Online Degrees In Wyoming (WY)

Online degrees in Wyoming

Wyoming is the least-populous state in the nation and also one of the most beautiful. As home to two national parks — Yellowstone and Grand Teton — not to mention spectacular mountains, forests and historic sites, it’s easy to see why tourism is one of the top economic drivers in the state, and what attracts residents. And thanks to important mining activities, a booming construction industry and a burgeoning energy sector, Wyoming’s economy offers employment growth and increasing personal income that makes it appealing for residents to stay here.

But despite its economic strengths, Wyoming needs to increase its pool of college-educated workers to meet the increasing demand from employers. Wyoming colleges that offer online degree programs could help to increase college attainment rates while addressing the unique needs of residents in this rural state. Find out how in the following guide.

There is arguably no other state in the nation in which distance education makes more sense than in Wyoming. More of its residents live in rural areas (a full 69 percent) than any other U.S. state. Wyoming only has 10 institutions of higher learning, and none of them are in areas designated as rural. The state strongly needs to increase its postsecondary attainment; the current rate of 45 percent is not high enough to meet workforce demand, which is why the state’s leaders have established a goal of 67 percent attainment by 2025. The need is particularly acute in trade and technical fields, where college certificates and associate degrees can qualify candidates to work in some of the state’s most in-demand industries, such as mining, manufacturing and transportation.

Online degree programs in Wyoming address both issues. Students can earn the degrees of their choice, without traveling to faraway campuses in any weather. Plus, the state’s low unemployment rate means many residents currently are employed; online degrees in Wyoming can be earned even while working full time, as many programs have no face-to-face, real-time requirements — students need only submit work by deadlines.

Plus, incomes grow exponentially with level of education. A report by Student Loan Hero found that students who earn their bachelor’s degrees in Wyoming earn $13,500 more per year than residents with only high school diplomas.

Whether your concerns are about affording college, getting a degree that’s in demand, getting the academic support you need or something else, the following list of featured Wyoming colleges that offer online degrees is meant to help you in your selection process. Developed with information from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), we’ve broken each college out by factors as tuition, financial aid amounts, student support services and more.

1
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY
https://www.uwyo.edu
Average in-state tuition
$3,216
No. of online programs
8
% of students in distance education
39%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,558
Admissions Rate
96%
Graduation Rate
57%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
Casper College
Casper, WY
https://www.caspercollege.edu
Average in-state tuition
$2,256
No. of online programs
14
% of students in distance education
41%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,145
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Laramie County Community College
Cheyenne, WY
https://www.lccc.wy.edu
Average in-state tuition
$2,256
No. of online programs
34
% of students in distance education
39%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,486
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
4
Western Wyoming Community College
Rock Springs, WY
https://www.westernwyoming.edu0
Average in-state tuition
$2,256
No. of online programs
14
% of students in distance education
50%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,998
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
Northwest College
Powell, WY
https://www.nwc.edu
Average in-state tuition
$2,256
No. of online programs
3
% of students in distance education
41%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,203
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
6
Central Wyoming College
Riverton, WY
https://www.cwc.edu/0
Average in-state tuition
$2,256
No. of online programs
5
% of students in distance education
38%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,729
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
7
Northern Wyoming Community College District
Sheridan, WY
https://www.sheridan.edu
Average in-state tuition
$2,256
No. of online programs
11
% of students in distance education
26%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,407
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
8
Eastern Wyoming College
Torrington, WY
https://ewc.wy.edu
Average in-state tuition
$2,256
No. of online programs
9
% of students in distance education
29%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,221
Admissions Rate
N/A%
Graduation Rate
N/A%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
No
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Using data from NCES’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) about the number of online education programs offered at Wyoming colleges, we’ve created this list of the top online degree programs in Wyoming. Remember that programs may be offered fully or only partially online.

Program Name
No. of online programs
General Studies
5
Social Sciences, General
4
Business Administration and Management, General
3
English Language and Literature, General
3
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration
3
Computer and Information Sciences, General
3
Accounting
3
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Other
2
Psychology, General
2
Political Science and Government, General
2

As you consider an online education in Wyoming, you may appreciate knowing that the state has made a concerted effort to ensure its quality. First, the state is a member of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE), a regional organization created to facilitate the sharing of information and resources among higher education systems in the West. Not only does WICHE save students’ money thanks to these shared resources, but WICHE’s Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) is a leader in practice, policy and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning, offering the opportunity for the sharing of best practices and innovations.

