Best Small Colleges in Colorado 2022

Best Small Colleges in Colorado 2022

Small colleges in Colorado are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

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. 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

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The following list of the best small colleges and universities in Colorado is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 8 small colleges in Colorado. The list below of the best small colleges in Colorado. To be included schools must fully accredited, and must have student body populations below 5,000 students.

How do we determine Colorado's best small 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.

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Best Small Colleges in Colorado 2022

  1. #2

    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

  2. #3

    Fort Lewis College

    Durango , CO

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1090/20

    What is Fort Lewis College known for?

    Fort Lewis College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Anthropology
    • Economics
    • Engineering
    • Earth Sciences
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #4

    Western Colorado University

    Gunnison , CO

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/23

    What is Western Colorado University known for?

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

    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Economics
    • Anthropology
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Earth Sciences
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #5

    Adams State University

    Alamosa , CO

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    990/19

    What is Adams State University known for?

    Adams State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Sciences
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #6

    Colorado Mountain College

    Glenwood Springs , CO

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Colorado Mountain College known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
  6. #7

    Pueblo Community College

    Pueblo , CO

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Pueblo Community College known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Computer Science
  7. #8

    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

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Colorado’s Best Small 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 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. United States Air Force Academy
  3. Fort Lewis College
  4. Western Colorado University

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