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Online and On-Campus Colleges in
COLORADO

Online and On-Campus Colleges in & Colorado

Article Sources
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2015-16, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed March 2, 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2014-15, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, accessed March 2, 2016, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
  • School pages, accessed May 25, 2017: Colorado Mountain College, http://coloradomountaincollege.net/; Academic Programs, Colorado Mountain College, http://coloradomtn.edu/programs/; Online Bachelor's Degrees, Colorado State University, https://www.online.colostate.edu/degrees/undergraduate-degrees.dot; About MSU Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, http://www.msudenver.edu/about/; Online Programs, University of Northern Colorado, http://extended.unco.edu/search/locations/online.asp; About, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, http://www.uccs.edu/about.html; About, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, http://www.ucdenver.edu/anschutz/about/Pages/About.aspx; Degree Search, CU Online Degrees and Online Course, University of Colorado Denver, http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/CUOnline/OnlineDegrees/Pages/Degree-Search.aspx; Distance Education at CMU, Colorado Mesa University, http://www.coloradomesa.edu/distance-education/index.html; Distance Learning for Undergraduates, Adams State University, https://www.adams.edu/extended_studies/undergrad/; Western State Colorado University, http://www.western.edu/; Grants at Colorado State University, Colorado State University, http://sfs.colostate.edu/grants;
  • Transfer Agreements with Other Colleges, Colorado Community College System, accessed May 15, 2017, https://www.cccs.edu/current-students/transfers-articulations/transfer-agreements-with-other-colleges/
  • About the CU System, University of Colorado System, accessed May 25, 2017, https://www.cu.edu/about-cu-system
  • Need-Based Aid, College In Colorado, State of Colorado, accessed May 15, 2017, https://secure.collegeincolorado.org/Financial_Aid_Planning/Financial_Aid_101/Need-based_aid.aspx
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Choosing where to earn your bachelor's degree is an important decision. It can be a great help to have as much information about your options as possible - as well as potential outcomes once you've earned your degree.

Colorado has two public university systems — the University of Colorado and Colorado State University — and for our ranking of the best schools in the state we treated each campus of these schools as an individual institution, whether it was the flagship location or one of the smaller regional sites.

If you're attending a Colorado community college and plan to transfer to a university bachelor's program, don't forget to look into the Colorado Community College System's transfer agreements with four-year colleges. Your academic advisor may also have some institution-specific information on how to make the transfer go as smoothly as possible.

Best 4-Year Colleges in Colorado

To help you understand the higher education scene in the state we gathered a massive dataset and ran it through our proprietary 13-point methodology to discover the best traditional and online colleges in Colorado by the numbers.

Methodology
1Colorado State University - Fort Collins+
ADMISSION RATE
81%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$50
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
41

This flagship campus of the Colorado State University system offers the largest array of bachelor's degree programs in the state, one factor that helped secure its No. 1 overall ranking. It also posted the top retention rate for first-year students of any school in our top ten, and its graduation rate came in at No. 2 among schools on our list.

CSU was also a top destination for students seeking an online bachelor's degree in Colorado. The state's largest selection of online degree plans can be found through the Fort Collins location, including eight undergraduate degree programs, and its percentage of students enrolled in at least some distance education ranked No. 4 among our top ten schools.

Additional Info
2Metropolitan State University of Denver+
ADMISSION RATE
65%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$25
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
7

Metropolitan State University of Denver may fly under the radar of some prospective students in Colorado, but its combination of affordable tuition and the resource-rich environment of a large campus located in the state's capitol are hard to ignore. MSU Denver charged its students the second-lowest average tuition and fees cost in 2015-16, which likely helped it stand out on another, more precise measure of college affordability.

Average net price aims to estimate the out-of-pocket cost of college by tallying up the total expense of tuition, fees, books, supplies, housing, meals and other necessities and subtracting the expected amount of institutional grant and scholarship aid per student. MSU Denver took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the state for the average net price it charged middle-income and low-income students, respectively.

Additional Info
3University of Northern Colorado+
ADMISSION RATE
89%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$45
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
11

The sizeable bachelor's degree catalog at the University of Northern Colorado contains over 100 degree programs for on-campus students — the fifth most in the state — and the university works hard to help its students afford their education. Only two other schools on our list provided a higher proportion of institutional grant aid to their students, and the average net price for middle-income student's ranked No. 4 statewide.

