Complete 2016 Directory of Online Colleges and Universities in Colorado

Colorado academic institutions have offered their classes and curricula online to students since 1996, revolutionizing higher education. Students who once were ineligible for traditional degree programs because of work schedules or geography now have a chance to access higher education. Colorado schools have embraced technology, enhancing student outcomes, better measuring success, and tailoring lesson plans to their individual needs. Read More


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There are over 32 post-secondary institutions in Colorado. Of these schools, 32 offer online programs. Of these accredited online colleges, seven are public four-year colleges or universities and three are public community or technical colleges and 22 are private colleges, universities, or career and vocational schools. These schools offer 326 online certificate programs, 1,915 online associate programs, 2,753 online bachelor’s programs, 1,481 online master’s programs, 1,921 online professional programs, and 440 online doctoral programs. In these programs, students may study subjects ranging from liberal arts to x-ray technology to culinary arts.

Of the colleges in Colorado, Colorado State University, a 4-year research university, offers 72 online programs.


Job Outlook

While Colorado added more jobs than expected in recent years, it is unclear whether this growth will continue. Economists are forecasting anywhere between 23,000 to 115,000 new jobs in the state. These times are indeed economically uncertain for the state. Yet, Colorado’s healthiest industries project robust gains in employment. Construction, trade, transportation and utilities, and information technology will all see growth. Jobs in professional and business services, financial activities, and mining are all highlighted as emerging job markets as well.

The average wage in Colorado is more than the national average. There are 2.1 million employed workers in the state. Employees in Colorado earn an average annual income of $46,770 while the national average annual income is $42,871. The highest paid workers in the state earn over $87,330 annually, while the lowest paid workers earn under $18,060 annually. The median annual income for employees is about $36,770.


Tuition for online college courses varies based on factors including the type and location of the institution as well as the program. On average, public four-year colleges and universities in Colorado charge students approximately $5,230 per year. On average, tuition at public community and technical colleges was $2,297 per year. Tuition for students at private accredited online colleges ranged from $8,040 to $35,604 per year.


Colorado online schools are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Associate of Colleges and Schools. The NCAHLC is one of six institutional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. It’s a federally recognized body providing student assurance that a school’s standards meet clear guidelines for quality educational and financial performance. It also ensures students enrolled in such schools have access to federally subsidized financial aid.

Distance Learning Resources

Colorado Online and Distance Education, previously known as the Colorado Consortium of Independent Study, this website offers a variety of courses in print and electronic formats to students all over the state and beyond. It also provides test-preparation courses for students applying to law, business, or graduate programs online.

Career Services, compiled by the University of Colorado at Denver, lists job postings as well as helpful tips for applying to jobs, writing your resume, and professional development.

Connecting Colorado, housed by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, is an online database where prospective job seekers and employers alike are able to network. It also offers priority service to veterans.

Colorado State Plan, established by the office of Colorado Career and Technical Education, are study plans organized into a number of state-specific vocational categories. Some of these markets include, but not limited to, energy, marketing, management, health science, and a variety of other fields.

e-Colorado: Career Planning offers career planning assistance for new job seekers and professionals looking for a career change. Online resources are available to assess your individual aptitudes and interests, explore career options, research industry information, and find the appropriate educational pathways for your new career.

More Information

Colorado, which is located in the Northern Rockies and Plains region of the United States, is named from the Spanish word “colorado” meaning “ruddy” or “red”. The state, which has an area of 104,094 square miles, is the 8th largest in the country. The average annual temperature in the state is approximately 68°F.

Colorado has the 22nd largest population in the nation. It has an estimated population of 5,029,196 residents residing in its 64 counties. About 41 percent of those living in Colorado are less than 30 years old. With approximately 30 percent of its population identifying itself as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group, the state has one of the least diverse populations in the US.

Colorado’s capital city, Denver, is the largest city in the state. It has a population of 600,158 residents. Of the state’s residents, approximately 8.38 percent reside in the greater Denver area. Some of the other populous cities in Colorado are Colorado Springs, Aurora, Fort Collins, and Lakewood.

As compared to residents in other states around the country, Colorado residents typically have a lower than average level of education. According to the 2010 Census, an estimated 15.1 percent of the state’s residents over the age of 25 have finished high school, 5.5 percent have at least an associate degree, 4.2 percent have degrees at the bachelor’s level or higher, and 1 percent hold a graduate level degree.