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Selecting a university to attend is one of the most important decisions students will make in their young adult lives.

Those looking for a college education in Colorado have numerous excellent options.

Colorado hosts many leading universities in cities with inspiring scenery, including Colorado Springs, Boulder, Fort Collins and Denver.

With breathtaking backdrops regardless of location, the universities in Colorado ensure that, in addition to academic pursuits, students have abundant opportunities to engage in various outdoor activities suitable for varying fitness levels.

TOP UNIVERSITIES IN CALIFORNIA BASED ON ENROLLMENT RATES

Colorado is known for offering students world-renowned academics, research opportunities, online options and invigorating outdoor extracurricular activities. 

Many of these institutions are also well-known for their comprehensive research programs. 

Some of the top Colorado universities include:

The U.S. News & World Report, Niche and other college ranking sites recognize these institutions. 

The sites rank the universities based on factors such as enrollment rates, acceptance rates, student-to-faculty ratio and overall student value.

The University of Colorado Boulder, established in 1876, is a member of the University of Colorado (CU) system. The beautiful urban campus integrates its natural landscape with stunning architectural designs.

Recognized as a prominent research institution, CU Boulder offers an extensive range of academic programs featuring over 150 fields of study across its nine colleges and schools. 

It maintains an acceptance rate of around 80%, attracting a dynamic student body of over 39,000 undergraduates and graduates annually, making it the largest university in Colorado based on enrollment.

AMERICA’S TOP CHRISTIAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

Tuition costs at CU Boulder are reported to be $13,622 for residents of Colorado and $41,966 for students from out of state by the U.S. News & World Report.

Tuition — $13,622 (in-state), $41,966 (out-of-state)

Mascot — Chip the Buffalo

Student nickname — Buffaloes

Acceptance rate — 80%

Enrollment — 39,000

Stadium at Colorado State University

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado State University (CSU) is known for its collaborative environment in which undergraduate and doctoral students frequently work together. 

Considered a top research university, CSU fosters a synergy between students and faculty who work side-by-side exploring various scientific and technological disciplines.

THERE’S MORE TO COLORADO THAN MEETS THE EYE

Founded in 1870 and situated at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the university has a 4,773-acre campus. Statistics indicate that around 33,400 students enroll at CSU each year.

The 2024 edition of “Best Colleges is National Universities” puts CSU at No. 151. 

Tuition — $12,896 (in-state), $33,752 (out-of-state)

Mascot — CAM the Ram

Student nickname — Rams

Acceptance rate — 91%

Enrollment — 33,400+

The University of Denver, ranked No. 124 by U.S. News & World Report, was founded in 1864 and is located in Denver, the capital of Colorado. 

The institution is noted for its research initiatives and competitive athletic programs, according to the university’s website. 

University of Colorado Boulder campus building

The university accepts approximately 78% of its applicants, with tuition set at $59,340. Annually, about 6,000 students are drawn to the urban campus, establishing an enrollment rate of 11.2%.

The University of Denver is ranked as the 28th most beautiful school in the country based on reviews by students on various platforms, according to College Rover.

Tuition — $59,340

Mascot — Ruckus

Student nickname — Pioneers

Acceptance rate — 77.7%

Enrollment — 6,160

The University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) is one of the four University of Colorado system campuses.

Recognized as a research university, the institution offers over 100 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. 

Approximately 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled. 

3 REASONS WHY COLLEGE IS WORTH THE PRICE TAG

Some of the most popular programs include those in business, management, biology and social sciences. The university boasts a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. 

It is located on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver and shares space with Metropolitan State University and Community College of Denver. 

Tuition — $11,406 (in-state), $26,818 (out-of-state)

Mascot — Milo the Lynx

Student nickname — Lynx

Acceptance rate — 75%

Enrollment — 15,000

Campus of Colorado School of Mines

Colorado School of Mines is the only academic institution that offers doctoral degrees in the five primary earth science majors. These majors are:

  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry
  • Mining engineering
  • Petroleum engineering

The college offers graduate degree programs exclusively in STEM fields, except for economics. However, its undergraduate curriculum includes humanities, arts and social sciences degrees.

Mines is a public R1 research university, which means it is recognized for its high research activity. 

Ricketson Law Building at the University of Colorado Denver campus

Established in 1874, it has a 500-acre suburban campus and was ranked 76th in the “Best Colleges is National Universities” 2024 edition by U.S. News. 

Tuition — 20,040 (in-state), 42,120 (out-of-state)

Mascot — Blaster the Burro

Student nickname — Orediggers

Acceptance rate — 58%

Enrollment — 5,733

Colorado College is a private institution in Colorado Springs, educating about 2,000 students annually on its 100-acre campus. The college ranks 33rd in the “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for the 2024 edition, with tuition and fees totaling $65,028. 

The university has an acceptance rate of 14%. 

The college features a distinctive block plan, where students engage in one course at a time over eight blocks, each lasting three to five weeks. Additionally, the Breaking Bread program encourages student-faculty engagement outside the classroom by reimbursing faculty for hosting dinners at their homes. 

There are around 200 Breaking Bread events annually.

Tuition — $65,028

Mascot — Prowler

Student nickname — Tigers

Acceptance rate — 14%

Enrollment — 2,241

Students walk to class

Among the numerous excellent universities in Colorado, some of the other top institutions include:

  • Regis University in Denver
  • University of Northern Colorado in Greeley
  • United States Air Force Academy located outside of Colorado Springs
  • Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction
  • Fort Lewis College in Durango
  • Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Lakewood
  • Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs
  • Colorado Christian University in Lakewood
  • Western Colorado University in Gunnison

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