Why This Matters

  • NEW MEXICO HAS 23 INSTITUTIONS WITH ASSOCIATE DEGREE PROGRAMS

    College Navigator reports that New Mexico has 23 community colleges that grant students an associate degree.

  • $2,046 AVERAGE TUITION AND FEES FOR IN-DISTRICT STUDENTS

    In New Mexico, College Board estimates that in-district students paid $2,046 in tuition and fees at public community colleges for the 2022-23 school year.

  • 80.6% OF STUDENTS AT U.S. COMMUNITY COLLEGES RECEIVED FINANCIAL AID

    For the 2019-20 academic year, financial aid of some type went to 452,493 enrolled students at community colleges in the United States.

Our Research

This list features some of the best community colleges 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 small, midsize, and large colleges as well as trade, technical, and vocational programs. 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 objectives, quality and overall effectiveness of education programs throughout the 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 students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 15 Community Colleges in New Mexico

Best Community Colleges In New Mexico Badge 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Central New Mexico Community College
01
Best Financial Aid
New Mexico Junior College
01
Best Student Organizations
Mesalands Community College
01
Best Student Support Services
San Juan College
01
Best for Adult Learners
Clovis Community College
01
Best for Veterans
Santa Fe Community College
01
Best Tutoring Services
University of New Mexico at Taos Campus
01
Best Military School
New Mexico Military Institute
01
Best for Dual Enrollment
Luna Community College
01
Best Art Program
Institute of American Indian Arts
01

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
01
Most Affordable
Northern New Mexico College
01

University of New Mexico at Los Alamos
01

Southeast New Mexico College
01

Southwestern College & New Earth Institute

What You Should Know About Graduating From Community College in New Mexico

In New Mexico, the 2021 median wage data shows that the top-paying jobs for people with an associate degree were air traffic controllers, dental hygienists, radiation therapists, nuclear medicine technologists, and diagnostic medical sonographers.

Some career paths offer more job openings than others. New Mexico careers with an associate degree requirement that have the most openings include preschool teachers (except special education), calibration technologists, paralegals and legal assistants, computer network support specialists, and radiologic technicians.

Also, careers expected to have the greatest decline in job openings for people in New Mexico with an associate degree include legal support workers, mechanical drafters, human resources assistants (except payroll and timekeeping), and desktop publishers.

What’s Next?

Along with choosing a community college, researching the available financial aid options is an important step in earning your associate degree. Below, we’ve listed resources on the state and federal level for all types of financial aid, including grants and scholarships.

  • New Mexico Higher Education Department. This department provides information to help students make informed financial aid decisions and includes support for scholarships, grants, and loan repayment programs.
  • Federal Student Aid. Make the most of financial aid by applying for scholarships, grants, work study, and loans from the office of Federal Student Aid, which provides over $120 billion in financial aid annually. The FAFSA4caster gives you an idea of your eligibility. Once you’re ready, you can apply using the online FAFSA form.
  • CareerOneStop. Explore a variety of scholarships, grants, and fellowships through CareerOneStop. You can filter the results by degree type and state to focus on the best options for you.