The student success scores at UNC also stood out. Students graduated from the Greeley school at our list's third-highest percentage, and the rate of first-year student retention came in at No. 3 among our top ten schools. UNC also took the No. 5 spot statewide for the selection of online degree programs available through its extended campus.

Additional Info
4University of Colorado - Colorado Springs+
ADMISSION RATE
92%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$50
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
22

This outpost of the University of Colorado System was established in 1965, and it's grown into a formidable modern research university in the more than 50 years since its founding. Average tuition and fees at the Colorado Springs school ranked No. 5 in the state for affordability, and its graduation and retention rates came in at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, among schools that made our top ten.

UCCS was also one of the top online colleges for Colorado students in 2015-16, featuring an degree catalog that ranked No. 5 in the state for its number of available online degrees. Eight of the ten on-campus flexibility measures we looked for were present here, also, including remedial services for students returning to school after some time away and whole degrees that can be earned in evenings and on weekends.

Additional Info
5University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus+
ADMISSION RATE
67%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$50
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
24

These two University of Colorado System locations have so many internal links to one another and lie so close to each other geographically that only makes sense that they share the No. 5 ranking. Their combined degree catalog was fourth-largest in the state in 2015-16, and their No. 3-ranked selection of online degrees marked the Denver tandem as prime locations for an online bachelor's degree in Colorado.

The commitment to student access doesn't stop with online degrees at CU Denver/Anschutz. Weekend and evening degree programs are also available and career counseling and placement services for students and graduates can help you find the right path through college and into the working world.

Additional Info
6Colorado Mesa University+
ADMISSION RATE
83%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$30
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
5

Affordability for students is a high priority at Colorado Mesa University. Tuition and fee costs at the Grand Junction institution were third-lowest in the state in 2015-16, and the average amount that students paid for books and supplies tied for the No. 2 most affordable spot among schools on our list. The average net price paid by middle-income students placed at No. 6 statewide.

The number of online bachelor's degrees available at CMU was fairly small, but students did tend to take advantage of individual courses available in the virtual classroom. More than 25 percent of students enrolled at CMU took at least some portion of their coursework via distance education in 2015.

Additional Info
7University of Colorado Boulder+
ADMISSION RATE
80%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$50
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
4

Founded in 1865, the Boulder campus of the University of Colorado System is its flagship and largest university. UC Boulder is home to the system's largest degree catalog of nearly 200 undergraduate programs. That incredibly rich offering makes it easier for the school's more than 33,000 students to find the course of study they want - something that's likely to be connected to UC Boulder's No. 1 placements for graduation and1 retention rate among the schools that made our top ten .

UC Boulder also made an impression with its dedication to helping students afford the basic costs of attendance. The raw cost of tuition and fees at the Boulder campus were the highest among schools that made our list, but only one other school in the top ten furnished students with a greater percentage of its tuition as institutional grant aid.

Additional Info
8Adams State University+
ADMISSION RATE
64%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$30
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
20

Adams State University is a state-supported liberal arts institution with a strong distance education program, both online and in the classic campus-based classroom. Its catalog of distance education degree plans, which includes business administration, sociology and interdisciplinary studies, ranked No. 6 in the state in 2015-16, and the nearly 45 percent of students taking at least some of their courses at a distance earned the Alamosa school a spot among the best online colleges for Colorado students.

Student debt was less of an issue for alumni of Adams State than it may be for those at other Colorado schools. ASU graduates left school with the state's second-lowest amount of debt in 2015 — a median of $16,255. Students also had access to eight of ten campus-based flexibility initiatives, tying it for first among schools on our list in that category.

Additional Info
9Western State Colorado University+
ADMISSION RATE
98%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$30
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
0

With fewer than 3,000 students on its rolls, Western State Colorado University claims to offer a private college experience at a public university cost, and the statistics suggest that it succeeds. Its raw cost of tuition and fees was low enough to rank No. 7 statewide for affordability, ahead of a few public universities, and it awarded the fourth-highest proportion of institutional grant aid in the state.

