Online Colleges in Wyoming

Most Affordable Online Colleges

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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:

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

We ranked the resulting 1,813 colleges on 11 criteria, using 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.

Methodology Sources

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

Sources :

  1. Casper College, http://www.caspercollege.edu/dlc/online_programs.html
  2. College America, http://www.collegeamerica.edu/healthcare
  3. David Siemens, interview with the author June 2015
  4. Eastern Wyoming College, http://ewc.wy.edu/distance/
  5. Fun Things to Do in Casper, http://gonw.about.com/od/wyomingattractions/tp/Fun-Things-To-Do-In-Casper-Wyoming.htm
  6. Gillette College, http://www.sheridan.edu/site/gc/
  7. Laramie Attractions and Entertainment, http://www.laramie.com/channel/Attractions-Entertainment/1820
  8. Laramie County Community College, http://www.lccc.wy.edu/academics/
  9. Monica Wesley, interview with the author June 2015
  10. Regional Accrediting Organizations 2016-2017, Council for Higher Education Accreditation (Accessed January 2017), http://www.chea.org/Directories/regional.asp
  11. Regis University, http://www.wwcc.wy.edu/dist_ed/transfer/regis.htm
  12. Things to do in Cheyenne, http://www.cheyenne.org/things-to-do/
  13. Things to do in Laramie, https://www.google.com/search?q=fun+things+to+do+in+Laramie&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en- US:official&client=firefox-a
  14. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_16940.htm
  15. U.S. Census Bureau American Factfinder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
  16. University of Wyoming, http://www.uwyo.edu/outreach/ocp/degrees-programs/
  17. University of Wyoming Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Wyoming#Notable_alumni
  18. Wyoming Course Locator and Support Services, http://wyclass.wy.edu/Distance+Programs/
  19. Western Wyoming Community College, http://www.wwcc.wy.edu
  20. Wyoming Department of Education - College & Career Readiness, Accessed April 2017, https://edu.wyoming.gov/beyond-the-classroom/college-career/
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Wyoming has the lowest population per square mile of any state in the U.S. Much of Wyoming is a canvas of open roads, untouched hillsides and dense wilderness, punctuated by natural masterpieces such as Yellowstone National Park and the national monument of Devils Tower. If you think this makes Wyoming a backwater, however, think again: the JCPenney store chain began in Wyoming, and the Equality State earned its name for being the first state where women had the right to vote.

Distance education is important in a state that has fewer total residents (585,500) than 30 U.S. cities. It's one reason why the Wyoming Distance Education Consortium was created: to foster greater collaboration between the state's seven community colleges and the University of Wyoming. Distance learners can enroll in online classes or complete online degree programs from any of the eight colleges in the consortium.

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), there are nine institutes in the state where students can earn an associate degree, and two colleges where students can pursue bachelor's degrees. The University of Wyoming is the only institute in the state authorized to award graduate-level degrees. In 2017, nine percent of all students at UW were enrolled in distance-only programs, and 22 percent were enrolled in some form of online education. In comparison, 22 percent of UW's graduate students were enrolled in distance-only programs.

Distance learners can begin their education by enrolling at the university level, or they can enroll in one of the state's many community colleges. Most have a robust lineup of online courses and 100-percent online degree programs. Use our rankings of the best and most affordable online colleges in Wyoming to help you find the school that best suits your needs.

Best Online Colleges in Wyoming for 2018-19

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With so many options available for distance education from online colleges in Wyoming and national universities, it can be hard to find the college that's right for you. Don't worry: we're here to help. Using data from the NCES and our unique methodology, we have created a ranking of the best online universities in Wyoming. You can learn more about our methodology at the bottom of this article, or you can use it to create your own rankings on our Top Colleges Tool.

1

University of Wyoming, Laramie

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.
$5,055
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.
31%
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.
9
School Type
4-year

Founded in 1886, the University of Wyoming provides distance education opportunities through UW Distance, which offers fully online bachelor degree programs, as well as multiple combination-delivery degree programs for students with prior college education.

As the only Wyoming college authorized to award graduate degrees, UWYO's selection of them is important — for online students as well as on-campus ones. There are multiple online master's and doctoral degree programs offered through UW Distance, in subjects such as:

  • Mental health counselling
  • Speech-language hearing
  • Family and consumer sciences

There are also multiple student services available through UW Distance, such as academic advising, career planning and counseling, and online tutoring and help with writing through the university's Online Writing Center. The average student-to-teacher ratio is 15-to-1.

