Best Value Colleges in Colorado

Best known for sublime expanses of wild scenery and the Rocky Mountains, the Centennial State also happens to have plenty of colleges that deliver exceptional value for students.  Read More

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1Colorado School of Mines(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$846,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate76%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$33,400
2Colorado School of Mines(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$783,000
Total 4 Year Cost$181,000
Grad Rate76%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$33,400
3University of Colorado - Boulder (UCB)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$460,000
Total 4 Year Cost$114,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$34,900
4University of Colorado - Denver Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$437,000
Total 4 Year Cost$97,100
Grad Rate40%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,000
5Colorado State University (CSU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$384,000
Total 4 Year Cost$89,500
Grad Rate65%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,500
6University of Colorado - Denver Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$382,000
Total 4 Year Cost$152,000
Grad Rate40%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,000
7University of Colorado - Boulder (UCB)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$373,000
Total 4 Year Cost$201,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$34,900
8Regis University - Denver, CO(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$369,000
Total 4 Year Cost$185,000
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,200
9Colorado State University (CSU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$321,000
Total 4 Year Cost$153,000
Grad Rate65%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,500
10University of Colorado at Colorado Springs(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$309,000
Total 4 Year Cost$84,900
Grad Rate47%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,000
11University of Colorado at Colorado Springs(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$266,000
Total 4 Year Cost$128,000
Grad Rate47%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,000
12University of Denver(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$253,000
Total 4 Year Cost$221,000
Grad Rate76%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,800
13Colorado Christian University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$242,000
Total 4 Year Cost$152,000
Grad Rate42%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,700
14Colorado State University (CSU) - Pueblo Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$241,000
Total 4 Year Cost$82,600
Grad Rate32%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$21,500
15University of Northern Colorado(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$237,000
Total 4 Year Cost$81,600
Grad Rate46%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,500

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

Though it's not a household name, the Colorado School of Mines is ranked seventh nationally in terms of 20-year net ROI, making it one of the highest-ranked public colleges in the country. The cost of an education from Mines, or CSM, averages around $118,000 for Colorado Residents. Founded in 1873, the Golden, Colorado, school offers a 20-year net ROI of $846,000. That figure jumps to $881,000 when financial aid is added in, 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 even if you have to pay the higher out-of-state tuition - you can still expect an ROI upwards of $780,000.

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 even though it's a (much more affordable) public school. Ranked 171st on the national list, the cost of a UCB education averages around $114,000. Alumni report a median return of investment of $460,000 in the 20 years following graduation, making it among the best value colleges Colorado students can 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, UCB ranks fourth in terms of the number of astronauts it has produced.

The University of Colorado Denver isn't far behind - the home of Milo the Lynx comes in fourth with a 20-year net ROI of $437,000.

With eight colleges offering a variety of programs -- most notable among them including engineering, biomedical sciences and environmental science -- Colorado State University, or CSU, is another great choice for students. 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 $384,000 for in-state students paying full price and increases to $463,000 for those receiving the typical financial aid package.