Best Value Colleges in Colorado

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

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Rank
School Name
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Graduation Rate
% of full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students who began their studies at the given school and graduate within 6 years. Source: IPEDS
Typical Years to Graduate
# of years it takes for at least 65 percent of graduates from a given school to receive their diplomas. Source: IPEDS
Average Loan Amount
Received by full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students, multiplied to represent amount over four years. Includes all Title IV loans and all institutionally- and privately-sponsored student loans. Source: IPEDS
% Grant Money Received
% of full-time, first-time undergrads who received local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2012-2013 academic year. Source: IPEDS
111.1%11.3%13.2%13.6%$909,000$914,000$949,000$954,000$126,000$121,00077%4$26,70010%
1Colorado School of Mines(In-State)
Annual ROI11.1%
Annual ROI11.3%
Annual ROI13.2%
Annual ROI13.6%
20 Year Net ROI$909,000
20 Year Net ROI$914,000
20 Year Net ROI$949,000
20 Year Net ROI$954,000
Total 4 Year Cost$126,000
Total 4 Year Cost$121,000
Grad Rate77%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$26,700
Grant Money Received10%
2N/AN/AN/AN/A$905,000N/A$905,000N/A$0N/A83%4N/AN/A
2United States Air Force Academy(Service Academy)
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$905,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$905,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$0
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4
Loan AmtN/A
Grant Money ReceivedN/A
38.7%8.9%10.0%10.2%$840,000$845,000$880,000$885,000$195,000$190,00077%4$26,70010%
3Colorado School of Mines(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI8.7%
Annual ROI8.9%
Annual ROI10.0%
Annual ROI10.2%
20 Year Net ROI$840,000
20 Year Net ROI$845,000
20 Year Net ROI$880,000
20 Year Net ROI$885,000
Total 4 Year Cost$195,000
Total 4 Year Cost$190,000
Grad Rate77%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$26,700
Grant Money Received10%
48.1%8.6%10.2%11.0%$451,000$462,000$489,000$500,000$120,000$109,00070%4$32,10016%
4University of Colorado Boulder(In-State)
Annual ROI8.1%
Annual ROI8.6%
Annual ROI10.2%
Annual ROI11.0%
20 Year Net ROI$451,000
20 Year Net ROI$462,000
20 Year Net ROI$489,000
20 Year Net ROI$500,000
Total 4 Year Cost$120,000
Total 4 Year Cost$109,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$32,100
Grant Money Received16%
55.8%5.8%8.6%8.6%$396,000$396,000$473,000$473,000$191,000$191,00068%4$29,60025%
5Regis University(Private)
Annual ROI5.8%
Annual ROI5.8%
Annual ROI8.6%
Annual ROI8.6%
20 Year Net ROI$396,000
20 Year Net ROI$396,000
20 Year Net ROI$473,000
20 Year Net ROI$473,000
Total 4 Year Cost$191,000
Total 4 Year Cost$191,000
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$29,600
Grant Money Received25%
68.2%8.5%10.5%11.0%$364,000$370,000$396,000$402,000$95,300$89,50067%5$26,90021%
6Colorado State University-Fort Collins(In-State)
Annual ROI8.2%
Annual ROI8.5%
Annual ROI10.5%
Annual ROI11.0%
20 Year Net ROI$364,000
20 Year Net ROI$370,000
20 Year Net ROI$396,000
20 Year Net ROI$402,000
Total 4 Year Cost$95,300
Total 4 Year Cost$89,500
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$26,900
Grant Money Received21%
75.1%5.4%6.2%6.5%$360,000$371,000$398,000$409,000$210,000$199,00070%4$32,10016%
7University of Colorado Boulder(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI5.1%
Annual ROI5.4%
Annual ROI6.2%
Annual ROI6.5%
20 Year Net ROI$360,000
20 Year Net ROI$371,000
20 Year Net ROI$398,000
20 Year Net ROI$409,000
Total 4 Year Cost$210,000
Total 4 Year Cost$199,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$32,100
Grant Money Received16%
87.6%7.5%9.2%9.0%$302,000$300,000$325,000$323,000$91,000$92,80047%5$26,10032%
8University of Colorado Colorado Springs(In-State)
