How much is a DU degree worth?

Is a degree from the University of Denver or Colorado College worth more? DU is obviously more well-known, but CC is much higher ranked and much more selective. However, because CC is so small I fear a degree from it might not mean much in a job market.

Where you went to college matters very little for most employers. As someone who has hired employees for 20+ years I rarely judge them based on the college they attended. It’s more about the individual personalities and what they’ve done with their opportunities. Major/Minor is important however. I’ve also never asked a doctor or lawyer I’ve used where they went to college. I do agree with you though that generally “University” carries more weight than “College” and a well known city like Denver will be recognized by employers across the country. Not to mention that DU is a top 100 school in national rankings and CC is considered more of a regional liberal arts school. It is pretty high up among the liberal arts colleges although I doubt many people look at that list.

@LiveWireSoCal thank you so much for your input, it was very helpful! CC is my dream school, but they did not give me much financial aid, whereas DU gave me a huge scholarship (although it was more of a safety school for me). Do you think it would be a better choice to choose DU over CC to save money (I could graduate loan-free from DU or with a 70k loan from CC)—even if it means turning down my dream school? I don’t want to regret it later, but I also don’t want to burden myself with debt early in my career.

@bonjour1 What do you want to study? Have you been to a DU accepted students day? I have a son at DU and have been very impressed with the quality of education. I’m happy to give you any insight. Also, I agree 100% with @LiveWireSoCal.

@bonjour1 Happy to help! If you can go to DU and graduate loan free then it is a NO BRAINER! Do not saddle yourself with debt. My guess is that you will enjoy your time at DU and your 25 year old self will be SO thankful that you don’t have to start your life out with 70k in debt. We had this exact same choice last year with my son. He is at DU and received a significant scholarship as well. He was accepted to some elite institutions with no aid and we chose the “no debt” path and couldn’t be happier. Good luck to you!

@Massmomtothree hi! I am planning on studying environmental science! Do you have any insight as to how that department is? I am not a huge fan of science itself (I would much rather study environmental STUDIES, as my true passion is the environment itself, but I know that science will always have more job prospects!) as I am more of a history/language person, so I am hoping to supplement my interests in those areas by perhaps an extra major or two (or three)!
Would you be able to give insight about your son’s experience in the dorms as well? My family lives in a suburb close enough that I could live at home my first year, saving $5k and not having to deal with dorm bathrooms, cafeteria food, etc.—but I’m scared I won’t make any friends this way/will be lonely living with just my parents and not knowing anyone my age. I also want to become more independent and I know living at home wouldn’t help me in this way—plus, the 30 min commute (more w/ traffic??) would be hectic— especially seeing as I do not yet have my license and would have to have my mother drop me each morning.
Also, when I toured DU, the dorm they showed us (JMac) smelled very musty and not fresh. I’m not sure if this is because it was the oldest dorm or something else, but it bothered my asthma, and I couldn’t imagine living in that dorm all year round! Perhaps it was just a cleaner or pest control that was being used? I would have liked to see the other two dorms to see how the atmosphere/air quality in them compared!
Finally, how is the food at DU? When I toured campus, we were only shown one cafeteria, and I honestly felt nauseous in it (I am a very picky eater and am really sensitive to food that looks or smells “gross” to me), and the floor was sticky, the tables and seats all had crumbs—but it could have just been because I toured over DU’s spring break, so the options were less abundant and most of the staff were on vacation so not maintaining the area as much?
Also, how are the vegetarian/vegan options in the cafeterias? I eat mostly plant based but never meat!

Thank you!

@LiveWireSoCal thank you so much! I was honestly feeling very upset about having to “settle” for DU over other schools, but your comment was really uplifting and inspiring to attend DU, and made me feel much better about this whole situation!

@LiveWireSoCal thank you so much! I was honestly feeling very upset about having to “settle” for DU over other schools, but your comment was really uplifting and inspiring to attend DU, and made me feel much better about this whole s

@bonjour1 I can’t speak directly about the Environmental Science Department, but I can say that DU is definitely a school where you can explore all your interests and definitely have multiple majors/minors across disciplines. The quarter system makes this very manageable. DU also accepts AP credits (different credit amounts for 4s or 5s) so this helps free up the schedule to complete courses for multiple majors/minors. You should go to an admitted student day! There is a big event where you can go to tables for each academic department/major and speak with department heads and professors. It is a great way to engage with the professors in the areas you are interested in. You can also tour all the freshman dorms and learn about the LLCs and clubs on campus they are a great way to meet people.

Regarding housing: my son was in JMac his freshman year and really liked it. He is part of the Pioneer Leadership Program which is housed there, so he did not have a choice. He also has asthma, and it was not worsed by living there. I did buy him an air purifier for his room, but I’m not sure he used it! You should go back and see the other dorms if possible to see if you like them better.

The on-campus food was his least favorite part of DU. My son has celiac and on a gluten-free diet, so his options were very limited. Although the staff was really nice and tried to help him as much as possible, it is typical Sodexo campus fare and it got very monotonous. Lots of vegetarian options were available when I’ve been there. He supplemented by using his microwave in his room and going off campus for meals a couple of times a week. Now, he is off campus and cooks for himself.
Best of luck!

@bonjour1 DU is building new freshman dorms that open in 2020. Hopefully they will have some better food options that go along with it. My son is in Towers and he loves that dorm. The set up is a kitchen and bathroom shared by four students. He has really enjoyed having three roommates instead of just one. Someone is always home and there is always a friend to hang with. The only down side of Towers is that it is on the far end of campus whereas JMAC is centrally located. It takes him about 25 minutes to walk the the other end of campus. As mentioned by @Massmomtothree Sodexo food is not great - my son only used about 20-30 (of 100) of his meals each quarter. He says the ‘late night’ food is the best. They have theme nights (taco Tuesday, wing Wednesday) and a lot of the students go as a social get together. It took him a while to find the best food choices but he has found things he likes although he doesn’t have any dietary issues. He cooks most of his meals in his kitchen and shops at Costco to stock up for the quarter.

It may be tough for you to really immerse in the campus lifestyle if you are not living on campus. If you can afford it then you should definitely give it a shot in order to get the most out of your experience. If it’s not an option then I think joining clubs and/or greek life would help you find a friend group. Keep us posted and good luck!