Best Colleges in Wyoming

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There are 13 colleges and universities in the state of Wyoming, including large public universities, tribal colleges and trade schools focused on specialties such as technology and beauty. Wyoming is also home to several postsecondary institutions specializing in Bible studies. Choosing from among these diverse options may seem difficult, at first. Fortunately, we have applied our rigorous methodology to the latest education data to rank the best colleges in Wyoming, including the top four-year schools.

To help make an informed decision, prospective college students in Wyoming typically compare location, affordability and the length of programs at postsecondary schools.

We use a custom algorithm to help us effectively rank the best state schools, identifying each of the above criteria, along with several other key elements. Methodologies include acceptance rate, student retention, graduation rate and enrollment rates. Below you’ll find a list of profiles for the top two-year and four-year colleges in Wyoming.

2016 Online Education Trends Report: Learn how online programs are changing the face of higher education.

There are only a handful of four-year colleges in Wyoming. The University of Wyoming is the oldest among them, and also serves the largest student enrollment. Meanwhile, the University of Phoenix in Wyoming primarily offers online degrees and certificate programs, though the school offers several local campus locations for in-state students. Wyoming Catholic College is the newest addition to Wyoming’s small collection of four-year institutions, opened in 2005 and specializing in Catholic liberal arts programs.

Wyomingites with a bachelor’s degree earn a higher salary than those without a college degree. Graduates’ salary after attending the University of Wyoming, for example, exceeds the average national income, according to the U.S. Department of Education. 70% of students who attended UW earned more than those in the state with only a high school diploma. To learn more about the benefits of completing a four-year program in the state, browse our list of top four-year colleges in Wyoming below.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1

University of Wyoming

 1/554%Laramie, WY

campus-University-of-Wyoming

Based in Laramie, the University of Wyoming is always hosting culturally diverse programs—from Tuvan Throat Singers to the SFJAZZ Collective—for students to enjoy. Students who engage in campus life tend to succeed in the classroom, and the school encourages everyone to participate in the campus community.

As the best four-year college in Wyoming, UWyo is home to a variety of academic disciplines. In addition to more traditional subjects like accounting and economics, students can major in soil science, theatre and dance, or kinesiology and health. Academic advisors ensure that every student has access to a dedicated professional who can help them transition into their career. Notable alumni include Dick Cheney and Olympian Sarah Konrad.

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In Wyoming, there are three times more community colleges than baccalaureate universities. Two-year programs in Wyoming are designed to provide career training and build professional skills for students looking to enter the local workforce. Laramie County Community College boasts the largest student enrollment, offering a wide variety of degrees and certificate programs in liberal arts and sciences. Casper College is the second-largest two-year higher learning institution in the state, specializing in career-oriented programs in five departments, including business and industry and health science. Community college programs are developed with the demands of the local economy in mind, allowing students to prepare for a career in one of Wyoming’s top industries. In any concentration, two-year schools in Wyoming provide accelerated training programs for career-driven students and adult professionals going back to school.

Wyomingites with a two-year degree tend to earn a higher salary than those with only a high school diploma. The economy of Wyoming is centered primarily on mineral production and tourism. Students enrolled in Wyoming’s community colleges are allowed the opportunity to sharpen their skills in a local industry or trade, with options in mining technologies, energy and hospitality, to name just a few. To learn more about two-year programs, explore our list of the top schools in Wyoming.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1

Western Wyoming Community College

 1/552.6%Rock Springs, WY

campus-western-wyoming-community-college

Western Wyoming Community College is based in Rock Springs. WWCC’s campus is one of the most interactive of all the colleges in Wyoming, and it provides dozens of learning opportunities outside the classroom, including five life-sized dinosaur displays, Easter Island statues, natural history exhibits, and the Weidner Wildlife Museum.

Students can graduate with an associate of arts, fine arts, nursing, science, or applied science, as well as a number of certificates. The school also has an honors program.

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2

Northwest College

 1/5N/APowell, WY

campus-northwest-college

Northwest College, located in Powell, is one of the most ideal in Wyoming for outdoor recreation. NWC offers 10 intramural sports, as well as a variety of recreational activities, including dances, ski trips, and laser tag.

For students who don’t want a traditional 9-to-5 job, NWC has an adventure education program, with a focus in outdoor education and recreation leadership. The college also offers a variety of other innovative programs, including screenwriting, radio production, equine riding and training, and aeronautics.

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3

Casper College

 1/528.08%Casper, WY

campus-casper-college

Casper College provides students with much more than a traditional classroom experience. The campus is home to several art galleries, as well as a theatre and a concert venue that attracts nationally touring exhibits. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1, enrollees pursuing any of Casper’s 113 associate degree programs will get the attention that they deserve from professors.

Casper gives students a strong foundation, and 15 Wyoming colleges offer advanced degrees on campus through a partnership program. The school also offers scholarships to service members and their families regardless of whether or not they are receiving government assistance.

