Colorado’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in Colorado offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Colorado’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Colorado

Fans of the outdoors will feel right at home in Colorado. With the Rocky Mountains, Colorado River, and even part of the Great Plains, you’re sure to find adventure in The Centennial State. Students looking to balance outdoor adventure with higher education can choose from over 40 colleges and universities offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees for an average in-state tuition of $10,800.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Colorado’s 28 public institutes include junior colleges, universities, the United States Air Force Academy, and the Colorado School of Mines, a research university that specializes in science, technology, engineering, and math. Tuition for Colorado’s public schools ranges from $3,000 to $19,000, with many of the colleges and junior colleges starting at $4,000 and the universities at $8,000. With smaller class sizes and student populations, Colorado’s private institutions, which includes five religiously affiliated campuses, tend to be more expensive, ranging from $4,000 to $55,000 in tuition. The University of Colorado, Boulder, a notable research institute, is ranked as the number one school in the state and has a student population of just over 32,000. Students can earn degrees in computer science and physics and, once graduated, can share alumni status with influential people, such as Steve Wozniak and Robert Redford. Prospective art students can check out Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, and those desiring a career in the medical field can look into the Institute of Business and Medical Careers.

To learn more, check out the best degree programs and top career opportunities offered in Colorado.

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What are Colorado’s Colleges & Universities?

Colorado’s Best Overall


We’ve identified 12 community colleges in Colorado. The top 10 community colleges in Colorado are below. In order to be included in this list of the best community colleges, a school needs to satisfy the following three conditions:

  • It must be fully accredited.
  • It must be non-profit.

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How do we determine Colorado's best community colleges?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

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10 Best Community Colleges in Colorado

  1. #1

    Trinidad State College

    #9348 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    1K

    Trinidad, CO

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    What is Trinidad State College known for?

    Trinidad State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Northeastern Junior College

    #11200 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    1K

    Sterling, CO

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    What is Northeastern Junior College known for?

    Northeastern Junior College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Front Range Community College

    #4957 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    11K

    Westminster, CO

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    What is Front Range Community College known for?

    Front Range Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
  4. #4

    Colorado Northwestern Community College

    #10747 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    <1K

    Rangely, CO

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    What is Colorado Northwestern Community College known for?

    Colorado Northwestern Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Medical
  5. #5

    Arapahoe Community College

    #6534 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    5K

    Littleton, CO

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    What is Arapahoe Community College known for?

    Arapahoe Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
  6. #6

    Morgan Community College

    #13978 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    <1K

    Fort Morgan, CO

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    What is Morgan Community College known for?

    Morgan Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
  7. #7

    Community College of Aurora

    #4425 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    4K

    Aurora, CO

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    What is Community College of Aurora known for?

    Community College of Aurora’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
  8. #8

    Aims Community College

    #6046 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    4K

    Greeley, CO

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    What is Aims Community College known for?

    Aims Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
  9. #9

    Otero College

    #10532 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    La Junta, CO

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    What is Otero College known for?

    Otero College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Pikes Peak Community College

    #7968 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    17%

    Student body

    9K

    Colorado Springs, CO

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    What is Pikes Peak Community College known for?

    Pikes Peak Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice

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Photo By Jeffrey Beall - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0