2016 Most Affordable Colleges in Colorado

2016 Most Affordable Colleges in Colorado

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1

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

More than 9,000 students of the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs pursue their degrees next to one of the most awe-inspiring sceneries in the country - the Rocky Mountains. Ninety-one percent of beginning full-time students receive financial assistance, with the average freshman financial aid package amounting to $7,865. Colorado residents and incoming freshmen may qualify for the Bruce & Anne Shepard Reach Your Peak Scholarship ($3,500 per year). Community college transfer students are eligible for the Reisher Transfer Scholarship ($8,000 to $22,000 over two years). Students who are paying out-of-state tuition may be considered for the Provost Scholarship. This is a merit-based scholarship with a maximum amount of $20,000 over four-years.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 95.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

11,761 Students

2

University of Colorado Denver

Founded in 1912, the University of Colorado in Denver is an urban university located on 126 acres in downtown Denver where its undergraduate population of 13,000 can choose from 130 areas of study. In addition to a number of departmental scholarships available, incoming freshmen can be considered for the merit-based Pinnacle Scholarship ($3,000 per year). Freshmen and transfer students are also eligible for the Regents' Scholarship ($2,000 per year) and the Urban University Scholarship ($1,500 per year). The average first-year financial aid package is $8,565. Through a combination of loans, scholarships and work-study opportunities, up to 52 percent of an incoming freshman's financial needs can be met.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 95.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

22,791 Students

3

Red Rocks Community College

Red Rocks Community College is a two-year public institution with two campuses: the 140-acre Lakewood campus that overlooks the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and the Arvada Campus for students in Health Sciences programs. Of all first-year students at RRCC, 62% receive some type of financial aid, and 4% of these students receive institutional grants or scholarships averaging about $1,238 per year. The College offers general scholarships to incoming students, as well as over 200 foundation scholarships. Grants available to RRCC students include the Federal Pell Grant (up to $5,730 per year), the Colorado Student Grant (up to $2,000 per year) and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (up to $1,000 per year). The College also offers state and federally-funded work study programs.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 94.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

8,112 Students

4

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Metropolitan State University of Denver is a public university that offers over 50 bachelor's degrees and three master's degrees. Financial aid is awarded to 68% of full-time beginning undergraduates, and institutional grants or scholarships are awarded to 13% of these students. The average amount of institutional gift aid awarded to full-time, first-year students is $2,679. A variety of institutional scholarships are available to MSU students, including the MSU Scholar Award, which provides $1,000 per semester to Colorado residents working toward their first bachelor's degree. The MSU Denver Foundation provides a wide range of private scholarships, including the Reisher Scholars Program for continuing undergraduate students with financial need and the Stephen & Ruth Jordan Endowed Scholarship for seniors with demonstrated leadership skills.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 94.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

21,674 Students

5

Colorado Mountain College

Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs, Colorado is one of eleven Colorado Mountain campuses in Western Colorado. Colorado Mountain College provides grant or scholarship aid from governmental, institutional or private sources to 34% of all students. The school administers more than 300 different scholarships; institutional grants or scholarships are provided to 11% of full-time beginning undergraduates. Colorado Mountain College offers one institutional grant, the Richard C. Martin Grant, which is provided to incoming freshmen who come from in-district high schools. Federal grants, like the Pell Grant, and state grants, like the College Responsibility Program, are also available. Pell Grants, for example, are awarded to 23% of students.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 94.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

5,705 Students

6

University of Northern Colorado

Opening its doors in 1890 as the State Normal School with a staff of four instructors and 96 students, the University of Northern Colorado now enrolls more than 12,000 students each year, coming from all 50 states and more than 40 countries. Students from an under-represented group may qualify for the Boettcher Opportunity Award (up to $3,000). The Boundless Opportunity Scholarship ($2,500) supports students from one or more of the following categories: adult learners, GED recipients, foster care youth, juvenile justice youth, returning military, individuals pursuing EMT or paramedic training and individuals pursuing early childhood certification. Students admitted to the College of Education may qualify for the Grace M. Martin Scholarship, which awards full tuition and fees.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 93.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

