Online colleges in Wyoming provide students with accessible classes, flexible scheduling, and affordable tuition. Wyoming follows national trends by embracing distance education and delivering relevant academic guidance and financial support to students. In Wyoming’s 2016-2017 Digital Learning Plan, the state sets forth a five-year plan to promote the benefits of online higher education while minimizing its costs and time commitment. To achieve this, Wyoming prepares to offer more part-time courses and open classes that students can access at no charge through participating colleges and universities. The plan also calls for more collaboration among the state’s institutions and specialized training for educators and school administrators so they can better support online student’s goals.
While too early to fully determine the results of the state’s five-year plan, Wyoming is already enjoying a steady increase in distance learner enrollment. According to the Digital Learning Compass 2015 report, 32% of students enrolled in online college courses in Wyoming, a 1% increase from the previous year. This guide provides prospective students with in-depth information on the condition of online education in Wyoming, including statistical evidence of individual and institutional successes. Learners also gain insight into tuition rates and career opportunities. The guide ends with a list of scholarships for online Wyoming students.
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A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Wyoming
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 population estimates, 579,315 people call Wyoming home, making it the least populated state, beating even Vermont and Alaska. Due to its small population, the Equality State houses only 10 degree-granting postsecondary institutions: nine nonprofit schools and one for-profit college, Wyoming Technical Institute. Of the nonprofit institutions, eight are public and one is private, Wyoming Catholic College. For-profit schools suffer a bad reputation, with many students falsely viewing them as money-making scams. In reality, both for-profit and non-profit institutions can offer a quality education, indicated by their accreditation status. For example, the nationally accredited Wyoming Technical Institute delivers affordable career training programs in areas such as automotive and diesel technology.
- 10 public
- 9 non-profit
- 1 for-profit
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 33,365 students enrolled in Wyoming’s degree-granting postsecondary institutions in 2016, the highest enrollment rate in the nation. At the same time, this student population reflects a slight decrease from the 2015 cohort, mimicking the national downward trajectory. By improving its distance education offerings and general infrastructure, the Wyoming government hopes to reverse this trend. As part of the aforementioned five-year plan, Wyoming facilitates online learning opportunities to high school students as a form of college preparation and a way to introduce young learners to this self-motivated learning form.
Wyoming students enjoy remarkably low tuition rates. According to College Board, state residents pay an annual price of $3,240 for two-year schools and $5,400 for four-year universities. The University of Wyoming, the state’s flagship school, offers an in-state tuition price of $5,400. Out-of-state students pay $17,490 per academic year, making it the second lowest tuition rate, trailing only South Dakota. Wyoming also supports students with generous need-based grants. Nearly 6,000 learners received awards totaling $16.3 million during the 2015-2016 academic year.
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The State of Online Higher Education in Wisconsin
According to the Digital Learning Compass survey, Wyoming supported over 34,200 college students in 2015. More than 4,100 students, 12%, took online classes exclusively. This group comprises 3,603 undergraduates and 527 graduate students. Of the exclusive distance learners, 3,603, or all the undergraduate students, reside in Wyoming, 513 live out of state, and 14 come from other countries. These numbers align with national trends. In general, undergraduate learners prioritize affordability and closeness to home, two factors that are closely intertwined. Graduate students, on the other hand, often seek academic programs based on professional interests and career prospects, worrying less about proximity.
Students who mix online college courses in Wyoming with on-campus academics total 6,793, representing 20% of the total student population. These hybrid learners consist of 6,632 undergraduate and 161 graduate candidates. Hybrid education enables students to take advantage of online flexibility without sacrificing campus resources and services. Certain fields of study, like biology and anthropology, require students to complete laboratory work, field training, and other in-person experiences.
For online students, Wyoming offers not only affordable tuition and financial aid, but also comprehensive academic tools, including WyCLASS. This website aggregates distance learning offerings from eight state schools, including the University of Wyoming, Northwest College, and Laramie County Community College. Students can search for, and enroll in, classes by keyword, college, term, department, and delivery method. WyCLASS provides information on learning management systems, course transfer, financial aid, and college testing services. Students also gain access to WYLDCAT, a database of articles and resources from Wyoming libraries.
