University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and the Air Force Academy

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs 

Located up on the hill, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) is home to about 12,400 undergraduate students with 46 bachelor programs, and rankings in Business, Engineering and Nursing. Top programs include Exercise Science, Athletic Training, Engineering Education, Professional Golf Management, Sports Management, Nursing, Homeland Security and Criminal Justice. With a class size on average of 25 students, UCCS is a place where you won’t get lost, but can have the luxury of a larger campus. Division II athletics, intramural sports available to students (including a soccer field on top of a parking lot!)

UCCS is a growing campus. New residential living and revamped rec center filled with an adventure office, a volleyball net over a pool that literally rotates making games quite interesting, a rock wall, equipment and a bike shop are some of the newer buildings in place. Although the campus has traditionally had a higher number of commuters, the university is devoting resources to building a bigger on-campus community. A new Sports Center and Performance Center will be added furthering the opportunities for students in the health sciences and athletic training/physical therapy fields.

Academic Support: Excel centers are throughout campus for student academic support allowing students access to resources, tutors and more. It is fairly guaranteed that you’ll earn at least one grade higher if using one of these centers.

The library offers free pancakes and activities such as coloring, mindfulness activities and playing with puppies during finals. The university has a librarian available for each discipline allowing students to have an expert resource on hand during research projects and papers.

Financial Aid: Colorado Springs is on the Western Undergraduate Exchange, which offers participating out-of-state students (California included) a hefty reduced tuition rate making out-of-state affordable and accessible to students.

Submit the FAFSA and apply for additional scholarships at UCCS financial aid page.

Rolling Admissions, less-selective 

United States Air Force Academy

Colorado Springs is also home to the Air Force Academy. A service-military academy, the Air Force Academy graduates students who will be ready for an officer position. For a full list of pathways within the Air Force click HERE. As a ranked institution, admission into the Academy is selective. Potential candidates seeking admission will need strong scores and coursework in Math and Science in addition to overall strength in high school curriculum. Interested students should reach out to their Admission Liaison Officer in their Junior year to get guidance and begin the process.

Students with leadership experience in extracurricular activities and participation in athletics can be more competitive in the admission process. Every student participates in a sport (whether on the competing varsity teams or not).

Students will work with an academic advisor throughout their time at the academy. All majors have a STEM focus. Students will live on campus all four years and receive a stipend which increases each year.

Candidates will formally accept active-service obligations within their time at the Academy, to read more click HERE.

Student life

  • Structured day (classes, working out, studying, eating together with your squadron, etc.)
  • Ready to serve in the military and graduate with an officer position
  • Heavy STEM degree
  • Do really cool things like shoot off rockets in class or become a pilot
  • Athletics and group participation

Admissions: The Academy receives over 10,000 applications per year for about 1,000 spaces. Of those 1,000 spaces, about 200 are reserved for students coming from the prep school. Admissions is competitive and selective. In addition to the application, prospective students will need to pass a physical fitness test, get a nomination and a letter of recommendation. Tip for the nomination: Apply for the Vice presidential nomination. Go online fill the form and submit. Also, send a letter to nominating district and senators just to put name in hat. If anything comes up and or a candidate declines their nomination, you will be ready. 

Walk through all of the admission steps and process HERE

Get advice on the admission and application process HERE




Published by Casey Barneson

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: