CU Denver vs. DU

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

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University of Colorado Denver vs. University of Denver comparison
University of Colorado Denver University of Denver College 3 College 4
University of Colorado Denver University of Denver
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Location Denver, CO Denver, CO
Setting Large City Large City
Students 25,645 11,952
Type Public 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $7,920 $51,336
Tuition (Out of State) $24,408 $51,336
Room & Board $13,250 $13,437
Avg Net Price $15,865 $37,263
Avg Grant Aid $6,374 $29,958
% Receiving Grant Aid 72% 89%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 67.3% 58.7%
Avg High School GPA 3.43 3.67
Admissions Standards Challenging Very High
Applicant Competition Low Low
ACT Range 20/27 26/31
SAT Range 1000/1220 1170/1350
Application Deadline Jul 22, 2022 Jan 15, 2022


Graduation Rate 40% 78%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $68,200 $63,400
Making Student Loan Payments 61% 72%
Median Student Loan Debt $21,190 $23,699
Median Loan Payment $219 $245
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Comparable Facts

  • University of Colorado Denver is larger than than DU based on total student enrollment (25,645 students vs. 11,952 students)

CU Denver vs. DU Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, CU Denver or DU?

  • University of Denver is 548.2% more expensive to attend than CU Denver for in-state tuition ($51,336.00 vs. $7,920.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 110.3% higher at DU than University of Colorado Denver ($51,336.00 vs. $24,408.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at University of Colorado Denver than DU ($15,865 vs. $37,263)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at University of Colorado Denver are 1.4% lower than costs at University of Denver ($13,250 vs. $13,437)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at University of Denver than University of Colorado Denver (89% vs. 72%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by University of Denver students is 370% larger than aid received University of Colorado Denver ($29,958 vs. $6,374)

CU Denver vs. DU Admissions Difficulty Comparison

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

  • The average SAT score at University of Denver (1249) is 194 points higher than at CU Denver (1055)
  • Incoming DU students have a 5 point higher average ACT score (28) than students at CU Denver (23)
  • CU Denver has a higher acceptance rate (67.3%) than DU (58.7%)

CU Denver vs. DU Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, CU Denver or DU? 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 DU and CU Denver.

  • The graduation rate at DU is higher that University of Colorado Denver (78% vs. 40%)
  • Graduates from University of Colorado Denver earn on average $4,800 more per year than DU graduates after ten years. ($68,200 vs. $63,400)
  • University of Colorado Denver students graduate with a $2,509 lower median federal student loan debt than DU graduates. ($21,190 vs. $23,699)
  • CU Denver graduates are paying $26 less per month on federal student loans than DU graduates. ($219 vs. $245)
  • More DU graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former CU Denver students, three years after graduation. (72% vs. 61%)

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