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Online Colleges in New Mexico

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Article Sources

Sources :

  • College Navigator, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=NM&l=93&ct=2+3
  • Eastern New Mexico University, http://www.enmu.edu/future-students/onlinedegrees.shtml
  • Eastern New Mexico University Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_New_Mexico_University#Notable_alumni
  • Fun Things to Do in Albuquerque, http://www.visitalbuquerque.org/things-to-do/
  • Fun Things to Do in Las Cruces, http://www.meetlascruces.com/
  • Fun Things to do in Santa Fe, http://santafe.org/Visiting_Santa_Fe/Things_to_Do/Kids_Activities/
  • Gear Up New Mexico, New Mexico Higher Education Department, Accessed November 2018, www.hed.state.nm.us/programs/gear-up-new-mexico-home-page-.aspx
  • National American University, http://www.national.edu/programs/online
  • New Mexico Highlands University, http://nmhu.edu/statewidecenters/distancelearning/index.aspx
  • New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, http://act.nmt.edu/distance/
  • New Mexico State University, http://distance.nmsu.edu/degree-programs/?order=degree
  • Notable Alumni New Mexico State University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Mexico_State_University
  • Regional Accrediting Organizations 2016-2017, Council for Higher Education Accreditation (Accessed January 2017), http://www.chea.org/Directories/regional.asp
  • Teresita Aguilar, interview with the author, June 2015
  • U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nm.htm
  • University of New Mexico, http://statewide.unm.edu/online/index.html
  • University of New Mexico Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_New_Mexico_alumni
  • University of New Mexico Los Alamos, http://statewide.unm.edu/nm/los-alamos/index.html
  • University of the Southwest, http://www.brownmackie.edu/
  • Western New Mexico University, http://online.wnmu.edu/offerings/#undergraduate
  • Western New Mexico University Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_New_Mexico_University#Notable_alumni
  • NM HED - Teacher Loan for Service Program, Accessed April 2017, http://www.hed.state.nm.us/students/teacher_lfs.aspx
  • NM HED - Allied Health Loan for Service Program, Accessed April 2017, http://www.hed.state.nm.us/students/alliedheatlh_lfs.aspx
  • NM HED - Nursing Loan for Service Program, Accessed April 2017, http://www.hed.state.nm.us/students/nursing_lfs.aspx
  • NM HED - Index of Grants, Loans, Scholarships and Work Study, Accessed April 2017, http://www.hed.state.nm.us/students/fa_quicklist.aspx
  • University of the Southwest, accessed April 27, 2018, https://www.usw.edu/
  • About USW, University of the Southwest, accessed August 2018, https://www.usw.edu/about-usw
  • School of Business & Professional Studies, University of the Southwest, accessed August 2018, https://www.usw.edu/Academics/School-of-Business-Professional-Studies
  • New Mexico Highlands University, accessed April 27, 2018, http://newmexicohighlands.com/
  • New Mexico State University Alamogordo, accessed April 27, 2018, http://nmsua.edu/
  • Residency, Undergraduate Admissions, Texas State University, accessed November 15, 2018, https://www.admissions.txstate.edu/pay-for-college/residency.html
  • Tuition Waivers, The University of Texas at Austin, accessed November 15, 2018, http://catalog.utexas.edu/general-information/registration-tuition-and-fees/tuition-and-fees/tuition-waivers/
  • Non-Resident Tuition Waiver, Scholarships, Texas A&M University, accessed November 15, 2018, http://scholarships.tamu.edu/Non-Resident-Tuition-Waiver
  • Tuition and Fees, The University of Texas at El Paso, accessed November 15, 2018, https://www.utep.edu/extendeduniversity/utepconnect/financials/tuition-and-fees/index.html
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Whether you live in a rural part of New Mexico or in a city like Albuquerque, going to an online college can be particularly convenient. You can take classes for your associate, bachelor's, or master's degree program at times that fit well with your schedule — even if you plan to continue working or if you need flexibility for family responsibilities.

Here's an overview of online colleges in New Mexico:

  • Associate degree programs are available at 20 online colleges in New Mexico, while there are 11 with bachelor's degree programs, and 9 where master's degrees can be earned.
  • 17 of New Mexico's online colleges are public and 7 are private, including one that focuses on native art and design and one that solely offers degrees in the medical field.
  • The highest number of online degree programs can be found at National American University-Albuquerque West and New Mexico State University-Main Campus.

GEAR UP New Mexico is a statewide initiative that aims to increase college readiness and college enrollment for students across the state — at tribal colleges, community colleges, and universities — including online schools. GEAR UP offers a number of resources to help residents prepare for success in higher education.

Read on to see the best online colleges in New Mexico as well as the most affordable ones. You can also find financial aid resources such as New Mexico-specific scholarships and loan-for-service programs that can help you pay for your distance education.

