Last Updated: September 12, 2021
Colorado - The Centennial State
Colorado, despite being one of the larger states of the USA, has quite an average population of around 6 million in 2021. The state is named after the river Colorado and plays a significantly huge role in the shaping of the state. Colorado received its statehood in the year 1876, which was a hundred years after America’s “Declaration of Independence”. This is why the state got its popular moniker, ‘The Centennial State’. Colorado has a spontaneous landscape that comprises mountains, forests, and rivers. The state is famous for its extreme weather conditions with thunderstorms, lightning, and tornadoes. Several severe devastations are part of the life of Coloradans. Denver as the capital of the state has been instrumental in building the industrial establishment of Colorado that makes this state third among all states of the USA in prosperity.
Major Cities in Colorado
Denver is the largest city in Colorado with a population of about 700,000. It was founded in the year 1858 and was named after the governor, James Denver. It is popularly known by the nickname 'Mile-High City' as it is a mile above sea level. Denver is the state's capital city, commercially and industrially flourished, with a thriving economy. The University of Denver is situated in this city. It is widely known for some of the best restaurants, and popular tourist destinations such as Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Art Museum, Colorado State Capitol, Civic Center Park, Denver Zoo, and more.
Colorado Springs is the second-biggest city with a population of around 500,000. It was founded in 1871 by General William Palmer. The city is known for its unique beauty, and is often called 'The Springs'. It is also called 'Little London' by a few because of how quintessentially 'British' the residents of the city used to be. The city is famous for several sporting agencies related to the Olympics, and is also nicknamed 'Olympic City USA'. Popular sightseeing spots include Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Cave of the Winds Mountain Park, The Broadmoor Seven Falls, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, etc.
Founded in 1891 as Fletcher City, it was later renamed Aurora in 1907. This is the third-largest city in Colorado, with a population of around 390,000. It got the popular nickname 'Gateway to the Rockies' because of its proximity to the famous Rocky Mountains. Aurora is a beautiful and vibrant city that attracts a lot of tourists and is also a cultural hub. Major tourist destinations in this city are Cherry Creek State Park, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National, Aurora Reservoir, Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre, Cherry Creek Trail, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, and so on.
Fort Collins is the state's fourth-largest city situated in Larimer County. It was founded in the year 1864 and was named after Lt. Col. William O. Collins. The city is famous among tourists for its 'Colorado Brewer's Festival'. Fort Collins also used to be a major agricultural hub that contributed to the majority of the state's economy. The city has got many nicknames such as 'The Lilac City', 'Horn of Plenty', and 'Choice City'. Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Lory State Park, Horsetooth Reservoir, Gardens on Spring Creek, Devil's Backbone Open Space, Boyd Lake State Park, etc., are some of the fascinating places to visit in this city.
- Colorado has been ranked consistently as one of the best states to do business. A mining-dominated economy of earlier years has transformed itself into a highly industrialized state.
- The state has one of the highest technology-driven high-end industries. There are many government enterprises, which started the trend and even today plenty of military bases are working in Colorado.
- Defense and other research is another area where Colorado is quite strong and provides good results. To some extent, the weather is responsible for such experiments. Extreme heat and dry conditions work in favor of this sector.
- Other major sectors that contribute to the state’s economy include manufacturing, aerospace, agriculture, finance, health, and education services.
- Some of the Fortune 500 companies located here are Qurate Retail, Ball, Dish Network, Arrow Electronics, DaVita, Liberty Media, and so on.
- Just like countries all over the world, Colorado also faced major challenges that led to the downfall of various sectors, especially hospitality, during the covid-19 pandemic.
- Despite the setbacks, the economy of the state demonstrates significant progress especially in major cities like Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.
- Jobs are estimated to experience growth by 2022. According to Forbes, Colorado ranks 4 among the top 10 states with the biggest GDP growth.
Tuition Fee and Living Cost in Colorado
The cost of living in the 'Centennial State' is higher than the national average. Health services and utilities are comparatively cheaper, whereas housing costs, groceries, and transportation are more expensive. Therefore, an out-of-state student moving to this state needs to be financially prepared to spend an ample sum for basic living. The average household income is around $73,000.
With regards to overall educational costs, the state of Colorado is slightly cheaper than other states like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York. It is quite affordable for in-state students attending public colleges or universities. The educational costs are mostly higher for out-of-state students in a public institution. However, private institutions charge an equal amount for all students regardless of their residential status.
List of Few Major Universities/Colleges
The state has several good educational institutes and some of them are even famous internationally. Certain courses are considered path-breaking in their approach and methods of teaching. The top colleges/universities in the state of Colorado are:
- United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) This is one of the most reputed institutes that train officer cadets. More than 4,000 young men and women of the academy get trained in both academic and military sectors. The institution was founded in 1954. It offers more than 30 majors, 19 research units, excellent faculty, and outstanding facilities. The student-to-teacher ratio here is 8:1. The main aim of this institute is to prepare students to maintain honor and integrity during times of great stress. The education provided here is free of cost, with service to the nation as the only return.
