ASU vs. CU Boulder

Should I go to Arizona State University or University of Colorado Boulder? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if ASU or CU Boulder is the better college for you.

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Arizona State University vs. University of Colorado Boulder comparison
Arizona State University University of Colorado Boulder College 3 College 4
Arizona State University University of Colorado Boulder
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Location Tempe, AZ Boulder, CO
Setting Midsize City Small City
Students 51,585 36,681
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $10,710 $10,728
Tuition (Out of State) $28,800 $36,546
Room & Board $13,164 $14,778
Avg Net Price $14,081 $22,077
Avg Grant Aid $12,898 $9,315
% Receiving Grant Aid 95% 53%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 86.5% 78.4%
Avg High School GPA 3.42 3.56
Admissions Standards Difficult Very High
Applicant Competition
ACT Range 22/28 25/31
SAT Range 1120/1360 1140/1360
Application Deadline May 1, 2022 Jan 15, 2022


Graduation Rate 57% 68%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $52,600 $56,900
Making Student Loan Payments 57% 73%
Median Student Loan Debt $20,278 $19,500
Median Loan Payment $209 $201
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Comparable Facts

  • Arizona State University is larger than than CU Boulder based on total student enrollment (51,585 students vs. 36,681 students)

ASU vs. CU Boulder Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, ASU or CU Boulder?

  • University of Colorado Boulder is 0.2% more expensive to attend than ASU for in-state tuition ($10,728.00 vs. $10,710.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 26.9% higher at CU Boulder than Arizona State University ($36,546.00 vs. $28,800.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Arizona State University than CU Boulder ($14,081 vs. $22,077)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Arizona State University are 12.3% lower than costs at University of Colorado Boulder ($13,164 vs. $14,778)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Arizona State University than University of Colorado Boulder (95% vs. 53%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Arizona State University students is 38.5% larger than aid received University of Colorado Boulder ($12,898 vs. $9,315)

ASU vs. CU Boulder Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, ASU or CU Boulder? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between CU Boulder or ASU .

  • The average SAT score at University of Colorado Boulder (1212) is 54 points higher than at ASU (1158)
  • Incoming CU Boulder students have a 1 point higher average ACT score (27) than students at ASU (26)
  • ASU has a higher acceptance rate (86.5%) than CU Boulder (78.4%)

ASU vs. CU Boulder Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, ASU or CU Boulder? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between CU Boulder and ASU.

  • The graduation rate at CU Boulder is higher that Arizona State University (68% vs. 57%)
  • Graduates from University of Colorado Boulder earn on average $4,300 more per year than ASU graduates after ten years. ($56,900 vs. $52,600)
  • University of Colorado Boulder students graduate with a $778 lower median federal student loan debt than ASU graduates. ($19,500 vs. $20,278)
  • CU Boulder graduates are paying $8 less per month on federal student loans than ASU graduates. ($201 vs. $209)
  • More CU Boulder graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former ASU students, three years after graduation. (73% vs. 57%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education IPEDS and College Scorecard