Colorado’s Most Affordable Colleges & Universities of 2021

Here are the most affordable colleges and universities in Colorado. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you, at a price you can afford.

Colorado’s Most Affordable Colleges & Universities 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.


What are Colorado’s Colleges & Universities?

Colorado’s Best Overall


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The following list of the most affordable colleges and universities in Colorado is composed entirely of schools offering four-year undergraduate degree programs. We’ve identified 23 colleges and universities; 19 that satisfy the following three conditions:

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. It must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees
  3. Its stated tuition and fees must be under the national average of $16,000/year.

How do we determine Colorado's most affordable colleges and universities?

Methodology

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 call “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.

Colorado’s Most Affordable Colleges & Universities

  1. #1

    Aspen University

    Denver , CO

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    4K

    What is Aspen University known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Red Rocks Community College known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Community College of Denver known for?

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

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Social Work
    REQUEST INFO
  4. #4

    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:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    REQUEST INFO
  5. 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:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    REQUEST INFO
  6. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1000/20

    What is Metropolitan State University of Denver known for?

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

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Earth Sciences
    • History
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    Colorado Mesa University

    Grand Junction , CO

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/21

    What is Colorado Mesa University known for?

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

    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #8

    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:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Economics
    • Anthropology
    • Philosophy
    REQUEST INFO
  9. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/23

    What is University of Colorado Denver known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    REQUEST INFO
  10. #10

    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:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  11. Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/22

    What is University of Northern Colorado known for?

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

    • Literature
    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  12. 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:

    • Education
    • Literature
    • History
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  13. Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Student body

    1K

    What is American Sentinel University known for?

    American Sentinel University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Medical
    REQUEST INFO
  14. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/21

    What is Colorado State University–Pueblo known for?

    Colorado State University–Pueblo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Medical
    • History
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  15. Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/23

    What is University of Colorado Colorado Springs known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology
    REQUEST INFO
  16. #16

    Colorado State University

    Fort Collins , CO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    29K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1180/26

    What is Colorado State University known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  17. #17

    Nazarene Bible College

    Colorado Springs , CO

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Nazarene Bible College known for?

    Nazarene Bible College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    REQUEST INFO
  18. #18

    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:

    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    REQUEST INFO
  19. Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    34K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1250/28

    What is University of Colorado Boulder known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Law

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO

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