Hartnell College


Hartnell College is a two-year community college that serves Salinas Valley in Monterey County, California. Founded almost a century ago as Salinas Junior College, the school was renamed in 1948 after the founder of California’s first post-secondary educational institution.

Students can pursue associate’s degrees or take advantage of opportunities to transfer to a four-year college or university, earn professional certificates and improve job skills and career prospects, or simply learn something new in their free time.

The college also offers distance learning opportunities, weekend study options, and part-time class schedules, and boasts high faculty salaries and a strong faculty tenure system (98% of full-time faculty are with tenure or working toward obtaining tenure), which attract quality educators.

Information Summary

Ranks 150th in California and 1958th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 64.1
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $3,337
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 27 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 79% / 29%
Enrollment Total (all students) 12,521


The school is divided into the following academic divisions:

  • Arts, Humanities, and Communication
  • Nursing and Allied Health
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
  • Physical Education and Athletics

The largest number of degrees are awarded in liberal arts, followed by family and social work, nursing and emergency medicine, security and law enforcement, and therapy and counseling.

An Academic Senate comprised of elected representatives from the various academic divisions is considered the voice of faculty in all academic and professional matters.

Agricultural Business and Technology Institute

A unique partnerships with Salinas Valley Ag Industry has led to the creation of this institute. Enrolled students will earn either an Agriculture Business certificate or an Associate in Arts (AA) degree. There is a focus on the Business, Production, and Technology for the Agriculture industry; food safety; and diesel and welding technology classes.

Students should look into applying for the scholarships that were set up just for this program—there are 30 available at $1000.00 each to help offset the cost of attending.

Most Popular Fields of Study


College Building :: Hartnell College
College Campus :: Hartnell College


The school offers open admission, accepting all qualified students. These include anyone who is over 18 years old, as well as anyone who has a high school diploma or has passed the equivalent (GED) test or the California High School Proficiency Exam. Current students of the K-12 system can also enroll with a completed Concurrent Enrollment Petition.

In general, new, new transfer, returning, and returning transfer student applications for full semester courses are accepted up to three months before the semester begins through the first week of class. It is important to apply early, as registration is based on a first-come, first-served basis, and classes tend to fill up quickly.

Applications may be downloaded and submitted online, or returned by mail or in-person to the Admissions & Records Office on the main campus, the King City Education Center, or the Alisal Campus facility for processing.

Financial Aid

For establishing tuition fees, students are identified as either residents or non-residents. Students qualify for resident status if they have lived in California as legal residents for at least a year prior to the first day of a new semester and can demonstrate an intent to continue to be a California resident. Some non-residents may be eligible for a non-resident tuition exemption if they have attended high school in California.

There are many financial aid opportunities aimed at making an education more accessible for both resident and non-resident students. These programs are funded by both the government and private sources and include grants, work-study opportunities, scholarships, and loan programs.

Most scholarships are funded through contributions made by community groups, businesses, other foundations, and individuals to the Hartnell College Foundation.

Student Financial Aid Details

Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


Located in a medium-sized city, Hartnell is a commuter college, and on-campus housing not available. Its demographics are considered similar to other California community colleges, such as Folsom Lake College, Taft College, Santiago Canyon College, College of the Canyons, and Las Positas College.

There is a large student population, with over 9,000 students enrolling each term and a high male-to-female ratio. The student body is very racially diverse and 52% Latino. Of the remaining 48%, 33% are White, 5% Asian, 5% Filipino, 3% Black, 1% Native American, and 1% from other minorities. A large portion of these students are considered “mature” students, meaning at least 40 years old, making it an attractive choice for adult learners looking to study in a comfortable, familiar environment.

Students can choose to participate in any of a number of clubs, including the Fine Arts Club, International Students Association, MESA Rocket Club, and the Political Science Club.

Student Enrollment Demographics


The college has an active athletics program, and quite a few Hartnell Black Panthers use their participation in various sports as stepping stones to their longer-term careers at four-year colleges and universities. In fact, most of the sophomore athletes move on, many of them with the help of some sort of financial package.

Additional School Information

Current students, area residents, and elementary school kids have enjoyed visiting the J. Frederic Ching Planetarium since it first opened in 1962. Not only are astronomy classes held here, but special viewings of the night sky and with recent upgrades, guests are treated to visual programs of scientific discovery.


Accreditation is provided by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

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