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600 Centralia College Blvd.
Centralia, WA 98531-4099
p. 360-736-9391
w. www.centralia.edu

Centralia College

Centralia College Rating: 3.5/5 (4 votes)

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The oldest public community college that has never ceased to operate in Washington state, Centralia College was founded in 1925 in the small community of Centralia. The campus, which occupies 29 acres, serves Lewis and Thurston counties, forming the Washington State administrative branch of Community College District Twelve. The surrounding area is largely rural, but the metropolitan areas of Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon are relatively close.


Accreditation is granted by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The school offers over 60 different academic programs, with degrees ranging from Associate in Arts to Associate in Liberal Arts and Associate in Science. The school is, hence, a two-year institution of higher learning, and students generally either aim towards a transfer program (with agreements in place with other state schools to accept graduates for four-year programs) or a professional/technical program to launch them into a specific career field.

Degree programs include liberal arts, nursing and emergency medicine, medical administration, criminal justice and business management.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Admissions are open, which means that all applying students that meet the basic qualifications will be accepted to the school. For those under the age of 18, it is necessary to either have a high school diploma or to have a GED; persons that have already reached the age of 18 may apply for admission without either.

Returning and transfer students are expected to forward official copies of their transcripts to the school upon applying for admission, while students applying to enter one of the many online study programs have separate (and entirely electronic) admissions requirements. The most competitive area of admissions is the schools quite popular nursing program, which only accepts 24 first year and another 24 second year students.

International students (who form a surprising number of the school’s student population) have a separate application and admission procedure, with specific financial conditions stipulated. Finally, drop-in students (those not seeking a degree or certificate) are not required to formally apply for admission, and simply can enroll in courses after regular students have chosen their courses for the quarter.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to all students with the exception of those entering as drop-in students (described above). Centralia participates in the federal Title IV financial assistance programs, and therefore a wide variety of standard local, state and federal aid options are available to incoming students.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 6066th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Washington.


The student body has a high proportion of non-traditional aged students in their 30s and 40s. The school is also distinguished by its large number of international students, particularly for a public community college. The school offers many different ways for students to get and stay engaged with the collegiate experience, either through the pioneering school journalism project or one of the many student clubs and organizations. A random though somewhat representative selection of student organizations include the International Club, the KCED Radio/TV Club, the Nursing Club, and the Phi Theta Kappa honors society club.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The athletic department competes in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAAC), and offers a variety of men’s and women’s teams which students can join. The school’s mascot, representative of the rural and pioneer region, is called “The Trailblazer” (depicted as a rough frontiersman). The intercollegiate teams are, for the women: volleyball, basketball, golf and fast pitch softball; and for the men: basketball and baseball. The school’s sports team colors are blue and gold.

The school is recognized for its excellent offering of financial aid for student athletes, at a level that is uncommon for public community colleges of its sort.

Information Summary

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College Arts building :: Centralia College

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 1 0.03
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 3 0.08
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 1 0.03
Arrest 4 0.11

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 52 0.31
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 1 0.01
Forcible Rape 16 0.10
Robbery 16 0.10
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 165 0.99
Larceny 565 3.41
Vehicle theft 59 0.36

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Centralia, WA 98531-4099
Surrounding communityDistant town (between 10 to 35 mi. away from an urban cluster)
Total Population21,842 (17,929 urban / 3,913 rural)
Households8,594 (2.48 people per house)
Median Household Income$32,485
Families5,599 (3.01 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 offeringBachelor's degree
Calendar SystemQuarter
Years of college work required2
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District5303

Special Learning Opportunities

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

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 2300th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $3,523 $3,523 $3,917
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $311 $311 $331
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $107 $107 $120
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 $17,081 $17,081 $17,501
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $17,864 $17,864 $18,284
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $8,441 $8,441 $8,861

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $3,644 $3,722 $3,644 $3,722 $4,038 $4,116
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $972 $1,002
On-Campus – Room & Board $4,200(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses $3,204 $3,285
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $9,000 $9,243
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,204 $3,285
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,024 $3,105

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)

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 Capacity29
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$4,200
Board FeeN/A

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 2790th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $55,894 ($55,718 male / $53,403 female)
Number of FT Faculty 68 (33 male / 35 female)
Number of PT Faculty 111
FT Faculty Ratio 0.6 : 1
Total Benefits $2,928,063

Elisabeth Bailey+

Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

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