By Alan Gionet

DENVER (CBS4)– “Meet Rujan!” proclaimed a tweet from Rangeview High School. “Rujan is a Daniel’s Fund Scholar, and he has been accepted into UCD’s BS-MD Program, which guarantees acceptance into UCD’s Medical School!”

High schools in Colorado are proud of their graduates signing up for college. Rangeview High went big with photos and some stories like Rujan’s. The excitement of the day, meant mascots from colleges around Colorado even showed up in in the CBS4 studios.

Decision Day means tens of thousands of students are deciding on their colleges.

“It’s imperative that they get some kind of a credential,” said Colorado Department of Higher Education Executive Director Dr. Angie Paccione on CBS4 This Morning. “It can be a two year associate’s degree, it can be a four year bachelor’s degree, it can even be certificates in certain areas of expertise.”

CBS4’s Alan Gionet interviews Colorado Department of Higher Education Executive Director Dr. Angie Paccione (credit: CBS)

Paccione highlighted some of the biggest reasons to get a degree or even a certificate. Nearly 75% of jobs in Colorado require some form of postsecondary education. That means Colorado has one of the greatest demands for college-educated adults in the nation. The Colorado Workforce Development Council shows that 97% of Colorado high-growth, in-demand jobs that pay a living wage require education or training beyond high school. Today, only 56.9% of Coloradans hold post high-school credentials.

University of Colorado Boulder (credit: CBS)

The state is trying to make it easy.

“There’s tons of scholarships available and financial aid available and you don’t have to take out huge loans to get those credentials,” said Paccioone.

She talked about filling out the the FAFSA form, which can be intimidating for many people. In Colorado only 48% of high school students fill it out. But there’s no need to be afraid. Many schools offer help in filling it out.

And Paccione brought up college level instruction in high school.

“High school students can actually start that process early. They can start that process in high school with concurrent enrollment. So they can be enrolled in high school and be enrolled in a community college, a four year college… there are some students who graduate from high school and get an associate’s degree the next weekend.”

University of Northern Colorado (credit:

Colorado State University in Fort Collins (credit: CBS)

That means college level education for free from your public high school.

LINK: Colorado Department of Higher Education

Alan Gionet


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