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1000 Rim Drive
Durango, CO 81301-3999
p. 970-247-7010
w. fortlewis.edu/

Fort Lewis College

Fort Lewis College Rating: 5.0/5 (1 votes)

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Fort Lewis College was established in 1911 but its roots go back to to 1878 when the school was originally a fort and then later converted to an Indian boarding school. The property was eventually transferred to the state of Colorado with the provision it be used as an agricultural and mechanics highs school and that Native Americans be admitted without any tuition fees. The high school grew and it switched gears to form the Fort Lewis A&M College. The needs of the community once again shifted and the college responded by changing its name to its current moniker and awarding baccalaureate degrees to its graduates.

Today the school has a liberal arts focus and with its small professor to student ration, it developed a culture of mentoring, which benefits the students with their studies and even employment after graduation.


Undergraduate Studies

More than 35 programs of study are offered to students. The college is a selective liberal arts institution, and has more than 100 majors, minors and certificate programs. Its largest majors are business administration, biology, psychology, art, English, exercise science, education, sociology/human services, history, accounting, adventure education and political science. It has special accreditation for its accounting, athletic training, business administration, Chemistry, economics, engineering, marketing and music programs.

Graduate Studies

The school offers one graduate degree, the Master’s of Arts in Education. Please note, that it does not lead to teacher certification – those needs will need to be addressed in another program. This course prepares future leaders in education and gives them the opportunity to conduct research on their topics of interest and gain a further understanding of the educational system.

Continuing Education

The school has an excellent reputation for providing non-credit courses that are fun and practical — some of which are offered online. Those interested in taking the test for a Commercial Drivers License may do so here but please be advised that they don’t have a class for teaching this topic. There are many subjects that are available though, and community members benefit by learning a new skill or by brushing up on a new one. Some of the more unusual topics include: eBay selling, gardening, guitar, and mushroom identification.

Most Popular Fields of Study


The school ranks applicants on an indexing system that accounts for SAT/ACT scores and high school GPA. Students must meet the Index ranking of 92 to gain admission, which means they have a 2.2 high school GPA and at least a 116-1190 on the SAT or 26 on the ACT. Transfers must have a cumulative GPA of 2.4. Transfers need to have at least two letters of recommendation and a personal essay, while freshman applicants do not although the school recommends they do submit them.

Financial Aid

About two-thirds of the students at Fort Lewis receive merit scholarships and about 90 percent receive some sort of financial aid. Students are eligible for scholarships for all four years if they maintain a 2.5 GPA and take at least 24 credit hours. The President’s Scholarship is for students whose admission index score is 121. It grants students $8,000 for out-of-state tuition and $2,000 for in-state. The Provost’s Scholarship grants students $7,000/$1,500 for index rankings of 110-120. The Dean’s Scholarship grants $6,000/$1,000 for index ranks of 101-10. The Academic Promise Scholarship grants $4,000/$750 for rankings of 92-100.

Transfer students with GPAs of 3.5 and above can receive $2,500/$1,000 scholarships. Students with GPAs of 3.0-3.49 receive $1,500/$500. There are also a series of scholarships for New Mexico residents. Freshman who index at 110 or higher, and transfers with a 3.5 GPA can get the in-state tuition rate — a $12,000 value. There is also a $15,000/$3,000 Native American Tuition Scholarship.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4361st for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Colorado.


More than 3,600 students from 47 states, 122 American Indian tribes and Alaskan villages, and 18 different countries are enrolled here, with about an even split between males and females. About a third of its students are from the Top 25 percent of their high school class.

Popular student hangouts include the Student Life Center and the Student Union. There is a campus newspaper, a campus radio station and a literary magazine. There are two cultural centers on campus — the Native American Center and el Centro de Muchos Colores. All told, there are more than 70 student organizations here.


About 1,300 students live on campus. There are seven residential halls on campus. Freshman are required to live on campus for two academic semesters unless they are married, divorced or a single parent; live with a parent or guardian within a 60-mile radius; have lived in a boarding school previously; had military experience; or are 20 years old or older. The traditional residence halls on campus have floors with several bedrooms and a community-style bathroom with several showers, toilets and sinks. In the suites on campus, there are two bedrooms with a shared bathroom with another bedroom in the suite.

Community Helpers

Students here do not shy away from being active in helping the community and the world. Engineers Without Borders is a program that was established to send students overseas to third world countries and assist in building infrastructures and other projects.

