Online Colleges in Colorado 2021

By ACO Staff with contributions from Thomas Broderick, Emma Yenko

Published on September 16, 2021

Online Colleges in Colorado 2021 is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Colleges and universities throughout the United States offer online programs, making higher education accessible to millions of recent high school graduates and nontraditional students. Colorado online colleges offer learners numerous degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Shorter certificate programs help working professionals attain in-demand skills.

Public colleges and universities charge in-state online students the most affordable tuition rate. Recent Colorado transplants must live in the state for 12 continuous months to qualify for in-state tuition. However, Colorado schools make exceptions in specific circumstances, such as for active-duty service members and their dependents.

In creating this list of the top online colleges in Colorado, we analyzed each school’s affordability and quality; the top online programs in California offer you the best educational experience at the most affordable prices. This list shows what excellent online universities offer students regarding majors, flexibility, and online learning resources. In other words, pay close attention to each program’s top qualities. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Explore these promoted online degree programs.

These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s or PhD programs.

Online Colleges in Colorado: Frequently Asked Question

Q. Do online credits cost more or less in Colorado?

The answer depends on whether students attend a public or private school and if they qualify for in-state tuition. Colorado State University stands out from other public schools, as online learners do not pay out-of-state tuition.

Q. What is the most affordable college in Colorado?

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is the most affordable college in Colorado for in-state students. Degree-seekers pay less in tuition by applying for scholarships or qualifying for grants.

Q. How long do you have to live in Colorado to get in-state tuition?

Active-duty service members living outside of Colorado and other specific groups pay in-state tuition. Students in one of these groups submit appropriate documentation to their college or university.

Why Choose Colorado for Online Higher Education?

Prospective students planning to live in Colorado after graduation should explore the state's largest and fastest-growing industries. Approximately 16,000 companies employ healthcare workers, and more than 40,000 professionals work in the infrastructure engineering field. 

Prospective learners can explore these and other career opportunities by using their school's career advisors and online job-hunting resources. Tools such as career assessments help degree-seekers select a major matching their interests.

Common Online Bachelor's Programs in Colorado

The best colleges in Colorado offer students multiple majors and minors. The following five majors can lead to a fulfilling career in one or more in-demand fields.

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Biology students analyze life at the macro and micro levels. Degree-seekers select from numerous concentrations, such as genetics, anatomy, and biochemistry. The major also relates to multiple career tracks in the medical, research, and education fields. Colorado employs approximately 43,000 bioscience professionals, making the state an attractive place to work for recent graduates.

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Colorado's financial services sector employs 90,000 professionals, and Denver ranks fifth among U.S. cities for hosting financial advisor startups. Students can earn a business degree to enter this growing field. The best colleges in Colorado feature programs emphasizing micro and macroeconomics, finance, and business ethics. An online master of business administration prepares learners for the most lucrative positions.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Engineering"]

Aspiring engineering professionals can select from online master's degrees that include biomedical engineering, civil engineering, and computer engineering. These and other options convey in-demand skills companies require applicants to possess. Colorado employers hiring engineering graduates include CH2M Hill, Johns Manville, and MWH Global.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Nursing"]

Hospitals and health systems throughout Colorado typically prefer registered nurses (RNs) with a bachelor's degree. Practicing RNs with an associate degree advance their career by enrolling in an online RN-to-BSN program. This flexible degree allows students to continue working while advancing their education. Other benefits include applying new knowledge and skills on the job.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Social Sciences"]

A liberal arts education in the social sciences allows students to explore numerous careers, including those in Colorado's creative industries sector. More than 150,000 professionals in the state work in design, media, performing arts, and publishing. Employers offering these jobs need passionate and talented individuals with a college education.

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Cost of Attending an Online College in Colorado

Colorado online colleges help students save money in numerous ways. In-state learners save by paying the most affordable per-credit tuition rate at public two- and four-year schools. Out-of-state students often pay significantly more for the same education. Private colleges and universities charge the same tuition rate to all degree-seekers, making them a more affordable option for out-of-state students. 

