Wyoming was ranked the fifth-best state in the nation for higher education, earning top marks for its schools’ low tuition and fees, according to U.S. News and World Report.
The Equality State placed behind only Florida, Utah, Washington and California on the report’s list. Of the five categories, Wyoming placed in the top 10 for three: two-year graduation rates (ninth), low debt at graduation (eighth) and tuition and fees (first).
It’s the latest list praising Wyoming’s institutions of higher learning for their low costs. A Student Loan Hero report from March 2017 ranked Wyoming third for its affordability, and a July study from the same group found the state was the top in the country on whether students receive a return on their educational investment.
Wyoming’s college students paid an average $4,175 per year in tuition and fees, according to U.S. News and World Report, which is the lowest in the country.
At 55.5 percent, Wyoming’s four-year college graduation rate ranked 27th, while the 38.5 percent of residents who are at least 25 and have at least an associate’s degree placed 29th in the nation.
In a press release trumpeting the report, the University of Wyoming — the state’s sole four-year public institution — wrote that its tuition and fees “are the lowest in the nation among doctoral degree-granting institutions, and its nonresident tuition and fees are among the lowest.”
The higher-education rankings were part of U.S. News and World Report’s broader state-by-state rankings. Overall, Wyoming ranked 21st as a state. The report weighs health care (33rd), education (15th overall), economy (47th), opportunity (15th), infrastructure (36th), crime and corrections (12th), fiscal stability (ninth), and quality of life (11th).
In K-12 education, Wyoming ranks 34th. The state placed 11th for its math and reading scores but is 46th in college readiness and 40th in preschool enrollment. Its graduation rate, which was just over 80 percent last year, placed 38th.