The authors of a new college tuition affordability report shed light on why the state ranks at the top
The report, “Financing Public Higher Education: Variation Across States,” examines the cost of higher education in all 50 states and the reasons affordability varies widely between the states.
The report’s authors, Sandy Baum and Martha Johnson, found Wyoming has the lowest in-state tuition for a four-year program and the eighth lowest tuition for community colleges in the nation.
According to the report’s data, four-year in-state tuition costs students an average of $4,646 per academic year. That is more than $10,000 less than the average cost in New Hampshire, the state with the highest tuition.
Baum said, “It’s not surprising Wyoming has such low tuition because they have such high funding.”
Wyoming provides the second-highest funding per full time-equivalent students, behind Alaska. The report shows Wyoming provides a little more than $15,000 of funding each year per student.
Baum and Johnson also compared how much funding each state provides by $1,000 in personal income. Baum said this comparison is significant because median income varies widely between states.
The report shows Wyoming’s median income falls near the middle of the states at $80,477 per year, but the state of Wyoming provides almost $12 in funding for higher education per $1,000 in personal income.
New Hampshire provides the lowest in-state funding per student and per $1,000 of personal income, though the state has the sixth highest median income in the nation.