Colorado has embraced online education across a wide range of grade levels, with comprehensive learning programs accommodating students in grades K-12 all the way through college. Some of the earliest online education legislation includes the 1996 Technology Learning Grant and Revolving Loan Program by the General Assembly, which defines distance learning initiatives and proposes a fund distribution process. Dozens of online schools have received authorization from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), including multi-district, single district, and charter schools. According to the CDE, over 16,000 Colorado students take public school courses online. And interest in online education options is certainly rising. Between 2003 and 2011, online elementary enrollment rose by 172%, middle school enrollment increased by 347%, and high school enrolment grew by 904%.
High enrollment rates also characterize the overall higher education landscape in Colorado — public four-year colleges and universities saw a 23.6% increase between 2006 and 2011. Still, the state’s college students are bearing the brunt of rising tuition costs. During the same period, tuition rates at four-year public institutions rose by 64.5% and state education appropriations fell by 6.1%.
Learn more about Colorado’s best online degree programs and courses by using the search tool. You can also see how this state’s higher education environment compares to national averages by taking a look at the state facts tab below.