Online students do not incur fees for student housing or meal plans. They also do not pay for the fuel or transit pass needed to commute to campus. Other cost savings target learners who work full time, as many online programs run asynchronously and allow enrollees to complete assignments at their convenience.

Average Undergraduate Tuition in Colorado
Public Four-Year College Private Four-Year College Public Two-Year College
In-State $9,394 $23,560 $3,655
Out-of-State $30,140 N/A $7,967

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Career and Salary Outlook for Students in Colorado

The best colleges in Colorado offer majors, minors, and certificates leading to multiple career opportunities. College graduates can attain the positions below either right out of school or after gaining some professional experience. These jobs provide a salary allowing workers to live comfortably throughout the state.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Also known as IT managers, these professionals determine what technology their employer needs. They also oversee hardware and software installation, maintain security, and oversee less-experienced employees. Many professionals with this job title possess a significant amount of experience and an advanced degree in computer science or a related field.

Marketing Managers

Companies hire marketing managers or contract with marketing firms to create promotional campaigns such as flyers, promotions, and contests. Managers oversee these campaigns from start to finish, developing an overall strategy and approving budgets. Some marketing managers specialize in advertising, creating television, radio, and internet advertisements.

Sales Managers

These professionals lead teams, analyze sales statistics, and develop plans to attract and retain customers. Professionals working for large companies perform other tasks, such as creating training programs for new hires, assigning sales territories, and forging relationships with distributors and dealers. Sales managers often specialize in business-to-business sales or business-to-consumer sales.

Financial Managers

These professionals work for finance and insurance companies, management enterprises, and government agencies. They create and review financial reports, advise senior managers, and ensure that their employer meets all legal requirements. Financial managers possess one of many job titles, such as treasurer or credit manager. Each position requires a somewhat different skill set and background.

Compensation and Benefits Managers

Companies and organizations employ these professionals to coordinate benefits packages. This role plays a significant role in employers' long-term success, as good benefits attract and retain talented employees. Other typical job responsibilities include coordinating with benefits brokers, researching competitors' benefits packages, and keeping current with relevant laws and regulations.

Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)
Computer and Information Systems Managers $172,810 10%
Marketing Managers $171,970 6%
Sales Managers $167,260 4%
Financial Managers $164,370 15%
Compensation and Benefits Managers $156,700 3%

Source: BLS

Colorado Scholarships and Grants

Even students enrolled in the most affordable Colorado online colleges can benefit from scholarships. Preferable to other forms of financial aid, scholarships do not require repayment. See below for funding available to students attending a Colorado college or university. The embedded links offer additional information about each award.

Cheryl D. Conkling Memorial Scholarship Who Can Apply: High school seniors living in Windsor, Colorado, apply to this competitive scholarship. Application materials include standardized test scores, FAFSA results, and a recommendation letter. Interested students apply by August 17. Amount: Up to $12,000
Korean American Scholarship Foundation Who Can Apply: KASF awards funding to Korean American students who possess a minimum 3.0 high school, undergraduate, or graduate GPA. Other requirements include demonstrating financial need. Learners apply April 1 - June 30. Amount: $500-$5,000
National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Foundation Scholarships Who Can Apply: High school seniors with good grades may apply. Application materials include high school transcripts, an essay, and up to five recommendation letters. The NIADA Foundation accepts but does not require standardized test scores. Amount: $3,500
Partner Colorado Foundation Scholarships Who Can Apply: The Partner Colorado Foundation accepts applications from in-state college students ages 17-40. Applicants must take at least nine credits per semester and apply by March 31. The scholarship renews as long as recipients maintain good grades. Amount: At least $1,000

Best Online Colleges in Colorado 2021

University of Northern Colorado View School Profile Greeley, CO $14641

A public doctoral research university founded in 1889, UNC currently enrolls more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. This Colorado college offers over 200 programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

UNC's Extended Campus administers the university's online offerings. Students can enroll in one course or pursue an entire degree online. Examples of online degrees include a bachelor's in communication studies, a master's in biological sciences, and a doctorate in educational leadership.