The Wyoming Distance Education Consortium (WyDEC) is an advisory committee made up of representatives from all seven of the state’s community colleges and the University of Wyoming. The committee’s purpose is to foster cooperation among colleges for the benefit of students and to coordinate the delivery of quality programs and courses, as well as student support services and instructional support. Faculty receive professional development opportunities and resources for improved course development and delivery.

Of course, individual colleges and universities often take their own steps to assure quality distance education. Be sure to consult with admissions offices at prospective schools about such measures.

Before you apply to online degree programs in Wyoming, be sure that your prospective schools are accredited. This designation indicates that the school has participated voluntarily in a third-party review of its rigor, quality and financial stability. It’s essential for ensuring that your degree carries value in the workplace, and your eligibility for federal and other financial aid is dependent upon it.

Other factors you should consider as you weigh your options might include the following:

  • Course requirements: Are there any face-to-face or on-campus requirements? Many online programs require students to visit campus one or more times during the semester, and you may be required to log on at specific times for lectures, etc. Will this work with your existing schedule and location?
  • Interaction with others: Will you get the interaction you need for your particular learning style? For example, in a program with high student-to-teacher ratios, it may be hard to get the personalized attention you need from faculty. Will you be able to engage with students and teachers as much as you need?
  • Career support: Does the program prepare you for a successful career by offering the training and certification you need? Does it offer career planning guidance or a strong alumni network of prospective employers?

The following list of top occupations in Wyoming was developed using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It may be useful in helping you determine what online degrees in Wyoming you might want to pursue.

Occupation
Number of Workers
Average Salary
Office and Administrative Support Occupations30,650$38,400
Construction and Extraction Occupations28,600$53,470
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations25,730$44,960
Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations25,320$25,340
Sales and Related Occupations23,270$36,800
Educational Instruction and Library Occupations19,580$49,350
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations18,110$57,650
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations14,390$82,880
Production Occupations13,300$56,430
Management Occupations12,560$97,820
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations10,950$31,050
Healthcare Support Occupations9,430$32,290
Business and Financial Operations Occupations9,170$70,070
Office Clerks, General7,960$38,210
Retail Salespersons7,900$29,070
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers7,130$52,600
Cashiers6,350$24,070
Fast Food and Counter Workers6,000$21,290
Protective Service Occupations5,970$47,010
Personal Care and Service Occupations5,350$30,860

Source: 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Top Metropolitan Areas in Wyoming

While food service, oil and gas extraction and mining jobs employ the greatest concentrations of Wyoming residents, these are not necessarily the fastest-growing jobs in the state. In fact, a report from the state’s Economic Analysis Division says that mining and oil and gas jobs have held steady over the last year, while construction jobs associated with pipelines and wind farms are booming. However, the aging population is making a significant impact as workers retire and leave openings; for this reason, mining, accommodation and food services, transportation and warehousing and wholesale trade are forecast to see the largest number of openings through 2020.

Here’s a look at employment in two of the state’s largest metropolitan areas:

Cheyenne: Wyoming’s capital also is its most populous city. Located in southeastern Wyoming, it benefits from proximity to the Rocky Mountain Front Range Urban Corridor, which eases access to Denver and other densely populated Colorado cities, not to mention two major interstates, two major railroads and the Denver International Airport. Thanks to a business-friendly tax climate, Cheyenne is where many transportation, trade and distribution companies choose to do business. As such, transportation and material moving occupations employ one of the highest concentrations of residents, just behind sales and office and administrative support positions. Food preparation, healthcare and education jobs round out the top six.

Casper: Casper has the only international airport in Wyoming, major rail facilities and a strong state and national highway infrastructure. This is why economic development leaders in Casper call this the state’s largest industrial base, and why logistics and transportation business employ high concentrations of Wyoming workers. Construction and extraction positions (particularly from mining and energy) employ large numbers as well. The advanced manufacturing, energy, finance, medical and technology sectors all have been targeted as high-growth areas by economic development leaders.

Numerous reports indicate that a postsecondary education is cheaper in Wyoming than any other state in the U.S., making it a great return on investment. Nonetheless, the state and its institutions are working to make college more affordable through a number of financial aid opportunities.

The only statewide program is the Wyoming Hathaway Scholarship Program. It was established by the state and named for its former governor, and its intent is to provide merit and need-based awards of between $800 and $1,600 per semester to Wyoming residents who meet certain academic requirements. Eligibility and level of funding depends on which of the program’s four categories a student falls: Honors, Performance, Opportunity or Provisional.

