The 10 Best College Towns In Colorado For 2019


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Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality

It's actually not even close and Colorado is home to a handful of them.

While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.

Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in Colorado are the best.

You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.

Without further ado, here are the best college towns in Colorado for 2019:

  1. Denver, CO (Photos | Homes)
  2. Fort Collins, CO (Photos | Homes)
  3. Boulder, CO (Photos | Homes)
  4. Durango, CO (Photos | Homes)
  5. Greeley, CO (Photos | Homes)
  6. Golden, CO (Photos | Homes)
  7. Aurora, CO (Photos | Homes)
  8. Colorado Springs, CO (Photos | Homes)
  9. Lakewood, CO (Photos | Homes)
  10. Pueblo, CO (Photos | Homes)

While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.

And for those who live in Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Denver ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Read on to find out more or for more on Colorado check out:

How'd we figure out the best college towns in Colorado?

To crunch our data on Colorado's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.

First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.

You might be surprised to hear that there are only 14 places in Colorado with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.

Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:

  • Students Make Up Large % of the Population
  • College-specific Factors
    • Graduation rate
    • Tuition Cost
    • Student Body Diversity
  • Town Characteristics
    • Safety
    • Affordability
    • Income and Employment Opportunities
  • Things to Do
    • Bars
    • Museums & Libraries
    • Population Density

We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.

We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.

Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In Colorado For 2019".

And it looks like Denver placed Summa Cum Laude.

Denver, CO
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 678,467
% Undergrad Pop.: 5.6% (9th best)
Median Rent: $1,131 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 450.0% (8th best)
Crime Rank: 13th best
More on Denver: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Denver, officially the City and County of Denver, is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Denver downtown district is immediately east of the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River, approximately 12mi east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is nicknamed the Mile High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile above sea level, making it the highest major city in the United States. The 105th meridian west of Greenwich, the longitudinal reference for the Mountain Time Zone, passes directly through Denver Union Station.

Colleges: Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus, Emily Griffith Technical College

Fort Collins, CO
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 159,150
% Undergrad Pop.: 13.0% (5th best)
Median Rent: $1,191 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 590.0% (13th best)
Crime Rank: 3rd best
More on Fort Collins: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fort Collins is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Larimer County, Colorado, United States. Situated on the Cache La Poudre River along the Colorado Front Range, Fort Collins is located 65 miles north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. With a 2016 estimated population of 161,000, it is the fourth most populous city in Colorado after Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora. Fort Collins is a midsize college city, home to Colorado State University.

Colleges: Colorado State University-Fort Collins, IBMC College, Hair Dynamics Education Center

Boulder, CO
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 106,271
% Undergrad Pop.: 22.6% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $1,412 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 560.0% (12th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Boulder: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Boulder is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Boulder County, and the 11th most populous municipality in the U.S. state of Colorado. Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 5,430 feet above sea level. The city is 25 miles northwest of Denver.

Colleges: University of Colorado Boulder, Naropa University, Montessori Education Center of the Rockies

Durango, CO
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 17,986
% Undergrad Pop.: 23.8% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $1,196 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 490.0% (9th best)
Crime Rank: 12th best
More on Durango: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The City of Durango is the county seat and the most populous municipality of La Plata County, Colorado, United States. It is home to Fort Lewis College. The United States Census Bureau reported a population of 16,887 in the 2010 census.

Colleges: Fort Lewis College

Greeley, CO
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 100,760
% Undergrad Pop.: 10.1% (7th best)
Median Rent: $881 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 720.0% (16th best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Greeley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The City of Greeley is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Weld County, Colorado, United States. Greeley is in northern Colorado and is situated 49 miles north-northeast of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. According to a July 2015 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the city is 100,883, and a 2014 population estimate made Greeley the 12th-most populous city in Colorado. Greeley is a major city of the Front Range Urban Corridor.

Colleges: University of Northern Colorado, Aims Community College, Cheeks International Academy of Beauty Culture-Greeley

Golden, CO
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 20,365
% Undergrad Pop.: 12.6% (6th best)
Median Rent: $1,203 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 430.0% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 4th best
More on Golden: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Golden is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat of Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. Golden lies along Clear Creek at the base of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Founded during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush on 16 June 1859, the mining camp was originally named Golden City in honor of Thomas L. Golden. Golden City served as the capital of the provisional Territory of Jefferson from 1860 to 1861, and capital of the official Territory of Colorado from 1862 to 1867. In 1867, the territorial capital was moved about 12 miles east to Denver City. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 18,867 in 2010.

Colleges: Colorado School of Mines

Aurora, CO
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 357,323
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.1% (14th best)
Median Rent: $1,163 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 600.0% (14th best)
Crime Rank: 10th best
More on Aurora: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Aurora is a Home Rule Municipality in the U.S. state of Colorado, spanning Arapahoe and Adams counties, with the extreme southeastern portion of the city extending into Douglas County. Aurora is one of the principal cities of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's population was 325,078 in the 2010 census, which made it the third most populous city in the state of Colorado and the 54th most populous city in the United States.

Colleges: Community College of Aurora, Everest College-Aurora, Pickens Technical College

Colorado Springs, CO
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 450,000
% Undergrad Pop.: 2.0% (11th best)
Median Rent: $1,013 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 690.0% (15th best)
Crime Rank: 11th best
More on Colorado Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Colorado Springs is a home rule municipality that is the largest city by area in Colorado as well as the county seat and the most populous municipality of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Colorado Springs is located in the east central portion of the state. It is situated on Fountain Creek and is located 60 miles south of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.

Colleges: Pikes Peak Community College, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado College

Lakewood, CO
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 151,411
% Undergrad Pop.: 1.5% (12th best)
Median Rent: $1,156 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 430.0% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 16th best
More on Lakewood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The City of Lakewood is a Home Rule Municipality which is the most populous municipality in Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. Lakewood is the fifth most populous city in the State of Colorado and the 172nd most populous city in the United States. The city population was 142,980 at the 2010 United States Census. Lakewood is west of Denver and is part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Colleges: Red Rocks Community College, Colorado Christian University, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Pueblo, CO
Overall SnackAbility
4
/10

Population: 109,122
% Undergrad Pop.: 4.9% (10th best)
Median Rent: $762 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1030.0% (18th best)
Crime Rank: 18th best
More on Pueblo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pueblo is a home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Pueblo County, Colorado, United States. The population was 106,595 in 2010 census, making it the 267th most populous city in the United States and the 9th largest in Colorado. Pueblo is the heart of the Pueblo Metropolitan Statistical Area totaling over 160,000 people and an important part of the Front Range Urban Corridor. As of 2014, Pueblo is the primary city of the Pueblo-Caon City combined statistical area totaling approximately 208,000 people, making it the 134th largest in the nation.

Colleges: Colorado State University-Pueblo, Pueblo Community College, Colorado Technical University

There You Have It -- The Best College Towns In The

If you're looking for the best college towns in Colorado, you came to the right place.

These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.

For more reading, check out:

14 Best College Towns In Colorado

Rank City Population
1 Denver, CO 678467
2 Fort Collins, CO 159150
3 Boulder, CO 106271
4 Durango, CO 17986
5 Greeley, CO 100760
6 Golden, CO 20365
7 Aurora, CO 357323
8 Colorado Springs, CO 450000
9 Lakewood, CO 151411
10 Pueblo, CO 109122
11 Grand Junction, CO 60882
12 Glenwood Springs, CO 9850
13 Alamosa, CO 9675
14 Westminster, CO 111895

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?