The school also has an art gallery, the Center for Southwest Studies, the Community Concert Hall, and the McPherson Chapel.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


Organized Sports

Fort Lewis College is a Division II school and a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. It has 10 varsity teams. Men’s teams compete in basketball, cross-country, football, golf, soccer. Women compete in basketball, cross-country, soccer, softball and volleyball.

The schools teams are known as the Skyhawks. The Skyhawks football team holds games in the 4,000-seat Ray Dennison Memorial Field. There is also a 1,750-seat soccer field and a 2,750-seat indoor arena. The school has won two national championships in soccer, in 2005 and 2009, and was runner-up in 1999 and 2006. The women’s basketball team was runner-up in 2010.

There is also a cycling team, which won a national championship in 2009-10. The school has the following club sports: baseball, cycling, ice hockey, lacrosse, rugby, skiing, snowboarding, soccer, track & field, and wrestling.

Outdoor Activities

Their outdoor pursuits program is a popular activity. The school has more than $100,000 in climbing equipment, which is used for guided trips, clinics, and the use of a climbing wall. Each year, there is a Thanksgiving backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon, and a spring break trip to rock climb in the desert southwest. In the past, the group has conducted Summit expeditions to Kilimanjaro in Africa, Denali in North America, Aconcagua in South America, and Elbrus in Europe.

Local Community

The school is located in the city of Durango, Colorado, which has a population of about 16,600 people. Durango is located in the Animas River Valley and is surrounded by the San Juan Mountains. The Animas River runs through the downtown area, and top-flight fly fishing takes place in its waters. The city is known for is outdoor recreational opportunities. Besides fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canoeing are popular on the river. The city also has a number of other activities, including hiking, mountain biking, road biking, backpacking, rock climbing, hunting, off-road pursuits and golf.

Skiing is also a popular activity in Durango. There are five major ski areas nearby. They are the Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort. The Mesa Verde National Park is in the area as well. A well-known feature is the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which travels between the two areas. Two popular festivals in the area are the Snowdown Festival at the end of January and the Music in the Mountains summer musical festival, which features the world’s finest classical musicians.

The downtown area is full of retail stores, restaurants, tourist shops, bars and lounges. The area is known for its history and heritage. Art, music and theatre are all popular, including the school’s Community Concert Hall, which hosts performances year-round.


Accreditation for the school is provided by the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Information Summary

Ranks 15th in Colorado and 1231st overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Colorado and 396th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 3 0.08
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson 3 0.08
Burglary 8 0.21
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest 88 2.29

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 119 0.69
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Forcible Rape 41 0.24
Robbery 6 0.03
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 89 0.52
Larceny 627 3.65
Vehicle theft 40 0.23

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Durango, CO 81301-3999
Surrounding communityRemote town (over 35 mi. away from an urban cluster)
Total Population31,754 (15,349 urban / 16,405 rural)
Households12,708 (2.36 people per house)
Median Household Income$40,475
Families7,496 (2.86 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Baccalaureate Colleges — Arts & Sciences
UndergraduateArts & sciences plus professions, no graduate coexistence
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate four-year
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringMaster's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District803

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1093rd for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $5,232 $5,232 $16,072
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,691 $1,691 $1,691
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $218 $218 $670
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $300 $300 $840
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $22,393 $22,393 $33,233
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $21,467 $21,467 $32,307
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $12,583 $12,583 $23,423

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $5,592 $6,462 $5,592 $6,462 $5,592 $17,734
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,680(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board $8,010 $8,310
On-Campus – Other Expenses $3,684(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $8,010 $8,052
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $4,212(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,048 $3,148

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$40
Graduate Application Fee$50
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 2,560 (1,308 male / 1,252 female)
Admitted 2,240 (1,145 male / 1,095 female)
Admission rate 88%
First-time Enrollment 876 (468 male / 408 female)
FT Enrollment 864 (463 male / 401 female)
PT Enrollment 12 (5 male / 7 female)
Total Enrollment4,021

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /  N/A / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demo
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference

ACT Test Admission

668th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 87%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 19 / 25
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 18 / 25
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 20 / 25

SAT Test Admission

628th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 23%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 470 / 570
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 475 / 580
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 945 / 1150

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,534
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$4,270
Board Fee$4,320

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1948th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $63,255 ($67,908 male / $52,407 female)
Number of FT Faculty 161 (79 male / 82 female)
Number of PT Faculty 223
FT Faculty Ratio 0.7 : 1
Total Benefits $3,671,672

Justine Ventimiglia+

Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.

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