Wyoming ranks No. 5 on ‘Best States for Higher Education’ list

The low cost of higher education in Wyoming, combined with low student debt and a relatively high community college graduation rate, once again has placed the state No. 5 on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best States for Higher Education” list.

Wyoming trails only Florida, Washington, California and Colorado in the 2023 rankings, which are part of the magazine’s annual “Best States” report. Wyoming has consistently ranked in the top five since the “Best States for Higher Education” rankings began in 2017.

In the area of tuition and fees, Wyoming ranks No. 2 because of its low cost for University of Wyoming and community college students. UW’s tuition and fees for resident undergraduates are the lowest in the nation among doctoral degree-granting institutions, and its nonresident tuition and fees are among the lowest.

UW and Wyoming community college students also graduate with relatively little debt, resulting in a No. 5 ranking in that category by U.S. News & World Report. In fact, more than half of UW graduates have no student loan debt.

Wyoming also ranks eighth for its two-year college graduation rate.

Meanwhile, the magazine ranks Wyoming 29th for the percentage of students who earn bachelor’s degrees within six years. And, in the area of educational attainment — considering the percentage of people 25 years and older who hold associate degrees or higher — Wyoming ranks 33rd.

Taking into account all of those factors, Wyoming ranks fifth overall in the “Best States for Higher Education” category, ahead of other top-10 states Utah, Iowa, South Dakota, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

U.S. News & World Report’s overall “Best States” rankings are based on both higher education and K-12 education, health care, economy, infrastructure, crime, natural environment, fiscal stability and quality of life. Wyoming comes in 26th among the 50 states when combining all of those measures.