11 Best US Colleges In The Mountains

If you are an aspiring college student who loves the outdoors and seeking an opportunity to get into an outdoor sport while still getting a quality education then you should consider a college in the mountains. This blog post provides a list of the best US colleges in the mountains to help you make a better-informed decision on where to go for college.

So, you’re fresh out of high school or a senior in high school and are already making research for the college to which you would like to apply. That is a good move because the earlier you apply, the better as it increases your chances of getting accepted rather than when you apply late.

While making research on the type of college you want to go to, it is best that you go for options that fit you and suit your personality best. For instance, if you are an introvert, it will not be advisable for you to apply to a party school because such environments do not resonate with your personality. And you may not enjoy your stay there.

Remember, a college education is 4 years, which is a long time, so, take your time in choosing a school that fits into what you want and is shaped around your type of person.

Having said that, this blog post shares information on the best US colleges in the mountain. This is a great option for those who love to be surrounded by nature, those who want an experience of rural life, eccentric and hardheaded people, and those seeking for opportunities to get into an outdoor sport like biking and skiing. Colleges in the mountains have well-developed outdoor programs, so, you have a lot to gain.

Another positive side to colleges in the mountains is their aspect of community engagement and their impact on social mobility and employment. There are over 50 US colleges in the mountains but this blog post highlights only the best ones and sheds light on what makes them stand out from the best.

Before we get into it, I agree that you should have as many college options as possible. In that regard, widen your options with our previous articles on best colleges for B students and colleges with 100% acceptance rate.

Having said that, let’s dive into the main topic.

colleges in the mountains

Best US Colleges In The Mountains

The following are the best colleges in the US that are in mountainous regions:

  • The University of Colorado Boulder
  • The University of Utah
  • The University of North Carolina At Asheville
  • The University of Denver
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Colorado Mesa University
  • The University of Idaho
  • The University of Vermont
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Western Washington University
  • Whitman College

1.     The University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder is not just one of the best US colleges in the mountain but ranks high in other categories as well. US News ranks the university at #97 for best national universities in the United States. There are also other categories where the school ranks such as #30 for best undergraduate engineering programs, #42 in top public national schools, and #10 in aerospace programs.

CU Boulder is a public research university that boasts 5 Nobel laureates, it is also the birthplace of the discovery of catalytic properties of RNA which has become a huge contribution to science and mankind in general. The University offers a wide range of academic programs at undergraduate, postgraduate, and graduate levels as well as other diploma and certificate programs. The acceptance rate is 80% and the in-state tuition is $13,106.

2.     The University of Utah

Here is another reputable university in the US that nestles between mountains and the Great Salt Lake. There are a number of attraction sites around this university and even many more in the state which tend to pull tourists from different parts of the US and from around the continent. Also, Utah is one of the best states for the outdoors, thus, there are a lot of outdoor sports competitions on collegiate, national, and international levels.

The University of Utah is a public research university offering more than 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to domestic and international students. Some of the popular programs at U of U include Exercise Science, Nursing, Biological Science, Economics, and Computer Science. The school ranked #105 out of 443 national universities. Tuition for residents and non-residents is $27,386 and $49,034 respectively. There are available financial aid options for students to apply for.

3.      The University of North Carolina At Asheville

UNC Asheville, as the above-named university is commonly referred to, is a public liberal arts university in the mountains. The school is ranked #8 for top public schools in the national liberal arts colleges category by the US News, it also earns other top spots for best colleges offering business, engineering, and computer science programs.

A minimum high school GPA of 2.5 is required to apply at UNC Asheville or a minimum test score of 19 on the ACT or 1010 on the SAT. The acceptance rate is 82% while tuition for in-state is $21,600 and $40,048 for out-of-state. The tuition covers tuition, fees, housing, dining services for the year, books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses for the year.

4.     The University of Denver

Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is one of the oldest independent private universities in the Rocky Mountain Region of the US. It is a private research university classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – very high research activity”. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered in the fields of medicine and healthcare, social sciences, life sciences, and technology. Dual degree programs are available for students who wish to earn two degrees in a shorter period of time.