- University of Colorado Boulder The university is a reputed public institute situated in the city of Boulder. The university was founded in the year 1876. It is known for offering the best education at a highly affordable price for the residents of Colorado. It gives major importance to research, and is "one of only 36 U.S. public research institutions in the Association of American Universities (AAU)". The main area of focus for research in the institute is aerospace, health sciences, and sustainable development. The institute has around 40,000 students, with a tuition fee for undergraduate in-state students around $14,000 and about $39,000 for out-of-state students. The university aims to develop all the skills in a student that will make them capable of making the world a better place.
- Colorado School of Mines This is another prestigious university situated in the city of Golden. It consists of more than 6,500 students, with a tuition fee of about $21,000 (in-state) and around $42,000 (out-of-state). It is a public research institute focused on sciences and engineering, and was founded in 1874. The institute aims at offering great education and preparing students to become experts in what they learn. The curriculum is comprehensive and interdisciplinary, that is, they offer liberal arts subjects along with STEM courses for a more well-rounded education. The student-to-faculty ratio in this institute is 15:1.
- University of Denver Situated in the capital city of Denver, this private institute is also close to the famous Rocky Mountains. With more than 14,000 students, the student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1. It was founded in the year 1864, intending to promote advanced thinking and problem-solving skills. The institute offers the best facilities with the latest technology, making the teaching and learning experience a boon for its students. The tuition fee for all undergraduate students is around $56,000.
Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students
Colorado is an excellent place to live in, as well as to make a living. But considering the cost of living, it can be unnerving for students who plan to leave their home state and pursue an educational career in Colorado. This is when scholarships and grants tend to be a boon for students. There are several scholarships and grants available to make education easier for students, based on merit, need, service, program, gender, or ethnicity.
All students need to complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as the Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CASFA). CASFA will be helpful in case students apply for state and institutional aid. Non-citizens and out-of-state students may also apply for certain scholarship programs through the completion of CASFA. It is recommended that students contact the Bursar office of their respective institutes for further details or check the websites of the specific scholarship or grant one is looking for.
- Supplemental Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Grant (SLEAP): This is a need-based grant offered by LEAP. To be qualified for this grant, the student must be a US citizen and a permanent resident of the state of Colorado, attend a program based on teacher’s training, excel academically, and send transcripts to the organization that requires it. The award amount offered for this grant may vary based on the candidate’s level of financial need. It will be between $500 to $1,500 per year.
- Greenhouse Scholars Program: This is a merit-based and need-based scholarship program. To be eligible, students are required to secure a GPA of 3.5 or more, prove their level of financial need, display leadership qualities, and take part in community service. They must also be citizens of the United States, be Colorado residents (having attended high school in that state), and plan to get enrolled in a 4-year accredited institution. Students must also submit three letters of recommendation and an essay. The award amount for this program is between $5,000 to $20,000.
- Colorado College Responsibilities Grant (CCRG): This is a grant assistance program initiated by the Colorado General Assembly. This grant applies to undergraduate students who are US citizens, as well as Colorado residents. Students should also be enrolled at an accredited institution on a full-time or part-time basis, and demonstrate a level of financial need. The award amount offered by this program will vary based on the program and the level of financial need, ranging from $200 to $600 per semester.
- Colorado White Rose Scholarship: This is a scholarship program called the White Rose that aims to help the students of Colorado to pursue post-secondary education. To be eligible for the program, the student must be a US citizen, a permanent resident of Colorado (minimum 1 year), and pursue a degree in an accredited institution (full-time or part-time). Other requirements include providing proof of financial need along with two letters of recommendation, participating in community service, and securing a minimum of 3.0 GPA. The award amount for this program is $2,500.
One of the most popular nicknames for the state of Colorado is 'Colorful Colorado'. The reason is evident enough because it is a state that displays the most magnificent colors of nature, nature in all its forms, a state that has both beauty and bounty to offer. Tourism is a major sector that contributes to the economy of the state, with several popular destinations like the Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Pikes Peak in Pike National Forest, Garden of the Gods Park Visitor & Nature Center, San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway and the Million Dollar Highway, and so much more. The best time to visit the state is from June to August or even September. Popular foods one must try on visiting Colorado include the famous Rocky Mountain Oysters, Colorado Style Pizza or the Mountain Pie, Palisade Peaches, Olathe Sweet Corn, and Colorado Style Green Chili (Chilli Verde).
Universities & Colleges in Colorado
*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
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