Because it’s in Boulder. It’s hard to find a town quite like Boulder with both a top-notch university, a great downtown full of fun bars and quality restaurants, and mountain activities all within walking distance of wherever you may choose to live in town. Here’s a summary.
As academics go, it’s a big state school, meaning you will meet a lot of students where you will be shocked they could graduate middle school, but also many students who are intimidatingly smart. As you get to upper-division (Junior/Senior Level) classes you will notice the class intelligence level goes up as the school tends to fail out many under-achievers early on. All in all the professors and advisors are not there to hold your hand and class sizes will be large, but if you pick classes you’re interested in and seek professors time outside of class (even for small amounts of time) you can get as good of an education as you can anywhere else in the world. Nicely enough classes are not hard to get as long as you plan somewhat ahead.
The sports scene has gone downhill a bit in recent years but people love the football team and it’s fun to go or at least tailgate regardless of whether or not your a football team. Now that Dan Hawkins has been fired they have a chance of returning to their 90’s glory days.
Students will be mostly from Colorado followed closely by California. Once again it is a big state school so you will have a lot of out-of-state students with lots of money who just want to party but also a lot of people paying their own way and working hard to be in school there. You can find people from all walks of life, and coming from anywhere in the world, though walking around you will notice that most people are white.
You will find it hard to beat. The flatirons create an incredible view from all areas of the town and campus both in summer and winter. I’ve always heard that it gets the sunniest days of anywhere in the nation which I’ve never bothered to look up but I would believe it as it rarely seems to stay overcast or rain or snow for days on end (or if it does it at least clears up for parts of the day). Boulder’s hippie/organic influence gives it some of the best food, restaurants, and microbreweries you can find in the country. The town and campus are centered around boulder creek which has Pearl Street to the North and Campus to the South it takes about 10 minutes to walk between the two. If you live around either then most things will be within walking distance.
Just by walking up boulder creek or the flatirons, you can find incredible hiking trails, climbing routes, or bike paths to keep you entertained for years. A car is nice to have for getting up to the mountains but unnecessary for most students as the bus system around town is pretty effective.
If you have a car about 10 of the best ski resorts in the country are within 2 hours and you can get a pass to Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, and Breckenridge for around $600 now I think. Try to arrange your schedule so you have a day or two during the week off so you can go when there are no lines or traffic, the weekends or often too packed to make it worth it.
The local mountain Eldora isn’t the best in Colorado but offers a student pass for around $140. The great part about this is the bus pass you get as a student will get you up there in under an hour. If you catch the morning bus you can make fresh tracks for 3 hours and make it back for afternoon classes.