Western Colorado College and University Options

Western Colorado is home to about six public colleges and universities. See what kind of options are available at each and learn about the differences between the schools.

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Learn about what kind of benefits each of the six colleges in western Colorado can offer you. Discover which institutions have the lowest net price, are the largest in the region, are closest distance to large cities, and have the highest graduation rate in the region based on the information gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Western Colorado Schools Closest to Large Cities

Western Colorado is a large geographic area served by six public colleges. For many students, a key factor in deciding which school to attend is the closeness to major cities and other metropolitan areas in the region. Here are five options for colleges located in large cities in western Colorado.

  • Colorado Mesa University (Grand Junction)
  • Colorado Mountain College (Glenwood Springs)
  • Colorado Northwestern Community College (Rangely)
  • Western State Colorado University (Gunnison)
  • Fort Lewis College (Durango)

Largest Western Colorado Schools

Many consider a large student population at a college to be an indicator of increased diversity of people, activities, and community on campus. Though all six of the region's schools being public universities and all but two qualifying as four year colleges, western Colorado's schools are fairly small in population with a low faculty-to-student ration in most institutions, with the fall 2014 enrollment data reporting as low as 389 students to as high as 9,116.

  • Colorado Mesa University (9,116)
  • Colorado Mountain College (5,705)
  • Fort Lewis College (3,791)
  • Western State Colorado University (2,584)
  • Colorado Northwestern Community College (1,145)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
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  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
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  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Western Colorado Schools with the Lowest Net Price

The cost of a college education, including prospective student debt, is an important consideration for students. The NCES calculates the average net price for U.S. postsecondary schools by subtracting the average amount of grant and scholarship aid from the total estimated cost of attendance, which includes tuition, fees, book costs and all living expenses. The net price for the six public western Colorado schools ranged from just under $3,400 to about $16,900 for full time students in 2014-2015.

  • Delta Montrose Technical College ($7,385)
  • Colorado Mountain College ($7,938)
  • Colorado Northwestern Community College ($11,739)
  • Colorado Mesa University ($13,246)
  • Western State Colorado University ($15,210)

Western Colorado Schools with the Highest Graduation Rate

Graduation rates at western Colorado's public colleges and universities range from 24% to 86%. Graduation rates reported by the NCES are based on the percentage of first-time students who complete their program within 150% of normal time (e.g., six years for a bachelor's degree) as full time undergraduates.

  • Delta Montrose Technical College (86% graduation rate for students beginning 2012-2013 academic year)
  • Western State Colorado University (43% graduation rate for students beginning in Fall 2009)
  • Fort Lewis College (40% graduation rate for students beginning in Fall 2009)
  • Colorado Mesa University (35% graduation rate for students beginning in Fall 2009)
  • Colorado Northwestern Community College (26% graduation rate for students beginning in Fall 2012)

Western Colorado students have many factors to consider in finding the perfect school, including student population, lowest price, closeness to large cities, and highest graduation rate.

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