Wyoming’s Educational Legacy
In addition to being the final entry on our little tour of higher education in America, Wyoming is the nation’s least populous and least densely populated state. Indeed, the state’s entire population could practically fit inside the University of Central Florida. It stands to reason, then, that Wyoming would register one of the lowest college enrollment populations in the nation as well. As of 2013, the state was home to a grand total of 25,669 full-time students.
Wyoming became the 44th state upon its admission to the Union in 1890. By that time, its first public postsecondary school was already celebrating its fourth birthday. The University of Wyoming was established in 1886 on the elevated Laramie Plains. The research university is now the largest in the state with a roster of roughly 12,000. It is also the flagship campus of the University of Wyoming System and ranks among the top 15% of four-year universities, according to the Princeton Review. In addition to its academic reputation, University of Wyoming is the primary cultural draw in its region, which means it is often a destination for others throughout the state when touring concerts, athletics, or art exhibitions are held.
Today, the University of Wyoming is one of eight public universities in the state. The university also lays claim to a number of reputable affiliate schools, such as the University of Wyoming-Casper College Center. This school represents a highly unique model, forged as it is from a partnership between a two-year college and the broader state university system. Operating as a satellite campus, often for those who have obligations at home that might prevent them from traveling to the Laramie Plains location, Casper was founded in 1976 and holds a stellar reputation for post-graduate job placement.
Ranking the state’s private non-profit options is pretty easy since there is only one; the College America-Cheyenne. The state also has one private, for-profit school, the vocationally focused Wyotech-Laramie.
What Wyoming lacks in options, it more than makes up for in cost. With an average yearly tuition for in-state public school students that totaled $3,642, the cost of college in Wyoming is less than half the national average of $8,070, good for most affordable in the nation!