Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in New Mexico

Does New Mexico have good online colleges and universities?

Yes. The state offers a wealth of online educational opportunities, such as University of the Southwest’s Online Bachelor’s in Global Business Management and New Mexico State University’s Online Bachelor’s in Counseling and Community Psychology. After you graduate, you may want to consider staying in New Mexico to complete a master’s degree while you work in one of the state’s many growing fields. New Mexico is rich in graduate school options, like Western New Mexico University’s Online Master’s in Teaching and the University of New Mexico’s Online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).

Do online college credits in New Mexico cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some schools offer discounted rates for online courses, while others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. New Mexico became a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) in 2015. This means out-of-state students who live in a SARA-participating state can take online courses from New Mexico schools without incurring additional fees.

Why should you choose New Mexico for online higher education?

From affordable community colleges to top public research universities, New Mexico offers something for every type of online college student. One option that stands out as a particularly appealing choice is New Mexico State University, which offers a flat rate of $380 per undergraduate credit for all online students regardless of state residency.

The Cost of Online College in New Mexico

How much does an online degree in New Mexico cost?

The cost of an online degree in New Mexico depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you decide to pursue. For example, undergraduate degrees are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you’ll probably find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save money on indirect expenses like transportation, parking, and housing by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the lowest and highest rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in New Mexico below:

  • Most affordable online college in New Mexico: New Mexico State, $380 per credit
  • Most expensive online college in New Mexico: University of the Southwest, $470 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in New Mexico to get in-state tuition rates?

Typically, you will be eligible for in-state tuition rates after you have lived in New Mexico for one year. Some groups, such as military veterans, tribal members, and graduate fellows, are entitled to in-state tuition rates without meeting this one-year requirement.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in New Mexico?

In 1996, New Mexico became the first state in the nation to offer tuition-free college to its residents. The New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship is available to all established New Mexico residents working on a training certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree at a public college or university in the state.

There is no application for the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship. If you are an eligible student enrolled in any New Mexico public college or university, the school’s financial aid office will award the scholarship. However, you should still complete the FAFSA.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in New Mexico

If you don’t qualify for the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship, there are many other sources of financial support available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are based on income, while others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent scholarship options for you below:

New Mexico Manufactured Housing Association Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is designed specifically for graduating New Mexico high school students who live in a mobile or manufactured home. The award is funded by private residents and the New Mexico Manufactured Housing Association, and it’s managed by the Albuquerque Community Foundation.

Who’s eligible? In addition to the requirements above, applicants must plan to attend a two or four-year college or university.

Contact information: [email protected] | 505-883-6240

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Sussman-Miller Educational Assistance Fund

Since 1994, this fund has provided financial assistance to New Mexico students to further their education in an undergraduate program by addressing gaps in financial aid packages. It is available for students graduating from high school and those already in college.

Who’s eligible? In addition to the requirements above, applicants must be a federal financial aid recipient with a low estimated family contribution (EFC). An essay and reference are part of the application packet.

Contact information: [email protected] | 505-883-6240

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New Mexico Graduate Scholarship

New Mexico’s Graduate Scholarship was created to increase graduate-level enrollment at public colleges and universities for students from groups traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. Recipients must agree to serve in an unpaid internship or assistantship at their school, a government agency, or a private industry for 10 hours per week during the academic year.

Who’s eligible? New Mexico residents from groups with the most severe underrepresentation and the greatest financial need are eligible to apply via the financial aid office of the graduate school they attend or will attend.

Contact information:  [email protected] | 1-800-279-9777

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Davis-Kozoll Scholarship

Established in 2019, this scholarship is for students from the northwest portion of New Mexico. Applicants must be pursuing a master’s, bachelor’s, or associate degree in a science or human service discipline or a degree, certificate, or diploma in the trades.

Who’s eligible? In addition to the criteria above, applicants must have at least a 2.0 GPA. The application package includes an essay and recommendation.

