Colleges in Colorado and Why It’s a Great Place to Go to School

Skiing and snow likely jump into your mind when you think of Colorado, and for good reason! The state gets over 67 inches of snow on average a year. But that’s not all Colorado has to offer. The state actually has quite a bit in the way of education as well as fun. We’ve put together a list of reasons why you’ll want to consider attending one of the many great colleges in Colorado. Plus we’ve included a list of the top schools in the state, things to do during your free time, and ways to better afford your tuition.

Source: Flickr user cronncc.

Top Colleges in Colorado

  1. Colorado School of Mines
    • Location: Golden
    • Enrollment total: 7,403
    • Acceptance Rate: 58.4%
  2. Colorado College
    • Location: Colorado Springs
    • Enrollment total: 2,203
    • Acceptance Rate: 16.4%
  3. United States Air Force Academy
    • Location: USAF Academy
    • Enrollment total: 4,085
    • Acceptance Rate: 16%
  4. University of Colorado Boulder
    • Location: Boulder
    • Enrollment total: 39,585
    • Acceptance Rate: 81%
  5. University of Denver
    • Location: Denver
    • Enrollment total: 13,734
    • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  6. Colorado State University
    • Location: Fort Collins
    • Enrollment total: 33,403
    • Acceptance Rate: 91%
  7. Colorado Christian University
    • Location: Lakewood
    • Enrollment total: 8,964
    • Acceptance Rate: 97.6%
  8. Regis University
    • Location: Denver
    • Enrollment total: 4,668
    • Acceptance Rate: 76.1%
  9. University of Northern Colorado
    • Location: Greeley
    • Enrollment total: 9,380
    • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  10. Western Colorado University
    • Location: Gunnison
    • Enrollment total: 3,548
    • Acceptance Rate: 92%
  11. See More

Why Should You Go to College in Colorado?

In addition to some amazing schools, Colorado also has plenty for students to do in their free time. Whether you love history, exploration, or good food, this state won’t disappoint! Here are some highlights you’ll want to note before you even begin your first year of college.

1. History and Education

The state of Colorado has quite a few opportunities when it comes to history and education. Home to a number of museums, there are several that should be on your to-do list including the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Fort Collins Museum of Discover, Aspen Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and the Museum of the West.

However, if you truly want to step back in time, you’ll want to plan a trip to the Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site. This recreated town captures the essence of an 1840s fur trading post and guests can opt for guided or self-guided tours. The guided tours are only available during the summer months though.

2. Culture

Our next suggestion on what Colorado has to offer its students can fit any one of the categories of history, culture, and fun: The Mesa Verde National Park. The site was home to 26 Pueblos and Tribes for over 700 years (600 to 1300 AD). Today, their ancient cliff dwellings still stand at Mesa Verde and the sheer size and construction of them is breathtaking. The Cliff Palace is one spot on the tour you won’t want to miss, but the Spruce Tree House is also the best preserved.

However, if you want to experience a bit of culture and can’t get away from campus for a day trip, we recommend trying out one of the many unique dishes you can find in Colorado. There’s Colorado-style pizza (also known as the Mountain Pie), trout, Palisade Peaches, and bison. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, there are also Rocky Mountain Oysters which we’ll just say are not oysters.

3. Fun

Colorado also has plenty in the way of “fun.” If you love the outdoors, you’re going to love what the state has to offer. For instance, the Rocky Mountain National Park has dramatic peaks, 147 lakes, lots of wildlife, and stunning views – and there are hikes for any experience level. The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve lets you surf or sled without the need for snow or water, too! And if you love the snow, the state is also home to some of the most well-known ski resorts in the country. 

If you never grew up out of that “dinosaur stage” (we don’t blame you; dinosaurs are great!), the Dinosaur National Monument should be high on your to-do list. Visitors can walk through mountains, canyons, and rivers and even see proof of the dinosaurs in the rocks. There’s also the Quarry Exhibit Hall which is home to roughly 1,500 bones. Whether you like hiking, horseback riding, or cycling, as long as you love dinosaurs, you’ll love the Dinosaur National Monument.

Paying for Colleges in Colorado

No matter where you go in the country, college tuition is expensive. Thankfully, many states offer grant and scholarship programs to help make attending more affordable. This includes Colorado. The state is home to several financial aid programs including the:

  • Matching Student Scholarship Grant
  • College Opportunity Fund
  • Colorado Second Chance Scholarship Program
  • Foster Youth Financial Assistance Program
  • Community Partner Program Grants
  • CollegeInvest
  • Colorado Collegiate Apprenticeship Program
  • Colorado GearUp

However, students who live out of state and want to attend one of the colleges in Colorado may not qualify for the above-listed grants and scholarships. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck, though. Colorado is part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education which offers the Western Undergraduate Exchange. This means students from select states can actually qualify for in-state tuition at another state as long as they’re part of the Commission. 

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Colorado has quite a bit to offer students who want to call the state home whether for 4 years or longer. If you’re thinking about attending college in this state, definitely make up a bucket list. There’s so much to do, you want to be sure you hit what’s important to you.

If your heart is set on Colorado, we can help you find the perfect school for your academic goals, career goals, achievements, budget, and more. Use our College Match tool to get started for free!