What Does it Cost to Attend Colorado College?

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Colorado College has a lot of appeal to prospective students. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Colorado College is its self-described “quirky” academic schedule. Rather than juggling multiple classes simultaneously, Colorado College’s block plan allows students to immerse themselves in an area by focusing on a single subject for three and a half weeks at a time.

 

In addition to the school’s unique academic structure, its location is another huge draw for students. Located in Colorado Springs, the college is in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, offering easy access to a plethora of outdoor activities for everyone from daredevils to those who prefer a more leisurely pace.  

 

There is another thing about Colorado College that stands out: the price. A highly sought-after private institution like Colorado College isn’t cheap. However, if Colorado College is your dream school, don’t let the list price dissuade you—the majority of students don’t pay full price for college. If you’re interested in learning more about how much it really costs to attend Colorado College, keep reading.

 

The Highly Variable Cost of College

 

Although the list price of a college is good for establishing a baseline idea of expense, numerous factors go into calculating the actual cost of college. For example, government, state, and local aid, in addition to institutional aid and merit scholarships, can all dramatically alter what a student will pay out of pocket for college.

 

Net cost—the list price of a college or university with awarded financial aid and scholarships factored in—is a much more accurate predictor of the price of college.

 

What Is the List Price at Colorado College?

 

The list price of Colorado College in 2016-2017 was $66,400 for tuition, room, and board. The price of Colorado College is the same for both in- and out-of-state students because it’s a private institution. If $66,400 seems like it’s out of your price range, remember that most students don’t pay full price for college. Students who typically pay the published price are from financially well-off families, with incomes exceeding $175,000 annually, and who were not in the top third academically of accepted students.

 

What Is the Price of Colorado College with Financial Aid?

 

Financial aid net price is the cost of an institution with any financial aid awarded deducted from it. The average cost of Colorado College for both in- and out-of-state students receiving financial aid is $55,749.

 

What is the Family Income-Based Cost of Attending Colorado College?

 

The income level of a student’s family will have an enormous effect on what they can expect to pay for Colorado College—on average, students from lower-income families pay tens of thousands of dollars less than those without financial need. Below are average net prices at Colorado College based on family income:

 

Family Income Average Net Price
Below $30,000 $1,068
$30,001-$48,000 $5,523
$48,001-$75,000 $4,349
$75,001-$110,000 $22,688
$110,000+ $44,605

 

What Is the Merit Aid Net Price at Colorado College?

 

Merit aid net price is the cost of college with any merit aid—commonly awarded in scholarship form for academics, athletics, community service, and extracurricular activities—subtracted from the college’s list price.

 

Only a small number (9.7%) of Colorado College students without financial need receive merit aid, and the average amount awarded to students who don’t qualify for financial aid is $1,059. The average net price of Colorado College for students who don’t qualify for financial aid is $65,431, not too different from the college’s list price.

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Student Loans and Debt at Colorado College

 

Loans figure into many students’ financial plans for paying for college. 36% of Colorado College students take out student loans, and the average amount borrowed via federal student loans is $2,725 across four years.

 

Student Outcomes at Colorado College

 

Colorado College boasts an impressive graduation rate—86% of students graduate within six years, which is far ahead of the national average of 60%. The average salary for a Colorado College alumni ten years after graduation is $45,400 a year, which is very close to the $47,465 average salary of a Colorado Springs resident.

 

Local Area Cost Considerations

 

The cost of living index—a theoretical measurement of the relative cost of living in a particular place accounting for factors like the price of housing, transportation, utilities, etc.—of Colorado Springs is 112.9 according to Sperling’s Best Places. This makes it slightly more expensive than the national average of 100, and less expensive than the Colorado average of 131.5.

 

Colorado College is a residential college that believes living on campus is an essential part of the learning experience. Students are required to live on campus in a variety of residence halls, historic mansions, and modern apartments for their first three years at Colorado College. Seniors wishing to live off campus must attend a mandatory workshop and training, along with passing a conduct history review. Learn more about off-campus living on the college’s senior housing web page.

 

If a Colorado College senior is approved to live off campus, they will discover that housing is the primary factor for Colorado Springs’ above-average cost of living. Below are the average rents for apartments in Colorado Springs:

 

  • One Bedroom: $936
  • Two Bedrooms: $1,195
  • Three Bedrooms: $1,727

 

The minimum wage in Colorado is $11.10 an hour, substantially higher than the $7.25 federal minimum wage. The city of Colorado Springs offers a host of employment opportunities for students interested in working a part-time job. According to the job site Indeed, the average wage of a cashier (a position commonly held by college students) is $15.39 an hour while service positions like a servers earn $10.45 an hour, and baristas earn $11.16 an hour.

 

In addition to off-campus employment, there are on-campus employment opportunities at Colorado College. The college participates in the Federal Work-Study Program and those students are given preference at hiring. Any student wishing to explore employment can find both on- and off-campus job listings maintained by the college here. Additionally, the Colorado College Career Center provides supports students in their job hunt in a variety of ways.

 

Other Ways to Save on College

 

Scholarships are another popular method for reducing the overall cost of college. Colorado College provides more need-based financial aid than merit-based aid, but there are still opportunities for merit aid for in-the-know students.

 

The majority of scholarships awarded by Colorado College do not require an additional application; a student’s admission application is reviewed for their potential to receive an award. However, some scholarships, like the Barnes Scholarship, given to passionate U.S. science and math students, and the El Pomar Scholarship, for Colorado students pursuing a path in public policy and non-profit work, require additional applications.

 

The prestigious National Merit Scholarship is another great example of how high-achieving students can reduce the overall cost of college. National Merit Scholarships recognize academic talent primarily through a student’s performance on the PSAT/NMSQT. Learn more about this distinguished scholarship by reading our blog How to Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

 

The journey to being accepted to an in-demand institution like Colorado College is difficult enough without the added stress of worrying about how to pay for it. Our College Application Program can help students better understand the real cost of attending this esteemed institution and better grasp the return they can expect on their investment in a Colorado College education. Our advisors can even help you research and discover available scholarships to help you pay for school.

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Timothy Peck
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.