Colorado Colleges and Universities

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Colorado Colleges:
A School for Every Student

Reach your peak in Colorado, where schools and the Rockies inspire

As impressive and diverse as the state's landscape, Colorado's higher education system boasts more than 470 institutions and 400,000 students. From the trails of Boulder to the slopes of Vail to the Colorado River's white rapids, the Centennial State is the ideal backdrop for students who thrive in nature and enjoy the adventure of the outdoors.

Colleges and Universitiesin Colorado

Reflective of its varied non-scholastic activity options, Colorado has a higher education system which offers hundreds of different institutions appealing to nearly a half million students from all walks of life. These include four-year state universities, community colleges, seminary schools, technical and trade schools and private occupational institutions.

Four-year colleges in Colorado include:

  • Colorado State University
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • University of Northern Colorado

However, not all students in the Colorado higher education system are enrolled in a major four-year university. Thousands of students attend two-year or community colleges in Colorado, which typically have a less competitive admissions process and can be more cost-effective than a four-year university.

The state's two-year colleges and community colleges include:

  • Arapahoe Community College
  • Colorado Northwestern Community College
  • Community College of Denver
  • Red Rocks Community College
  • Community College of Aurora

In addition to public options, Colorado has hundreds of private and independent institutions that appeal to students with religious, trade or occupational preferences.

Colorado's private accredited schools include:

  • Colorado Technical University
  • Denver School of Nursing
  • Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Phillips Theological Seminary
  • Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
  • US Air Force Academy

Private occupational schools in Colorado include:

  • Accounting & Business School of the Rockies
  • American Center for Excellence in Surgical Assisting
  • American School of Dental Assisting
  • Casino Dealers School of Colorado
  • Center Beauty College
  • The Collinson Massage School
  • Memorial Hospital School of Radiologic Technology
  • Real Estate College of Colorado

With so many different paths of study available, Colorado's higher education system has a diverse student body, as well. As of 2009, the population of undergraduate students of all ages enrolled in Colorado's four-year public institutions was made up of approximately 20 percent Asian, Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic or Native American students. Seventy-one percent was made up of white (non-Hispanic) students. And the last nine percent was made up of non-resident, alien students or students whose race/ethnicity were unknown.

Compared to 2007 and 2008, enrollment was up across all groups. The breakdown of undergraduate student headcount is as follows:

  • Asian: 5,509
  • Black, Non-Hispanic: 4,287
  • Hispanic: 11,925
  • Native American: 2,188
  • White, Non-Hispanic: 85,584

Average Expected Costs

All students can expect between $900 and $1,700 in monthly living expenses, depending upon whether they live with their families, off-campus or on-campus. Tuition also varies based on institution type, course load and whether a student is a resident or non-resident.

On average, resident undergraduate tuition and fees--based on 30 credit hours per academic year--run between $1,500 and $3,000 for two-year or community colleges and between $4,000 and $12,000 for four-year public colleges. Private institutions vary greatly but can cost upwards of $15,000 per year.

That said, education certainly pays off in the long run. More than 30 percent of people age 25 and older had a bachelor's degree in 2009, and as a result, they make more money per year than those without a degree. When compared with tuition prices, the average earnings listed below outweigh the cost of a Colorado education:

  • Associate degree: $767 per week ($39,884 per year)
  • Bachelor's degree: $1,038 per week ($53,976 per year)

With its abundance of clean air, fresh water and rugged terrain, Colorado is ideal for active and adventurous personalities. Still, it's the state's educational opportunities that many Colorado students find most appealing of all.

Author: Mackenzie Quinn is a marketing professional with nearly eight years of technical and educational writing experience. She has a bachelor's degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and has continued her education in both classroom and online post-graduate courses.

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