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Online Colleges in New Mexico

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New Mexico is undergoing dynamic shifts in college attendance, with numbers declining in recent years possibly due to a recovering economy, improved employment rates and a decline in the college-age population state-wide. However, more than ever, students will find expanding opportunities for online study, and increased funding opportunities, thanks to new higher education initiatives that seek to help those living in remote areas and across state boundaries achieve their goals.

But before we dive into our list of best online colleges in NM for 2016, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in New Mexico today.


A Brief Overview of Higher Education in New Mexico

In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that New Mexico had 44 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 28 public schools, 3 nonprofits and 13 for-profits. The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 7,684 at public schools, 121 at private nonprofits and 781 at private for-profits.

Tuition-wise, the College Board found that, in the ’15-’16 school year, the average in-state tuition and fees for four-year public schools was $6,350, while the out-of-state average was $19,410.

As for the state’s financial aid efforts, the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP) reported that New Mexico awarded $25.111 million in need-based grants and $79.276 million in non-need grants for the ’13-’14 school year. Grants make up 12.2% of the state’s total fiscal support for higher education. State spending for higher education was up 5.7% in ‘13-’14, but it is unclear how this will affect tuition costs if attendance should continue to decline.


The State of Online Higher Education in New Mexico

The NCES estimates that at least 12.9% of students enrolled in New Mexico’s Title IV institutions are in fully online programs. Of those, 12.1% were reported to be undergraduates and 84% were found to be living in New Mexico.

Currently the New Mexico State University system is the leading provider of online higher education programs. A collective of 20 universities and colleges founded in 2006 as the New Mexico Virtual College, and now known as the New Mexico Learning Network, is working to bring e-learning to rural communities and provides students with numerous online learning resources. Universities in New Mexico offer many unique online programs including aviation, criminal justice and healthcare technology.

New Mexico is also a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, which actively works to improve the quality and scope of higher education in-state and across the region. The department is also concerned with establishing newly improved performance goal initiatives for institutions and addresses the issue of establishing higher enrollment especially in STEM programs. Online colleges in NM will certainly play an increasingly important role in these efforts.


Best Online Colleges in New Mexico

Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in New Mexico. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list out their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing our best of New Mexico, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in New Mexico or our index of popular in-state scholarships.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

To determine the best online colleges in each state, we examined the factors most important to prospective students: Academic quality and reputation, online program strength, and cost and student aid. At the most basic level, we use the following formula to determine the best online colleges: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. Of course, there's more to these calculations than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about the process we use to rank schools.

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Eastern New Mexico University

1
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales
$213

An Online Education at Eastern New Mexico University

Through the popular course management system Blackboard, ENMU delivers its student-centered distance courses. Classes are formatted to be asynchronous, but there are weekly deadlines and due dates for assignments, projects and quizzes. Throughout each week, students interact and communicate with each other via threaded discussion boards.

Most of the bachelor programs are designed for students already holding an associate degree or who have career-related credits and wish to complete their four-year degree. GBC’s bachelor programs are meant to be finished within two years.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences
  • Bachelor of Aviation Science
  • Bachelor of Communicative Disorders
  • Bachelor of Occupational Engineering Technology
  • Bachelor of Religion
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor of University Studies

Graduate level programs can be completed in just one or two years, depending on the number of courses a student takes each semester.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Education Administration
  • Master of Pedagogy and Learning
  • Master of Career and Technical Education
  • Master of Reading and Literacy
  • Master of Secondary Education
  • Master of Special Education

Online services for students include: tutoring, access to the writing center, access to Golden Library, disability services, career counseling, academic advising and the bookstore. Students may earn college credit towards their degree if they receive a satisfactory score on either an AP or CLEP exam. All ENMU students who qualify, including distance learners, are eligible to receive financial aid and/or scholarships. Military students and their families may receive a tuition waiver.

