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Highline Community College

Highline Community College Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes)

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The first community college in King County, Highline Community College provides students who live in or near Des Moines, Washington, with the chance to attend classes for credit and non-credit purposes. This school has a main campus that provides students with a relaxed yet innovative environment for learning during conventional classroom hours and beyond. HCC is an excellent choice for anyone who lives in the greater Seattle area that is looking to earn their associate’s degree or any sort of certificate or diploma, as well as those who simply are interested in attending some classes with the purpose of furthering one’s general knowledge.

A fully accredited college, this school also has its various different popular programs accredited by their relevant institutions. In general, the college is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which is nationally recognized. The school’s Paralegal program is additionally accredited by the American Bar Association, while the Nursing Program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission. The school’s Medical Assistant Program receives accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

In addition to providing the right impression of the school’s various programs, these sorts of inter-disciplinary accreditations are important for students who are looking to find work immediately after graduation. Because the official organizations behind the different departments are aware of the school and take its program seriously, students will find themselves at a considerable advantage when it comes to seeking employment versus someone who might have attended a school where accreditation is pending or nonexistent.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Students interested in attending courses for credit should submit their application for admission along with either their GED or their high school transcript and diploma. If students have previously completed coursework at any other junior colleges, it is recommended that they include a transcript, so that potential credit hours could be awarded. Certain programs have other specific requirements, so it is best to check with the head of your potential department to figure out what the best choices are for you. Credit-seeking students have access to courses on either campus, as well as evening and weekend classes as well.

Non-credit seeking students should also fill out an application for admission, but the specific sorts of information that they need to provide beyond that usually differ, and are significantly less. If at any point you find yourself with questions, calling the Admissions Office is highly recommended so that you will find your application process much easier.

Financial Aid

The absolute best bet aside from state or federal financial aid for those attending this school is successful completion of the school’s foundation scholarship form. With the filling out of that single form, a student is instantly eligible for more than 60 different scholarships offered locally, and taking that right step is a huge asset towards finding better ways to pay for one’s academic experience. Since the school was smart enough to start its own non-profit scholarship program and to get numerous businesses in the community involved, it is now possible for more and more students to get an affordable college education.

In addition to looking for both need and merit-based scholarships in the community and beyond, a majority of students attending Highline Community College also receive more traditional forms of financial aid through either grants or loans. Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA form in its entirely after deciding to attend classes, and any questions are best directed to a qualified counselor in the school’s Financial Aid Office.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5240th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Washington.


With upwards of 10,000 students enrolled at a single time, HCC is not your typical small community college. Counting non-credit students, the population of students increases by about 50%, with over 15,000 students counted. Many students are of a nontraditional age, and come closer to fitting the profile or lifelong learners.

The main campus is located in Des Moines, but an additional campus has since been constructed in Federal Way, Washington. There is also the Marine Science and Space Technology Center, located right on the beach just a short drive from campus. The Marine Science and Technology Center is particularly popular and distinct for offering an unparalleled, hands-on approach to learning for those interested in conservation and ecology that involves a great deal of field research compared to other community colleges in the nation.

The student body could definitely be described as diverse, with a fair amount of international students as well as a national student body that consists of Native American, African American, Hispanic, and Asian students in addition to Caucasians. The student body tends to skew more towards female students, with close to 60 percent of the student population female, both out of the credit and non-credit students, at any given point.

Student Enrollment Demographics


Athletics are a big part of life at HCC, with the HCC Thunderbirds doing their best in a number of different intercollegiate sporting endeavors. Female students have their pick of soccer, basketball, cross country, softball, and soccer to choose from, while male students can try out for the soccer, basketball, cross country, or wrestling teams. To participate in sports, all students must be in good academic standing.

Information Summary

Ranks 32nd in Washington and 2471st 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 1 0.01
Robbery 1 0.01
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary N/A N/A
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 18 0.27
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 45 0.15
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 1 0.00
Forcible Rape 7 0.02
Robbery 37 0.12
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 230 0.76
Larceny 627 2.08
Vehicle theft 191 0.63

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Des Moines, WA 98198-9800
Surrounding communityLarge suburb (inside urban area but outside city, pop. over 250,000)
Total Population33,561 (33,482 urban / 79 rural)
Households12,653 (2.48 people per house)
Median Household Income$46,628
Families8,040 (3.05 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Public Suburban-serving Multicampus
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 SystemQuarter
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District5309

Special Learning Opportunities

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

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 4569th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $3,217 $3,217 $3,217
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $783 $783 $1,184
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $86 $86 $86
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 $5,026 $5,026 $5,427
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $17,608 $17,608 $18,009
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $8,530 $8,530 $8,931

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $3,542 $4,000 $3,542 $4,000 $3,943 $4,401
  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 $3,318 $3,410

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 3341st for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $51,157 ($50,548 male / $61,960 female)
Number of FT Faculty 184 (74 male / 110 female)
Number of PT Faculty 430
FT Faculty Ratio 0.4 : 1
Total Benefits $6,735,753

Carrie Petersen+

Carrie Petersen earned her Bachelors of Science in Education and a Masters of School leadership at Northern Illinois University. Carrie likes to travel with her husband and two sons.

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2400 S 240th St
Des Moines, WA 98198-9800
p. 206-878-3710
w. www.highline.edu

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