Contact information: [email protected] | 505-883-6240

Learn more

5 Fastest Growing Careers in New Mexico

If you still don’t know where you’ll attend college, it’s possible you also don’t know your major yet. In that case, one of the most important factors you should consider is which industries are growing the fastest in New Mexico — this will make it easier to find a job, and more demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By examining the state’s official 2018-2028 Employment Predictions, we’ve determined that the following five industries will have the highest growth rates in New Mexico in the six years to come:

Healthcare and Social Assistance

Driving the demand for healthcare workers in New Mexico is the state’s large aging population. New Mexico is expected to have the second-oldest population in the United States by the end of this decade. Within this sector, the most common occupations are home health and personal care aides, nursing assistants, and medical assistants. Other occupations include psychiatric aides, physical therapy assistants, veterinary assistants, massage therapists, and pharmacy aides. The average statewide salary for all jobs in this industry is $27,730.

  • Growth: 17.0%
  • Degree options: Associate in Veterinary Technology, Associate in Nursing, Associate in Dental Assisting, Associate in Clinical Laboratory Technician, Bachelor’s in Health Administration, Bachelor’s in Health and Human Services, Bachelor’s in Pre-Occupational Therapy

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

New Mexico is home to three national research laboratories, three research universities, and many technology business incubators, which makes it a strong and growing state for jobs in the science and tech industries. Occupations within this sector include epidemiologists, chemists, astronomers, and chemical technicians. This industry has an average salary of $85,040 in New Mexico.

  • Growth: 11.6%
  • Degree options: Bachelor’s in Biology, Bachelor’s in Forensics, Bachelor’s in Geography, Master’s in Microbiology, Master’s in Industrial Psychology, Ph.D. in Chemistry

Construction

Construction employment in New Mexico is booming, particularly for jobs in the state’s many oil fields and surrounding communities. Within this sector, the most common occupations are construction laborers, construction supervisors, and electricians — these jobs have an average salary of $50,440 in New Mexico. Other construction occupations include plumbers, pipelayers, and stonemasons.

  • Growth: 11.3%
  • Degree options: Associate in Construction Technology, Bachelor’s in Construction Management, Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering Technology, Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering, Master’s in Construction Administration, Ph.D. in Building Construction

Mining

New Mexico, a major producer of oil and natural gas, has a healthy energy and mineral industry due to these and many other natural resources in the state, including copper, coal, and potash. Within the mining sector, the most common occupations are roustabouts, service unit operators, and rotary drill operators — these jobs have an average salary of $50,186 in New Mexico. Other occupations include derrick operators, extraction helpers, and earth drillers.

  • Growth: 10.18%
  • Degree options: Associate in Mining Engineering, Bachelor’s in Geology, Bachelor’s in Mine Technology, Master’s in Mining Engineering and Management, Master’s in Earth Resources, Ph.D. in Geological Engineering

Accomodation and Food Services

The restaurant industry in New Mexico employs more than 82,000 people and represents over $2 billion in sales annually. The most common occupations in this sector are servers, fast-food workers, and cooks — the average salary of these jobs is $30,976. Other jobs in this sector include chefs, bartenders, school cafeteria attendants, and restaurant managers.

  • Growth: 9.2%
  • Degree options: Associate in Food and Beverage Studies, Bachelor’s in Food Industry Compliance, Bachelor’s in Baking and Pastry Arts, Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts, Bachelor’s in Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship, Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)

Our Research

While curating this list of the best online colleges in New Mexico, we evaluated various educational institutions that offered online courses, from mid-sized liberal arts colleges to major universities, based on their online programs, required credits, and tuition.

The institutions we evaluated were accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to ensure that your credits are professionally recognized and easy to transfer if needed. HLC makes sure that schools meet their standards for academic excellence and effectiveness in student learning.

  • 21 hours to write this article
  • 28 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 50 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Colleges in New Mexico

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