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2023 Best Online Colleges in New Mexico

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 9/12/2023


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Many New Mexico colleges offer online degree and certificate programs. Our 2023 list of online colleges in New Mexico includes only the best online universities ordered by online enrollment to gauge the most popular choices among students. Many New Mexico institutions offer affordable online degrees that are also flexible for remote students with obligations outside of school. Also, graduates from community colleges in New Mexico can transfer eligible credits to speed up their degrees at a four-year university. 

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2023 Best Online Colleges in New Mexico

RankSchool Salary Score Online Enrollment
# 1 #1 Western New Mexico University 59 1,112
# 2 #2 Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus 56 2,431
# 3 #3 University of the Southwest 46 544
# 4 #4 University of New Mexico 34 1,948
# 5 #5 New Mexico Highlands University 26 820
# 6 #6 New Mexico State University N/A 1,775

#1 Western New Mexico University

  • Salary Score: 59
  • Online Enrollment: 1,112
  • Locations: Silver City
  • Accreditation: HLC

Western New Mexico University (WNMU) has more than 200 online courses across a wide range of degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. WMNU offers online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, as well as online certificate programs and minors. Examples of online undergraduate majors available at WNMU include mathematics education, rehabilitation services, and chemical dependency.

The university offers convenient and affordable online learning for students. As a smaller institution, WMNU has smaller class sizes that can make the online learning experience more personal. The online student support services at WMNU include veterans services and virtual tutoring.

#2 Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus

  • Salary Score: 56
  • Online Enrollment: 2,431
  • Locations: Portales
  • Accreditation: HLC

At Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus (ENMU) offers several online degree and certificate programs students can enroll in. Online students have access to several areas of study, like business, accounting, and education. Online undergraduate majors include electronics engineering technology, early childhood education, and physical education.

ENMU also offers online degree programs to international distance learners. The university ensures students learn the skills and knowledge to succeed in their desired careers. Online students at ENMU can access online library services, an online bookstore, tutoring, a writing center, and counseling.

#3 University of the Southwest

  • Salary Score: 46
  • Online Enrollment: 544
  • Locations: Hobbs
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of the Southwest (USW) offers several online undergraduate and graduate degree programs students can pursue. The university offers online degrees in the arts and sciences, education, and business administration, for example. Some online undergraduate degree programs offered at USW include a Bachelor of Business Administration, which includes a range of specialties to choose from, including accounting, hospitality management, and E-commerce.

USW provides students with the flexibility to complete courses on their own time. At USW, online students can access free laptops, textbooks, and virtual healthcare. Additional online student resources at USW include tutoring, career services, technology services, disability accommodations, and counseling.

#4 University of New Mexico

  • Salary Score: 34
  • Online Enrollment: 1,948
  • Locations: Albuquerque
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of New Mexico (UNM) is a Carnegie-classified university assisting online learners in finishing or starting their degrees. The university offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as online certificate programs. Some online bachelor’s degrees at UNM include chicana & chicano studies, intercultural communication, and radiologic science.

UNM has accelerated online programs designed for students who need more flexibility to complete their degrees than traditional programs. Students enrolled in one of UNM’s online programs can expect affordable tuition, convenience, and high-quality teaching faculty. Online students at UNM can access technical support, career services, counseling, tutoring, and a writing lab.

#5 New Mexico Highlands University

  • Salary Score: 26
  • Online Enrollment: 820
  • Locations: Las Vegas
  • Accreditation: HLC

New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) is a public institution offering online degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. NMHU is a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Online master’s degrees at NMHU include business administration, cultural resource management, and family nurse practitioner. These online programs require 36 credit hours or more. Some master’s degrees can be completed in as little as 12 months. The acceptance rate at NMHU is 100%, with a graduation rate of 42%.

NMHU facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning on the learning management system D2L Brightspace. NMHU’s student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. NMHU may offer online students financial aid — like scholarships, employer tuition, loans, and military benefits. Online student support services at NMHU include advising, tech support, and tutoring. NMHU offers generous transfer credit policies and eight-week online courses.

#6 New Mexico State University

  • Salary Score: N/A
  • Online Enrollment: 1,775
  • Locations: Las Cruces
  • Accreditation: HLC

New Mexico State University (NMSU) is a public, four-year, Hispanic-Serving Institution. It offers over 70 online degrees though the NMSU Global Campus, from online associate and bachelor's to online graduate degrees up to the doctoral level. NMSU's main campus has a 53% graduation rate, which is fairly low, considering its acceptance rate it only accepts a little over half of applicants.

Its online programs are 100% online and focused toward teaching adults and post-traditional learners. Some of its most popular fields of study at the bachelor's level are in the liberal arts, and following that category are the fields of criminal justice, mechanical engineering, and nursing. Online students can apply for financial aid, and they are also eligible for the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship, which waives 100% of tuition costs.

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Higher Education in New Mexico

Three dozen colleges call New Mexico home. As a post-secondary student, you can find in-state programs for earning certificates or associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees. New Mexico's community colleges outnumber its four-year schools by about two to one, but there are still more than a dozen colleges or universities offering higher level degrees. Most colleges in New Mexico are publicly funded, and two-thirds are located in rural or small town areas. 

About 28.5% of New Mexico's 25-and-older population had a bachelor's degree in 2021. This is 5% lower than the percentage for the U.S. as a whole. The state's policymakers are focused on target industries— aerospace, green energy, biosciences, and cybersecurity, for example — to move the state beyond its historical reliance on mining and ranching. For this reason, they may be glad that New Mexico's college enrollments appear to be rising after a decade of decline, possibly thanks to a new state-sponsored scholarship based on financial need.

A number of colleges offer online degree programs in New Mexico. These programs usually have asynchronous courses without scheduled meetings. Instead, you can sign in at your convenience to work on courses and chat with classmates in forums or over messaging apps. An online degree might help you balance school, work, and other obligations more effectively than if you enrolled in an in-person program. 

Be sure to read our lists of online MSW programs in New Mexico and online nursing programs in New Mexico if you're considering a social work or nursing degree. 

FAQs About Online Colleges in Maine

Is College Free in New Mexico?

There are two state-sponsored programs that may lead to tuition-free college for New Mexico residents. The first is the Lottery Scholarship for new high school graduates, and the second is the newer Opportunity Scholarship aimed at adults who may have some college credits but haven't finished a degree. Both programs pay up to full tuition and required fees at public New Mexico higher education institutions.

How Many Colleges Are in New Mexico?

The Land of Enchantment has 36 degree-granting colleges. This includes 28 public schools, five for-profit schools, and three private nonprofit institutions. 

Does New Mexico Have Tuition Reciprocity With Other States?

New Mexico has separate tuition reciprocity agreements with Arizona and Colorado so that students from those states can qualify for in-state tuition in New Mexico and vice versa. New Mexico also belongs to the Western Undergraduate Exchange Program, which offers discounted tuition but not full reciprocity to students from certain states.

How Much Is College in New Mexico?

Each college has different costs, but the National Center for Education Statistics has calculated averages for different types of colleges. We've listed the average cost for tuition and fees in New Mexico below.

  • Public four-year college (in-state): $7,393
  • Public four-year college (out-of-state): $21,645
  • Private four-year college: $24,892
  • Public two-year college (in-state): $1,766
  • Public two-year college (out-of-state): $6,236

Each number refers to the 2020-2021 school year, the latest with available data.

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