2

Western Wyoming Community College, Rock Springs

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.
$2,576
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.
32
School Type
2-year

Western Wyoming Community College is one of seven community colleges in the state. Despite the name "Western Wyoming," this community college provides education to students all throughout southwest Wyoming and the greater Rocky Mountain region via its many online programs.

When it comes to programs, WWCC offers both online associate degree programs and online certificate programs through its distance education portal. It also has transfer agreements with nine four-year universities. Students who are interested in completing bachelor's or master's degrees can complete their first two years of schooling online at WWCC and then seamlessly transfer to a four-year college, where they may be able to complete either campus-based or online degree programs.

3

Laramie County Community College, Cheyenne

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.
$3,306
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.
24
School Type
2-year

Laramie County Community College has campus locations at Laramie and Cheyenne, and outreach centers at Pine Bluffs and F.E. Warren Air Force Base just west of Cheyenne.

The college offers a range of courses and programs for students enrolled at one of its campus locations or learning centers, many of which can be completed online. Options range from associate degree programs, to credit diploma certificate programs, to a certificate of completion in medical claims coding.

LCCC has transfer agreements with several four-year universities that allow students who have completed online associate degrees at the college to transfer and continue their studies through the baccalaureate level. Check the LCCC website to see which programs and majors are covered by their transfer agreements if this is a path that interests you.

4

Central Wyoming College, Riverton

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.
$2,856
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.
9
School Type
2-year

Central Wyoming College primarily serves residents of Fremont, Hot Springs and Teton counties from its main campus in Riverton. The college has a greater reach through its outreach centers at Lander, Dubois and Jackson, as well as through its distance education programs, which offer online degree programs such as:

  • Associate of Applied Science in business management
  • Associate of Arts in criminal justice
  • Associate of Applied Science in technical studies, in either entrepreneurship or homeland security
  • Meta major -- social science
  • Electrical apprenticeship

The college's associate nursing program is also offered online, though students must complete some coursework on campus or at an outreach center to complete it. Support services for distance learners includes online access to the college's library, as well as academic advising, counseling, success coaching and tutoring in core subjects and specialty classes.

5

Casper College, Casper

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.
$2,832
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.
41%
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.
10
School Type
2-year

Casper College, the first community college in Wyoming, is one of the larger community colleges in the state, yet maintains a favorable average student-to-faculty ratio of 17-to-1. Degree programs from CC culminate in either an associate degree or a certificate, and their sheer variety is something to be appreciated. The college offers its completely online degree programs through the online learning management system Moodle, including study in the following specialty areas:

  • Agribusiness
  • Fire science
  • Hospitality and tourism management
  • Retail management and merchandising

Additionally, CC offers dozens of hybrid degree and certificate programs, featuring between 70 and 99 percent online delivery. Several of these hybrid degree programs dovetail with Wyoming's raw and rugged outdoor beauty, such as wildlife and fisheries biology and management, or range management.

6

Eastern Wyoming College, Torrington

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.
$2,808
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.
25%
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.
6
School Type
2-year

Eastern Wyoming College serves residents of Goshen County through its main campus at Torrington and outreach centers in five other counties. It has an additional campus at Douglas for residents of Converse County, and of course it also offers associate degree programs for distance learners. Available fields include:

  • Interdisciplinary studies
  • Elementary education
  • Criminal justice
  • Business administration

The college also offers dozens of online courses for students who are registered at a campus location or outreach center and are working to satisfy general education and elective requirements. Courses are offered either as fully online Internet-based classes or as web-conference courses that meet at specific days and times. To support its distance learners, EWC has tailored many traditional student services to their needs, including the EWC Center for Tutoring and Learning, academic services, student services and the EWC Bookstore and Library.

7

Sheridan College, Sheridan

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.
$3,156
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.
23%
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.
9
School Type
2-year

Sheridan College is part of the Northern Wyoming Community College District. The college retains a strong connection to the regional economy of northern Wyoming, featuring programs in agriculture as well as diesel, welding and machine tool technologies.

The college features several online courses designed to enhance the traditional degree programs at Sheridan College and its sister campus, Gillette College. Sheridan also offers various completely online associate degree programs. Be aware that exams for online coursework may require proctored testing at a campus location, or through an approved proctoring service.

Sheridan maintains an online orientation to help distance learners better understand the requirements of the digital classroom. Other student support services include tutoring, online library services, help with writing projects, and a math center.

