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Timothy Peck
6 School Rankings

9 Best Colleges in New Mexico

What’s Covered:

 

New Mexico is home to one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns in North America—people have lived in Taos Pueblo for at least a 1,000 years—yet is one of the youngest states in the nation. It’s the 47th state and many of New Mexico’s best colleges pre-date its statehood. New Mexico also has more people with PhDs per capita here than anywhere else in the U.S. Helping fuel the number of highly educated people calling New Mexico home are the state’s excellent institutions of higher education. 

 

Our Ranking Methodology

 

Our list of the nine best colleges in New Mexico was constructed with a focus on school quality, outcomes, and return on investment (ROI). It also considers a host of other factors such as retention rate, selectivity, endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, median earnings, and cost of attendance. You can find CollegeVine’s rankings in their entirety here.

 

9 Best Colleges in New Mexico

 

1. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology | New Mexico Tech

 

Location: Socorro, NM   

Acceptance Rate: 80%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1280-1380

Middle 50% ACT: 23-29

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,175 

 

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is one of the best colleges in New Mexico and one of the most well regarded STEM schools in the nation. That said, New Mexico Tech often refers to itself as a “STE²M” school—with the extra E standing for entrepreneurialism—and instills the skills needed for students to monetize their ideas. The website Niche ranks New Mexico Tech as one of the best Hispanic-serving institutions in America and the website Payscale places New Mexico Tech 35th (for in-state students) and 50th (for out-of-state students) on its list of best value colleges. 

 

Learn more about the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and what it takes to get accepted.

 

2. St. John’s College | SJC (New Mexico)

 

Location: Santa Fe, NM

Acceptance Rate: 66%   

Middle 50% SAT: 1270-1460

Middle 50% ACT: 26-31

Undergrad Enrollment: 312

 

St. John’s College has the distinction of being one the best colleges in New Mexico and one of the nation’s most unique schools. SJC’s campus is split between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Annapolis, Maryland, and despite its name, the college has no religious affiliation. The Maryland campus is the third oldest college in the nation—it was founded in 1696 as King William’s School, before taking on its current moniker in 1784. SJC is known for its distinctive liberal arts curriculum focused on the important books and ideas of Western civilization. All classes at SJC are seminar-style and every undergraduate student graduates with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts. Curious about what you’ll study at SJC? The college posts its reading list on its website. 

 

Learn more about St. John’s College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

3. University of New Mexico | UNM

 

Location: Albuquerque, NM   

Acceptance Rate: 65%   

Middle 50% SAT: N/A

Middle 50% ACT: 20-26

Undergrad Enrollment: 15,336

 

New Mexico’s flagship state school, the University of New Mexico, was founded in 1889, more than two decades before New Mexico became a state. The university is classified as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and about 40% of undergraduates are Hispanic. UNM is one of just nine Carnegie-designated Research I universities in the nation that are also classified as an HSI and the country’s only flagship state university that is also an HSI.   

 

Learn more about the University of New Mexico and what it takes to get accepted.

 

4. New Mexico State University | NMSU

 

Location: La Cruces, NM   

Acceptance Rate: 57%   

Middle 50% SAT: 920-1140

Middle 50% ACT: 17-23

Undergrad Enrollment: 11,231 

 

NMSU is a land-grant university founded in 1888. Thanks to some novel wording in the state constitution, New Mexico State University maintains a collaborative relationship with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA). In fact, the NMDA is located on the university’s campus and agriculture plays a big role in the lives of many NMSU students. The university’s nickname is the “Aggies” and the school offers numerous programs in the fields of agriculture, animal sciences, and environmental studies. NMSU is classified as a Hispanic-serving institution and 63% of undergraduates are Hispanic. 

 

Learn more about New Mexico State University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

5. Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus | ENMU

 

Location: Portales, NM   

Acceptance Rate: 51%   

Middle 50% SAT: 960-1150

Middle 50% ACT: 17-22

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,928

 

Three campuses fall under the umbrella of Eastern New Mexico University, but its main campus is the only one of the three to offer four-year programs. ENMU offers more than 50 majors— ranging from accounting to wildlife and fisheries science—through its five colleges and departments:

 

  • College of Business
  • College of Education and Technology
  • College of Fine Arts
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Graduate School

 

ENMU is a designated Hispanic-serving institution, and over 30% of students are Hispanic. 

 

Learn more about Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus and what it takes to get accepted.

 

6. Navajo Technical University

 

Location: Crownpoint, NM   

Acceptance Rate: 100%   

Middle 50% SAT: N/A

Middle 50% ACT: N/A

Undergrad Enrollment: 825

 

Navajo Technical University was founded in 1979 as the Navajo Skill Center, a school designed to meet the needs of the Navajo Nation. In 2006, the school changed its name to Crownpoint Institute of Technology, and in 2013 it assumed its current moniker while becoming the first university established in the Navajo Nation. The university’s underpinnings as a skill center are still seen today—in addition to offering a variety of master’s and bachelor’s degrees, the school also offers numerous associate’s degrees as well as vocational/technical certificates. The school is committed to honoring Diné culture and language; 97% of its students are Native American and 91% of them are from the Navajo tribe. 

 

Learn more about Navajo Technical University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

7. New Mexico Highlands University | NMHU

 

Location: Las Vegas, NM

Acceptance Rate: 92%   

Middle 50% SAT: N/A

Middle 50% ACT: 15-23

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,550

 

New Mexico Highland University is located in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the historic city of Las Vegas (the city is home to 900 buildings listed on the National Registry of Historic Places). The college is founded on four core values: 

 

  • Excellence
  • Diversity
  • Accessibility
  • Responsiveness

 

The New York Times ranked the NMHU 53rd out of 369 selective public colleges for overall mobility (the likelihood of a student moving up two or more income quintiles). NMHU is a Hispanic-serving institution, and more than half of its students are Hispanic. 

 

Learn more about New Mexico Highlands University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

8. Western New Mexico University

 

Location: Silver City, NM   

Acceptance Rate: 100%   

Middle 50% SAT: N/A

Middle 50% ACT: N/A

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,102

 

Founded in 1893, Western New Mexico University has had four names since its inception: Normal School, New Mexico State Teachers College, New Mexico Western College, and Western New Mexico University. Today, the university is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution and offers more than 70 fields of study ranging from accounting to zoology. There’s a lot to like about Western New Mexico University’s Silver City location—it’s home to numerous art galleries, great restaurants, and a multitude of coffee shops. 

 

Learn more about Western New Mexico University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

9. Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development

 

Location: Santa Fe, NM

Acceptance Rate: 100%   

Middle 50% SAT: N/A

Middle 50% ACT: N/A

Undergrad Enrollment: 295 

 

The Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development, more simply known as the Institute of American Indian Arts, is one of just 37 tribal colleges in the nation. The Institute of American Indian Arts is one of just three Congressionally chartered colleges in the country and the world’s only institution of higher learning dedicated to contemporary Native American art. There are 91 different tribes represented on the Institute of American Indian Arts campus, and its alumni account for some of the country’s most prominent contemporary American Indian artists.

 

Learn more about the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development and what it takes to get accepted.

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

Wondering what your odds are of admission at one of the best colleges in New Mexico? CollegeVine can help. Our free chancing engine uses numerous factors—like grades, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities—to estimate your odds of acceptance at hundreds of schools in New Mexico and across the country.

 

Our chancing engine can also help you build a balanced school list of colleges inside and outside the Land of Enchantment. By providing your odds of acceptance, you can strategically assign safety, target, and reach schools and put yourself in the best position to get into a college that fits your needs and meets your expectations. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!


Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.