CU Denver vs. CU Boulder

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

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University of Colorado Denver vs. University of Colorado Boulder comparison
University of Colorado Denver University of Colorado Boulder College 3 College 4
University of Colorado Denver University of Colorado Boulder
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Location Denver, CO Boulder, CO
Setting Large City Small City
Students 25,645 36,681
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit

Costs

Tuition (In State) $7,920 $10,728
Tuition (Out of State) $24,408 $36,546
Room & Board $13,250 $14,778
Avg Net Price $15,865 $22,077
Avg Grant Aid $6,374 $9,315
% Receiving Grant Aid 72% 53%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 67.3% 78.4%
Avg High School GPA 3.43 3.56
Admissions Standards Challenging Very High
Applicant Competition Low
ACT Range 20/27 25/31
SAT Range 1000/1220 1140/1360
Application Deadline Jul 22, 2022 Jan 15, 2022

Outcomes

Graduation Rate 40% 68%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $68,200 $56,900
Making Student Loan Payments 61% 73%
Median Student Loan Debt $21,190 $19,500
Median Loan Payment $219 $201
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Comparable Facts

  • University of Colorado Boulder is larger than than CU Denver based on total student enrollment (36,681 students vs. 25,645 students)

CU Denver vs. CU Boulder Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, CU Denver or CU Boulder?

  • University of Colorado Boulder is 35.5% more expensive to attend than CU Denver for in-state tuition ($10,728.00 vs. $7,920.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 49.7% higher at CU Boulder than University of Colorado Denver ($36,546.00 vs. $24,408.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at University of Colorado Denver than CU Boulder ($15,865 vs. $22,077)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at University of Colorado Denver are 11.5% lower than costs at University of Colorado Boulder ($13,250 vs. $14,778)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at University of Colorado Denver than University of Colorado Boulder (72% vs. 53%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by University of Colorado Boulder students is 46.1% larger than aid received University of Colorado Denver ($9,315 vs. $6,374)

CU Denver vs. CU Boulder Admissions Difficulty Comparison

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

  • The average SAT score at University of Colorado Boulder (1212) is 157 points higher than at CU Denver (1055)
  • Incoming CU Boulder students have a 4 point higher average ACT score (27) than students at CU Denver (23)
  • CU Boulder has a higher acceptance rate (78.4%) than CU Denver (67.3%)

CU Denver vs. CU Boulder Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, CU Denver 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 CU Denver.

  • The graduation rate at CU Boulder is higher that University of Colorado Denver (68% vs. 40%)
  • Graduates from University of Colorado Denver earn on average $11,300 more per year than CU Boulder graduates after ten years. ($68,200 vs. $56,900)
  • University of Colorado Boulder students graduate with a $1,690 lower median federal student loan debt than CU Denver graduates. ($19,500 vs. $21,190)
  • CU Boulder graduates are paying $18 less per month on federal student loans than CU Denver graduates. ($201 vs. $219)
  • More CU Boulder graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former CU Denver students, three years after graduation. (73% vs. 61%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/