Online Colleges in Colorado 2021

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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.

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Accredited Online College Programs

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.

See Our Rankings Methodology

Top Online Colleges in Colorado



  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Best Online Colleges in Colorado 2021

  1. Colorado Christian University

    Lakewood, CO



  2. Colorado State University-Fort Collins

    Fort Collins, CO



  3. Adams State University

    Alamosa, CO



  4. University of Northern Colorado

    Greeley, CO



  5. University of Colorado Boulder

    Boulder, CO



  6. Metropolitan State University of Denver

    Denver, CO



  7. Colorado Mesa University

    Grand Junction, CO



  8. Nazarene Bible College

    Colorado Springs, CO



  9. Colorado State University-Global Campus

    Aurora, CO



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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

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 Apply

  • 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


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