Pueblo, Colorado (CO) Colleges and Universities

While there are only two public or not-for-profit schools in Pueblo, Colorado, there are several schools located within a 37-mile radius. Read about the top schools in several categories, including most program variety and lowest costs, to find the school for you.

School Ranking Overview

Plenty of private for-profit schools and specialized colleges exist in the Pueblo, Colorado, region, but this article is concerned with the more traditional postsecondary institutions in the area. We focus exclusively on three public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities offering numerous fields of study. To help Pueblo students make an informed academic choice, these schools are compared and contrasted in the categories below, then they're ranked and discussed further:

  • Most Program Variety
  • Lowest Net Price
  • Highest Graduation Rate
  • Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Most Program Variety

In an area where there are relatively few schools to choose from, the three public schools nearest to Pueblo have lots to offer in terms of program variety. The schools below are ranked in terms of program variety.

1 - Pikes Peak Community College

Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs offers more than 200 programs in fields like the liberal arts, business, sciences and allied health. The school reports that it has conferred over 35,000 associate's degrees and certificates since it was established in 1968. Students completed close to 1,700 of these programs in 2011-2012 alone, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). That year, the most popular associate's degree programs were in general studies, liberal arts and registered nursing.

Not only does Pikes Peak Community College serve the Colorado Springs area, but it has also obtained approval to offer distance education courses in several other states. Its programs allow students to enter the workforce or transfer their academic credits to 4-year universities.

2 - Pueblo Community College

Pueblo Community College offers certificate and associate's degree programs that prepare students to enter the business, computer information science and auto repair technology fields, to name a few areas. Of the roughly 75 programs available at Pueblo Community College, NCES reported that the business and health professions programs were among the most popular in 2011-2012. In fact, the school reports that it offers more allied health programs than any other 2-year school in the state. It awarded around 400 certificates and 200 associate's degrees in this area during the 2011-2012 academic year, according to NCES.

3 - Colorado State University - Pueblo

The Pueblo campus of this 4-year university offers around 43 programs through schools and colleges devoted to the study of business, engineering, education, science and math, as well as the humanities and social sciences. In the 2011-2012 academic year, CSU - Pueblo conferred 97 bachelor's degrees in business and 89 in registered nursing, making these the most popular fields of study for on-campus undergraduates, according to NCES. Distance education bachelor's degree programs in sociology and master's degree programs in business and education were also popular options. The school awarded a total of 858 undergraduate and graduate degrees in 2011-2012.

Lowest Net Price

Students looking to graduate from a degree or certificate program without accruing a large amount of debt might want to take net price into consideration when choosing a school. NCES determines this figure by taking the total cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, supplies and housing expenses) and subtracting the average amount of institutional and government financial aid received by full-time first-year Colorado residents. In Colorado, this aid can include the College Opportunity Fund (COF), a stipend that offsets the cost of in-state tuition. According to NCES, the three public schools profiled below are among the most affordable postsecondary education options in an area where net price can range to over $20,000 for private not-for-profit schools.

1 - Colorado State University - Pueblo

With a net price of $9,749 for 2010-2011, CSU - Pueblo is an affordable option for students looking to attend a traditional 4-year university. The school reported that resident tuition and fees, less the COF stipend, were roughly $265 per credit hour in 2012-2013, while non-residents paid around $674 per credit hour. First-time freshmen who are residents of states participating in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program were charged out-of-state tuition and fees at the discounted rate of around $460 per credit hour for the same year.

A similar program called ThunderWolf is offered to residents of Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Nebraska. Students participating in this discount tuition program can also receive an incentive of up to $2,000 per year if they live on campus. Additionally, NCES reported that 95% of full-time, first-year CSU - Pueblo students received financial aid of some sort for 2010-2011.

2 - Pueblo Community College

Pueblo Community College's tuition and fees, minus the COF, were around $144 per credit hour in 2012-2013 for residents attending the main campus. Non-residents paid approximately $494 per credit hour. However, this school also participates in the WUE program, providing nonresident students from participating states with a discounted tuition of roughly $200 per credit hour. NCES reported a net price of $9,751 for Pueblo Community College in 2010-2011. During this year, 88% of full-time first-year students received some sort of financial aid.

