Skip to Main Content

College remains a good financial investment for Coloradans

College remains a good financial investment for Coloradans

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree remains a smart financial decision, according to a new report from the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Colorado Rises: Maximizing Value for Students and our State examines median earnings after one, five and 10 years for Coloradans who have earned a postsecondary credential in seven program groups. A decade out, graduates earn a median income of $60,000 for bachelor’s degrees. In addition to wage data, the inaugural volume explores how tuition prices, debt, choice and value affect a student’s overall trajectory.

“We know going to college or technical school is a weighty decision for students and families,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said. “The robust data shows that it’s worth it. Knowing how much you are likely to earn helps Coloradans choose the right education pathway that harnesses their unique talent and aptitudes. It also helps us hold ourselves accountable as we look to reduce costs and increase the value of higher education.”

Although average tuition has increased since the recession, close to 72% of students at Colorado four-year universities receive a mix of federal, state and institutional aid that enables those from low- and middle-income families to attend for low cost or even tuition-free. At Western Colorado University, 80% of students receive some form of financial aid.

The report also found the proportion of Colorado undergraduate students who take on debt, as well as the average amount, has leveled off at four-year colleges.

For information about Western’s costs and financial aid, visit

Take the Next Step

Apply to Western

We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

Visit Western

The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

Alumni Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.