About Western State Colorado University

Founded in 1901, Western State Colorado University. is a Public college. Located in Colorado, which is a city setting in Colorado, the campus itself is Town. The campus is home to 2,498 full time undergraduate students, and 410 full time graduate students.

The Western State Colorado University Academic calendar runs on a Semester basis. In the school year the student to faculty ratio was 19:1. There are 120 full time instructional teachers. Degrees awarded at Western State Colorado University include: Bachelor's Degree, Masters Degree, Post-master's certificate, Doctor's degree.

Quick Facts

Acceptance Rate91%
Application Deadline
Application Fee30
SAT Range890-1120
ACT Range19-25

Admissions at WSC are considered Less Selective, with ,23% of all applicants being admitted.

In the school year, of the students who applied to the school, only 21 of those who were admitted eventually ended up enrolling.

56% of incoming freshmen are in the top half of their high school class. 27% were in the top quarter, and 9% were in the top tenth. You can apply online.


We asked, and students answered these important questions about student life at Western State Colorado University.

Western State Colorado University REVIEWS

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  • How would you rate on-campus housing?

    47 Students rated on-campus housing 3.8 stars. 17 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate off-campus housing?

    38 Students rated off-campus housing 3.7 stars. 0 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus food?

    49 Students rated campus food 2.4 stars. 6 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus facilities?

    51 Students rated campus facilities 4.1 stars. 37 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate class size?

    51 Students rated class size 4.8 stars. 80 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate school activities?

    51 Students rated school activities 4 stars. 45 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate local services?

    51 Students rated local services 4.1 stars. 49 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate academics?

    51 Students rated academics 4.4 stars. 59 % gave the school a 5.0.

What's your overall opinion of Western State Colorado University?

16 Students rated Western State Colorado University

Amelia - 01/14/2023

I absolutely love this University and I love that Crested Butte Ski is 30 mins away from campus. The professors are easily accessible and the academics are really good. Another nice thing about this University is how small the class sizes are, which shows that the professors are able to help each student and their needs better.

Davis - 02/10/2022

Western State Colorado University has a very diverse student population, which is beneficial for classes and pretty much all aspects of college. The professors are very professional and good at teaching their respective fields. The on campus housing is about normal for a college, not great and not terrible. The on campus food, however, is pretty much all terrible. Meal plans are required and only work for the on campus dineries and the food is really poorly made and there is only two places to dine on campus. The on campus food provided by the school is probably the worst thing about the college. The best thing is the school location in the heart of the mountains with an incredible view. Overall, I'd say this school is about 3 stars out of 5, with lots of room to improve.

Abby - 02/10/2020

If you want a small school experience with a private education value, Western is you spot!! I can't rave enough about how amazing the faculty and staff are. Classes are usually never larger than 18 people and professors know more than just your name. If you work on investing yourself, there is no length to what these professors will go to to get you to that graduation stage. Very unique majors offered in undergrad and grad degrees. Small mountain town that is far away from big amenities but if you like small town charm, Gunnison is the perfect place for you! That being said, housing is a bit scarce. Finding affordable and decently modern off-campus housing is rare. On-campus housing is just as bad. Very old and out of date. One of the halls just flooded and ruined a lot of students textbooks and computers and the school gave each student $100. GET RENTERS INSURANCE FOR YOUR DORMS IT IS $12/MONTH!!!!!!!

J.R - 06/09/2019

Western State Colorado University has certainly grown over the last couple of years, but there is still room for improvement. Most of the teachers are great, staff are mostly friendly, and the learning environment can be incredibly frustrating at times. The On-Campus Housing needs some serious improvement, except for Pinnacles Apartments. All the other On-Campus Housing needs renovation. The On-Campus Food Service is okay, for the most part. Financial Aid is perhaps the worst part in the entire college, expect little-to-no help from the Financial Counselors, especially if you are an out-of-state student. Although, there are many clubs to participate in, and definitely a lot more hands-on learning experience than any other college I've been to.

Western State Colorado University FAQS

  1. What is the Acceptance Rate at Western State Colorado University?

    The fall 2020 acceptance rate for Western State Colorado University is 91%. That means, out of _____ applications received in 2020 , _____ students were offered admission. The number of males who applied was _____ vs the number of females which was _____.

  2. What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

    Be ready to have the time of your life. Every opportunity will bring you closer to finding out your true passions in life and will help you grow up. Accept the hardships, for every one is a learning experience; hold true to your ideals, because deep down, you know what they are. Never be afraid to dream. "Love all, trust few, and do wrong to no one" as Shakespeare once said. Don't be afraid to try new things or listen to people's ideals, for they may be saying what you were thinking all along. Take initiative, take risks, and love life. Find the joy in the small things and embrace your youth. Overall, just love life and live it the best way you know how. You will not fail if you believe in yourself.

    Read all  44 answers
  3. Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

    My school is a culturally diverse institution of learning.

