Best Colleges in Colorado Springs

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Colorado Springs is situated south of Denver, CO, and is the largest city in Colorado in terms of land area. It is also home to 24 national sports governing bodies, including the United States Olympic Committee, USA Hockey, and the United States Olympic Training Center. The city is widely renowned for its housing desirability and business-friendly local economy. Its southern Rocky Mountain range location also makes it a fantastic choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Colorado encourages in-state college attendance by way of its Pathway Program (highered.colorado.gov), which aims to make college entry, re-entry, and credit-transferring processes easier. Those with no college experience may take an evaluation to determine whether they qualify to advance out of any given college course and receive credit for it.

Some Colorado Springs schools also participate in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s program called the Western Undergraduate Exchange–WUE (www.wiche.edu). This program aims to help nonresident students graduate with little to no student debt. It offers nonresident tuition rates to students from 16 western states, including Colorado.

Colorado’s programs demonstrate its commitment to making sure people can continue their educational goals in beautiful, business-oriented places such as Colorado Springs. If you want to pursue your passion and develop your academic profile in a place where your talent will be appreciated and encouraged, Colorado Springs should definitely be in the running for college locations.

Rankings

EDsmart assesses colleges in Colorado Springs based on data that covers four main areas:

  • Cost (average net price)
  • Academic quality (graduation rate)
  • Student satisfaction (retention rate)
  • Salary After Attending (the median earnings of former students who received federal financial aid, ten years after entering the school)

All data was gathered from the U.S. Department of Education websites College Scorecard and College Navigator.

This ranking assesses the affordability and overall value of colleges in Colorado Springs to help aspiring students make informed decisions about which college to attend.

Best Colleges in Colorado Springs

1. TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy

Score: 100.0

Average Net Price: $14,946
Retention Rate: 84%
Graduation Rate: 95%
Salary After Attending: $17,900

TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy opened up in Colorado Springs in 1993, and today, it features a team of highly trained staff and instructors who work one-on-one with students to deliver high-quality education in the latest fashion. With its 18,000 sq ft facility, which includes both classrooms and salon space, TONI&GUY is one of the leading hair schools in the industry.

Available programs include cosmetology, barbering, esthetician training, advanced education, and even an instructor program. The cosmetology curriculum covers classic hairdressing and coloring techniques while providing fundamental knowledge of product expertise, makeup, skincare, and salon development. The school’s advanced courses serve as continuing education for licensed hairdressers.

TONY&GUY is both a Superbrand and a CoolBrand and has won numerous awards, including 67 British Hairdressing awards and 113 product awards. The TONY&GUY team comprises some of the best hairdressers in the industry, many of whom have won their own individual awards and regularly display their expertise at Fashion Weeks and red carpets around the world.

2. Colorado College

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Score: 99

Average Net Price: $32,303
Retention Rate: 96%
Graduation Rate: 88%
Salary After Attending: $42,800

From the time of its initiation in 1874, Colorado College has been one of the best institutions for post-secondary education in Colorado Springs. It’s widely-known for its progressive campus culture, featuring a diverse faculty of wide-ranging philosophers and idealists, as well as a student body that prioritizes tolerance and equity. One of the most interesting things about Colorado College is its unique class block format. Each block takes three-and-a-half weeks (18 days) to complete, which enables students to focus on one class at a time. One block is equal to your typical semester’s worth of course material. This setup makes Colorado College the ideal option for students requiring flexibility and focused learning plans.

Colorado College offers over 80 majors, minors, and field-focus programs in sociology, English, mathematics, environmental studies, chemistry and biochemistry, and much more. The school also offers ‘Thematic Minors’ which allows students to focus their education on overarching issues that span multiple disciplines. A few of these include African studies, concepts of human nature, feminist and gender studies, Italian studies, journalism, linguistics, medieval studies, the ancient world, and Renaissance studies.

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3. University of Colorado – Colorado Springs

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Score: 98.8

Average Net Price: $16,221
Retention Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 51%
Salary After Attending: $68,500

If you are looking for amazing colleges in Colorado Springs, the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs should definitely be on your list of options. This school has more than 100 degrees to offer, including 50 undergraduate degrees and 24 different graduate programs, along with 7 total doctoral programs, each of which equips students with real-world skills and marketable experience. UCCS boasts six schools of study, all led by industry experts. These include the Helen and Arthur E Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Science, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and the School of Public Affairs.

UCCS’s standout features include its minimal class sizes, 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and low tuition rates. The school holds prestigious rankings among Top Performers on Social Mobility, National Universities, and Top Public Schools, according to the U.S. News and World Report.

