Students in Wyoming’s higher education system pay some of the lowest prices in the country for their education, according to a recent national study.
Resident students in the Cowboy State pay about $122 per credit at Wyoming’s two- and four-year public schools, according to a study conducted by Student Loan Hero. Only fellow Western states New Mexico ($112.77) and California ($119.65) had cheaper higher education options.
The study also noted that Wyoming has the second-cheapest in-state tuition for four-year public colleges, costing about $194 per credit hour. Only Florida ($170) was cheaper.
The University of Wyoming, which is the state’s only four-year public college, costs $1,860 in tuition for in-state students taking a 15-hour semester, according to the university’s website. Factoring in other costs, including room and board, UW costs about $7,500 per semester.
Wyoming is also home to seven community colleges, including Casper College. Starting next fall, students will pay $94 per credit in base tuition, though fees augment that total. At Casper College, students will be charged about $123 starting next fall.
Both the university and the community colleges are increasing base tuition. UW will increase its price by 4 percent, which should provide an additional $2 million in revenue, officials have said. The colleges recently announced that they are increasing their tuition by about 5.6 percent, which translates to about $560,000 in additional revenue.
The tuition hikes come amid a decline in state revenues, which has prompted cuts at both the university and community college level.
While Wyoming’s higher education system ranked high for how little residents spend to be educated, the state has also been singled out for how much it spends to teach its K-12 students. In January, a survey by Education Week ranked Wyoming as No. 1 in the country for school spending. The state pays more than $15,000 per student per year, significantly more than neighboring states spend.
The most expensive higher education systems in the United States were largely on the opposite side of the country. Vermont’s public colleges were the most expensive, costing about $466 per credit. Pennsylvania ($435), New Hampshire ($388), Rhode Island ($334) and Indiana ($311) rounded out the top five.
The study was conducted using data from the U.S. Department of Education, and calculations were based on annual tuition and fees, assuming full-time, 12-hour semesters.