    Read all  9 answers
  4. What kind of person should not attend this school?

    Western State College of Colorado has a very small population and is located in a remote community in the Rocky Mountains. We experience some of the coldest temperatures and receive quite a bit of snow. This is not a school for someone who needs the social scene and amenities of a city, or cannot adjust to multiple feet of snow and -40 degree temperatures.

    Read all  9 answers
  5. Describe the students at your school.

    My classmates are outgoing and fun, they love spending time out doors but are very dedicated to their schooling. People at WSCU love having fun throwing parties and having fun.

    Read all  8 answers
  6. What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

    The most fructrating thing about western is the lack of varity of class offered during a semester.

    Read all  8 answers
  7. What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

    There is so much that I brag about to my friends but mostly that I can really have fun at this college and do a lot of activities that I have never done before that I can now, like going snowboarding, ice sledding, cliff jumping, hiking, ect. I feel that I can be myself more at Western than I ever have before and I like that. I can dress anyway I want to and I really don't care what people think plus I learn so much new stuff in classes I love it.

    Read all  8 answers
  8. What's unique about your campus?

    The best thing that i consider about western state, is that the school is really inviting! Once i arrived here, i was greeted by many of my fellow students and fit right in, not only was i welcomed in to the college family it was more. Nothing i could ever imagin ,or have dreamed of, the school was amazing, everything fit together just like a puzzle. The school its self is very clean and inviting which allows a well developed learning enviorment!

    Read all  8 answers
  9. Describe your favorite campus traditions.

    The recreational opportunities that surround the campus: fishing, biking, climbing, rafting, boating, skiing, hiking and camping. Western State has an amazing recreation program, and business program. This is one of the best places to live, learn and play while growing up.

    Read all  8 answers
  10. Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

    The proximaty to an active archeological dig, the geologic diversity in the surrounding area. The access to BLM land for hiking, biking and camping. There is such a wide array of things for the student to do in and around Gunnison that create a unique college experience.

    Read all  7 answers
  11. What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

    I wish I would have known what it was like being away from my friends and family for the first time. It was hard adjusting being on my own. Being on the basketball team helped. I wish I had a better idea about eating more healthy before I got to college. Putting on weight was an issue for me at first. I have since adjusted with a better diet and food choices.

    Read all  6 answers
  12. What kind of person should attend this school?

    Someone who is very driven, enjoys small communities, and the outdoors. Anyone who is ready to have hands-on learning experiences and is willing to embrace the cold temperatures for an awesome educational experience. Western State is an amazing college, however, one must be willing to be open to new ideas in order to fully experience the nature of the place. Also, if you're a risk-taker, than Western is definitely the place for you. So many risks and adventures await you, if you only choose to accept the challenge.

    Read all  6 answers
  13. What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

    I can't really think of anything. I love Western. But I guess if you aren't social it can be a bit trying, and boring.

    Read all  5 answers
  14. What is the stereotype of students at your school?

    Western was given the name "Wasted State" by Rolling Stone Magazine back in the 1980s.

    Read all  1 answers
  15. What is your overall opinion of this school?

    Western is a small Liberal Arts College that is found in small rural town in the middle of the Colorado Mountains. The administration is usually very approachable and helpful to students. The school has around 2500 students and the population of the Town of Gunnison seems to double when school is in session. The school is heavily focused on outdoor, in particular wilderness, activities and studies. As such some of the most popular majors are Recreation and Outdoor Leadership, Environmental Studies and the Natural Sciences that includes very strong Biology, Chemistry and Geology Departments. It also has a growing education program that now has a Masters program associated with it. Being in a small rural town that is located 30 miles from a ski town and 60 miles from the next nearest town of any real size. You will find plenty of opportunities to go hiking, skiing, camping, climbing, biking and kayaking in your free time but don’t expect much in the way of paid entertainment or a strong nightlife that you would find in the city. If your going to survive here you need to be able to find entertainment yourself and you need to be able to handle cold high elevation mountain winters (it’s -17degF tonight with a high of 2degF yesterday and that’s not unusual).

    Read all  1 answers
  16. What are the most popular student activities/groups?

