Best Public Colleges in New Mexico 2024

Badge for BEST IN NEW MEXICO PUBLIC COLLEGES

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in New Mexico provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

Best Public Colleges in New Mexico

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  1. University of New Mexico
  2. New Mexico State University
  3. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
  4. Eastern New Mexico University
  5. Western New Mexico University
  6. New Mexico Highlands University
  7. Northern New Mexico College
  1. University of New Mexico
  2. New Mexico State University
  3. Eastern New Mexico University
  4. New Mexico Highlands University
  5. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
  6. Western New Mexico University
  7. Northern New Mexico College
  1. University of New Mexico 97%
  2. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology 97%
  3. New Mexico State University 57%
  4. Eastern New Mexico University 33%
  1. University of New Mexico 19 to 1
  2. Eastern New Mexico University 17 to 1
  3. New Mexico State University 16 to 1
  4. New Mexico Highlands University 13 to 1
  5. Western New Mexico University 12 to 1
  6. Northern New Mexico College 11 to 1
  7. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology 8 to 1
  1. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology $7,031
  2. University of New Mexico $6,605
  3. New Mexico State University $6,041
  4. New Mexico Highlands University $4,758
  5. Western New Mexico University $4,417
  6. Eastern New Mexico University $4,074
  7. Northern New Mexico College $3,447
  1. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology $7,344
  2. University of New Mexico $6,050
  3. New Mexico Highlands University $5,580
  4. Eastern New Mexico University $5,351
  5. New Mexico State University $4,981
  6. Western New Mexico University $3,558
  7. Northern New Mexico College $2,652
  1. Northern New Mexico College
  2. New Mexico Highlands University
  3. Western New Mexico University
  4. Eastern New Mexico University
  5. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
  6. New Mexico State University
  7. University of New Mexico
  1. Northern New Mexico College
  2. Western New Mexico University
  3. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
  4. New Mexico Highlands University
  5. Eastern New Mexico University
  6. New Mexico State University
  7. University of New Mexico
  1. Eastern New Mexico University 33%
  2. New Mexico State University 57%
  3. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology 97%
  4. University of New Mexico 97%
  1. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology 8 to 1
  2. Northern New Mexico College 11 to 1
  3. Western New Mexico University 12 to 1
  4. New Mexico Highlands University 13 to 1
  5. New Mexico State University 16 to 1
  6. Eastern New Mexico University 17 to 1
  7. University of New Mexico 19 to 1
  1. Northern New Mexico College $3,447
  2. Eastern New Mexico University $4,074
  3. Western New Mexico University $4,417
  4. New Mexico Highlands University $4,758
  5. New Mexico State University $6,041
  6. University of New Mexico $6,605
  7. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology $7,031
  1. Northern New Mexico College $2,652
  2. Western New Mexico University $3,558
  3. New Mexico State University $4,981
  4. Eastern New Mexico University $5,351
  5. New Mexico Highlands University $5,580
  6. University of New Mexico $6,050
  7. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology $7,344

Colleges and Universities in New Mexico

New Mexico has 23 higher learning establishments to choose from, and a tuition range of $1,000-$8,000 in the public sphere makes this state one of the most affordable in the nation. The University of New Mexico, located in Albuquerque, has a student population just over 20,000 and an affordable cost of $8,000. The school is known for its health sciences and business programs.

New Mexico also has four tribal colleges and universities, including the largest tribal college in the country, Navajo Technical University. Students can complete programs in animal science, early childhood multicultural education, and industrial engineering. In addition, New Mexico provides two loan forgiveness programs, one for health professionals and one for public service attorneys. Those working in designated shortage areas can qualify for up to $25,000 per year, and attorneys providing service for government, non-profit, or underserved residents may acquire $7,200 per year.

Pueblos, roadrunners, cacti, and the Rio Grande make New Mexico one of the most unique states in the nation. Though its alleged history of UFO sightings is perhaps its most famous draw, New Mexico has another fascinating monument worth mentioning - Capulin Volcano. The peak of this extinct cider cone volcano, which can be reached by car, offers visitors a view of four other states. Students looking to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in The Land of Enchantment are sure to find interesting activities to do alongside their studies.

Prepare to be enchanted by the higher education options and career prospects that New Mexico has to offer.

What are New Mexico’s Colleges & Universities?

New Mexico’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

New Mexico's Best Public Colleges Badge
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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 7 public universities in New Mexico. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in New Mexico, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

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Best Public Colleges in New Mexico 2023

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1260/26

    Career Outlook for degree at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

    Cost of Degree: $8,425
    Expenses: $12,768
    Starting Salary: $62,487
    Salary after 4 years: $87,087
    Cost Recoup Time: 6 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology known for?

    New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    33%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/20

    Career Outlook for degree at Eastern New Mexico University

    Cost of Degree: $6,528
    Expenses: $13,262
    Starting Salary: $42,711
    Salary after 4 years: $51,195
    Cost Recoup Time: 9 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Eastern New Mexico University known for?

    Eastern New Mexico University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    2K

    Career Outlook for degree at Western New Mexico University

    Cost of Degree: $6,557
    Expenses: $16,478
    Starting Salary: $48,905
    Salary after 4 years: $53,006
    Cost Recoup Time: 9 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Western New Mexico University known for?

    Western New Mexico University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    2K

    Career Outlook for degree at New Mexico Highlands University

    Cost of Degree: $6,876
    Expenses: $14,020
    Starting Salary: $40,657
    Salary after 4 years: $53,212
    Cost Recoup Time: 9 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  5. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    <1K

    Career Outlook for degree at Northern New Mexico College

    Cost of Degree: $4,952
    Expenses: $14,811
    Starting Salary: $30,000
    Cost Recoup Time: 12 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Northern New Mexico College known for?

    Northern New Mexico College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

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New Mexico’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of New Mexico
  2. New Mexico State University
  3. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
  4. Eastern New Mexico University
  5. New Mexico Highlands University
  6. Western New Mexico University
  7. Northern New Mexico College

Check out our directory of public colleges throughout the U.S. for a look at the top public colleges in every state.

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