2022 best colleges in Colorado

Recognized as a Public Ivy, the University of Colorado, Boulder is just one of the many prestigious schools located in the state of Colorado. The Colorado School of Mines ranks as one of the top universities globally for mineral and mining engineering while Colorado State University boasts one of the nation’s best veterinary programs. Colorado is also home to Naropa University, the first Buddhist-inspired university to achieve accreditation in the United States. Due to its unique history, Fort Lewis College provides tuition-free education to Native American students.

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Net cost: The median annual cost of all students that receive any aid. This does not refer to the “sticker price”, the price listed by the college.

Earnings: The median earnings of all bachelor-level students 10 years after enrollment. This includes both students that do and do not graduate, across all majors.

Payback: The amount of time in years it takes to pay off the median net cost by the median earnings. For this calculation, the median earning of high school graduates (in the school’s home state) are deducted from the median earnings.

Earningsplus: The difference between the school’s median earnings and the median earnings for all schools in the same state.

Rankings: The ranking order is based on the economic score. The economic score is calculated using a school’s payback and earningsplus performance.

Net cost
Payback
Earnings
EarningsPlus
Rankings
Ranking methodology
#1 in Colorado | #26 in National Universities

Colorado School of Mines

Golden, Colorado

Economic score: 0.92

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $26,750

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 1.8 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $90,060

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $44,139

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 55%
Graduation rate: 80%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#2 in Colorado | #115 in National Universities

University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus

Denver, Colorado

Economic score: 1.94

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $15,358

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.4 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $57,987

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $12,066

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 67%
Graduation rate: 50%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#3 in Colorado | #135 in National Universities

Regis University

Denver, Colorado

Economic score: 2.12

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $25,483

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.9 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $63,625

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $17,704

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 79%
Graduation rate: 60%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#4 in Colorado | #138 in National Universities

University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder, Colorado

Economic score: 2.17

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $21,680

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.9 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $60,740

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $14,819

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 85%
Graduation rate: 70%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#5 in Colorado | #170 in National Universities

University of Denver

Denver, Colorado

Economic score: 2.40

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $32,361

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 3.4 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $66,004

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $20,083

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 61%
Graduation rate: 75%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#6 in Colorado | #188 in National Universities

Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Fort Collins, Colorado

Economic score: 2.48

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $18,668

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 3 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $54,983

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $9,062

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 84%
Graduation rate: 73%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#7 in Colorado | #77 in Liberal Arts

Colorado College

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Economic score: 2.93

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $26,753

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 3.6 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $57,013

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $11,092

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 14%
Graduation rate: 88%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#8 in Colorado | #280 in National Universities

University of Northern Colorado

Greeley, Colorado

Economic score: 3.44

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $15,714

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 3.5 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $47,112

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $1,191

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 88%
Graduation rate: 53%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#9 in Colorado | #291 in National Universities

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Economic score: 3.65

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $16,486

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 3.8 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $47,797

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $1,876

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 90%
Graduation rate: 49%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#10 in Colorado

Western Colorado University

Gunnison, Colorado

Economic score: 4.20

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $17,282

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 4.2 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $45,755

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $166

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 89%
Graduation rate: 51%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

#11 in Colorado | #176 in Liberal Arts

Fort Lewis College

Durango, Colorado

Economic score: 7.83

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $16,274

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 6.5 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $38,083

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $7,838

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 92%
Graduation rate: 47%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Denver, Colorado

Economic score: 3.73

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $14,257

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 3.9 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $47,439

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $1,518

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 84%
Graduation rate: 36%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

Colorado State University Pueblo

Pueblo, Colorado

Economic score: 4.22

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $14,653

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 4.1 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $44,449

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $1,472

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 95%
Graduation rate: 38%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

Colorado Christian University

Lakewood, Colorado

Economic score: 5.62

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $25,268

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 5.6 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $45,728

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $193

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: N/A
Graduation rate: 31%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

Colorado Mesa University

Grand Junction, Colorado

Economic score: 5.69

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $15,569

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 5.1 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $41,516

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $4,405

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 76%
Graduation rate: 38%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

Adams State University

Alamosa, Colorado

Economic score: 7.69

The economic score is calculated using two factors: 1) how fast students are able to payback their educational investment with new earnings and 2) how much alumni earn compared to all alumni in the same state, 10 years after enrollment. These two factors are referred to as payback and earningsplus.

These scorings are based on the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

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Net cost: $14,064

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 6.3 years

Average time in years to pay back educational costs.

Earnings: $37,685

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $8,236

How much more/less money the median student earns against all bachelor students in the same state, same enrollment year.

Admission rate: 100%
Graduation rate: 34%

Schools with a graduation rate in the bottom 50% in their state are shown in red. Schools in the bottom 25% nationally are put to the end of the ranking list.

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