Best Value Colleges in Colorado

By consulting the College ROI Report for Colorado, students and their families can quickly and easily pinpoint Colorado colleges and universities offering the best return on their educational investment.  Read More

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1Colorado School of Mines(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$831,000
Total 4 Year Cost$112,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,480
2Colorado School of Mines(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$771,000
Total 4 Year Cost$172,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,480
3University of Colorado - Boulder (UCB)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$403,300
Total 4 Year Cost$109,700
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,920
4Colorado State University (CSU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$377,900
Total 4 Year Cost$85,100
Grad Rate64%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,600
5University of Colorado - Denver Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$371,000
Total 4 Year Cost$92,000
Grad Rate41%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$21,760
6Regis University - Denver, CO(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$344,600
Total 4 Year Cost$182,700
Grad Rate58%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,840
7University of Colorado - Boulder (UCB)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$317,500
Total 4 Year Cost$195,500
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,920
8University of Colorado - Denver Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$317,300
Total 4 Year Cost$145,700
Grad Rate41%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$21,760
9Colorado State University (CSU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$314,500
Total 4 Year Cost$148,500
Grad Rate64%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,600
10University of Denver(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$279,200
Total 4 Year Cost$213,800
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,960
11Colorado Christian University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$247,300
Total 4 Year Cost$145,700
Grad Rate37%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,640
12University of Colorado at Colorado Springs(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$228,800
Total 4 Year Cost$84,200
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,960
13University of Colorado at Colorado Springs(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$184,500
Total 4 Year Cost$128,500
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,960
14University of Northern Colorado(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$142,500
Total 4 Year Cost$78,500
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,040
15Fort Lewis College(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$105,300
Total 4 Year Cost$80,900
Grad Rate37%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,680

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

Best known for being home to some of the most sublime expanses of the wild, wonderful Rocky Mountains, the Centennial State also happens to have plenty of institutes of higher learning that deliver exceptional value in terms of ROI. Whether you're from the state or want to move there to attend school because of its unique culture, incredible terrain or terrific educational traditions, consider availing yourself of PayScale's data to zero in on the best value colleges in Colorado.

Though it's not a household name, the Colorado School of Mines is ranked fourth nationally in terms of 20-Year Net ROI, so it provides the college return on investment Colorado students and their families demand. The cost of an education from Mines, or CSM, averages around $112,000. Founded in 1873, the Golden, Colorado, school offers a 20-Year Net ROI of $831,000. That figure jumps to $866,200 when financial aid is included, placing it firmly in the top slot of our Colorado College ROI Report rankings. All three of the school's colleges revolve around engineering and the applied sciences, so it's no wonder that a school with such a strong science, technology, engineering and math focus does so well in our rankings. If that's in your area of interest, it's a worthwhile school to consider.

Located in the famously eclectic and hip city of Boulder, the University of Colorado is regarded as a "Public Ivy," meaning it delivers the quality of education found in the Ivy League while remaining a public institution. Ranked 206th on the national list, the cost of a USB education averages around $109,700. Alumni report a median return of investment of $403,300 in the 20 years following graduation; that figure rises to $438,900 with financial aid, making it among the best value colleges Colorado students graduate from. More than 150 academic programs are offered at the school, with aerospace engineering, the entrepreneurship program and the environmental engineering program being among the most prestigious. Interestingly enough, USB ranks fourth in terms of the number of astronauts it has produced.

With eight colleges offering a variety of programs -- most notable among them including engineering, biomedical sciences and environmental science -- Colorado State University, or CSU, offers the value of college education Colorado students and their families want. Located in central Fort Collins in the foothills of the Rockies, the school has produced many notable alumni, including two former Colorado governors, several astronauts and a few Pulitzer Prize winners. The 20 Year Net ROI for CSU clocks in at $377,900 and increases to $409,800 with financial aid, so it's a terrific option for students who want to reap the greatest rewards from their higher educations.