3 - Pikes Peak Community College

The net price to attend Pikes Peak Community College was $12,753 in 2010-2011. According to NCES, 72% of full-time first-year students received some form of financial aid to help offset the costs of their education during this year. Tuition and fees were around $113 per credit hour for Colorado residents receiving a COF stipend and $463 for non-residents in 2012-2013. Students eligible for WUE tuition rates paid around $169 per credit hour.

Highest Graduation Rates

Overall graduation rates reported by NCES reflect the percentage of full-time first-year students who completed their programs within 150% of 'normal' time, or six years for a bachelor's degree. Graduation rates for Pueblo area schools varied widely, from 21% to 67%. The three public schools with the highest overall graduation rates are featured below.

1 - Colorado State University - Pueblo

The public school with the highest graduation rate in the area was Colorado State University - Pueblo. Only 32% of students who began their bachelor's degree programs at CSU - Pueblo in 2005 finished in six years of full-time study; 19% of students graduated in four years. Retention rates at CSU - Pueblo, or the percentage of first-time students who returned for a second year of study, were 66% for full-time students and 38% for part-time students from 2010 to 2011, per NCES figures.

2 - Pikes Peak Community College

The overall graduation rate for Pikes Peak Community College was 21% among students who began their programs in 2008. Thirteen percent of this cohort completed their studies within 'normal' time, or two years for an associate's degree. NCES also reported a 57% retention rate for full-time students and 37% retention rate for part-time students for 2010-2011.

2 - Pueblo Community College

Pueblo Community College also had a 21% overall graduation rate among students enrolling in 2008 and tied with for Pikes Peak Community College for the second highest graduation rate among public schools in the Pueblo area. However, NCES reported slightly higher retention rates for this school, with 50% of full-time students and 41% of part-time students returning for a second year of study in 2011.

Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Smaller class sizes can translate into more individualized attention, which is why student-faculty ratios can be an important consideration when choosing a college. All of the public schools in the Pueblo area have students-faculty ratios of 18-to-1 or higher. The three schools below are ordered by the lowest student-faculty ratios among public schools in the Pueblo area, as reported by NCES in 2011.

1 - Colorado State University - Pueblo

CSU - Pueblo features a student-faculty ratio of 18:1. In 2011, the school employed 185 full-time instructors, 188 part-time instructors and 28 graduate teaching assistants, according to NCES. Additionally, the school reports that its average class has only 25 students.

2 - Pikes Peak Community College

Pikes Peak Community College has the second lowest student-to-faculty average among Pueblo area public schools. According to NCES, PPCC has a student-faculty ratio of 22:1 in 2011. The NCES also reported that the school employed 171 full-time and 685 part-time instructors for a student body of 14,725 in 2011.

3 - Pueblo Community College

Pueblo Community College's student-faculty ratio was slightly higher in 2011, at 24:1. NCES reported that in 2011, the school enrolled approximately 8,000 students, and its faculty consisted of 98 full-time and 14 part-time instructors.

Pueblo Area Schools at a Glance

School Name Location School Type Program Levels Offered Area Ranking
Colorado State University - Pueblo Pueblo, CO 4-year, public Bachelor's and master's degrees Lowest Net Price,
Highest Graduation Rate,
Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
3rd Most Program Variety
Pikes Peak Community College Colorado Springs, CO (37 miles from downtown Pueblo) 2-year, public Less than 1-year certificates and 1- to 2-year certificates; associate's degrees Most Program Variety,
2nd Highest Graduation Rate,
2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
3rd Lowest Net Price
Pueblo Community College Pueblo, CO 2-year, public Less than 1-year certificates and 1- to 2-year certificates; associate's degrees 2nd Most Program Variety,
2nd Lowest Net Price,
2nd Highest Graduation Rate,
3rd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

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