Online Colleges in Colorado

OnlineSchools.org

Earning an associate or bachelor's degree can lead to numerous opportunities for successful and lucrative careers. Degree-holders qualify for higher paying positions and build the foundation for more advanced degrees such as a master's or Ph.D. Online colleges in Colorado offer degree programs across a variety of specializations, and many feature the same in-state tuition rates for online and on-campus students. Graduates also benefit from equal networking opportunities and degree recognition. Online colleges in Colorado provide students the chance to achieve their professional goals no matter where they live.

Higher Learning Initiatives in Colorado

Colorado State University-Global Campus

One of the most affordable online schools in Colorado, Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) has helped over 1,000 nontraditional undergraduate and graduate students reach their academic goals since 2007. CSU-Global offers 10 bachelor’s degree programs and five master’s degree programs, with more than 5,000 students currently enrolled.

North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO)

The Colorado School of Mines — like all community colleges in Colorado — participates in the North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO). NANSLO is an initiative created by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education that allows students of Colorado online colleges to remotely control instruments inside real science labs and participate in live science experiments right from their computers. Most community colleges in Colorado offer online courses in science, and NANSLO allows those students to receive hands-on, online lab experience to bring their learning to life. NANSLO uses robotics, video, and audio technology to make its incredible remote labs possible.

Colorado Virtual Academy

Colorado Virtual Academy is one of the few U.S. public schools that delivers its curriculum to K-12 students online. Using technology and pedagogical materials designed by K12 — an online education company — Colorado Virtual Academy educates students using online lectures, textbooks, CDs, and individualized learning plans created by certified Colorado teachers. Parents work with K-8 students to guide them through their classes. High school students at Colorado Virtual Academy work independently and with their teachers and parents to prepare for college and beyond.

Popular Degree Programs in Colorado

The local industry of raw material exports, together with the influx of corporations and businesses into the state, dictate the most popular majors in Colorado. Engineering and business administration both provide strong professional opportunities, and therefore represent some of the top-ranked majors in the state.

  • Geological and Geophysical Engineering: Geological mining and engineering requires careful planning to safely extract raw materials. Engineers design mines and processing plants, and maintain high standards of working conditions to ensure worker safety. Local opportunities in mining in Colorado and adjacent states make this a stable and lucrative career.
  • Business Management and Administration: Colorado's metropolitan areas feature some of the fastest growing industries in the country, including in technology, real estate, energy, and tourism. Virtually every sector needs administrators to develop, manage, and monitor employees and improve productivity by recommending and implementing innovations.

Paying for College in Colorado

As the following tables indicate, Coloradans compare favorably against multiple national averages: students pay less for tuition at two- and four-year institutions, and graduate in a better employment and wage environment. Beyond tuition costs, students must also consider hidden fees related to housing, transportation, and school supplies. The benefit of an online education, however, is its flexibility. Students can live in a more affordable situation away from campus, and flexible coursework can accommodate learners' busy work and family schedules.

Tuition Prices

Tuition costs are usually one of the largest bills students must pay. However, students in Colorado often pay less than their counterparts in other regions of the country. For example, in-state tuition at two-year public institutions in Colorado averages $1,000 less than comparable programs nationwide, while public four-year schools cost almost $3,000 less than the national average for four-year institutions.

Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18

  Public Two Year Public Four Year
Colorado $3,122 $7,078
U.S. Average $4,234 $9,978

Source: College Board

Employment Outlook in Colorado

Like tuition, the employment outlook is also strong for Colorado residents. The state's unemployment rate is less than the national average, while the annual mean wage is more than the national average. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) records that the highest employment fields currently in the state of Colorado include administration and sales, transportation, and healthcare. By contrast, the highest paying positions in-state are specialized surgical and medical professionals, geological and architectural engineers, and company and institutional managers. As you consider your future career in Colorado, explore your financial and professional prospects through the BLS website.

Unemployment Rate, August 2018
Colorado 3.3%
United States 3.8%

Source: BLS

Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
Colorado $54,050
United States $50,620

Source: BLS

Accreditation for Colleges in Colorado

No matter which school or program you choose, ensuring its accreditation is extremely important. First and foremost, your school's accreditation impacts your ability to receive federal financial aid. Accreditation also demonstrates to your future employers and colleagues that you received a quality degree. With an accredited degree, graduates can sit for necessary certification exams or continue to higher levels of education such as a master's or Ph.D.

Schools can receive a variety of accreditations. The U.S. Department of Education oversees six regional governing bodies that grant regional accreditation — usually regarded as the most prestigious. Colorado colleges and schools are monitored by the Higher Learning Commission, which provides a search engine for qualifying schools on their website. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation also monitors online programs nationwide.

In addition to regional or national accreditation, many professional fields also feature specialized accreditations. For example, nurses are required to pass programs sanctioned by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, while the American Bar Association monitors and accredits law degrees. Accredited online colleges in Colorado are assessed just like on-campus degrees, so check your prospective school for these regional and degree-specific certifications.

Scholarships for Colorado Online College Students

The state of Colorado offers numerous scholarships and grants to help its residents pursue higher education. The list below features just ten of the opportunities open to state residents, though many more are available. In addition to these scholarships, students should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to learn more about possibilities for federal funding.