Average net price for low- and middle-income students placed respectively at No. 8 and No. 9 statewide, and a fair percentage of graduates were able to handle their student debt with little difficulty. Nearly 75 percent of recent Western alumni reported being able to pay off their loans within three years.

Additional Info
10Colorado State University - Pueblo+
ADMISSION RATE
96%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$25
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
2

Students looking for a great school at a great price will find what they're looking for at the Pueblo campus of Colorado State University. This school comes in at No. 1 on our list for the average price paid by both middle- and low-income students. These lower prices are likely to be the reason CSU-Pueblo comes in at No. 3 for the median debt of its graduates.

Those looking for a diverse student body at a smaller and primarily campus-based school can find it at CSU-Pueblo. Students at the school can receive credit for life experiences, and they can take advantage of the flexible schedule opportunities. Attending classes on the weekends or in the evening might be a good fit for students who are balancing school and work or family commitments.

CSU-Pueblo offers over 35 different degree programs. Additionally, students interested in mass communication and media have the opportunity to learn in a Center for New media that offers students a hands-on experience in broadcasting and journalism.

Additional Info

Most Popular Degree Programs in Colorado

It can help you better understand your state's educational landscape to have a general sense of the different academic approaches being taken by your fellow students. Check out this list of Colorado's most popular degree programs.

In-Demand Careers in Colorado

There's no degree at any school that can effectively guarantee you a job after graduation, but aiming your education toward a gap in the career market can help ease some of the strain that post-college job seekers usually face. Here's a list of the hottest jobs statewide.

Career Title Projected Job Growth Total Employment Annual Salary
Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters70.7%490$36,380
Interpreters and Translators67.7%1,530$67,510
Brickmasons and Blockmasons64.2%1,480$46,920
Helpers--Electricians64%360$30,190
Orthotists and Prosthetists63.7%100$57,720
Personal Care Aides62%23,640$23,840
Stonemasons61.6%240$39,250
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers60.8%880$81,830
Home Health Aides58.1%13,230$27,080
Fence Erectors57.9%500$34,470
Skincare Specialists54.7%1,330$47,260
Riggers54.7%90$41,560
Genetic Counselors54.5%60$78,040
Information Security Analysts53.1%2,250$102,280
Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers52.7%5,330$40,280
Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters52.2%310$33,030
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary51%5,510$131,620
Physician Assistants50.5%2,850$100,140
Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary50.2%1,490$61,730
Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic49.7%180$58,090
Elevator Installers and Repairers49.6%390$73,770
Insulation Workers, Floor, Ceiling, and Wall49.5%680$33,740
Occupational Therapy Aides47.7%70$31,510
Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers46.4%340$46,070
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists46.3%14,740$73,300
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians46.3%550$68,520
Physical Therapist Assistants46%1,160$53,220
Physical Therapists45.9%4,740$77,660
Electricians45.4%16,170$50,580
Marriage and Family Therapists45.1%570$58,860
Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Financial Aid and Scholarships in Colorado

Funding the college experience can be the most stressful part of college, but luckily there are federal loans and grants as well as private scholarships to assist. In addition, the College Opportunity Fund provides a stipend to undergraduate students, and the Colorado Student grant offers awards to students in need.

 
Sullivan Award
Applicant must have demonstrated scholastic potential and leadership skills.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$29,175

APPLICATION DEADLINE

November 15

RENEWAL CRITERIA

Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.0 GPA and completion of at least 45 credit hours.

 
Provost Scholarship
Applicant must be an out-of-state resident with a minimum 3.75 GPA and minimum combined SAT Reasoning score of 1400 (composite ACT score of 32).
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$20,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

November 15 (Early Action admissions deadline)

RENEWAL CRITERIA

Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.25 GPA and full-time status.

 
Colorado Oratorical Contest
Applicants must be high school students under the age of 20 who are U.S. citizens or legal residents and residents of the state. Students first give an oration within their state and winners compete at the national level. The oration must be related to the Constitution of the United States focusing on the duties and obligations citizens have to the government. It must be in English and be between eight and ten minutes. There is also an assigned topic which is posted on the website, and it should be between three and five minutes.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$18,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

January 29

 

 

 
President's Non-Resident Scholarship
Applicant must be an incoming freshman student who is not a resident of Utah. Applicant is automatically considered with application for admission.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$17,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Not Available

RENEWAL CRITERIA

Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.6 GPA.