    When Rolling Stone coined Western’s nickname the school had lots of Greek societies, and judging from the yearbooks (which have long since stopped being published) a lot of school spirit revolving around sporting events—our biggest rival was Adams State and our gymnasium was known as “The Zoo”. The School also had a bar in the student union and the annual Spring Fest that was held on school grounds and was fueled by Semi-trucks full of beer (not any longer). Since then the school has drastically changed. The mindset of Western students seem to be individualistic in socially identifying themselves as such Western has no social sororities or fraternities and the only Greek letters you will find are those that are attached to academic honor societies or those found on some of the benches that Kapa-Delta-Mu once erected around campus before they vanished. Students’ attendance and school spirit at sporting events like basketball and football is low. In fact the most attendance the football team ever sees is at homecoming—when all the alumni from the old days come back—and parents weekend—when the parents drag their students to see the game. The school has twice over built a new student Union and the original log cabin student union building has been moved a crossed town and now serves as the local cowboy bar. The most followed school sports now involve skiing and cross-country running. This is because of the large amount of students that are involved in these activities (aggressive recruiting from the coach) and the friends of the athletes that come to cheer them on. As stated before the school revolves heavily around outdoor activities and the most popular clubs reflect that. Western’s most popular clubs include Swing Dance Club, a Rodeo Club and an Adventure Racing Club. Western is unique in that it was the first College with a certified Mountain Search and Rescue Team that is run by students and is open to all. This group trains at least twice a week and is often called out to find lost/injured hunters, hikers and backcountry snow enthusiast as well as rescue injured climbers including those found in the near-by Black Canyon National Park. Western also has its own student run outfitting and guiding store—Wilderness Pursuits. As a student for very low prices you can rent the gear needed for any number of trips or take a class or guided trip in a variety of wilderness activities (climbing, hiking, camping, kayaking, skiing, Avalanche training, etc). The classes are offered at various levels of skill and range in time from an hour-long class to a 2-week long trip over a break. Big annual events include Homecoming Weekend when there’s a bonfire and the College Rescue Team lights the “W” on the side of Tenderfoot Mountain on fire. The school also has Spring Fest with bands lots of events and activities around April and May. The program council also brings in entertainment such as speakers, comedians, hypnotist and bands in one to two times a month More frequent are events that revolve around educational lectures and seminars or forums focusing on issues affecting the local community. These often are issues regarding land uses and/or protection of wildlife and wildlife habitat. As stated before the school has honor societies, which occasionally host events often attend regional gatherings. Dorm life at Western is relaxed some floors are themed like the Science Floor, the Art Floor and the Outdoor Floor but most aren’t and students in the dorms often keep their doors open to talk to others when they are around. Western is still known for being a party school and the name “Wasted State” still fits. You can find a party somewhere around here almost every night but since there are no fraternities the general rule is if bring something to drink your in. There's no elitism around here.

    Read all  1 answers
  17. What are the academics like at your school?

    Professors at Western work directly with the students and actually teach the class. There are very few teacher assistants at Western. Because of this and the small class sizes professors and students generally know each other on a first name basis and professors seem to be genuinely interested in the studies success. Students and professors often see each other at banquettes and education/informative events hosted at the school and because of the towns size it is unusual if you don’t run into a professor around town. As for how often a students study that depends greatly on the major. In my experience the Science Majors are at one end of the spectrum and study a lot. They are often found working late nights in the science hall or the library. The Recreation Majors are at the other end of the spectrum and study very little. They often found playing (as school work or not) and partying late at night. As an example the running joke, largely but not exclusively circulated by science majors, about the “Rec majors” is “how many Rec Majors does it take to screw in a light bulb?” The answer is “3 but they get 5 credits for it.” As a whole the education at Western is good. Speaking as a Science major the school works with a lot of other agencies and a smart student would be wise to take full advantage of this in order to make job connections or advance into Graduate programs.

    Read all  1 answers
  18. Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

    Yes, The school is very different now than it was then but the description, much to the dismay of the administration and many of the students in the music or education programs that it doesn’t apply to as much, it still fits the majority of the student body. The largest major at the school is the Outdoor Recreation Program. This program is centered on outdoor activities and draws people that would like to be outdoor guides and/or work at ski resorts or in park and recreation districts. The school is also near 2 ski resorts and because of that and its willingness to except just about anyone it attracts lots of students more interested in partying, or being ski bums and rock jocks than studying. The attitude that is involved with these types of students and the lack big city or university activities that some need to keep them entertained means that around half of the freshman class doesn’t come back after the fall semester.

    Read all  1 answers

Student Body







Total Undergrad Enrollment


Total Grad Students









Student Organizations







On-Campus Housing


of students living on campus

Student Diversity

% American Indian/Alaskan Native
% Asian/Pacific Islander
% Black or African-American
% Hispanic/Latino
% White or Caucasian


All students must apply yearly for financial aid. This process starts with the FAFSA. Though financial aid deadlines vary by school, it is a good idea to apply as soon as possible. For the upcoming school year, you can apply as early as October 1 for the FAFSA. Additional school aid will be dependent on the FAFSA results.

90% of students attending Western State Colorado University receive some sort of financial aid. 26% were awarded federal grants. While 52% received federal loans. Many students do also need to apply for additional private student loans.

Cost Out of State


Tuition and fees(Out of state)


Books and Supplies


Room and Board


Total On Campus

Actual Cost By Income Level(W/Financial Aid)

Family Income
$0 - $30K
$30 - $48K
$48 - $75K
$75 - $110K
$110K & UP

We use student reviews and the most current publicly available data on our school pages. As such, we don't typically remove or edit college information. Sources for school statistics and data include the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Portions of college data include copyrighted material, which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. © 2009-2016 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.


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