Colorado College

How would you like to take one class…only one, for three and a half weeks, take four days off and then dive into your next class? How about study Geology in the local Pike’s Peak mountain range? Does diving in deep discussion and experiential learning make you terrified? Or super excited? If you’re super excited, you definitely want to check out Colorado College (CC).

One of the only nationally ranked liberal arts colleges in the Mountain Time Zone, Colorado College is a prime candidate for students seeking adventure, strong academics and learning for the sake of learning. Located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, students can fly into the local airport or into Denver, about an hour away, and take advantage of the largest city closest to nationally protected wildlife. A bike-friendly city, home to the U.S. Olympic training center and a national landmark, the Garden of the Gods gives a wealth of opportunity.

As a liberal arts institution, students at CC will take interdisciplinary coursework in addition to their major courses, walking out with a diverse skill set ready for the ever changing landscape of careers. The unique Block Plan at Colorado College is truly the heart of what makes this institution different. Students will take one course for 3.5 weeks and then take a four and a half day break. The day-to-day will look something like this: Class from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., lunch, some activities, studying, sleep and repeat.

Because the classes are shorter and in-depth students dive into their studying for that one discipline and participate in experiential learning with their professor in a small cohort. Over the four and a half break students can unwind by either posting up with a Netflix binge or go to the outdoor education office and get certified to take a group snowshoeing, skiing or backpacking. Explore National Parks, bike to Aspen, go river-rafting or do a service trip.

Student Life and Opportunities

Students participate in a First Year Experience when they begin at CC that offers support in their transition process (manage studying, student life, the block plan etc.) A majority of students come in undecided and declare a major by the end of their Sophomore year. 81% of students study abroad and taking courses in an off-campus Cabin retreat, abroad or in a local mountain range is not uncommon.

Field study is important to add context to what you learning in the classroom. Here are a few examples:

  • Study Geology in the Rocky Mountains
  • Film in Hollywood, California
  • Take a Block Abroad such as sailing in Greece or an Art History class in Rome
  • Take an adjunct class for fun and to enhance your learning such as Conversational Spanish or Embroidering

Students have the opportunity to apply for a Venture Grant. Propose your idea for extended research or an exploration project and if chosen, the university will fund your idea.

Sacred Grounds is a space within CC’s nondenominational church for students and clubs to hold events such as Ted Talk discussions, speak-easy’s and story slams.


Strong sciences within the liberal arts roots, humanities, music, etc. For a full list of majors and academic departments, click HERE.


Colorado College completes a holistic review of its applicants and takes a look at the following components:

  • Not just the GPA, but performance in high school, core academic courses within the context of school, how you have challenged yourself within core coursework
  • Testing. Flex testing where you can combine SAT, ACT, AP and/or Subject tests to show your top scores
  • Essays, Example: Design your own block class
  • Optional interview

Colorado College is a selective institution receiving applications from around the world of highly capable students. It is important to see who is actually interested in coming and is excited about the education and block plan CC. Do your research, help explain why you would be a good fit and why CC is a good fit for you.

Admission Numbers: Go directly to CC’s admission website for the most up-to-date figures

  • Early Decision acceptance rate: 33%
  • Early Action acceptance rate: 18%
  • Regular Decision acceptance rate: 5%
  • Receives over 8,000 applications and will enroll about 550 students

Financial Aid CC meets 100% of demonstrated need, complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile

Summer Programs for High School Students

CC offers summer pre-college programs and an opportunity for students to take a condensed block course with college students. Access all information HERE.






Published by Casey Barneson

Author of The College Wellness Guide. Beverly Hills High School College Counselor.

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