Annual ROI7.6%
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROI9.2%
Annual ROI9.0%
20 Year Net ROI$302,000
20 Year Net ROI$300,000
20 Year Net ROI$325,000
20 Year Net ROI$323,000
Total 4 Year Cost$91,000
Total 4 Year Cost$92,800
Grad Rate47%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$26,100
Grant Money Received32%
95.4%5.6%6.6%6.8%$298,000$303,000$330,000$336,000$162,000$156,00067%5$26,90021%
9Colorado State University-Fort Collins(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI5.4%
Annual ROI5.6%
Annual ROI6.6%
Annual ROI6.8%
20 Year Net ROI$298,000
20 Year Net ROI$303,000
20 Year Net ROI$330,000
20 Year Net ROI$336,000
Total 4 Year Cost$162,000
Total 4 Year Cost$156,000
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$26,900
Grant Money Received21%
103.9%3.9%7.1%7.1%$269,000$270,000$376,000$377,000$236,000$235,00079%4$29,70018%
10University of Denver(Private)
Annual ROI3.9%
Annual ROI3.9%
Annual ROI7.1%
Annual ROI7.1%
20 Year Net ROI$269,000
20 Year Net ROI$270,000
20 Year Net ROI$376,000
20 Year Net ROI$377,000
Total 4 Year Cost$236,000
Total 4 Year Cost$235,000
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$29,700
Grant Money Received18%
114.9%5.2%7.7%8.1%$264,000$270,000$330,000$336,000$163,000$156,00053%4$33,70025%
11Colorado Christian University(Private)
Annual ROI4.9%
Annual ROI5.2%
Annual ROI7.7%
Annual ROI8.1%
20 Year Net ROI$264,000
20 Year Net ROI$270,000
20 Year Net ROI$330,000
20 Year Net ROI$336,000
Total 4 Year Cost$163,000
Total 4 Year Cost$156,000
Grad Rate53%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$33,700
Grant Money Received25%
125.6%5.5%6.6%6.5%$260,000$258,000$283,000$281,000$133,000$135,00047%5$26,10032%
12University of Colorado Colorado Springs(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI5.6%
Annual ROI5.5%
Annual ROI6.6%
Annual ROI6.5%
20 Year Net ROI$260,000
20 Year Net ROI$258,000
20 Year Net ROI$283,000
20 Year Net ROI$281,000
Total 4 Year Cost$133,000
Total 4 Year Cost$135,000
Grad Rate47%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$26,100
Grant Money Received32%
136.5%6.5%8.0%8.0%$226,000$226,000$249,000$249,000$90,300$90,60032%5$18,80046%
13Colorado State University-Pueblo(In-State)
Annual ROI6.5%
Annual ROI6.5%
Annual ROI8.0%
Annual ROI8.0%
20 Year Net ROI$226,000
20 Year Net ROI$226,000
20 Year Net ROI$249,000
20 Year Net ROI$249,000
Total 4 Year Cost$90,300
Total 4 Year Cost$90,600
Grad Rate32%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$18,800
Grant Money Received46%
14 (tie)6.5%6.6%8.1%8.2%$213,000$215,000$234,000$237,000$85,000$82,80032%5$37,20038%
14 (tie)Colorado Mesa University(In-State)
Annual ROI6.5%
Annual ROI6.6%
Annual ROI8.1%
Annual ROI8.2%
20 Year Net ROI$213,000
20 Year Net ROI$215,000
20 Year Net ROI$234,000
20 Year Net ROI$237,000
Total 4 Year Cost$85,000
Total 4 Year Cost$82,800
Grad Rate32%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$37,200
Grant Money Received38%
14 (tie)6.3%6.2%9.0%8.8%$213,000$211,000$247,000$245,000$88,400$90,40048%5$24,20035%
14 (tie)University of Northern Colorado(In-State)
Annual ROI6.3%
Annual ROI6.2%
Annual ROI9.0%
Annual ROI8.8%
20 Year Net ROI$213,000
20 Year Net ROI$211,000
20 Year Net ROI$247,000
20 Year Net ROI$245,000
Total 4 Year Cost$88,400
Total 4 Year Cost$90,400
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$24,200
Grant Money Received35%

* N/A indicates school does not have an on campus living option.

Though it’s not a household name, the Centennial State’s Colorado School of Mines is frequently ranked highly in terms of 20-year net ROI, making it one of the highest-ranked public colleges in the country. Founded in 1873, all three of the Golden, Colorado, 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.

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. 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.

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.


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