Affordable Online Colleges in Wyoming for 2018-19

The following list features a few schools in Wyoming that offer online degree programs at low tuition costs. To see Wyoming schools ranked by quality and other factors, use our Top Colleges tool.

Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in Wyoming

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 Type
Western Wyoming Community College$2,57643%322-year
Eastern Wyoming College$2,80825%62-year
Casper College$2,83241%102-year
Central Wyoming College$2,85643%92-year
Sheridan College$3,15623%92-year

Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in Wyoming

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 Type
University of Wyoming$5,05531%94-year

College Accreditation in Wyoming

Students interested in colleges in Wyoming can double-check that their school is accredited by an institution that's sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Education. This is typically known as regional accreditation, which means that the school has been found to meet certain standards in education and has undergone a rigorous review by that specific agency.

In Wyoming, there is one such regional accreditation agency charged with overseeing the state's universities, colleges and even community colleges:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

The Higher Learning Commission manages regional accreditation for 19 U.S. states, including Wyoming and many other nearby states.

If the school has accreditation through another institution, checking that organization's validity through the U.S. Department of Education is advisable.

School Interviews

Monica Wesley
Online courses and programs also provide the opportunity to explore a topic of interest without always requiring a significant, long-term commitment of time or money.

Monica L. Wesley

Marketing Manager

University of Wyoming

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at the University of Wyoming?

The University of Wyoming was the first university west of Missouri to offer correspondence courses. For nearly a century, UW has sent its faculty across the state to meet with citizens, students, teachers, business owners, ranchers, and farmers to help them learn. Today the Division of Outreach Credit Programs, in partnership with the university's colleges and departments, delivers university distance learning opportunities to students across the nation with online, audio conferencing, video conferencing, correspondence study, hybrid instruction, and Web-based instruction.

This division extends the University of Wyoming to the state and the world, and brings the world to Wyoming by offering more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degrees, programs, and certificates to students who wish to study online or through blended learning technologies. A list of UW's distance degree and certificate programs can be found at http://www.uwyo.edu/outreach/ocp/degrees%2Dprograms/

Q. What advice would you give students interested in an online degree program?

There are some important questions that prospective students can ask themselves to determine if an online degree program is a good fit. First, take an honest look at whether you're self-motivated and can manage your time well. Online degree completion requires both of these qualities.

Second, it's important to determine if your expectations match the degree program in which you're interested and whether it can deliver on those expectations. What are your educational and/or professional goals? What are you trying to achieve, and what's most important to you both while you're pursuing your degree and after the program ends? If it's important for you to have a lot of peer or faculty interaction, a smaller program rather than a MOOC might be the best option for you. If you want to complete your program as quickly as possible, look for options that have delivery methods that allow for self-directed or on-demand learning. Finding a good match between what you're looking for and a program that can deliver those priorities is a key to success.

Third, be sure to do some research about the time and cost commitments, as well as the credentials and reputation of the programs that seem to be a potential fit. Finally, prepare yourself for the actual work. Make sure you're ready for the technological requirements. Organize yourself and create a work schedule to which you can commit. Spend time familiarizing yourself with the course interface or delivery method. Having a thorough understanding of the degree program and what it can offer, as well as recognizing what you need to do to succeed is an excellent way to prepare for an online degree program.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

I think that the popularity of and demand for online education will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Online and distance education options provide a high level of flexibility, personalization, and the ability to tailor a degree to one's particular and specific interests. Even for students who choose the more traditional route of a four-year, on-campus degree, online coursework can provide additional flexibility and assist students with graduating on time.

Because more on-campus students are seeking online options, I think the distinction between an onsite and an online student will begin to collapse. Instead, we will simply have students looking for the best way (for them and in whatever manner they define "best") to achieve an education. Because online courses and programs are now offered through a variety of outlets, such as accredited universities, MOOC's, for-profit providers, and corporate universities, online offerings are attractive for a variety of reasons. These include expanding one's skill or knowledge base, filling in the gaps of experience or education, assisting with career changes or advancement, remaining informed about emerging trends or practices, and enhancing one's marketability, among other reasons.

Online courses and programs also provide the opportunity to explore a topic of interest without always requiring a significant, long-term commitment of time or money. I believe that students (broadly defined) will continue to create customized learning experiences by capitalizing on the many available resources to define their own personalized curricula, in a manner that fits into their busy life with all of its many demands.


Dave Siemens
No matter what their major program is, it is likely that students can take at least a portion of the required courses by distance delivery.

David R. Siemens

Director of Digital Learning

Casper College

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at Casper College?

