online offerings is a major component of the plan. NMHU currently offers a very limited number of fully online degree programs and several online and hybrid courses. In our strategic planning process for HU Vision 2020, the steering committee is recommending that we "leverage technology ... to support quality and innovation in teaching and learning." To that end, we anticipate increasing the number of fully online graduate programs and undergraduate degree completion programs for transfer students.

Q. What tips would you be provide to students who are considering online education, at your school or elsewhere?

Online courses offer a diverse array of subject matter and convenience, but the exchange of ideas is still a major foundation of the learning process. Students taking online courses should try to get to know other students and the professor if possible.

We have found that our more successful online students are highly motivated, disciplined, and have a good support base from family members or employers. Many students describe their appreciation for access to course materials 24-7, clear directions on assignments, and accessibility of faculty and tech support as benefits to being an online student.

Top Cities For Students In New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Mean Wage

$42,840

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

370,000

Total Population

545,852

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$42,992

Economics

The Albuquerque metropolitan area, located in the central part of the state and including the fast-growing suburban city of Rio Ranchos, is the economic hub of New Mexico. There are 370,000 workers living in this area, and they earn an average hourly wage of $20.60. This translates into an average annual income of $42,840, slightly higher than the state average.

Demographics

Albuquerque, when combined with the surrounding counties of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia, is home to nearly 1 million. More than half live within the city limits of Albuquerque. The area provides roughly half of the entire state's workforce. More than 350,000 of Albuquerque's residents are older than 25, and in that group, 14 percent have a graduate or professional degree and 18 percent have a Bachelor's degree.

Fun Facts

The Albuquerque metropolitan area, located in the central part of the state and including the fast-growing suburban city of Rio Ranchos, is the economic hub of New Mexico. There are 370,000 workers living in this area, and they earn an average hourly wage of $20.60. This translates into an average annual income of $42,840, slightly higher than the state average.

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Mean Wage

$38,780

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

70,000

Total Population

100,000

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$41,423

Economics

Las Cruces, the home of New Mexico State University, is located in the fertile Mesilla Valley and flanked by the majestic Organ Mountains. Workers here, many of whom are employed by the federal government, earn an average of $18.64 an hour for an average annual wage of $38,780.

Demographics

The nearly 70,000 workers in Las Cruces represent just under 10 percent of the state's entire workforce. Nearly 13 percent of the adult population has a graduate or professional degree, and 18 percent have a Bachelor's degree.

Fun Facts

As a farming community, it's not surprising that Las Cruces is rich in farmers markets and good restaurants serving locally grown foods. As a college town, it's no surprise that the city also has a vibrant nightlife and cultural heritage. The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum is one of the area's top attractions.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Mean Wage

$42,520

Average Cost of a House

NA

# of Employed People

59,000

Total Population

70,000

Avg Salary with a Bachelor's Degree

$42,167

Economics

Though home to just under 68,000 people, Santa Fe is nevertheless a booming place. Workers here bring home on average $20.44 an hour, for an annual average income of $42,520.

Demographics

Santa Fe's 59,000 workers represent roughly 8 percent of the state's workforce. But they are a well-educated group. Among those who are older than 25, one in five has a graduate or professional degree and one in five has a Bachelor's. In addition, one in four residents has attended college or earned an Associate degree.

Fun Facts

Santa Fe is an artists' mecca, so it's not surprising that galleries and showings are a big part of the cultural life here. The Georgia O'Keefe Museum is located in Santa Fe, as is the Museum of International Folk Art. Visitors want to make sure to roam the Santa Fe historic district and visit the Loretto Chapel.

 
Other New Mexico Resources

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nm.htm
  2. College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=NM&l=93&ct=2+3
  3. Eastern New Mexico University, http://www.enmu.edu/future-students/onlinedegrees.shtml
  4. Eastern New Mexico University Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_New_Mexico_University#Notable_alumni
  5. Fun Things to Do in Albuquerque, http://www.visitalbuquerque.org/things-to-do/
  6. Fun Things to Do in Las Cruces, http://www.meetlascruces.com/
  7. Fun Things to do in Santa Fe, http://santafe.org/Visiting_Santa_Fe/Things_to_Do/Kids_Activities/
  8. National American University, http://www.national.edu/programs/online
  9. New Mexico Highlands University, http://nmhu.edu/statewidecenters/distancelearning/index.aspx
  10. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, http://act.nmt.edu/distance/
  11. New Mexico State University, http://distance.nmsu.edu/degree-programs/?order=degree
  12. Notable Alumni New Mexico State University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Mexico_State_University
  13. Teresita Aguilar, interview with the author, June 2015
  14. U.S. Census Burea: American Factfinder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
  15. University of New Mexico, http://statewide.unm.edu/online/index.html
  16. University of New Mexico Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_New_Mexico_alumni
  17. University of New Mexico Los Alamos, http://statewide.unm.edu/nm/los-alamos/index.html
  18. University of the Southwest, http://www.brownmackie.edu/
  19. Western New Mexico University, http://online.wnmu.edu/offerings/#undergraduate
  20. Western New Mexico University Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_New_Mexico_University#Notable_alumni