Colorado’s largest
higher education system

Facts & Figures

CCCS Statutory Mission

  • Open Access – We admit anyone who wants to attend college and re-imagine a more prosperous future. Our colleges are “student-ready” – providing support services and pathways for all types of learners to earn a credential, degree, or transfer to a four year college. CCCS is the largest system of higher education in the state, serving approximately 121,000 students in academic year 2019.
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) – In 2019, approximately 23,400 CTE certificates and degrees were awarded to post-secondary students at our 13 colleges and 2,560 to secondary students. 37,000 post-secondary students were enrolled in CTE programs at our colleges. The total number of secondary students enrolled in high school CTE programs was approximately 146,000.
  • Transfer – Over the course of a year concluding in Fall 2019, 19,000 of our students transferred to public and private four-year colleges and universities.
  • Workforce Development – As of academic year 2019, over 450 customized trainings for 4,000 new and incumbent workers were implemented. Community colleges train more than half of the state’s nurses and more than 90% of the first responders.
  • Concurrent Enrollment – In 2018-19, CCCS colleges served 30,000 high school students in undergraduate courses, creating pathways from high school into higher education. A total of 2,560 college credentials were awarded to concurrent enrollment students in high school in academic year 2019. We saved students and their families $35 million through this program in 2018-19.
  • Bachelor's Degrees – CCCS colleges offer Bachelor's degrees in a growing number of specific disciplines designed to enhance graduates’ employment opportunities.
    Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS)
    • Dental Hygiene
    • Emergency Service Administration
    • Radiologic Technology
    • Water Quality Management
    • Geospatial Science
    • Secure Software Development
    • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Advanced Paramedic Practitioner
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Master’s Degree – Red Rocks Community College is the only community college in the United States to offer a master’s degree in its Physician Assistant Program.

137,000 students statewide

CCCS Student Information

  • CCCS serves nearly 120,000 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 137,000 students.
  • CCCS full-time-equivalent student enrollment was 49,862 in FY 2016-17. Community colleges educated 33.8% of the resident undergraduate FTE in public institutions in Colorado in 2016-17.
  • We serve 48% of all undergraduate Students of Color in higher education in Colorado.
  • Across the CCCS: 37% of our students are Students of Color; 55% of our students are female; and, 61% of our students are under 25 years old.
  • Colorado residents are 94% of our student-FTE.
  • The State Student Advisory Council (SSAC) is comprised of students elected by each of the established student governments from across the Colorado Community College System and is charged with advising the State Board of Community Colleges and Occupational Education on matters of interest and concern to all CCCS students.

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 13.5% annual rate of return on their investment in CCCS after adjusting for inflation.


Resident tuition at Community Colleges is $4,337 annually for a full-time student.

Average annual in-state tuition and fees at CCCS colleges is $3,978
compared to $9,482 at Colorado public universities*


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*2018 tuition and fees as calculated by

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 2016-17 $3,271 per resident FTE level for state funds represents a $192 (or 5.6%) reduction per resident FTE.

State General Funds FY 2017-18 Final Revenue FY 2018-19 Final Revenue
Colorado Technical Act $26,164,481 $26,675,279
Industry Training (CJT/EIT) $4,500,000 $4,500,000
Career and Technical Education (Occed) $900,000 $900,000
Fee for Service Contract $52,506,315 $58,678,717
COF Stipend $101,202,900 $113,393,329
Other Revenue Sources FY 2017-18 Final Revenue FY 2018-19 Final Revenue
Carl Perkins Grant (Federal $) $16,279,540 $18,865,919
Tuition $273,007,134 $276,725,856
Mandatory Student Fees $19,358,333 $19,512,976
Amendment 50 $8,843,987 $10,904,253
TOTAL $502,762,690 $530,156,329
*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 $8.8 million from Amendment 50 gaming funds in FY 2017-18.

Financial Aid

  • Community College Students received $276.5 million in state and federal financial aid in FY 2016-17.
  • State financial aid totaled $46.6 million, while federal financial aid comprised $208.8 million in FY 2016-17.
  • 49% of our students receive federal financial aid.
  • The average aid award in FY 2016-17 was $6,094.
  • The Community Colleges of Colorado have the highest share (37%) of the state’s higher education students eligible for “Pell Grant” federal financial aid.

CCCS Facts & Figures


CCCS Factsheet