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Columbia Basin College

Columbia Basin College Rating: 3.3/5 (4 votes)

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It is Columbia Basin College’s mission to provide “access to educational programs, workforce development, basic skills, cultural enrichment, and [to promote] physical and emotional well-being” for not only its student body, but the community it serves as well. This community college is committed to the green movement with several endeavors to make the campus a greener environment including raising environmental awareness, promoting energy and water conservation, sponsoring a recycling plan, and becoming a designated “Tree Campus USA”, which are just a few highlights of the campus’ many environmentally friendly accomplishments.

With its main campus in Pasco, Washington, the college has two other campuses in what is known as Tri-Cities, Washington including a campus in Richland and another in Kennewick. Accreditation is granted by the Northwest Association of Colleges and Universities. Founded in 1955, with an enrollment of approximately 8000 students, CBC is a leading agent of community engagement and a model of institutional environmental sustainability in the area.


The Associate in Art (AA) degree and the Associate in Science Transfer (AST) degree are designed to be transferable to a four year institution. Besides AA degrees, Columbia also offers certificates.

Under the Arts and Science Division students can take courses in communication studies, music, visual arts, literature, and theatre arts. This department also houses an Art Center where cultural activities relating to theatre, music and art can be experienced by students and the community alike.

The general education requirements for both the AA and AST degree are similar. Both degree plans require courses in English, math, social/behavioral science, natural science and humanities.

Under the department of Career and Technical Education students can take courses in welding, automotive technology, nuclear technology, and take advantage of apprenticeship opportunities.

As is customary at community colleges, there is an Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) program. These classes serve a population of the community that is usually marginalized because of their educational background. As it is the goal of community colleges to give access and opportunity to all and to directly address the needs of the community, programs such as ABE and ESL are absolutely necessary. ABE courses build a solid foundation in math, writing, and reading for adult learners. Similarly, ESL classes serve a similar population and purpose. Individuals that may have what is considered limited English proficiency are encouraged to attend these courses that focus on English conversational, writing, or reading skills. Ultimately, ABE and ESL provide “survival” skills as the workforce is becoming more and more competitive and one’s credentials are becoming more and more important. The ESL and ABE programs act as platforms on which a strong educational foundation can be built.

The agriculture program is also strong. This program primarily focuses on research and development. It also is highly involved in outreach. In fact, there is an AA degree option that is transferable to a four year institution for interested students. In terms of research and development, In fact, there are several farms of approximately 20 acres dedicated to research in agriculture on campus. There is also a greenhouse to test experimental theories in agriculture. The purpose of the research overall is to increase the use of renewable fuel as been advocated by the state of Washington.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

Dedicated to being responsive to its community, there are several programs in place that target particular student populations.

  • WorkFirst is a program that provides assistance to families with financial burdens by helping family members find employment options, build their capacity for better jobs, and help them retain the jobs they may already have.
  • CAMP stands for the College Assistance Migrant Program and this program provides service to the children of seasonal or migrant workers.
  • HEP is a program whose target audience is also migrant workers and seasonal farm workers. This program helps them improve their reading, writing, and math skills in preparation of taking the GED.
  • Running Start is a program for high school students where they can enroll in college level courses while still in high school. Students in this program must be either a high school junior or senior and meet the eligibility requirements.
  • There is also a program known as the Opportunity Grant. This particular grant waives tuition and pays for books and fees of students who earn below a certain amount in terms of income reported.
  • BRIDGES is a coordinated effort between CBC and Washington State University Tri-Cities. It is a program that allows students to transfer directly and be accepted at WSU Tri-Cities with junior standing. In this program students meet with an advisor at both schools.


The first step of the admissions process for freshmen applicants is to complete an application for admissions. There is an application fee which can be paid on the web, in person, or over the phone. After completing these two steps, new students are then required to take an assessment test known as the COMPASS test. The deadline to apply for the fall semester is mid August.

Transfer students are required to submit an application as well, pay the application fee, and submit all transcripts from previously attended institutions.

International students are required to submit an international student application, pay the application fee, submit a letter of “financial responsibility” and complete the TOEFL.

Financial Aid


CBC offers a few scholarships for qualified students. For this scholarship, students need to complete a separate application.

Federal Financial Aid

Most importantly, to be considered for federal financial aid such as the Pell Grant or Work Study program, students are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, best known as the FAFSA. This application can be obtained online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Information gathered on the FAFSA pertains to your or your legal guardian’s tax returns and income. This information will then be transmitted to your selected school. The school will then present you with what is known as a financial aid award. This award can contain a combination of awards from loans to scholarships.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5732nd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Washington.


The fitness center includes cardiovascular and strength training equipment. There are also soccer, baseball, and softball fields on site. Intramural sports are divided into two different categories, off campus and on campus. Off campus activities include bowling and golf. The on campus activities include basketball, flag football, dodgeball, tennis, soccer, and volleyball.

While being physically active is great, being socially active is equally as important. If possible, try to get involved in some of the numerous clubs, such as the Association of Student Nurses, the Creative Writing Club, Japanese Culture Club, Northwest Collegiate Ministry (NCM) and Small World United Club. Also the college offers events such as BBQs, club sponsored events, and performances that all students can participate in.

There is also a Tutor and Writing Center and a Resource Center that students who need additional academic help can visit to receive free tutoring and access to computer labs.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The athletic department fields teams in both women’s and men’s sports. Women participate in basketball, golf, softball, soccer, and volleyball. Men are offered similar choices, including golf, soccer, basketball, and baseball. Teams compete in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges.

Additional School Information

To serve the needs of parents in the community, the college offers a co-op experience where parents learn to care for their children in ways that are more “nurturing” and “stimulating”. It is a cooperative that enhances parenting skills and presents parents with the opportunity to spend more time with their children in a supportive mutual learning environment.

Information Summary

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Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 1 0.02
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 3 0.05
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 150 0.25
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 2 0.00
Forcible Rape 25 0.04
Robbery 31 0.05
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 368 0.61
Larceny 1,055 1.74
Vehicle theft 173 0.28

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Pasco, WA 99301
Surrounding communityMidsize suburb (inside urban area but outside city, pop. between 100,000 to 250,000)
Total Population40,905 (36,563 urban / 4,342 rural)
Households12,535 (3.23 people per house)
Median Household Income$39,786
Families9,722 (3.66 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Public Rural-serving Large
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 requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District5304

Special Learning Opportunities

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

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 4273rd for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $3,721 $3,721 $6,050
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $455 $455 $455
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $146 $146 $210
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 $5,202 $5,202 $7,531
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $17,819 $17,819 $20,148
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $8,552 $8,552 $10,881

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $3,828 $4,176 $3,828 $4,176 $5,987 $6,505
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $972 $1,000
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $9,000 $9,240
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $2,928 $3,010
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $2,802 $3,145

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 CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 2651st for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $56,953 ($57,830 male / $55,058 female)
Number of FT Faculty 132 (65 male / 67 female)
Number of PT Faculty 159
FT Faculty Ratio 0.8 : 1
Total Benefits $4,283,384

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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2600 N 20th Ave
Pasco, WA 99301
p. 509-547-0511
w. www.columbiabasin.edu

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