Wyoming Ranks 6th in States with Least Expensive College Tuition
Written by Caleb Nelson on April 21, 2022
Even with the increasing cost of college tuition and current challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, college enrollment (and the number of Americans who successfully earned college degrees) has risen sharply in the past two decades. Unfortunately, the cost of this education has risen sharply as well.
For many, a college degree is still seen as a clear and direct path to better pay and improved job prospects. A research study from Georgetown University found that 35% of job openings in 2020 required a bachelor’s degree. Further, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows a 67% pay gap between those with a high-school diploma and those with a bachelor’s degree.
The website Self Financial analyzed data from the National Center for Education Statistics to rank all 50 states in order of college affordability.
The digital and information economy has placed more demand on higher levels of education, but the cost of this education continues to skyrocket.
While states like New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina rank among the most expensive states for tuition costs, states like Alaska, Florida, and West Virginia have lower tuition costs.
Based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Self Financial found that in Wyoming, “students pay an average net price of $12,224 for college tuition. Out of all states, Wyoming has the 6th least expensive college tuition.”
Here is a summary of the Wyo data:
- Average net price for students awarded aid: $12,224
- Average published total price: $20,258
- Average published tuition, fees, books, & supplies: $6,781
- Average published room & board: $13,477
- Total public undergraduate enrollment: $8,871
At least in Wyoming, the college enrollment data is complicated by the “boom” in Wyoming Trade School enrollment. Significantly, these trade school programs don’t require a four-year college degree. A new generation of students are looking to dodge the high cost of university education while simultaneously taking advantage of the high pay in trades like automotive work and welding.
According to Cowboy State Daily, schools like Western Welding Academy and Wyotech have seen significantly elevated enrollment in the last few years.