Additional Resources

Article Sources
Methodology

To get our list of the best colleges, we ranked 1,649 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S. Each school was scored on a 100-point scale, using the most recent data available from government sources. Our data points include:

  • The in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The estimated cost of books and supplies, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The average net price for students receiving Title IV grant and scholarship aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • The average net price for low-income students receiving Title IV grant and scholarship aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • The average amount of institutional grant aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduate students as a percentage of in-state tuition and fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • Median debt of graduates, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  • 3-year student loan repayment rate of graduates, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  • No. of degree and certificate programs offered, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • No. of degree and certificate programs offered via distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of students enrolled in any distance education classes, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Average retention rate for full-time and part-time students, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2015-16
  • Graduation rate within six years, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
    • Dual credit
    • Credit for life experience
    • Advanced Placement credit
    • Programs of study that can be completed entirely on weekends or in the evening
    • Remedial services
    • Academic and career counseling
    • Job placement services for graduates
    • Guaranteed tuition plan
    • Tuition payment plan
    • Any other alternative tuition plan
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Adams State University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
208 Edgemont Blvd
City
Alamosa
State
CO
Zip Code
81101
Website
www.adams.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
430-530
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
470-533
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
17-23
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Remote
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
2,110
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admission Rate
64%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,574
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
126182
Number of Online Programs Offered
20
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
45%
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400
City
Denver
State
CO
Zip Code
80217
Website
www.ucdenver.edu/
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
490-620
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
480-600
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
20-25
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Large
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
14,036
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$50
Admission Rate
67%
Offers On-Campus Housing
No
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,692
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
126562
Number of Online Programs Offered
24
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
23%
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
City
Colorado Springs
State
CO
Zip Code
80918
Website
www.uccs.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
490-600
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
470-590
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
21-26
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Large
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
9,970
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$50
Admission Rate
92%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,692
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
126580
Number of Online Programs Offered
22
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
24%
University of Colorado Boulder
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
Regent Drive at Broadway
City
Boulder
State
CO
Zip Code
80309
Website
www.colorado.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
530-640
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
540-660
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
24-30
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Small
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
27,142
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$50
Admission Rate
80%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$11,091
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
126614
Number of Online Programs Offered
4
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
8%
Colorado State University-Fort Collins
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
102 Administration Building
City
Fort Collins
State
CO
Zip Code
80523
Website
www.colostate.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
520-620
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
520-630
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
22-28
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
23,917
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$50
Admission Rate
81%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$10,558
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
126818
Number of Online Programs Offered
41
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
25%
Colorado Mesa University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1100 North Avenue
City
Grand Junction
State
CO
Zip Code
81501
Website
www.coloradomesa.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
430-540
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
430-540
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
17-23
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Small
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
9,299
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admission Rate
83%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,474
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
127556
Number of Online Programs Offered
5
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
26%
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
Speer Blvd and Colfax Ave
City
Denver
State
CO
Zip Code
80217
Website
www.msudenver.edu/
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
440-560
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
440-550
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
18-23
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Large
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
20,186
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$25
Admission Rate
65%
Offers On-Campus Housing
No
In-State Tution & Fees
$6,420
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
127565
Number of Online Programs Offered
7
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
34%
University of Northern Colorado
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
Carter Hall - Rm 4000
City
Greeley
State
CO
Zip Code
80639
Website
www.unco.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
460-580
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
450-580
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
19-25
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Small
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
9,430
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$45
Admission Rate
89%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,166
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
127741
Number of Online Programs Offered
11
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
25%
Colorado State University-Pueblo
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
2200 Bonforte Blvd
City
Pueblo
State
CO
Zip Code
81001
Website
www.csupueblo.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
420-550
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
430-545
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
18-23
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
5,006
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$25
Admission Rate
96%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,282
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
128106
Number of Online Programs Offered
2
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
1%
Western State Colorado University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
600 N Adams
City
Gunnison
State
CO
Zip Code
81231
Website
www.western.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
460-580
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
450-560
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
17-23
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Town: Remote
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
2,414
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admission Rate
98%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,451
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
128391
Number of Online Programs Offered
0
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
12%
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