The Casper College online programs ensure that students can work on their course work at any time and place that fits their schedule. With the Digital Learning Center at Casper College there are eight fully online programs with more to come in the near future.

Degrees offered 100 percent online:

  • Accounting (AB)
  • Agri-Business (AAS, AS)
  • Agriculture (AS)
  • Computer Science (AS)
  • Early Childhood Education (AA, AAS)
  • Fire Science (AAS, C) - field experience required
  • General Studies (AA, AS)
  • Hospitality Management (AAS, C)

Seventy to 100 percent of the required coursework for an additional 67 degrees and six certificates available at Casper College can also be completed online. The Casper College Digital Learning Center is a student-centered department that focuses on the quality of the online class. Whether it is through support or class design and instruction, we keep the students first.

Q. What advice would you give students interested in an online degree program?

Online education provides students with the opportunity to take some of the same classes offered on campus but in a different format using the online learning environment. Online, hybrid, and Web-enhanced courses have textbooks, assignments, exams, student-centered interaction, and other features that encourage online success. Communication with the instructor and classmates is usually within the learning management system, online discussion forums, or via email. Some courses use real-time two-way audio/video and application sharing software such as a Google Hangout or WizIQ. No matter what their major program is, it is likely that students can take at least a portion of the required courses by distance delivery. Online programs at Casper College offer opportunities for students to reach their lifelong academic goals while balancing other personal and professional commitments.

Students interested in an online program at Casper College should ensure they have the proper resources such as a reliable computer, which meets the hardware and software requirements, a stable Internet connection, the time to commit to online classes, and most importantly, the self-motivation needed to succeed. Also students who are new to online learning need to determine if online learning is a good fit. These students should talk with their academic adviser or the Casper College Digital Learning Center.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

Online learning is an invaluable service to students in Wyoming and around the globe. Online learning allows all students to get the education they deserve by making learning accessible and convenient. Online learning at Casper College is more than just a tool for teaching; it is a way to reach out to a variety of learning styles and allow students to get an education while managing their busy lives. Casper College's online program will continue to offer students a rich experience that is focused on high quality online instruction.

Financial Aid Resources in Wyoming

1.Wyoming Colorado State University Alumni ...
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a resident of Wyoming. Selection is based upon merit and financial need.
Award Amount
N/A
Application Deadline
March 1
Renewable
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
Yes
Application URL
2.Douvas Memorial Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicants must have been born in the United States but have parents who were born outside the country. They must be high school seniors or between the ages of 18 and 22, and they must be Wyoming residents. They must attend a Wyoming community college or the University of Wyoming.
Award Amount
$500
Application Deadline
May 5
Renewable
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
3.The White Buffalo Club Annual $500 Scholarship ...
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a college/university student in the U.S. or Canada. Required to write a minimum 700 word essay about Wyoming
Award Amount
N/A
Application Deadline
August 15
Renewable
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
4.Davis-Roberts Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a Wyoming resident and a member of DeMolay or Jobs Daughters.
Award Amount
$1,000
Application Deadline
June 15
Renewable
No
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL

Wyoming Loans

The state of Wyoming does not offer student loans, preferring to focus instead on the Hathaway and Douvas Scholarships. Keep in mind that scholarship and grant money does not need to be paid back, so you should always seek out all available options for those awards before looking into loans. If you find that you are still in need of financial assistance, you can apply for federal or private loans to help cover remaining tuition costs and related expenses. You will need to fill out the FAFSA and supply information about your family's financial situation in order to apply for federal aid.

Learn more about student loans in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Wyoming

Featured Cities In Wyoming

Data for these tables is sourced from the 2015 American Community Survey (census.gov).

Casper, WY Metro Area

Total Population

80,871

Median salary for high school grads

$30,479

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$49,148

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

24.4%

Median rent

$832

Fun Facts about Casper

Cheyenne is rich in western culture — the kind that features cowboys and bucking broncs. Rodeo is a popular sport in this region, but the area's railroad industry has built a number of fun attractions, including the old Cheyenne Depot and the annual Depot Days.

Cheyenne, WY Metro Area

Total Population

96,459

Median salary for high school grads

$30,450

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$49,588

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

27.8%

Median rent

$849

Fun Facts about Cheyenne

Most visitors to Casper make sure they take time to enjoy the Platte River Parkway, a recreational trail that takes in the local scenery and leads to several attractions, including the Fort Casper Museum, the Tate Pumphouse, the White Water Park and other area trails.

 
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