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Columbia State Community College

Columbia State Community College Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes)

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Columbia State Community College was established in 1966 in Columbia, Tennessee as the state’s first community college. It currently hosts approximately 4,500 part- and full-time students, and around 250 faculty members. Students who successfully complete their two-year education in one of the offered programs are awarded an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of Applied Science degree. Students interested in continuing on to pursue a four-year Bachelor’s or a Master’s program have the option of doing so at one of Columbia’s affiliate schools, which include Austin Peay State University, Athens State University, Tennessee State University, Trevecca Nazarene University, and Middle Tennessee State University. Common continuation programs include Professional Studies, Business Administration, Nursing, Educational Administration, Interdisciplinary Studies, Math, and Management and Human Relations.


The college aims to meet the educational needs of its students and the community, so various types of programs are offered. Recent high school graduates, career professionals looking to enhance their skills, and everyone in between can find a curriculum that will help them reach their potential.

Associate of Applied Science

These are career-entry courses for those who wish to start the job hunt after only two years of college. There are many choices available here, and students enroll in the Division of Health Sciences; Humanities & Social Sciences; or the Science, Technology, & Mathematics Division.

Tennessee Transfer Pathway & General Transfer Major

The college offers a wide variety of business, liberal arts, health, and science programs for students who want to eventually earn a bachelor’s at a four-year institution. Credits received in these courses will earn the student a two-year degree here which will transfer over to another school.

Technical Certificate Programs

Professionals who need further training in their field or who need special certification in order to advance their careers, come here and earn a certificate. Classes take less than two years and if the student wishes to pursue an associate’s degree these credits count and will be applied.

Most Popular Fields of Study


The admissions process remains primarily the same regardless of the student’s proposed field of study, although specific prerequisites and placement exams may be required for specific programs. All new students must fill out the application, either online or on paper, and pay the one-time fee. High school, college, and/or GED transcripts must be sent to the office of admissions. ACT or SAT scores must be sent in for students applying to the Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care, or Nursing programs, as well as for students under the age of 21. Applicants must also supply proof that the vaccination requirement has been met.

Financial Aid

Students at here benefit from several types of financial aid programs; these include work-study, scholarships, loans, and grants. Work-study is an option which allows students the possibility to work in either on- or off-campus positions, often in their department, to help defray the cost of attendance. Scholarships are generally earned by students who have demonstrated exceptional performance in academics, outstanding financial need, school/athletics participation, and community involvement. Loans must be repaid, and are often available from federally-funded sources, such as the low-interest Federal Stafford Loan. Grants, like scholarships, do not need to be repaid, and are often awarded based on exceptional merit or need.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5711th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Tennessee.


As a member of the NJCAA, students have the option of participating in the school’s strong athletic program, which includes softball, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, and baseball. Other popular extracurricular activities at the school include Circle K, North American Veterinary Technician Association, Charger Student Radiographer Organization, Phi Theta Kappa, Student Nursing Association, and Student Government Association.

Student Enrollment Demographics


The Chargers are nationally and regionally ranked as top sports teams; these include men’s and women’s basketball, softball, and baseball. The school is a member of NJCCAA, as well as the Tennessee Junior and Community College Athletic Association (TJCCAA). The campus notably holds a rare historical archive, the TJCCAA Hall of Fame. It is located in the Kermit Smith room at the Billy Webster Athletic Center. Each year, one person is selected to join the ranks of some of the top athletes in the Hall of Fame.

Local Community

Locals of Columbia, Tennessee are very proud of their Southern heritage. Numerous local landmarks dating back centuries dot the landscape of this small town. Famous residents of the city include several NASCAR drivers and major league baseball players, as well as the eleventh President of the United States of America, James K. Polk. The local newspaper, the Columbia Daily Herald, chronicles the daily events of this friendly city. Visitors to this city, which lies approximately 45 miles south of Nashville, come from all over to enjoy the city’s famous Mule Day Parade. One of the most notable occurrences in Columbia, Mule Day happens over the course of a week in April, and is dedicated to honoring an integral aid in the settlement of the community. Visitors also enjoy touring the city’s historic homes, among which include the grounds of the historic James K. Polk home. Other popular activities here include shopping for antiques, watching sports, and dining in one of the town’s fine establishments serving famous Southern cooking.

Information Summary

Ranks 68th in Tennessee and 2971st overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary N/A N/A
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 249 0.71
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 3 0.01
Forcible Rape 21 0.06
Robbery 31 0.09
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 276 0.79
Larceny 1,079 3.08
Vehicle theft 53 0.15

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Columbia, TN 38401
Surrounding communityDistant town (between 10 to 35 mi. away from an urban cluster)
Total Population50,655 (34,417 urban / 16,238 rural)
Households19,366 (2.56 people per house)
Median Household Income$41,039
Families13,922 (3.02 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Public Rural-serving Medium
Undergraduate PopulationMixed part/full-time two-year
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate two-year
Size & SettingMedium two-year

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringAssociate's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District4707

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 2772nd for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $3,336 $3,336 $13,776
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $271 $271 $271
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $139 $139 $574
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $4,807 $4,807 $15,247
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $15,639 $15,639 $26,079
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $9,082 $9,082 $19,522

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $3,367 $3,511 $3,367 $3,511 $12,991 $13,639
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,200(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $6,557(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $4,206(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $4,206(N/C)

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NJCAA

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 3298th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $51,544 ($51,421 male / $48,024 female)
Number of FT Faculty 99 (41 male / 58 female)
Number of PT Faculty 304
FT Faculty Ratio 0.3 : 1
Total Benefits $2,927,312

Justine Ventimiglia+

Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.

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1665 Hampshire Pike
Columbia, TN 38401
p. 931-540-2722
w. www.columbiastate.edu

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