What Makes a Good Online College?

Ready to dive into comprehensive rankings of online colleges in New Mexico? Our multiple rankings approach the question of "What makes a good online college" in several different ways, but all are designed to help students find a school that satisfies their needs. All schools on these lists are accredited -- some regionally by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), others through national agencies recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) -- which is very important for institutions of higher learning. But what does accreditation mean? To learn more, visit our "What is College Accreditation?" page -- and to learn more about accreditation specific to New Mexico, visit the New Mexico Public Education Department.

Comparing online colleges using a rankings list is a great way for aspiring students to get a feel for which schools might be best for them. Our rankings look at factors that matter for online learning, such as credit offerings, ratio of students participating in online programs, and the availability of tuition plans to help students avoid student loan debt. To learn more about the data points we chose and why that data matters, check out the "What Makes a Good Online College?" section of our "About Us" page.

Best Online Colleges in New Mexico for 2018-19

Selecting a degree program is an important step that shouldn't be taken lightly. Using information from the National Center of Education Statistics, run through our customized methodology, we have created a ranking of online colleges in New Mexico based on affordability, accessibility, number of online degrees offered and other important criteria. If you're not sure where to find the right online program for your needs, start your search with this list of the 10 best online colleges in the state — or with our Top Colleges Tool, where you can create your own rankings.

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Methodology
1

New Mexico State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$2,424
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
71%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8
School Type
2-year

New Mexico State University is a comprehensive public research institution dedicated to experiential learning, teaching, and service. This university offers a wide selection of online learning programs via Aggies Online, the school's sports-themed online learning page (the school's sports teams are called "Aggies," as a callback to the school's agricultural origins).

A particular online option available to NMSU students is that of the "2+2" bachelor's program, which allows students to quickly and easily earn their bachelor's degree online by taking their first two years of courses through NMSU Alamogordo Community College (NMSU-A) and the second two years through NMSU Las Cruces (NMSU-LC). Full degree programs can be pursued in an online, hybrid or interactive television format, depending on the program.

2

Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,013
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
70%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
22
School Type
4-year

The youngest state university in New Mexico as of 2018, Eastern New Mexico University rallies its student body around its pair of greyhound mascots, Ralph and Roxy. The university's main campus offers many different online degree programs for interested students: accounting, electronics engineering technology, nursing, aviation science and hospitality management, to name a few. Coursework is made available through Mediasite and Blackboard, and tests that require proctoring can be arranged at any library, school or testing center near the student's location, with permission from the course professor.

3

Western New Mexico University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,066
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
61%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
25
School Type
4-year

When the site of Western New Mexico University was dedicated back in 1893, the school's cornerstone was laid along with a copper box containing "coins, magazines, and other items of the period." For over a century since then, this university's Mustang student body has built on that legacy, creating a school we are proud to display on our list.

WNMU offers many areas of study that range from accounting to zoology, with most programs available both on- and off-campus via the Canvas learning management system. The majority of online coursework for WNMU is 100 percent online and asynchronous, but some programs may require synchronous participation via web-conferencing. The university also offers 24/7 tech support, 24/7 online tutoring and dedicated online student advisors to assist their distance learners.

4

University of the Southwest

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$16,200
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
82%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
41
School Type
4-year

In the early half of the 20th century, B. Clarence Evans rode on horseback to the Wofford fire lookout tower, looked out on the panoramic view of the Land of Enchantment, and prayed that God would give him New Mexico for Christian education. The rest, as they say, is history: the University of the Southwest has since become an independent, nondenominational, four-year liberal arts college, built on Christian values and a "servant leadership" philosophy.

USW offers multiple online degree programs through its three schools: the School of Arts & Science, the School of Business and the School of Education. Of particular note is the online MBA program, which can be taken with one of a plethora of specializations, from accounting to public administration to strategic management.

Accreditation:

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Location:

6610 N. Lovington Hwy.,
Hobbs, NM 88240
 
5

New Mexico Highlands University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$5,954
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
43%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
5
School Type
4-year

Though its territory encompasses the mysterious Roswell, New Mexico, there's nothing mysterious about why NMHU makes our 10 best list. The mission of this public, state-run institution is to foster creativity, critical thinking and research in the liberal arts, sciences and professions within a diverse community. In addition to its five statewide centers in which to take on-ground classes, NMHU supplies television-based and online instruction to students off-campus.

Online undergraduate courses of study at Highlands include an RN-to-BSN bridge program, and online graduate programs include an MBA and three Master of Arts programs in education. Student-to-teacher ratios are kept intentionally low at a 15:1 average, and open enrollment and cost-effective tuition are among the efforts Highlands makes to make higher education accessible to all.

Accreditation:

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Location:

University Ave.,
Las Vegas, NM 87701
 
6

Central New Mexico Community College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$1,578
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
37%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
20
School Type
2-year

Central New Mexico Community College is a school that values connection. This community college maintains articulation agreements with four-year institutions across the state, and its partnership with the nonprofit CNM Ingenuity presents students with opportunities in technology and entrepreneurship. Another way CNM connects with its students is through online education, distributed through a Blackboard-powered learning platform called CNM Learn.

To help students learn how to use CNM Learn effectively, the school hosts "CNM Learn Drop-In Labs" at different times and locations. The school also offers online academic coaching, the help of their professional Distance Learning Achievement Coach, and a self-paced Jump Start course that can teach students how to get the most out of an online course.

7

San Juan College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$1,474
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
43%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
13
School Type
2-year

San Juan College, located in Farmington, has grown from humble beginnings as a small branch of New Mexico State University into its own institution, serving thousands of students across its four New Mexico campuses as well as online. This college offers online associate degree and undergraduate certificate programs to its students through its distance learning department -- available programs include an A.A.S. in veterinary technology and an A.A. in liberal arts, to name a few. San Juan College also features a Visiting Students program, which allows students from other schools to take courses at San Juan and transfer the course credits back to their school.

8

Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$2,424
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
43%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
2
School Type
2-year

Eastern New Mexico University offers various online degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. While the total number of different programs may seem small, ENMU diversifies many of its programs with options for specializations, minors, endorsements and certificates -- in particular for the Bachelor's of Applied Arts and Science (BAAS) path.

Online coursework is delivered through the Blackboard learning environment, but it is also supplemented by Mediasite, a live lecture capture tool. Some instructors are even working interactive tools such as Collaborate and Skype into their lectures, allowing online students to participate in classes in real time.

9

New Mexico State University - Doña Ana Community College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$2,088
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
39%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8
School Type
2-year

Doña Ana Community College is a two-year branch of New Mexico State University. This school offers online associate degree programs and undergraduate certificate programs through its online student portal, DACC Online. Programs can be pursued in subjects such as dental hygiene, electronics technology, early childhood education and public health.

This community college is justifiably proud of its membership as part of ENLACE, a collaborative that focuses specifically on improving the quality of education available for Latino and Latina students. Doña Ana also offers veterans a helping hand through its Veterans Services Office, which works in partnership with the Veterans Administration.

10

New Mexico State University-Alamogordo

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$2,424
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
71%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8
School Type
2-year

As of 2018, more than half of the classes available at the Alamogordo campus of New Mexico State University are offered online. This proves a necessary convenience for this two-year community college, whose service area includes Holloman Air Force Base, White Sands Missile Range and parts of the Mescalero Apache Reservation.

Online courses at NMSU-Alamogordo include both synchronous and asynchronous elements, and are conveyed through the Canvas learning management system. The university's online students have access to tutoring, advisement, financial aid and an online community that promotes socializing with and getting help from other students.

Accreditation:

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Location:

2400 North Scenic Drive,
Alamogordo, NM 88310
 

Affordable Online Colleges in New Mexico for 2018

The following list presents a few of the schools in New Mexico that offer online degrees at low tuition costs. If you would like to see a ranking of the top online schools in New Mexico based on various criteria, check out the Top Colleges tool.

  • School Type - 2 Years
  • School Type - 4 Years
  • COLLEGE NAMETUITION & FEES/YEAR
    Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    DISTANCE EDUCATION PARTICIPATION
    Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    NUMBER OF ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
    Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
    SCHOOL WEBSITE
    Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute$1,0950%2sipi.edu
    Luna Community College$1,29822%1luna.edu
    San Juan College$1,47443%13sanjuancollege.edu
    Clovis Community College$1,53645%22clovis.edu
    Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso Campus$1,54056%2ruidoso.enmu.edu
  • COLLEGE NAMETUITION & FEES/YEAR
    Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    DISTANCE EDUCATION PARTICIPATION
    Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    NUMBER OF ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
    Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
    SCHOOL WEBSITE
    Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development$4,96022%2iaia.edu
    New Mexico Highlands University$5,95443%5nmhu.edu
    Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus$6,01370%22enmu.edu
    Western New Mexico University$6,06661%25wnmu.edu
    New Mexico State University-Main Campus$6,46139%29nmsu.edu

