Colorado University – Boulder, Colorado’s flagship state school, is set in a beautiful location at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and the University prides itself on many unique features and characteristics.

During my visit, both my tour guide and the admissions officer talked about looking for students who have passions and interests they want to pursue at Boulder, and they encourage applicants to make sure those come through in your application.

Boulder has a strong engineering school, with a focus on hands-on, project-based learning (and an especially strong aeronautical engineering program, in part due to their strong affiliation and research with NASA.

Their urban planning department is also well regarded, and it is integrated with sustainability; environmental design is a real strength of the program. And sustainability and environmental awareness can be seen across campus.

In addition, even though Boulder is a state university, 40% of undergraduates hail from outside of Colorado (from 49 different states and many countries). Boulder is a large school (25,000 undergrads), but 80% of classes have 30 students or less, and there are other ways they help to foster smaller communities across campus. One is through living and learning communities, another is through residential academic programs for students interested in specific fields like business, and another is freshman interest groups. They also place a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, which allows students to continue developing their passions and interests on campus.

Buffalo (Buffs) is the school’s mascot, and they are very proud of their Buffalo, who makes an appearance running around the stadium at all home football games. They even have a pool on campus that’s in the shape of a buffalo.

One more appealing aspect of CU –Boulder is the four-year tuition guarantee so that you know exactly what your tuition costs will be throughout your time as a student.