What are the best colleges and universities in Wyoming if you reward schools for making the best use of their limited resources? Academic Stewardship asks how effectively schools manage their financial and human resources to gain the influence that makes them academically excellent. Schools that are exemplary in Academic Stewardship are doing everything in their power to help students and faculty achieve their full potential.
Colleges and universities in Wyoming deserve to be recognized when they do more with less. It’s impressive when a large wealthy school can spend money lavishly on expensive buildings and programs. But it’s even more impressive when a small school with limited means is able to train and inspire students that the larger wealthier schools tend to ignore.
The American Association of Colleges and Universities reported in late 2021 that almost 75 percent of higher-education professionals at US colleges and universities felt financial constraints prevented their schools from effectively attracting students. Distracted by the size and amenities of larger schools, prospective students tended especially to be overawed by the big research universities.
Inspired by Malcolm Gladwell, who for years now has criticized conventional college rankings for misrepresenting what’s good and valuable in education, we decided to construct a new ranking metric that highlights those schools that do more with less. That metric—called the Academic Stewardship metric—takes away both the size and the wealth advantage of schools, and focuses instead on how well schools use the resources available to them to advance the education of their students.
As a metric, Academic Stewardship is defined by a precise mathematical formula, which can be found in our Academic Stewardship white paper. Measuring the Academic Stewardship of Wyoming’s colleges requires measuring two forms of stewardship: 1) Stewardship of financial resources (using the money they have responsibility without waste) and 2) Stewardship of human resources (doing their best to help students, faculty, and administration to flourish). Together, these two types of stewardship form what we call Academic Stewardship. If you want to learn more about the factors involved in Academic Stewardship, click the more button below.
Academic Stewardship as so defined is connected to keeping tuition and other costs down, but it should not be confused with affordability or frugality. The schools that this metric ranks as exemplary academic stewards tend to be all over the map when it comes to tuition and other costs. At issue is the influence of schools given the financial and human resources they have on hand. If a school is going to charge more for tuition, then that needs to be reflected in the school having proportionately greater influence.
The benefits of attending a school with strong academic stewardship include:
Tuition + fees
University of Wyoming’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
With an average in-state tuition of $5,220, Wyoming has the lowest cost for college in the country. The eight higher education institutions here are all public, and the tuition rates range from about $3,000 to just over $5,000. Located in Laramie, the University of Wyoming is the largest, with over 10,000 students in attendance. Its tuition of a little more than $5,000 makes it one of the most affordable universities in the nation.
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Students can earn degrees in fields such as anthropology, earth sciences, and economics. With student populations of less than 5,000, the remaining community colleges and four-year schools all charge affordable tuition rates of about $3,000. The largest community college is Laramie Country Community College, which awarded 741 degrees and certificates in the 2019-2020 academic year. Associate degrees in nursing or applied science are just some of the options available.
Cowboy songs, roaming bison, stunning mountain views, and the vast expanse of the Great Plains - Wyoming offers a true glimpse at the Old West in all its unspoiled glory. Home to both the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone, Wyoming offers some of the nation’s most breathtaking vistas. And a little-known but commendable fact about Wyoming: it was the first state to grant women the right to vote, earning its nickname, The Equality State. While Wyoming may be the least populous state in America, its higher education is also the most affordable in the nation.
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