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4

Laramie County Community College

 1/522.97%Cheyenne, WY

campus-laramie-county-community-college

Laramie County Community College offers students the chance to live in a comfortable, high-tech living space while pursuing a certificate or associate degree. Specialty housing is also available, and students can live in quiet study, all female, substance free, and special accommodations spaces.

LCCC has associate programs in everything from accounting to zoology, and the Career Center helps students succeed in school. The Career Center also provides resume help, interview preparation, job search tips, self-assessments, and more. Graduates who who want to transfer to a four-year school can take advantage of LCCC’s transfer agreement with the one four-year college in the state, the University of Wyoming.

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5

Eastern Wyoming College

 1/527.65%Torrington, WY

campus-eastern-wyoming-college

Based in Torrington, Eastern Wyoming College is committed to fostering a dynamic community for its students. EWC has nearly 2,000 students enrolled in courses for credit, and the 45 full-time instructors and more than 100 adjunct faculty members consistently work to make time for their students. It is one of the smallest colleges in Wyoming.

Students interested in a career in law enforcement can also take qualifying courses at EWC instead of attending the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy in Douglas. Other academic programs include agricultural business, cosmetology, and wildlife & fisheries biology management.

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6

Central Wyoming College

 1/524.83%Riverton, WY

Central Wyoming College offers students an affordable way to start their college career, with all the freedom and camaraderie that comes with attending one of the best four-year colleges in Wyoming. Students at CWC can take courses that will either train them for a trade or prepare them to transfer to a four-year college. Athletics are also a big part of life at CWC, and both men and women can join the school’s popular rodeo team.

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7

Sheridan College

 1/528.83%Sheridan, WY

Sheridan College has the resources of a large university with the warm, welcoming atmosphere of a small college. Living on campus is a great way to ensure academic success and to immerse yourself in a vibrant campus community. Academically, students can expect small class sizes with personalized attention from faculty members. With over 3,000 students, Sheridan has one of the largest enrollments among all colleges in Wyoming.

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8

College America-Cheyenne

 3/518.28%Cheyenne, WY

College America-Cheyenne provides all of the resources students need to succeed, including tutoring, career services, and easy digital access to both faculty and research materials. The school offers associate degree programs in healthcare, business, technology, and graphic arts, and successful students are able to seamlessly transfer to the University of Wyoming, and other schools throughout the rest of the country.

College America also provides discounted tuition rates for service members and their spouses, and a military financial planner is always available to help students navigate and claim any available financial aid. With its flexible degree programs and supportive staff, the school is one of the friendliest and most accessible.

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If you’re thinking about applying to one of the best colleges in Wyoming, continuing reading to learn more about living in the Equality State.

Wyoming is both the 10th largest and least populous of all fifty states. Known for its spacious landscape and scenic terrain, Wyoming is where the Great Plains intersect with the Rocky Mountains. Amongst the many miles of mountain ranges covering the state are numerous rivers, national parks and historic sites. Wyoming is home to Yellowstone National Park, the historic Oregon Trail and the National Elk Refuge, among other geographical points of interest. Wyoming’s unique culture supports strong ties to Native American spirituality, alongside a growing population of followers of fundamental Western religion; today, Mormons comprise the largest religious group in the state.

Wyoming had a per-capita income of $29,381 as of 2014. In addition, 25.1% of Wyomingites 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher, below the national average of 29.3%. 92.3% of residents age 25 and older had at least a high school diploma, however, which far exceeds the national average of 86.3%.

Below, we’ve profiled key components of two major regions of Wyoming:

Regional Spotlight: Eastern Wyoming

  • Major Cities: Cheyenne, Laramie, Casper
  • Attractions: Wyoming State Museum, Laramie Plains Museum, Union Pacific
  • Cost of Living: Laramie’s Numbeo Cost of Living
  • Popular Schools: University of Wyoming, Laramie County Community College, Casper College

Regional Spotlight: Western Wyoming

  • Major Cities: Rock Springs, Riverton, Powell
  • Attractions: Yellowstone National Park, Rock Springs Historical Museum, Shoshone National Forest
  • Cost of Living: Jackson’s Numbeo Cost of Living
  • Popular Schools: Western Wyoming Community College, Central Wyoming College, Northwest College

Residency

In order to pursue discounted tuition costs for state residents, students in Wyoming must prove residency. Students 18 or older must provide proof of state residency; minors must live in Wyoming with either a parent or legal guardian to qualify for reduced tuition.

For Minors:

A student who is of minor age at the time of enrollment must prove that their guardians live permanently in Wyoming to claim personal residency. To establish residency in Wyoming a minor must live within state borders in a household with a parent or guardian. If the parents are divorced or separated, the minor must reside with the parent or guardian who lives in Wyoming. Minors must prove residency with their parent in Wyoming before they turn 18 and prove their intention to continue living with that parent until the start of the school year.

For Adults:

Adult individuals (age 18 and older) who plan to claim residence must meet specific criteria, including:

  • You must physically reside in Wyoming for at least one year prior to declaring residence.
  • You must prove intent to make Wyoming your home.
  • You should be able to demonstrate financial independence. Adults under age 23 may have to formally claim emancipation from their guardian.

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