At the institutional level, the University of Wyoming has stepped up to attract more students to obtain college degrees. It has increased its number of merit scholarships for Wyoming high school graduates and community college transfer students with associate degrees, and the school’s trustees have set aside $1 million in need-based aid for Wyoming students.

Additionally, the state’s new Wyoming Works grant program targets adult Wyoming residents looking to advance their skills in high-need areas at the state’s community colleges. Students need only complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and complete a qualifying certificate or degree program at one of the state’s participating community colleges. Casper College alone, for instance, offers 29 qualifying Wyoming Works programs. Consult your prospective school for details.

Scholarship Listing

The White Buffalo Club Annual $500 Scholarship Contest
No. of Awards
1
Deadline
August 15
Max. Award Amount
N/A
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicant must be a college/university student in the U.S. or Canada. Required to write a minimum 700 word essay about Wyoming
More
Wyoming Colorado State University Alumni Scholarship
No. of Awards
1
Deadline
March 1
Max. Award Amount
N/A
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicant must be a resident of Wyoming. Selection is based upon merit and financial need.
More
Douvas Memorial Scholarship
No. of Awards
1
Deadline
May 5
Max. Award Amount
500
Renewable
No
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.
More
Davis-Roberts Scholarship
No. of Awards
N/A
Deadline
June 15
Max. Award Amount
1,000
Renewable
No
Criteria
Applicant must be a Wyoming resident and a member of DeMolay or Jobs Daughters.
More
Amy Tippets-Wright Memorial Scholarship
No. of Awards
N/A
Deadline
February 1
Max. Award Amount
N/A
Renewable
Yes
Criteria
Applicant must be a graduate of Lovell High School in Wyoming. Financial need will be considered.
More

Source: Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of CollegeXpress, a division of Carnegie Dartlet. Copyright © 2020 by CollegeXpress.

There is no single college entrance exam required by all Wyoming colleges and universities, but it’s common for schools to require either an SAT or ACT exam score as part of an application package. The University of Wyoming currently is the only college in the state that requires this. The others, such as Casper, Eastern Wyoming and Northwest colleges, all have open admissions policies.


Methodology

To be included in our ranking of the best colleges for online degree programs, all colleges had to meet the following five criteria:

  1. Be an accredited U.S. institution
  2. Offer either 2- or 4-year degree programs
  3. Have at least 1 percent of students taking at least some of their classes via distance education
  4. Be active in the 2015-16 school year
  5. Report data for all 15 specific ranking variables included in our methodology

We then ranked the remaining 2,169 colleges and universities and scored each on a 100-point scale on these specific. Our data points include:

  • The in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The average amount of federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Full-time Retention rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of students participating fully or partially in distance education to total enrollment, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Graduation rate within six years, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • No. of degree programs offered via distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of students working and not enrolled 6 years after entry, College Scorecard, 2013-14
  • Open admissions policy for all or most entering first-time undergraduate-level students, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
    • Dual credit
    • Credit for life experience
    • Advanced Placement credit
    • Academic and career counseling
    • Job placement services for graduates
    • Offers credit for military training

Featured Online Colleges in Wyoming Methodology

Some state pages have a list of featured schools instead of rankings. This happens when not enough schools meet the criteria described in the best schools Wyoming methodology above — the number of schools is too small for us to do a credible and statistically significant ranking. Because there are still some schools that do meet the criteria, we’ve chosen to highlight them in a featured schools list.

Sources:

  • College Navigator: Wyoming, Institute for Education Studies, National Center for Education, accessed September 30, 2019, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=WY
  • May 2018 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2019, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm
  • May 2018 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Wyoming, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2, 2019, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_wy.htm
  • Wyoming, Rural Health Information Hub, Nov. 1, 2018, https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/states/wyoming
  • Wyoming’s progress toward the goal, A Stronger Nation, Lumina Foundation, February 2019, http://strongernation.luminafoundation.org/report/2019/#state/WY
  • Kerry Hannon, “Choosing the Best Online Program for You,” The New York Times, Aug. 2, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/02/education/learning/choosing-best-online-program/
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  • Wyoming Hathaway Scholarship Program, Wyoming Community Colleges, accessed September 30, 2019, https://communitycolleges.wy.edu/programs/hathaway-scholarship/
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