April 12  |  Our Communities

Why You Should Stay in Fort Collins After Graduation

Colorado State University is something to be proud of—whether you’re a resident of Fort Collins, a CSU student or both. And the university’s hometown offers the perfect, blended setting for innovation, education and recreation no matter what stage of life you find yourself in.

For recent graduates that promising and supportive environment can be both intimidating and wildly exciting. Will you work in health, real estate, craft beer, hospitality, tech? Will you start your own business? The possibilities are endless in Fort Collins.

But if you need a little more convincing, keep reading.



1. It really is one of the best places to live.

why you should stay in Fort Collins Colorado after graduation

Fort Collins is consistently named in research and on rankings of the best places to live in the United States. In addition to being named on Niche’s list of The Best College Towns in America, it also ranked fourth on Top 5 Cities for Recent College Graduates in the U.S. and third on College Ranker’s The 50 Best College Towns to Live in Forever.


2. It’s growing.

Fort Collins has been a thriving Colorado city for decades, but recent years have shown even more growth in every sector: housing, development, food and drink, tech, and more. Students who graduated and relocated just a few years ago have completely missed the reinvigorated River District and The Exchange in downtown Fort Collins. Can you imagine never having tasted a Ginger and Baker pot pie or FoCo DoCo donut?


3. There are a variety of industries.

why you should stay in Fort Collins Colorado after graduation

From high-tech business campuses to thriving locally owned businesses, Fort Collins boasts an impressive diversity when it comes to employment opportunities. According to the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce, the city’s largest employers include Colorado State University, Anheuser Busch, Banner Health, Hewlett-Packard, Noosa and The Group, Inc. (that’s us!). Altogether, this list represents our booming beer industry, the tech industry, real estate, health and food.


4. Entrepreneurs are welcome.

why you should stay in Fort Collins Colorado after graduation

One of the many reasons that explains Fort Collins’ wide variety of industries and steady growth is our community’s support and success of local entrepreneurs. In fact, WalletHub named Colorado in their list, 2019’s Most & Least Innovative States, and 24/7 Wall St. ranked the Fort Collins Metro Area on America’s Most Innovative Cities based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Students who are still in school, we recommend checking out the Colorado State University Institute for Entrepreneurship.

And if you need some entrepreneurial inspiration, check out our exclusive interview with one of the city’s most beloved local businesses, Meet the Team Behind The Welsh Rabbit in Fort Collins.


5. The unemployment rate is promising.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average unemployment rate in 2018 was 2.7 and that number has been improving consistently since 2009 when it was 6.2. Compared to the entire state of Colorado, which had an average unemployment rate of 3.3 in 2018, employment in Fort Collins has been one of the state’s strongest and most stable communities. In 2018, Larimer and Weld Counties were home to 14% of Colorado’s jobs in 2018.


6. It’s a great place to raise a family.

why you should stay in Fort Collins Colorado after graduation

If starting a family is on your post-college to-do list, you’ve chosen a great place to call home. Thanks to our beautiful parks system, year-round family-friendly events, strong school districts and educational attractions, Fort Collins is one of the most kid-friendly and family-friendly cities in the state and in the country. Livability even ranked it on their 5 Best Cities for Families in Colorado.


7. You won’t suffer a major price jump.

It’s no secret that population growth and price increases have made moving to Fort Collins slightly more intimidating from outside of town, but students who are already living and/or renting in Fort Collins won’t need to make significant economic changes after college. And compared to Denver—just 65 miles south with an average home sale price of $473,539 in 2018—the Fort Collins area offered an average home sale price of $428,709 in 2018. For more information on the future of our Northern Colorado housing market, check out What to Expect in the Northern Colorado Real Estate Market for 2019.


8. You won’t need to spend money on gas.

why you should stay in Fort Collins Colorado after graduation

Our top-ranked, environmentally-friendly and bike-friendly community offers a great way to save money on transportation. In 2018, we even landed at the top of The Best Cities for Bikes, and our motto has been bikes, beers and bands for years. Looking at data from Walk Score—a website that also calculates bike scores—25 Fort Collins neighborhoods have Bike Scores between 90 and 100, and all but one have scores over 50. That gives our city an overall Bike Score of 80! To choose your neighborhood, check out The 10 Neighborhoods in Fort Collins with the Highest Bike Scores.


9. The fun never stops.  

spring in Fort Collins Colorado

As a Colorado State student, you already know how fun Fort Collins can be for young adults, but the fun doesn’t need to stop for young professionals. Still on your itinerary, you’ll find year-round, free events like the Old Town Irish Party in March, Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest in August and Fortoberfest in September. Summer concert series are still fair game, local craft breweries are still prime hangouts, and outdoor adventure is still just a few steps away.

To stay up-to-date on the best things to do in Northern Colorado, follow along on Northern Colorado Speaks and find events happening every week on NoCo Happenings.



Looking for a career?

Remember when we mentioned The Group, Inc. is one of Fort Collins’ major employers? If you’re interested in a career in real estate, you can learn more about our company on our website here. All our agents are owners at The Group and we’re the only company in Northern Colorado with in-house mortgage services, a title company, a relocation department, and dedicated staff to make sure the details of your transaction from listing to closing are taken care of!

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