Contact Information

1500 S Ave K
Portales, NM 88130
(575) 562-1011

New Mexico State University

2
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces
$283

An Online Education at New Mexico State University

NMSU’s Distance Education is delivered by way of the Canvas course management system. This web-based interface allows instructors to post all course materials, and provide feedback through email, discussion board posts and instant messages. Students communicate using the same tools and may even collaborate synchronously with classmates on group projects or assignments. On average, 7 to 10 hours per week per course should be set aside for coursework.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in General Business or Marketing
  • Bachelor of Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Although a few of these degrees can be earned entirely online, the majority are considered degree completion programs requiring at least 48 upper division credits.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Doctor of Education or Philosophy in Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • Master of Arts in Agricultural and Extension Education
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Master of Arts in Sociology
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Music: Music Education

In addition to the above programs, there is a selection of certificates, endorsements and licenses obtainable through NMSU Distance Education. The Distance Education office provides proctoring for students unable to take exams on campus by either coordinating an offsite proctor or utilizing the online ProctorU tool. Once enrolled, students have access to a large number of other resources for their benefit, including academic advising and support, personal help with organizing distance education, media technology support, access to the library and the writing center.

Contact Information

2850 Weddell Street
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001
(575) 646-0111

University of New Mexico

3
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque
$235

An Online Education at University of New Mexico

Blackboard Learn is used to deliver the online courses at this university. Both synchronous and asynchronous styles of teaching are used, providing students with a great deal of flexibility while also ensuring a sense of community is generated within the virtual classroom. Students and their instructors communicate via email, discussion threads, instant chat and wikis. Most of the fully online courses are conducted asynchronously, with one or two synchronous elements, and follow the traditional 8- and 16-week long semester formats.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Organizational Communications
  • Bachelor of Dental Hygiene
  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Integrative Studies
  • Bachelor of Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Bachelor of Radiologic Sciences
  • Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • Academic advising, technical support and free educational assistance are provided for students’ benefit.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Dental Hygiene
  • Master of Elementary Education
  • Master of Secondary Education
  • Master of Engineering
  • Master of Nursing
  • Master of Organization, Information and Learning Sciences
  • Master of of Educational Leadership

Certificates in the subject area of education and a doctorate level degree in nursing may also be obtained fully online. Online UNM students do not have to be enrolled in a degree-seeking program in order to take courses; a maximum of 30 credits can be taken as a non-degree student prior to enrolling in a degree-seeking program.

Contact Information

1700 Lomas Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
(505) 277-0111


Acclaim for online programs

  • #122on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs

University of the Southwest

4
University of the Southwest
Hobbs
$395

An Online Education at University of the Southwest

Blackboard is the online learning platform used by USW to deliver its distance education programs. This learning management system allows students and instructors to communicate through email, instant messaging and discussion threads. All course material can be found on Blackboard, in addition to online learning tools like GradeBook, wikis and multimedia. Online tutoring for USW eLearners is available from College-Cram, Online Writing Lab (OWL), Rice Virtual Lab in Statistics, USW’s Virtual Math Lab and Khan Academy.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Licensure plans and individual courses are another online option for those who are not currently interested in following a degree-seeking path.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Education: Curriculum and Instruction, Bilingual
  • Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling
  • Master of Science in Education: Early Childhood Education
  • Master of Science in Education: Educational Administration
  • Master of Science in Education: School Counseling
  • Master of Business Administration: Sport Management and recreation

Although courses are delivered asynchronously, students need to log in regularly in order to actively participate in class discussion boards, check for instructor announcements, receive and submit assignments and view grades. Undergraduates can expect to study 10 to 15 hours per week per course, while graduate level students should plan on closer to 15 to 20 hours per week per course.

Contact Information

6610 North Lovington Hwy
Hobbs, NM 88240
(575) 392-6561

Western New Mexico University

5
Western New Mexico University
Silver City
$253

An Online Education at Western New Mexico University

WNMU takes advantage of the forward-thinking course management system known as Canvas. All incoming online students are required to take a brief, non-credit orientation course for this LMS in order to learn how to navigate threaded discussion forums, submit assignments by uploading files, correctly use the GradeBook tool, download and install useful plugins, generate folders and files and contribute to blogs.

Students typically spend 6 to 15 hours per week on coursework, depending on the total number of credits they are taking. Online course start and finish dates coincide with traditional semester dates, and though they are asynchronous, weekly deadlines and due dates will be established by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Arts or Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor Arts in Rehabilitation Services
  • Bachelor of Social Work

A few of the graduate level programs may require synchronous interactions such as web-conferencing or occasional on-campus labs. A number of associate programs in subject areas similar to those listed above may be taken online as well.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Master of Occupational Therapy
  • Master of Arts in Teaching and Reading
  • Master of Social Work

Resources for the benefit of eLearners include access to the electronic tutoring service Smarthinking, 24/7 tech support for Canvas from the Help Desk and access to electronic services from the library. Depending on a student’s state of residence, he or she may be eligible for a tuition discount.

