Western State Colorado University

2014 Quick Stats
600 N. Adams Street

Gunnison, CO 81230

Phone: (970) 943-0120
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
rolling admission

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
RNP Ranked Not Published.
U.S. News calculated a numerical rank but does not publish it.
National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Western State Colorado University is a public institution that was founded in 1901. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,105, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 350 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Western State Colorado University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, Tier 2. Its in-state tuition and fees are $7,343 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $17,284 (2013-14).

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Established in 1901 in Gunnison, Western State Colorado Univeristy was the first college on Colorado's Western Slope.

Western is a public university offering 22 undergraduate majors in the liberal arts and sciences and professional areas, and two graduate programs. The most popular majors are business administration, exercise and sport science, recreation and outdoor education, art, psychology and environmental studies. Western also is one of the few colleges that offers a professional land and resource management emphasis within the business administration major.

Classes are taught by full-time faculty - not teaching assistants - the majority of who hold the highest degrees in their disciplines. With a student to faculty ratio of 15 to 1, Western's 2,300 students receive individual attention and support for academic success and personal development.

At an altitude of 7,700 feet - the highest elevation among four-year colleges in the country -- Western offers a quality education of value in a postcard setting. The area's diverse ecosystems and geologic formations provide one of the best natural laboratories for experiential learning. Western even has its own mountain, Tenderfoot (aka "W" Mountain as it sports the largest collegiate emblem in the world), which is a world-renowned archaeological site of the country's earliest dwellers. Students spend a great deal of classroom time "in the field" where they conduct research and projects for such organizations as the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Division of Wildlife and National Forest Service. And with more than two million acres of public land surrounding campus, recreational opportunities abound in the Gunnison Valley year-round.

The University offers students a variety of support services, many extra-curricular activities and an NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic program. Opportunities for students include theatre, band and choral groups, performance poetry, student literary and arts magazine, student newspaper, video production, academic and professional societies, club sports and intramurals. Western also is home to the country's only certified collegiate Mountain Rescue Team. In addition, the Wilderness Pursuits program hosts student-led outings and provides instruction to get students out of their comfort zones and explore the amazing area that surrounds them.

Western also is actively engaged in improving environmental awareness and resource efficiency through its campus climate commitment, green building and renovation practices and its student-initiated sustainability grant program and service-learning projects.

General Information

School type public, coed college
Year founded 1901
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting rural
2012 Endowment N/A


When applying to Western State Colorado University, it's important to note the application deadline is rolling. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due June 1. The application fee at Western State Colorado University is $30. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 95.6 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 95.6%
Application deadline rolling
SAT/ACT scores must be received by June 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Western State Colorado University is 15:1, and the school has 56.7 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 61.8 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 15:1
4-year graduation rate 18%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Information not available

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Student Life

Western State Colorado University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,105, with a gender distribution of 60.8 percent male students and 39.2 percent female students. At this school, 37 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 63 percent of students live off campus. Western State Colorado University is part of the NCAA II athletic conference.

Total enrollment 2,301
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity N/A
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority N/A
Collegiate athletic association NCAA II

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Campus Info & Services

Western State Colorado University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. Western State Colorado University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Western State Colorado University, 75 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is not permitted for students of legal age at Western State Colorado University.

Students who have cars on campus 75%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Western State Colorado University, 57.4 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $6,294.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $7,343 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $17,284 (2013-14)
Room and board $8,792 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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