4. International Salon and Spa Academy

Score: 98

Average Net Price: $15,113
Retention Rate: 84%
Graduation Rate: 45%
Salary After Attending: $15,800

The International Salon and Spa Academy has been providing educational services in the cosmetic industry since 1971, training students to master cosmetology, barbering, esthetics, nail technology, and hairstyling. For its fully-comprehensive programs, the academy is recognized by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

Under the guidance of highly qualified industry professionals, students gain real-world experience in upscale salons and spa settings. The school keeps its students focused on long-term success in the industry, equipping them with the skills necessary to grow a clientele base, endorsing products, providing customer service, and managing referrals. Haircare, cutting, highlighting, chemical treatments, skincare, hair removal, nail tech, makeup, business ethics, waxing, barbering, straight razor shaving, body detoxing, facials, makeovers, and body wraps are all incorporated into the academy curriculum.

5. Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology

Score: 98

Average Net Price: $17,686
Retention Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 69%
Salary After Attending: $22,800

The Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology was founded in 2007 and stands today as one of the most prestigious V-tech programs in the Southwest. With minimal class sizes, hands-on learning, real-world clinic experience, it’s no surprise that CAVTS students exceed the national board exam score averages. This school is known for maintaining a supportive and professional atmosphere, which in turn makes for a healthy learning environment.

The two-year V-tech program prepares students to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam, from which they may apply for credentials (CVT, LVT, RVT). The program is divided into eight quarters, with the last quarter being a live internship. Other quarters consist of courses in pre-medical mathematics, biochemistry, animal behavior, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, basic nursing, nutrition, pharmacology, exotics and laboratory animal medicine, diagnostic imaging, and large animal nursing. CAVT holds accreditation from the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education and the American Veterinary Medical Association and is regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private Occupational Schools.

6. PIMA Medical Institute – Colorado Springs

Score: 98

Average Net Price: $21,641
Retention Rate: 76%
Graduation Rate: 64%
Salary After Attending: $36,000

Since its founding in 1972 in, the PIMA Medical Institute has been at the forefront of medical training and technology.  Though originally established in Tucson, Arizona, PIMA has expanded to locations throughout the U.S., one of which is Colorado Springs. This particular campus location caters largely to local military families while also providing state of the art training in medical assistance and veterinary technology.

PIMA of Colorado Springs offers a variety of fully-comprehensive, real-world training programs, a few of which include medical laboratory and veteran technician training, dental assistance, medical administration, medical assistance, pharmacy technician training, and veterinary assistance. PIMA holds accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools and the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities and is regulated by the Colorado Division of Private Occupational Schools, Department of Higher Education.

7. Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs

Score: 97.3

Average Net Price: $16,260
Retention Rate: 44%
Graduation Rate: 25%
Salary After Attending: $71,500

Colorado Technical University offers a wide range of degree programs across all degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral. CTU students have the ability to tailor their degree programs to meet their preferred learning needs. Some of the more popular degrees include business and management, engineering and computer science, healthcare, IT and technology, nursing, project management, and security studies. Students can pursue their degrees online or on-campus, pursuing their goals either full-time or part-time depending on individual preference.

CTU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the ACBSP, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. It also ranks at #298 among National Universities and #251 in Top Performers on Social Mobility, according to the U.S. News and World Report.

8. Paul Mitchell the School – Colorado Springs

Score: 95.5

Average Net Price: $22,291
Retention Rate: 65%
Graduation Rate: 49%
Salary After Attending: $15,200

Paul Mitchell is a household name brand, widely known for its salon-specific hair care products and serums. The school itself offers high-quality training programs in cosmetology, barbering, esthetics, and nail applications. As an institution, it is dedicated to preparing students for lifelong careers as licensed cosmetologists. Instructors take a fundamentalist view of education, focusing primarily on base knowledge and skill set. However, the nurturing of students’ individual, creative, and advanced techniques is also the school’s top priority. Paul Mitchell students build their professional portfolios through real-world experience and on-the-job training.

Students who participate in these programs acquire skills in precision haircutting, color and texture, skincare and skin analysis, shaving and grooming, interpersonal skills and business expertise, waxing, makeup techniques, nail art, and much more. Paul Mitchell of Colorado Springs holds accreditation from the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences, Inc.

Further Reading: Most Affordable Online College, Best Colleges and Universities in Colorado

Rankings for Best Colleges in Colorado Springs for 2019:

1. Colorado College of Veterinary Technology
2. Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy- Colorado Springs
3. International Salon and Spa Academy
4. Colorado College
5. University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
6. Colorado Technical University, Colorado Springs
7. Pima Medical Institute- Colorado Springs
8. Paul Mitchell the School-Colorado Springs
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