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Education and Training Options after High School

Four-Year Colleges and Universities

Four-year colleges and universities generally offer programs leading to a bachelor's, masters and/or doctoral degree. In order to gain admission, you must complete, while in high school, the courses required by the Higher Education Admission RequirementsPDF icon. You should also confirm the minimum grade point average and ACT or SAT scores required for admission for each college to which you will apply. They may also require other courses to be completed during high school, in addition to those specified by the Higher Education Admission Requirements.

Use the College Admissions Tool to understand how you can make your dream school a reality.

Four-year colleges and universities may also use an Admissions Eligibility Index to help evaluate which students to admit to the school.

If you have questions regarding how the index relates to a specific institution, please contact that college or ask your high school guidance counselor for an explanation.

Colleges and universities that are not publically funded are called private schools. Private colleges and universities set their own admission standards. Contact those institutions directly for information regarding their specific enrollment policies.

Finally, if you are an athlete, you may also be interested in reviewing the information and requirements for students who wish to participate in varsity sports at a National Collegiate Athletic AssociationNew window icon Division I or II college or university.

Community Colleges and Junior Colleges (two-year schools)

Community colleges and junior colleges (two-year colleges), generally offer programs leading to an associate's degree, and many offer certificate programs as well. Two-year schools range from colleges where most classrooms and academic support services may be located in a single building, to campuses with residence halls, athletic teams and activity and educational buildings. These campuses are sometimes called junior colleges.

Some class credits and/or associate's degrees can transfer to four-year schools and take the place of the requirements for a bachelor's degree. Other classes and degree programs are designed for students who know that their career choice does not require a four-year degree and/or students who wish to move into the workforce more rapidly. Students may also find community college classes a great, nearby alternatives for additional coursework after high school to gain better understanding of basic academic subject matter before enrolling in a four-year college.

Community colleges typically have open enrollment policies, which mean that students applying to these schools do not need to meet the Colorado Higher Education Admission Requirements.

Occupational and Technical Schools

Occupational and technical (sometimes called vocational) schools provide coursework and training for specific careers and trades - everything from acupuncture to veterinary technologists. These programs usually require one to two years of training beyond high school. Each career profile in CollegeInColorado.org will itemize programs and schools that offer occupational and technical opportunities where applicable.

Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship programs allow you to earn while you learn. An apprentice is a paid employee who trains on the job in a skilled career. While there may be some in-classroom learning involved, most of the training is hands-on under the oversight of a skilled worker as the teacher.

Military Options

The United States military offers students options to earn a salary, train for a occupation or profession, get a college education and serve their country all at the same time.

Distance Learning Opportunities

Many colleges and universities offer courses online. As you review college choices, note the availability of courses you could take from home to meet variable scheduling needs.


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