Colorado Community College System Fact Sheet

Colorado Community College System: Colorado’s largest higher education system
Nancy J. McCallin, Ph.D., President

CCCS Statutory Mission:

  • Open Access – We admit anyone who wants to go to college and is college-ready. CCCS is the largest system of higher education in the state, serving approximately 138,000 students in academic year 2016.
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) – In 2016, approximately 11,560 CTE certificates and degrees were awarded to postsecondary students at our 13 colleges.  21,675 postsecondary students were enrolled in CTE programs at our colleges. The total number of secondary students enrolled in high school CTE programs was approximately 100,500.
  • Transfer – Over the course of a year concluding in Fall 2015, 11,049 of our students transferred to public and private four-year colleges and universities.
  • Workforce Development – As of academic year 2016, nearly 169,000 Colorado workers have been trained through our programs. Community colleges train more than half of the state’s nurses and more than 90% of the first responders.
  • Concurrent Enrollment – In 2016 CCCS colleges served 22,117 high school students in undergraduate courses, creating pathways from high school into higher education. This is an increase of 54.1% over the last 5 years.
  • Remedial Education/Basic Skills – Community colleges provide remedial education services for students who lack the skills to do college-level work. In 2014-15, the Colorado Community College System served 24,370 students with one or more remedial courses, 18% of the overall CCCS headcount. Of these students, 42% were less than 21 years old, and 64% were older students.

CCCS Student Information:

  • CCCS serves nearly 121,000 undergraduate students through 13 colleges. In addition, we train more than 17,000 Coloradans each year through various other programs, making us the largest higher education system in the state, with approximately 138,000 students.
  • CCCS full-time-equivalent student enrollment was 50,246 in FY 2015-16. Community colleges educated 34.1% of the resident undergraduate FTE in public institutions in Colorado in 2015-16.
  • We serve 48% of all minority undergraduate students in higher education in Colorado.
  • Across the CCCS: 35% of our students are minorities; 55% of our students are female; and, 59% of our students are under 25 years old.
  • Colorado residents produce 94% of our student-FTE.

Value Of Our Degrees/Increased Earnings

CCCS colleges provide individuals with the skills enhancement they need to gain higher wages. On average, our associate’s degree graduates at career midpoint earn 35%more than workers with just a high school diploma. By degree, the greatest increase, 55.5%, is experienced by students who earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree.

Health Science Degrees Propel Student Earnings Even Higher

Many of the degrees conferred by CCCS are in the Health Sciences cluster, where students had a 97% increase in earnings. Dental hygienists had the largest increase in wages – 230%. Health Sciences graduates receive 40% of the degrees and certificates awarded by CCCS.

Economic Impact:

The economic impact of the CCCS is $5.8 billion annually, which is roughly equal to the creation of 98,100 jobs. Students receive an average annual rate of return of 14.8% per year, after adjusting for inflation, from their investments in their education at one of our 13 colleges. For every $1.00 a student invests at our colleges, they receive $4.30 more in lifetime earnings. State and local governments receive a rate of return on their investment in CCCS of 13.5% per year after adjusting for inflation.


Resident tuition at Community Colleges is $4,107 annually for a full-time student.

CCCS Funding:

The past decade has challenged CCCS with unprecedented enrollment growth, cuts in state funding, and the loss of federal stimulus funds.

The historical peak funding level for CCCS was $3,463 per resident student FTE in FY 2000-01. The FY 2016-07 $3,271 per resident FTE level for state funds represents a $192 (or 5.6%) reduction per resident FTE

State General Funds FY 2015-16 Final Revenue FY2016-17  Long Bill Appropriations
Colorado Technical Act $25,639,363* $26,164,481
Industry Training (CJT/EIT) $4,500,000 $4,500,000
Career and Technical Education (Occed) $900,000 $900,000
Fee for Service Contract $52,127,247 $52,581,320
COF Stipend $101,127,895 $101,127,895
Other Revenue Sources FY 2015-16 Final Estimated Revenue FY2016-17 Long Bill Appropriations
Carl Perkins Grant (Federal $) $16,167,237 $16,279,540
Tuition $261,592,091 $275,273,064
Academic Fees/Academic Facility Fees $19,387,093 $20,514,964
Amendment 50 $8,255,091 $8,400,000
TOTAL $489,696,017 $505,741,264

*Note These funds are passed on to the K-12 school district and are not included in the CCCS total funding line.

Amendment 50 Gaming Funds And Community College Student Funding:

The Colorado Community College System received $8.2 million from Amendment 50 gaming funds in FY 2016-17.

Financial Aid

  • Community College Students received $273.9 million in state and federal financial aid in FY 2015-16
  • State financial aid totaled $47.6 million, while federal financial aid comprised $226.3 million in FY 2015-16.
  • Nearly 55% of our students qualify for federal financial aid.
  • The Community Colleges of Colorado have the highest share (38 percent) of the state’s higher education
    students eligible for “Pell Grant” federal financial aid.

CCCS Colleges:

Arapahoe Community College – Dr. Diana Doyle, President
Colorado Northwestern Community College – Ronald Granger, President
Community College Of Aurora – Dr. Betsy Oudenhoven, President
Community College Of Denver – Dr. Everette Freeman, President
Front Range Community College – Andy Dorsey, President
Lamar Community College – Dr. Linda Lujan, President
Morgan Community College – Dr. Curt Freed, President
Northeastern Junior College – Jay Lee, President
Otero Junior College – Jim Rizzuto, President
Pikes Peak Community College – Dr. Lance Bolton, President
Pueblo Community College – Dr. Patricia Erjavec, President
Red Rocks Community College – Dr. Michele Haney, President
Trinidad State Junior College – Dr. Carmen Simone, President