Financial Aid Resources in New Mexico

1.Sussman-Miller Educational Assistance Award
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a resident of New Mexico with a minimum 3.0 high school GPA or 2.5 college GPA. Resume, statement of goals and unusual circumstances, official transcripts, academy references, and proof of financial need are required to be submitted.
Award Amount
$2,000
Application Deadline
April 24 (for students who will attend out-of-state schools or in-state private schools); June 27 (for students who will attend New Mexico in-state state public schools)
Renewable
Recipient must reapply, maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA, remain a New Mexico resident, and demonstrate continued financial need.
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
2.Science or Other Studies Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Students must have at least a 3.25 GPA, and they must have either an SAT score (combined Math plus Critical Reading only) of at least 930 or an ACT score of at least 19. Applicants must submit an essay and two letters of recommendation.
Award Amount
$2,500
Application Deadline
January
Renewable
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
3.Bryan Cline Memorial Soccer Scholarship Program
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be an Eldorado High School varsity soccer team graduating senior who will attend a nonprofit or public college or university full-time.
Award Amount
$800
Application Deadline
March 17
Renewable
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
4.Carl F. Scott Scholarship Fund
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a full-time student enrolled in an approved two- or four-year nonprofit or public secondary educational institution. Applicant must meet one of the following requirements: biological child, stepchild, or adopted child of a member in good standing of Tucumcari Lodge No. 27, AF & AM; member in good standing of Tucumcari Assembly No. 4, Rainbow Girls or graduate of a Quay County High School. Minimum 2.5 GPA required.
Award Amount
$2,188
Application Deadline
March 13
Renewable
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL

Student Loans in New Mexico

New Mexico offers its students multiple loan-for-service programs, particularly in the fields of education and health services, in order to address the state's shortages in these areas. For each of these loans, students promise to put their degree to use and practice their field of study within the state of New Mexico after they've graduated. In doing so, 100 percent of the loan is eligible to be forgiven as long as the entire service agreement is fulfilled. However, whether or not you intend to study in one of these fields, you should always look into all of your scholarship and grant options first before applying for a state, federal, or private loan. If you do seek federal financial assistance for your degree, keep in mind that you will need to fill out the FAFSA with details about your family's financial situation in order to apply.

This program aims to address the shortage of teachers in New Mexico by providing students with financial assistance to help them complete their education. Eligible students must have been a New Mexico resident for at least 12 months, and be enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate or graduate teaching or alternative licensure teacher preparation program at an in-state public college or university.

  • Application deadline:  July 1, 2017
  • Award amount:  Up to $4,000 per year, renewable up to five years
This program hopes to increase the number of physician assistants throughout New Mexico and across various fields, including but not limited to: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, laboratory technology and nutrition. Eligible students must have been a New Mexico resident for at least 12 months, and be enrolled at least half-time at an in-state public college or university. The student must also declare his/her intent to practice as a health professional in a designated shortage area within the state of New Mexico.

  • Application deadline:  July 1, 2017
  • Award amount:  Up to $12,000 per year, renewable up to four years
The Nursing Loan-for-Service program intends to expand the number of nurses in areas of New Mexico that have been affected by shortages, including community health centers, migrant health centers, homeless healthcare centers, non-profit clinics and hospitals, and rural health clinics. Eligible students must have been a New Mexico resident for at least 12 months, and have an Official Acceptance into a nursing program at a New Mexico public college or university.

  • Application deadline:  July 1, 2017
  • Award amount:  Up to $12,000 per year, renewable up to four years

Find out more about student loans in our Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in New Mexico

Costs for Out-of-State Students in New Mexico

Much can be said for attending college in the same state as you graduated high school, but perhaps you want to go out of state for an all-out college experience, or perhaps your job as taken you to a new state and you still want to attend college right away. Whatever the circumstances, you can make it work, even if cost does tend to be higher if you are coming from out of state. But not to worry -- many states, including New Mexico, do offer some programs that should help defray costs.

If you want to attend New Mexico's flagship university, the University of New Mexico, and you hail from the neighboring state of Colorado and prefer the desert to the mountains, then you are in luck: since 1985, Colorado and New Mexico have had a reciprocity agreement that allows students from both states to enroll in the other state for in-state tuition.

UNM also grants in-state tuition to members of any Indian tribe that's at least partially located in New Mexico, retirees, those who relocate due to employment, those married to a New Mexico resident, active duty military, etc. Before you think out-of-state tuition is out of reach be sure to talk to an admissions counselor at the New Mexico university of your choice.

 
Article Sources
Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we generated a list of colleges and universities that met the following criteria:

  • Level of institution is either "Four or more years" or "At least 2 but less than 4 years"
  • Data is reported for all 11 ranking variables listed in the Methodology section
  • At least 1 percent of students are taking at least some of the classes via distance education
  • "Number of programs offered via distance education" was an integer greater than 0

We ranked the resulting 1,813 colleges on 11 criteria, using provisional 2016-17 data from IPEDS:

  1. Number of programs offered via distance education
  2. Ratio of students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  4. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
  5. Graduation rate
  6. Retention rate
  7. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Other)
  8. Services (Academic/Career, Placement for Completers)
  9. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)
  10. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  11. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools' tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
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