The University of Denver is ranked #105 out of 443 National Universities by the US News and ranked #751-800 in QS World University Rankings. The minimum GPA requirement for the University of Denver is 3.72 on a scale of 4.0, the acceptance rate is 63.6%. There are fewer than 6,000 students in total at this university. Undergraduate tuition is $1,535 per credit.

5.     Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University sits a public research university sitting at the base of the San Francisco Peaks. The university is nationally recognized for its high-quality education in the areas of Agriculture & Forestry and Sport Science. You can get into this university from high school with a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a scale of 4.0.

The acceptance rate of NAU is 78.4% and the tuition per year is $11,024. The university offers a wide range of academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Online programs are also offered.

6.     Colorado Mesa University

Colorado Mesa University is one of the leading US colleges in the mountains ranked #12 out of 102 Regional Colleges West. It is a member of the NCAA Division II and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The school team, The Mavericks, holds a strong position in sports with more than 90 conference and regional titles.

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered in varieties of disciplines at Colorado Mesa University. The tuition for in-state student range between $20,222-$27,334 while out-of-state tuition is between $34,923-$42,035 per year. The university is a public research type and has an acceptance rate of 80%.

Colorado Mesa University offers scholarships for first gen students and is also home to one of the cheapest nursing schools in the US for international students.

7.     The University of Idaho

UI Idaho, as the above-named university is commonly referred to, is a public land-grant research university situated in Moscow, Idaho. The school is ranked #176 out of 443 National Universities by the US News. It is a large school with over 100 majors from the associates to doctoral level.

Popular majors at the University of Idaho include psychology, veterinary science, natural resources, and conservation, marketing, business, and management. The acceptance rate is 81% and tuition for Idaho residents if $24,784 while tuition for non-residents is $44,020.

8.     The University of Vermont

Established in 1791, the University of Vermont is one of the oldest universities in the US, ranked #121 out of 443 national universities. The university is also recognized for its College of Medicine and is considered a Public Ivy League school, meaning that it offers degree programs that are on par with Ivy Leagues.

The minimum GPA requirement to get into the University of Vermont is a 2.7 GPA on a scale of 4.0, the acceptance rate is 63.5% and the tuition is $16,280 for Vermont residents and $41,280 for the out-of-state resident. 91% of UVM undergraduate students receive scholarships or financial aid as part of the school’s ongoing commitment to keeping UVM accessible and affordable.

9.     Washington and Lee University

This is one of the best US colleges in the mountains ranked No.11 in Best Colleges for Liberal Arts. It is a nationally ranked private liberal arts citadel of higher learning situated in Lexington, Virginia. This school is small in size and population with a total number of 2,500 students on 430 acres. Its small size is actually one of its hallmarks, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 8 to 1 and fewer than 25 students in nearly all the classes, students get personal attention and guidance from their professors.

As a liberal school, it focuses more on undergraduate education offering 36 majors and 41 minors and programs including business, journalism, computer science, and engineering. The school also houses a top-tier graduate law school which is the only graduate program at the school.

10.  Western Washington University

Western Washington University is one of the top-tier US colleges in the mountains. It was founded in 1886 as a private school for teaching women but would later evolve into a public university offering a wide range of academic degree programs at undergraduate and graduate levels. This college peaks at the 14th position of Best Regional Universities West by US News.

Interested in applying to WWU? Then ensure to meet the entry requirements for the school and your preferred program including possessing a minimum CGPA of 2.0, also, the acceptance rate is on the high side at 96% which should include the college among the list of best colleges with a high acceptance rate. The early acceptance rate is 98%, so there are better chances for you to enter college if you submit an application early.

11.  Whitman College

Whitman College ranks at No.48 for Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the US, and since it is one of the colleges in the mountains then it passes among the best US colleges in the mountains. This is a college that is deeply rooted in traditional liberal arts values like critical thought and academic rigor. It is a private institution accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

There are about 1,500 undergraduate students from 45 states and 38 countries enrolled at Whitman therefore expert a diverse environment when you get there. About 400-420 students are accepted annually from nearly 4,000 applicants, so, admission is highly selective. Meet the entry requirements and apply early to be considered for a seat at Whitman College.

Additional benefits students will gain from attending one of the US colleges in the mountains include lower tuition and living expenses, scenic views, small class sizes, specialized majors and curriculums, and a wide range of outdoor trips and activities.