The higher education scene is thriving. The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs is one of the fastest growing campus in the CU system, bringing invaluable partnerships to the community in areas such as healthcare, the arts and business.
Liberal arts Colorado College continues to add to its campus and attract national attention for its innovative programs. Pikes Peak Community College continues to sharpen its technical training to anticipate and meet the needs of the growing workforce. Add the tradition of excellence and leadership training of the U.S. Air Force Academy, plus a variety of other technical programs and extension campuses, and it’s a good day to be a student in the Springs.
Here are highlights of the big four. Additional organizations offer local extension campuses, including Regis University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, University of Northern Colorado, Colorado Christian University, Colorado State University Pueblo and Colorado Technical University.
Colorado College is a private liberal arts school with more than 80 majors, minors and specialized programs. With a base of creative innovation and its unique Block Plan, in which students take one concentrated class per three-and-a-half-week block, CC aspires to provide the finest liberal arts education in the country, immersing its students in the adventurous spirit of the Rocky Mountain West. Many courses venture beyond the classroom. The school has 82 active student organizations, not including student athletic clubs, and a third of its students identify as American ethnic minorities or come from outside the U.S.
» No. 3 in Most Innovative Schools, No. 25 National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report
» Undergraduate Student Population: 2,124
» Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
» Tuition & Fees 2020-21: $60,390
» Financial Aid: 49.6% (any aid to undergraduate students)
Pikes Peak Community College
PPCC is the largest, most diverse institution of higher education in the Pikes Peak region, with more than 20,000 students at three campuses, various off-campus locations, two military education centers and hundreds of online classes. The school offers more than 200 associate degrees, certifications in career and technical fields, and three bachelor’s degrees, many of which have transfer guarantees to UCCS, CSU, Regis and other four-year universities. Signature programs include nursing, culinary arts, fire science technology, zoo keeping technology, and emergency service administration.
» No. 1 Nursing Program, Colorado 2020 by RegisteredNursing.com
» No. 12 Best for Vets: 2-Year Schools 2020 by Military Times
» Student Population: 20,000
» Average Class Size: 15
» Tuition 2020-21: $4,959 Colorado resident, $18,327 nonresident
» Financial Aid: 52% of students
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
UCCS is a comprehensive undergraduate and specialized graduate research university, offering 51 undergraduate degrees, 24 master’s degrees and seven doctoral programs. It consists of colleges of Business; Engineering and Applied Science; Education; and Letters, Arts and Sciences; Nursing and Health Sciences; and Public Affairs. The university recently received a nearly $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to fund the Colorado Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program. Students come from 50 states and 48 countries and 20% are military affiliated.
» No. 35 Military Friendly School 2020-21 by Military Friendly
» No. 153 in Best Undergraduate Business Programs by U.S. News & World Report
» Student Population: 12,197
» Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
» Tuition& Fees 2021-22: $10,480 Colorado resident, $25,600 nonresident
» Financial Aid: 66% of students
U.S. Air Force Academy
Both military base and university, the Air Force Academy follows a rigorous academic curriculum that balances STEM with the arts and humanities in 30 majors in divisions of Basic Sciences, Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences. Leadership development is woven through all aspects of academy life, equipping graduates with the knowledge, skills and responsibilities to serve the Air Force and nation as leaders of character.
» No. 3 Top Public Schools: National Liberal Arts, No. 6 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, No. 28 National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report
» Student Population: 4,304
» Student to Faculty Ratio: 7:1
» Tuition: $0, commitment to serve as an Air Force officer
» 42% of graduates enter flight training