CSU ranks first among Colorado colleges, according to recent report

Samantha Ye

If you’re looking for a four-year degree, Colorado State University could be the prime place in the state to get it, according to an analysis by Schools.com.

In the education information site’s most recent ranking of four-year colleges in Colorado, CSU placed number one, beating out the University of Denver in second place and University of Colorado, Boulder in third place.


The analysis took into consideration in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, graduation rates within six years and the number of degree and certificate programs offered, among nine other factors.

Data was gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics and the 2015-16 College Scorecards from the U.S. Department of Education.

“It’s always nice to be recognized—we certainly agree that Colorado State University is one the best (four)-year colleges in Colorado—and we also know that the best measures of our quality are the experiences our students have when they’re here and the success they find after they graduate from CSU,” Executive Director of Public Relations Communication Mike Hooker wrote in an email to The Collegian.

According to CSU’s 2018-2019 catalog, 84 percent of students secure employment or continuing education within six months of graduation, and 89 percent say they would choose CSU again.

Schools.com ranked the top ten Colorado colleges as follows:

  1. Colorado State University – Fort Collins
  2. University of Denver
  3. University of Colorado Boulder
  4. Regis University
  5. University of Northern Colorado
  6. Colorado School of Mines
  7. University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
  8. University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
  9. Colorado Christian University
  10. Colorado College

The criteria included 12 data points, weighted in the following order:

  1. In-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates
  2. Average amount of institutional grant aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduate students as a percentage of in-state tuition and fees
  3. Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded financial aid
  4. Median debt of graduates
  5. 3-year student loan repayment rate of graduates
  6. Number of degree and certificate programs offered on campus
  7. Number of degree and certificate programs offered via distance education
  8. Percent of students enrolled in any distance education classes
  9. Full-time student retention rate
  10. Graduation rate within six years
  11. Percent of students working and not enrolled six years after entry
  12. Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services: Dual credit, credit for life experience, Advanced Placement credit, programs of study that can be completed entirely on weekends or in the evening, remedial services, academic and career counseling, job placement services for graduates, guaranteed tuition plan, tuition payment plan and any other alternative tuition plan.

Collegian reporter Samantha Ye can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @samxye4.