MCA Failure Awards Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, together with the Denver Foundation, offers this award to innovative, college-bound Coloradans. Applicants submit an artistic composition (such as a painting, sculpture, dance routine, etc.) or an essay explaining an innovative, risk-taking project.
Amount: $500-$10,000

Apply Here

Celebrate the West Art Competition

Who Can Apply: State residents of 19 qualifying states, including Colorado, qualify to submit an original, two-dimensional art composition that epitomizes western cultural monuments and moments in history. Applicants must be in grades 9-12.
Amount: $200-$1,000

Apply Here

Colorado State Fair Fiesta Pageant

Who Can Apply: For young Coloradan Latino women, the Colorado State Fair Fiesta Pageant provides scholarships to annually selected ambassadors from the local Hispanic community. Applicants must be unmarried, between 18-22 years old, U.S. citizens, and residents of Colorado. Candidates must also attend or hold acceptance to a higher education institution.
Amount: $250-$2,500

Apply Here

MGMA Medical Scholarships

Who Can Apply: Coloradans pursuing a medical management degree, such as public health or healthcare administration, should explore the medical scholarships offered by the Medical Group Management Association. Applicants must be student members of the MGMA, major in a healthcare management field, and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Amount: Up to $5,000

Apply Here

Belle M. Loustalet Memorial Nursing Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Awarded each year to applicants currently enrolled in a nursing program in Colorado, this memorial scholarship benefits U.S. citizens on the path to becoming registered nurses. Candidates must pursue an associate or bachelor's program.
Amount: $3,500

Apply Here

Burg Simpson College Scholarship

Who Can Apply: High school students in the state of Colorado intent on a professional career in jurisprudence can submit a 1,500-word essay on civil justice and American rights and liberties to the Burg Simpson Firm. This award supports future lawmakers and lawyers in Colorado.
Amount: $1,000-$2,500

Apply Here

ACEC Colorado Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The American Council of Engineering Companies funds scholarships to encourage local engineering talent. This association provides multiple scholarships for engineering majors entering their junior or senior year. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay and participate in an accredited engineering program.
Amount: Varies

Apply Here

RMCMI Mining Scholarships

Who Can Apply: RMCMI offers engineering and technological scholarships to residents of five U.S. states with strong mining industries, including Colorado. Applicants must be accepted to an accredited two- or four-year technical or engineering program, with a degree focus on mineral resources, engineering, or geology.
Amount: $1,000-$5,500

Apply Here

Stephen T. Marchello Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship is designed for survivors of cancer diagnoses. Applicants must be permanent residents of Colorado or Montana, high school seniors accepted to a four-year college program, and survivors of some form of childhood cancer.
Amount: $1,000

Apply Here

Pinnacol Foundation Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship is for any recipient of the Colorado Workers' Compensation Act — children and dependents of a Colorado worker killed or permanently injured in a work-based accident. Applicants must also be between 16-25 years old and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA.
Amount: Average $4,500 per year

Apply Here

Resources for Students in Colorado

  • Open Educational Resources in Colorado: This state-run website provides information on education in the state of Colorado, including higher education. The site features events and webinars to inform students and parents about higher education options, along with information on state grant programs.
  • Colorado Initiative for Inclusive Higher Education: This organization includes information about about local higher education initiatives to increase multiculturalism and inclusivity. This website outlines which schools are taking an active role in this initiative and suggests ways to get involved.
  • Colorado Community Colleges Online (CCCO): For students interested in two-year training or the community college experience, the CCCO provides information on accredited in-state online colleges in Colorado. The site features programs and institutions around the state, as well as access to degree and career counselors to help students plan their professional trajectory.
  • CollegeInColorado.org: A nonprofit association, this website offers information on schools, programs, and career opportunities statewide. Students can access their career planning page to explore popular industries, review professional opportunities, and search local job boards. This website also provides links to specialized training centers to better prepare learners for their careers.
  • Colorado Department of Higher Education: Designed both for students and parents, this website provides up-to-date factual information about higher education programs in Colorado. Students can find out about financial support systems and school certifications on this website, as well as graduation and employment rates year by year.

Online Schools in Colorado

Adams State University

Alamosa, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 25%
  • Average Net Price: $16,796

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Colorado Christian University

Lakewood, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Average Net Price: $23,652

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Colorado Mesa University

Grand Junction, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 29%
  • Average Net Price: $15,666

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Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Fort Collins, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 63%
  • Average Net Price: $15,746

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Colorado State University-Global Campus

Greenwood Village, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 63%
  • Average Net Price: $15,746

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Colorado State University-Pueblo

Pueblo, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Average Net Price: $13,421

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Colorado Technical University - Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, CO


  • Graduation Rate: N/A
  • Average Net Price: N/A

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University of Denver

Denver, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 76%
  • Average Net Price: $27,723

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Nazarene Bible College

Colorado Springs, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 0%
  • Average Net Price: $17,107

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Regis University

Denver, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Average Net Price: $23,389

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University of Colorado-Denver

Denver, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Average Net Price: $14,625

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University of Northern Colorado

Greeley, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Average Net Price: $17,038

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University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Average Net Price: $15,652

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Johnson & Wales University-Denver

Denver, CO


  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Average Net Price: $24,465

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