Contact Information

1000 W. College Ave
Silver City, NM 88061
(505) 538-6336


Most Affordable Online Colleges in New Mexico

Below you’ll find another list of New Mexico’s online colleges, sorted by lowest tuition rate.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

Our list of the most affordable online colleges is based on in-state yearly tuition, or annual tuition rates if a school does not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition rates are based on a full course load each semester or term. All colleges on the list offer at least one bachelor's degree completion program available entirely online. Those institutions with the lowest tuition are ranked highest, providing prospective students with a true list of the most affordable online colleges in their state.

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Eastern New Mexico University

1
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales
$213

University of New Mexico

2
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque
$235

Western New Mexico University

3
Western New Mexico University
Silver City
$253

New Mexico State University

4
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces
$283

University of the Southwest

5
University of the Southwest
Hobbs
$395


Scholarships and Financial Aid in New Mexico

Amigo Scholarship

Deadline: October 1, 2016
Scholarship Amount $16,338 See Scholarship

The University of New Mexico Amigo Scholarship is open to out-of-state freshmen with a GPA of 3.5+ and an ACT score of 23+, or with a GPA of 3.0+ and an ACT score of 26+. Selection is highly competitive. Award is $16,338 per year for 4 years.

Andrew Piech Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: June 4, 2016
Scholarship Amount $1,000 See Scholarship

This award is open to New Mexico undergraduate students who are pursuing education in Automotive Technology or related Applied Technologies. The maximum award is $1,000 per year; it may be used at a community college, technical institute, or four-year college or university. Funds are administered by the Albuquerque Community Foundation.

Excel Staffing Companies Scholarships for Excellence in Continuing Education

Deadline: June 4, 2016
Scholarship Amount $1,000 See Scholarship

This scholarship is open to New Mexico residents who work at least 20 hours per week while pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, or professional certification. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0+ and demonstrate financial need. The award is $1,000 per year. Funds are administered by the Albuquerque Community Foundation.

New Mexico Scholars

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Full tuition See Scholarship

This scholarship is administered by the New Mexico Department of Higher Education. It is open to New Mexico high school seniors who rank in the top 5% of their class, or scored 25+ on the ACT. The award covers tuition and fees for 4 years at a New Mexico college or university.

Presidential Scholarship from the University of New Mexico

Deadline: December 1, 2016
Scholarship Amount $8,186 See Scholarship

The Presidential Scholarship is open to University of New Mexico freshmen with a high school GPA of 3.75+ and an ACT score of 25 (SAT 1140). Selection is highly competitive. Applicants must be graduates of a New Mexico high school. The award is $8,186 per year for 4 years.

Regents’ Scholarship

Deadline: December 1, 2016
Scholarship Amount $17,285 See Scholarship

The Regent’s Scholarship is open to University of New Mexico freshmen with a high school GPA of 3.9 and an ACT score of 31 (SAT 1380). Selection is highly competitive. The award is $17,285 per year for 4 years. New Mexico residents only.

Sussman-Miller Educational Assistance Award

Deadline: June 23, 2016
Scholarship Amount $2,000 See Scholarship

This scholarship is available to New Mexico high school seniors and current college students. It is intended to address the “gap” in financial aid packages. Applicants must be recipients of federal financial aid, and have additional education expenses that are not covered by federal aid. Provided by the Albuquerque Community Foundation.

UNM Scholars Scholarship

Deadline: December 1, 2016
Scholarship Amount $6,150 See Scholarship

The UNM Scholarship is open to University of New Mexico freshmen with a high school GPA of 3.5+ and an ACT score of 26 (SAT 1190). Selection is highly competitive. Applicants must be graduates of a New Mexico high school. The award is $6,150 per year for 4 years.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

The Western Undergraduate Exchange allows students from participating states to attend college in New Mexico and receive a tuition discount equalling 150% of resident tuition. Participating states include: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, ND, OR, SD, UT, WA, and WY.

Woodcock Family Education Scholarship Program

Deadline: March 16, 2016
Scholarship Amount $10,000 See Scholarship

Available to graduating high school seniors who will pursue a degree in math or science. Applicants must be residents of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia, or Torrance County. A GPA of 3.8+ and an ACT score of 30+ is required. Scholarships of $10,000 will be awarded to three students each year. Funding provided by the Albuquerque Community Foundation.


Higher Education Resources in New Mexico