Best Online Colleges in Wyoming
Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Wyoming. 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 the best online schools in Wyoming, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Wyoming or our index of popular in-state scholarships.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||University of Wyoming||Laramie||$$$$$||Corner of Ninth and Ivinson|
Laramie, WY 82071
Located in Laramie, the University of Wyoming enrolls over 12,000 students each year. One of the few online colleges in Wyoming, its distance education program allows individuals to pursue degrees without giving up their jobs or other commitments.
The school offers three bachelor's programs entirely through web-based learning: business administration, family and consumer sciences, and RN-to-BSN. The school offers additional bachelor's programs in a hybrid format. For instance, those who want to pursue criminal justice or psychology take may courses both online and on-campus. Students can also earn several master's degrees through distance learning, including options in education and nursing. The school offers online doctorate degrees in the fields of education and nursing.
Each program works differently. RN-to-BSN students take eight-week courses, while the business and family and consumer sciences programs follow traditional semester scheduling. To apply to the RN-to-BSN program, prospective students must possess an associate degree and a nursing license. Both the business and family and consumer sciences programs operate as degree completion programs, which means students should apply with previous college credit.
Individuals can take online college courses in Wyoming even if they do not enroll in a degree program. Non-degree seeking students can take courses for professional or personal enrichment. Alternately, students may opt to pursue one of Wyoming's online certificate and endorsement programs, which cover topics like land and cadastral surveying, literacy, and school social work.
Wyoming aims to make education affordable by offering scholarships to distance learning students. The school examines factors like merit and financial need when considering how to award funding. Additionally, the school holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits the school's online business administration degree, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the school's online nursing programs.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Wyoming
Community Foundation of Jackson Hole Scholarships
High school students in Teton County and, occasionally, surrounding areas can apply for this award. Requirements vary, but generally include a minimum 2.5 GPA. Candidates must answer essay questions as part of the application process.
Facilitated by the Wyoming Department of Education, this annual scholarship supports first-generation college students attending the University of Wyoming or one of seven participating two-year schools. Candidates must be state residents between 18-22 years old.
Get Educated Distance Learning Scholarship
U.S. citizens pursuing online degrees at colleges and universities inside the country can apply for this award. Candidates need a minimum 3.0 GPA. Application materials include academic transcripts, a recent FAFSA, and a 500-word essay.
Administered by the state department of education, these merit- and need-based awards benefit Wyoming high school students. Depending on the specific scholarship, candidates need a 2.5-3.5 GPA and an ACT score of 17-25. Recipients must enroll full time at an in-state school.
The Hispanic Organization for Progress and Education offers this generous scholarship to Laramie County residents. Students with Hispanic heritage may apply if they hold a minimum 2.5 GPA and plan to enroll in a Wyoming college or university.
Kaiser Scholarship Award
The Kaiser Foundation provides renewable scholarships to 10 Wyoming high school students who plan to attend in-state colleges and universities. Recipients must take at least 12 credits per semester and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.
SR Education Group Scholarships
The organization provides four annual scholarships for community college students, active military members and veterans, undergraduates, and graduate learners. Candidates must apply by December 30th. In addition to general academic information, applicants need to answer two essay questions.
TheBestSchools.org Online College Scholarships
Distance learners can apply for these awards twice per year, with deadlines set for July 31 and November 30. Candidates must hold U.S. citizenship, be enrolled in an accredited program with 80%-100% of their classes online, and possess a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Wyoming Geospatial Organization Scholarship
WyGEO offers one undergraduate and one graduate scholarship to students pursuing degrees in geographic information systems, remote sensing, and other related disciplines. Any U.S. citizen may apply as long as they enroll in a Wyoming two- or four-year program as full-time students.
Wyoming Rural Electric Association Scholarships
WREA offers three scholarships for high school graduates who plan to pursue approved regional lineworker training programs. Candidates must submit an online application and two recommendation letters.
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