Why This Matters


    There are a dozen colleges and universities in New Mexico, including nine public colleges, two private non-profit schools, and one private for-profit option.


    While costs vary widely depending on a college’s size and how it’s funded, the average New Mexico college charged $7,980 in tuition for the 2021-22 school year.


    Students in the U.S. received $14,800 on average in financial aid for the 2020-21 school year to cover expenses such as housing, tuition, food, and textbooks.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar schools in New Mexico. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a reputable organization that examines the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of education programs in the central United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for on-campus students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 50 Colleges in New Mexico

Best Colleges In New Mexico
Intelligent Pick
University of New Mexico
Best Research Institution
New Mexico State University
Best for STEM
New Mexico Tech
Best for Transfers
Eastern New Mexico University
Most Affordable
Northern New Mexico College
Best for Social Work
New Mexico Highlands University
Best Christian University
University of the Southwest
Best Education Degrees
Western New Mexico University
Best Tribal College
Navajo Technical University


What You Should Know About Graduating From College in New Mexico

When deciding where to attend school, prospective students should consider whether the state they pursue their education has job opportunities for them after they graduate. In New Mexico, nearly 180,000 people work in government jobs, making it the largest industry in the state. Other top industries include education and health services; trade, transportation, and utilities; professional and business services; and goods-producing.

Within these industries, there are numerous fast-growing careers for those with bachelor’s degrees. Between 2020 and 2030, the careers that are projected to experience the most growth for this education level include fine artists, producers and directors, and museum technicians and conservators.

New Mexico has several large employers that provide job opportunities after graduation. Some of the largest employers include Sandia Corporation, Presbyterian Hospital, Albuquerque Police Department, TriCore Reference Laboratories, and the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

What’s Next?

The majority of New Mexico students receive financial aid to help fund their education. We’ve put together a list of resources that provide information on need- and merit-based scholarships, grants, and student loans.

  • New Mexico Higher Education Department. This department offers informational resources on state financial aid opportunities and provides funding for educational expenses. Through the website, students can learn about programs such as loan-for-service, loan repayment, scholarships, and grants.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA application helps the U.S. Department of Education determine whether an individual qualifies for need-based financial aid such as student loans and scholarships. Click here to determine whether you’re eligible to fill out a FAFSA and here to submit an online application.
  • CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop is sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and provides robust information on financial aid options. Visitors can filter their results according to their level of study, the type of award they’re seeking, where they live, and where they intend to study.