Best Public Colleges in Colorado 2022

Best Public Colleges in Colorado 2022

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Colorado provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

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.

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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. Several of public colleges in Colorado enroll a large number of online students, including Colorado State University

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Colorado’s private institutions boast smaller class sizes and student populations. This category includes five religiously affiliated campuses. Private colleges in Colorado tend to be more expensive, ranging from $4,000 to $55,000 in tuition. There are several online colleges in Colorado that are categorized as private schools.

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 both through in-person courses and online learning. Influential Boulder alumni include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Academy Award-winning actor and director 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 brick-and-mortar and online colleges 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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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 17 public universities in Colorado. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Colorado, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

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Best Public Colleges in Colorado 2022

  1. Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    980/17

    Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business Intelligence
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Marketing And Sales
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    10K

    University of Colorado Colorado Springs’s Online Degrees

    BS in Business
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Philosophy
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Sociology
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Healthcare Sciences
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: None Reported
  3. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Community College of Denver known for?

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

    Community College of Denver’s Online Degrees

    BAS in Dental Hygiene
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #14

    Colorado Mountain College

    Glenwood Springs , CO

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Colorado Mountain College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/20

  6. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Red Rocks Community College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Pueblo Community College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

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Colorado’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

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 utilized 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. United States Air Force Academy
  2. University of Colorado Denver
  3. University of Colorado Boulder
  4. Colorado School of Mines
  5. Colorado State University
  6. University of Northern Colorado
  7. Fort Lewis College
  8. University of Colorado Colorado Springs
  9. Colorado Mountain College
  10. Western Colorado University

Check out our directory of public colleges throughout the U.S. for a look at the top public colleges in every state.