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HappyTreezHope that helps.
HappyTreezI went to Western after having gone to CU and can offer insight on both. Spent a couple years at CU and enjoyed it a lot, but had to quit going because I lost a parent and couldn't balance skiing, school, partying and a job. I am stoked that I had my initial college experience there and glad am glad that I didn't go anywhere else. That being said, I was able to maintain a decent GPA there and ski maybe 30 days a year, party a couple days a week and have a job.
After moving home to Crested Butte I was able to ski 100 days a year, work a nearly full time job at a ski shop and take 12-15 credit hours per semester at Western by only doing tuesday thursday classes. Finished my 2nd half of college at WSCU on the Dean's List in two and a half years with degrees in Business Administration and Recreation & Outdoor Education. As far as academics go I would say the weight of a degree from CU is slightly heavier, but WSCU's reputation has increased a lot in the last several years and they have several programs with extremely high job placement rates in their respective industries, i.e. Land and Resource Management, Outdoor Education, Hospitality and more.
I learned a valuable lesson having gone to both, and that is college is what you make of it, and while I would have loved to graduate from CU, I am very appreciative of my time at Western and learned a lot more there than I ever did at CU. At Western you get to know all of your professors personally and it is easy to approach them with issues or questions, not so much so at CU. And they still have some pretty damn fun parties, but definitely not on the level of CU parties.
Also Crested Butte has way better terrain than Summit County, way less crowds, is only 35 minutes from Gunnison, and a pretty decent park (but not on the level of Breck and Key's). If you come from a city, you will probably start to feel very isolated in Gunnison so it definitely takes a certain type to enjoy it there. Hope that helps.