Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, there are 22 public colleges, six private non-profit colleges, and six private for-profit colleges in Colorado.


    College Board estimates that the average college student in Colorado paid this amount at a public higher learning institution during the 2021-22 academic year.


    Students pursuing an undergraduate degree in the United States were awarded an average of $14,800 during the 2020-21 school year.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar schools in Colorado. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a reputable organization that examines the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of education programs in the central United States.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for on-campus students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 50 Colleges in Colorado

Best Colleges In Colorado
Intelligent Pick
Colorado School of Mines
Best Public Research Institution
University of Colorado Boulder
Best Veterinary Science Program
Colorado State University
Best Research Institution
University of Denver
Best Private Institution
Colorado College
Best Public Institution
University of Colorado Denver
Best Nursing Program
Regis University
Best Student-to-Faculty Ratio
United States Air Force Academy
Best Christian Institution
Colorado Christian University
Best for Transfer Students
Metropolitan State University of Denver

University of Northern Colorado

University of Colorado Colorado Springs


What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Colorado

It’s important to think about the career opportunities available in the state you wish to attend college. By researching the biggest industries in Colorado, you can have a better understanding of your job outlook after graduation. The top five industries in Colorado as of October 2021 were trade, transportation, and utilities; professional and business services; government; education and health services; and goods-producing.

In Colorado, the five fastest-growing careers for graduates with a bachelor’s degree are agents and talent managers, film and video editors, interpreters and translators, operations research analysts, and animal scientists.

To help you understand what kinds of job opportunities are available in this state, here are a few of the companies on the list of the top employers in Colorado: University of Colorado-Boulder, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Western Union Co., Denver Health, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and Century Link.

What’s Next?

When researching colleges in Colorado, it’s helpful to understand what financial aid options might be available to you. Below is a list of federal and state resources with more information regarding scholarships, grants, and other financial aid opportunities available to undergraduate students in Colorado.

  • Colorado Department of Higher Education. The Colorado Department of Higher Education is a comprehensive resource for state financial aid and loan programs, including the Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CAFSA), which allocates $160 million in state financial aid each year.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who are eligible for Federal Student Aid can apply for some of the over $120 billion in financial aid distributed by the U.S. Department of Education annually. This aid is sent directly to schools and given to students through grants, work-study programs, and loans. FAFSA applications are accepted via the online FAFSA form.
  • CareerOneStop. Detailed information about scholarships and grants for each state can be found on the CareerOneStop website. To refine your search, you can also filter by degree level and state. All financial aid opportunities listed include the amount awarded, application deadlines, and relevant contact information.