Best Private Colleges in Colorado 2022

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in Colorado.

Best Private Colleges in Colorado 2022

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.


What are Colorado’s Colleges & Universities?

Colorado’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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How do we determine Colorado's best private colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! 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 in their fields of study.

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

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 7 private universities in Colorado. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in Colorado, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in Colorado

  1. #1

    University of Denver

    Denver , CO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1260/28

    What is University of Denver known for?

    University of Denver’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Law
    • Anthropology
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #3

    Aspen University

    Denver , CO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    4K

    What is Aspen University known for?

    Aspen University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #4

    Regis University

    Denver , CO

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/24

    What is Regis University known for?

    Regis University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Economics
    • Business
    • Communications
    • Chemistry
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. #5

    Naropa University

    Boulder , CO

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Naropa University known for?

    Naropa University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #6

    Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Springs , CO

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    28K

    What is Colorado Technical University known for?

    Colorado Technical University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    9K

    What is Colorado Christian University known for?

    Colorado Christian University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Economics
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
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Colorado’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Colorado College
  2. University of Denver
  3. Regis University
  4. Colorado Christian University