Online students can access many of the same support services as on-campus enrollees. Students can take advantage of tutoring services, technical assistance, and academic and career counseling. Online learners can apply for financial aid opportunities based on their academic record, concentration area, or program level.

University of Northern Colorado is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Colorado State University-Fort Collins View School Profile Fort Collins, CO $17914

CSU enrolled its first students in 1879. Today, the school ranks among the top colleges in Colorado, enrolling more than 27,000 students and offering degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

CSU offers several online degrees in diverse fields of study. Undergraduate and transfer students as well as nontraditional learners can enroll in degree-completion bachelor's programs in areas such as computer science, economics, and business.

Graduate students can pursue an online master's in fields such as biological sciences, arts and music, and education. This Colorado college also offers a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) and a doctor of engineering in systems engineering. The Ph.D. programs in higher educational leadership and in organizational organization and performance follow a hybrid delivery format.

Colorado State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Colorado Mesa University View School Profile Grand Junction, CO $14403

Founded in 1925, CMU serves 11,000 enrollees through more than 100 academic programs at the certificate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. CMU offers 17 online programs, including a doctor of nursing practice and a master of business administration. It also offers a bachelor's in elementary education, and a graduate certificate in rhetoric and literary studies.

CMU subscribes to the Quality Matters program, a nonprofit that works with more than 1,100 colleges and universities around the world to make sure an institution's online offerings meet rigorous quality standards.

Online enrollees can take advantage of several student support resources, including tutoring services, technical assistance, academic counseling, and career guidance.

Colorado Mesa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus View School Profile Denver, CO $14477

Currently serving more than 15,000 students each year, CU Denver began in 1912 as an extension of the University of Colorado in Boulder. Today, the eight schools and colleges that make up CU Denver offer several certificate and specialty programs. They also offer 112 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.

Students can choose from an extensive selection of online courses and programs in diverse academic arenas. These include engineering, healthcare informatics, and literacy and language development. CU Denver offers an online doctor of philosophy in nursing and a doctor of nursing practice. Additional programs inclucde doctoral programs in pharmacy and educational leadership.

Online learners can access a variety of student services, including academic and career advice, tutoring, research and writing assistance, and personal counseling. Online enrollees can also access the school's libraries and receive technical assistance.

University of Colorado Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Colorado State University-Global Campus View School Profile Aurora, CO Unconfirmed

CSU-Global offers several fully online courses and programs at the certificate, bachelor's, and master's levels. Although several Colorado colleges offer online degrees, CSU-Global is one of the few higher education institutions that focuses exclusively on online education.

CSU-Global's Tuition Guarantee assures students that their tuition rate will remain the same throughout their entire enrollment. CSU-Global follows a generous transfer credit policy. Enrollees pursuing a bachelor's degree can transfer up to 90 credits from other accredited schools or programs. Graduate students can transfer up to nine credits.

CSU-Global also accepts alternative transfer credits for undergraduate enrollees. Alternative credit options include prior learning assessment, military training, professional certifications, and credit by exam. Alternative transfer credits cannot exceed the 90-credit transfer limit.

Students can choose from 15 bachelor's, 15 master's, and seven certificate programs. CSU-Global continues to increase its academic offerings to address students' educational needs and professional objectives.

Colorado State University Global Campus is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Thomas Broderick

Thomas Broderick is a freelance writer and the owner of Broderick Writer LLC. He creates study guides, informational websites, and blog posts for clients in the education field. Thomas is also a published author of over 20 short stories and a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

Emma Yenko

With an undergraduate degree in communications and a master's in education, Emma finds writing for the education vertical to be the perfect niche.

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