September 7-11, 2015, I participated in the Colorado Colleges Tour sponsored by Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), one of my professional organizations. The seven colleges and universities visited were Colorado College, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, Naropa University, U.S. Air Force Academy, University of Colorado-Boulder, and University of Denver. All were first-visits for me except USAFA, which I toured for four days in 2011. My departure from Baltimore Washington International Airport was a direct 3 1/2-hour flight to Denver, our host city. A summary of each campus is provided.
University of Colorado-Boulder, also commonly referred to as CU-Boulder, CU, Boulder, or Colorado, is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado. It is the flagship university of the University of Colorado system and was founded five months before Colorado was admitted to the union in 1876. According to The Public Ivies: America’s Flagship Public Universities (2001), it is considered one of the thirty “Public Ivy League schools.” The coed institution’s undergrad population is 55% men and 45% women of the 23,853 students. The 8,825 out-of-state students represent 45% of the population. Boulder’s population is 101,808 and is 30 miles from Denver.
UC’s overlaps applications with Colorado State, University of Denver, University of Oregon, University of Arizona, Caltech, University of Washington, Colorado School of Mines, and UC-Santa Barbara. The popular majors are physics, psychology, geography, aerospace engineering, molecular/cellular/developmental biology, integrative physiology, and music.
Admission options are Early Action, Priority, and Regular Decision and UC accepts the Common Application. Transfers are accepted. The admit rate is 84% and their yield is 30%. The retention rate is 85%; the four-year graduation rate is 41%; the six-year graduation rate is 70%. The average ACT composite is 27; average SAT total is 1188 (math-596 and CR-576). CU-LEAD Alliance and Scholarship is for students not normally admissible. It is designed to help students from diverse backgrounds succeed through its unique learning communities housed within each college, school and program. There are several support services and resources at CU for students of color and first generation students.
Total expenses for out-of-state students is approximately $52,646. CU requires the FAFSA for financial aid. 81% of need-based met. 42% of gift aid is awarded to out-of-state students and there are no-need scholarships and grants.
PERKS: 18:1 student/professor ratio; NCAA D-1 athletic programs; PAC-12 conference; 400 clubs; 21 frats; 16 sororities; all freshmen must live on campus unless living with family; all students may have cars on campus; semester calendar with five summer sessions; approximately 6000 freshmen (’15-’16); prefer WGPA to GPA; value academics first, character and citizenship second; no perk for demonstrated interest; superscore SAT; regional and professional accreditation; competitive ranking of programs-Engineering, LEAD School of Business; Environmental Design and Journalism, Arts & Sciences.
University of Denver
University of Denver opened in 1864, just a few years after the city of Denver was founded, and is one of the country’s premier private universities. The 125-acre campus is a few miles south of downtown Denver and home to more than 11,500 students representing all regions of the U.S. and eighty-three other countries. UD offers more than 100 undergraduate programs and 120 graduate and professional programs. Denver’s population is 634,265.
The coed institution has a total 5,129 undergrad population which represents 46% men and 54% women. The 59% out-of-state students comprise 2,564 of the college. Population is 19% students of color. 8-10% Jewish population with a dedicated Hillel house.
Students can apply to UD via Early Action, Early Decision, or Regular Decision. They accept the Common Application and Pioneer Application (UD’s form). The admit rate is 77% with a 13% yield. UD’s rates are retention, 86%; four-year graduation, 53%; six-year graduation, 78%. Transfer students are accepted. SAT total scores average 1140-1320 (math, 612; CR,595) and ACT composite average of 27. Students should explain weaknesses on transcript.
College expenses (’15-’16) for out-of-state students is $57,218. 84% of full-need me and UD accepts the FAFSA and the CSS/PROFILE. Student awards available for first-year ($13K-$23K/yearly) and transfer students ($9K-$13K/yearly) with a 4.0 GPA and 25-35 ACT.
Applications overlap with University of Colorado, Colorado State, Santa Clara U, Colorado College, Stanford, University of Oregon, University of San Diego, and University of Vermont. Most popular majors are biological sciences, business, psychology, history, English, political science, public affairs, and international students.
PERKS: regional and professional accreditation, D-1 NCAA athletic program; 30 teams; ice hockey has most spectators; 113 NCAA individual champions; 152 NCAA tournament appearances; men’s lacrosse won the 2015 NCAA Lacrosse Championship; 120 clubs; 9 frats; 5 sororities; all unmarried freshmen and sophomores <21 must live on campus; all students may have cars on campus; quarter system and one summer session; accessibility to downtown events and ski slopes; AP credit awarded for scores of 4> (maximum 45 quarter hours for AP and IB); study abroad is usually 15-20 weeks; living and learning centers; demonstrated interest is valued for borderline applicants; superscore SAT; writing components not required for SAT/ACT; GPA’s not recalculated.