Fort Lewis College Provides Affordable Education, Outdoor Recreation

Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado is a beautiful place to get a great education. If you love the outdoors, the mountains and a slower paced lifestyle, and you want to earn a bachelor’s degree from a fully accredited college at an affordable price, you should check out Fort Lewis College. Known as the “Campus in the Sky,” Fort Lewis College sits high on a mesa above southwest Colorado’s outdoor recreation hot spot and former railroad town, Durango.

Home to approximately 5,000 students, Fort Lewis College offers twenty-five baccalaureate degree programs. The Colorado Commission on Higher Education has awarded five programs at Fort Lewis with the Program of Excellence distinction. No other small school in Colorado earned as many. The programs selected for distinction are anthropology, biology, chemistry, teacher education and the Center of Southwest Studies. Further, Fort Lewis boasts four Colorado Professors of the Year, more than any other in the state.

Fort Lewis prides itself on its diversity. It actually started out as a military fort in 1880 and then went through several incarnations, including being an Indian School, a high school and a two-year college-before becoming the modern four-year college that it is today. Because of this rich history and connection to the culture of southwestern Colorado, Fort Lewis supports a very high Native American population. It was even ranked second in campus diversity by U.S. News and World Report’s 2004 Americas Best Colleges.

Academics and Athletics:

Fort Lewis College’s academic programs are based primarily on a liberal studies curriculum. Currently, all programs are offered only on campus rather than via distance learning format. For a complete listing of the academic program offerings, visit the Fort Lewis College web site (

Fort Lewis is a Division II affiliate in the NCAA. The Skyhawk athletic program includes ten varsity teams including: football, volleyball, golf, softball, men’s and women’s basketball and cross country. Prospective athletes are asked to complete an online form for the athletic department.

Tuition and Housing:

Tuition is reasonable, especially for in-state students. For 2005-06 the projected average cost per academic year, including tuition, books, fees and room and board will be $15,375.50 for in-state residents and $ 23,383.50 for out-of-state students. Also, in accordance with treaties with local tribes that date back to the early 1900’s, Fort Lewis offers full tuition waivers to Native American students. All students are encouraged to apply for any available financial aid.

On-campus housing is available. Students can choose from regular double occupancy dorm rooms, suites or apartment-style options. Costs for each dorm style vary. They can also select a meal plan that fits their preferences. Off-campus housing in Durango is quite expensive and often limited, so the on-campus options are a good bet.

Students have plenty to do while living on campus. There are over fifty student organizations at Fort Lewis, so there is something for everyone. In addition, Fort Lewis has a beautiful new concert hall and a very active theater department.


Admission to Fort Lewis requires high school students to have the following prerequisites:�¯�¿�½

Four years of English
Two or more years of math
Two or more years of science
Two or more years of social science

Assuming all prerequisites are met, students must submit their official transcripts, ACT scores, application and a $30.00 non-refundable application fee. A printable application form is available at the web site or prospective students may complete an online form. Fort Lewis usually responds to admission requests within six weeks. Application deadlines for the fall 2005 semester is August 1 and for the winter semester it is December 1, 2005.


Living in Durango is like living in the middle of one big outdoor recreation center. Residents have access to downhill skiing at Durango Mountian Resort (formerly known as Purgatory), cross-country skiing, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, jeeping, hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling, just to name a few. There are also plenty of cultural attractions in the area including Mesa Verde National Park, art galleries, melodrama productions, and concerts. Durango got its start as a railroad town and it still maintains a railroad system. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is a vintage coal-fired, steam operated train that takes travelers along the same routes traveled by the early miners. Durango is situated in the southwestern part of Colorado and is within driving distance of the some other popular Colorado destinations, including Telluride, Pagosa Springs, Silverton, Four-Courners, and Monument Valley.

People interested in checking out more details about Fort Lewis College should take a visit to Durango and soak in the breath-taking views from the “Campus in the Sky.” For more information contact Fort Lewis College:

Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive
Durango, Colorado
Phone: (970) 247 – 7010

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