I come from out East and am a part of a very successful team at Western. I came out here really just for running to improve and for the excellent ESS program here. After changing my major to English and minoring in Comm arts with an emphasis in journalism, I see just how limited and different this campus and university is (Now Western State Colorado University). Let's break it down
Academics: Not highly regarded. One of those barely average state schools. If you leave Colorado, your employer or intern mentor will not know where you came from, or distinguish you from a comm college for example. ESS (Exercise sports science) is top notch and IF YOU ARE 100% sure you want to study ESS, then this MAY be the place for you. You have the kids that chose here cuz it's in-state and cheap, and the other kids that seriously have academic issues. Doesn't help with a 92% acceptance rate.
Sports: Don't expect a mountain of school spirit here. It's around a 5/10. You get some die hard mountaineers, but not too many. Our football team is not good, a great HS team could make us work pretty hard. However, XC and track are very highly regarded. Several all-americans come from here.
Night-life:None. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. The only real activities that attract attention are Spring fest, the bars (if your 21), and the rare Crested Butte festival. You'll go to parties that are in apartments off campus that get extremely crowded, often get busted within 2 hours since people desperately want to binge drink and have excitement. It's disappointing, but it feels a lot like high school. Many small hang out's, not many big ones, if any at all.
Surrounding City/Environment:Surrounding city is 'eh'. It's the small typical mountain town you see in Western movies. Cute, small, everyone knows everyone, etc. You'll go to CB a decent amount to hike, eat good food (Secret stash is the shit), and to escape, or try to. Gunnison is incredibly beautiful though. You'll marvel over the views like I did (coming from out of state) for a couple months, maybe longer, but then you realize how isolated you are. A five hour drive back to Denver is crazy in the winter going over Monarch. No Prius's here. All SUV.
Dorm life: Average. Nothing special. Some are better than others
Food options/eating out: Caf hours are pretty limited. Always close at 7 on the week days, so yeh, you'll be going out a lot. But wait, the on-campus store closes at 9....and no other 'cheap' places exist. Except for Walmart which closes at 12. That'll be a big place for you. Sonic and McDonalds closes at 9-10 every night. You'll be driving around or biking (#1 source of transportation) everywhere and usually be annoyed.
Campus: Small and nice. Easy to navigate. You will not be lost. I can be blindfolded and make my way to wherever I want. Decent facilities. The U has remodeled a decent bit of campus and continues to.
Overall: I'm enjoying my time is Gunnison for the mean time, but I'm on a team that gets plenty of success and that's really why I'm staying. You make fantastic friends here because you all go through the same struggles or enjoy the same activities (all outside btw). I'm probably going to transfer though, because I really can't see myself here for 4 years. Too much boredom, all mountains surrounding you, its cold as hell during winter (like earbuds stop working, cover your earlobes and ankles -20 cold) and the nightlife sucks beyond belief. WSCU is for a unique person preferably from CO who really enjoys the outdoors and gets sick when they look at a skyscraper or building. Out of staters will be enjoying the views for a bit, then realize you don't go to school JUST BECAUSE IT'S BEAUTIFUL AND THEY ARE CLOSE TO CB. It's for an education. Go to a real college, get the real college experience (a sad transfer from a big school keeps saying how we don't really experience college since our school is only 2500 kids)and make connections. You wanna stay in CO all your life? Go here. From CO? Go here. Love outdoors? Go here. City kid? No. Want to meet new people and go outside your comfort zone? No. Visit first. Understand that the flights home are long, and If your going to be on a sports team, realize that once you get home, you'll have to re acclimate every time you come back although it will take less time. Go for edu, not sights or the slopes.