12,050 Students

7

Fort Lewis College

The 247-acre Fort Lewis College campus is home to 3,789 students from 50 states, 17 countries, and 155 American Indian tribes and Native Alaskan villages. Incoming freshmen who are also Colorado residents and who have excellent academic backgrounds are considered for merit scholarships with award amounts ranging from $2,000 to $6,000 each year. Academically outstanding out-of-state freshmen are also eligible for scholarships with award amounts ranging from $4,000 to $10,000 each year. Transfer tuition merit scholarships ($1,000-$3,000) are available for transfer students who meet the criteria. The New Mexico Reciprocal Scholarship gives admitted students from New Mexico the privilege of paying in-state tuition rates. Native American students who can provide tribal membership documentation may be considered for full tuition waivers.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 93.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

3,791 Students

8

Western State Colorado University

Qualified Western State Colorado University freshmen are automatically considered for the following merit-based scholarships: Founders Award ($5,000 or $9,000), Summit Award ($4,000 or $8,000), Scholars Award ($3,000 or $7,000), and the Advantage Award ($2,000 or $6,000). Colorado residents are given the lower award value, while out-of-state students receive the higher award value. Transfer students from outside Colorado are considered for the Mountaineer Founders Award ($8,000), Mountaineer Scholars Award ($7,000), and the Mountaineer Advantage Award ($6,000). Transfer students who are also Colorado residents are eligible for the following scholarship programs: Western Founders Award ($4,000), Western Scholars Award ($3,000), and Western Advantage Award ($2,000). Students who qualify for the Denver Scholarship Foundation-Presidential Scholarship at Western receive full tuition and fee waivers for four years.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 93.4

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

2,584 Students

9

Colorado Mesa University

Founded in 1925, Colorado Mesa University began with an enrollment of 39 students, and today has an enrollment of over 10,660 students. The University offers financial aid to 91% of first-year students, with 35% of these students receiving institutional grants or scholarships. Scholarships for incoming freshmen include the Distinguished Scholar Scholarship ($6,000 to full-tuition), the Trustee Scholarships ($3,500) and the Presidential Scholarship ($3,000). Scholarships for transfer students include the $2,000 Two Rivers Scholarship, the $1,000 Canyon Passage Scholarship and the $2,400 Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship. Undergraduate students are also eligible for Colorado State Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and Federal Pell Grants. Graduate students at CMU are eligible for federal loans.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

CAG Score 93.4

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

9,116 Students

How to Transfer College Credits in Colorado

Students in Colorado benefit from clear college credit transfer resources that make it easy to transfer courses and map out future pathways. With gtPathways, associate’s degree transfers, and the unique Degree Within Reach program, Colorado students are able to take advantage of excellent college credit transfer policies.

With the gtPathways program, students can complete a general education curriculum that is guaranteed to transfer and apply to gtPathways requirements for every Liberal Arts and Sciences bachelor’s degree at public Colorado institutions. This satisfies general education requirements for the degree. While the gtPathways curriculum is not guaranteed to satisfy all general education requirements for degrees outside of liberal arts programs, all coursework is guaranteed to transfer.

Students who prefer to start taking courses at a community college can map out degree plans with detailed institutional transfer guides from the Colorado Department of Higher Education. These guides share which courses should be taken at a community college that will apply to bachelor’s degree requirements at a particular university.

Students who plan to or have completed an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science may benefit from guided degree pathways known as a Degree with Designation. These statewide transfer articulation agreements allow students to graduate from a community college holding an associate degree with designation. When transferred to a four yer institution, this degree gives students junior status, as well as the option to complete a bachelor’s degree in no more than an additional 60 credits.

In addition to the Degree with Designation program, Colorado offers Degree Within Reach, a unique reverse transfer program for associate’s degrees. This program makes it possible for students to combine credits from Colorado community colleges and Colorado universities and apply them toward an associate’s degree. Students eligible for this program are granted a degree, or informed of the credits needed to earn a degree and allowed to complete them. The program has no negative impact on academic standing, degree progress, or financial aid — simply a credential earned.

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