Central College

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Scores last updated on January 6, 2024
Percent Admitted
4-year Graduation Rate
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Average Undergraduate Students Aid
In-State Tuition and Fees
Out-of-State Tuition and Fees
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Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
Carnegie Classification
Baccalaureate Colleges: Arts & Sciences Focus
Religious Affiliation
Reformed Church in America

Central College is a 4-year private school located in Pella, IA. Founded 1853 as Central University of Iowa by the Baptist Convention of Iowa, control was transferred to the Reformed Church in America in 1916. In 1994 it was renamed Central College. The 130 acre campus, located downtown, is a picturesque backdrop including tree-lined pathways, open spaces and quads as well as the Pond (a central feature in several activities). The architectural style of the campus buildings is modern with much red brick and sturdy construction. The town of Pella, founded by Dutch settlers in 1847, was made famous by the local window and door manufacturer as well as Vermeer Manufacturing Company which makes agricultural equipment.

Academic Programs

Central College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission and offers Bachelor’s degrees in over 70 majors. Noted for its Music program, the largest programs on campus are in Biology/Bio-Medical and Business fields. International study programs were introduced in 1965, strengthening an institutional emphasis on cross-cultural study; 55 percent of Central students have had a meaningful international experience. Per the Mission Statement, “Central College is a residential liberal arts college dedicated to helping students discover and develop their greatest potential. Guided by its ecumenical Christian tradition, the college community engages in vigorous, open inquiry in pursuit of academic excellence. The College nurtures the development of the mind, while fostering spiritual and emotional maturity and physical well-being. Central integrates career preparation with the development of values essential to responsible citizenship, empowering graduates for effective service in local, national and international communities.” Also, “When you graduate from Central, you’ll leave with more than just a degree. You’ll have an education that has prepared you with critical thinking skills, a cultural perspective, and effective communication skills that will take you farther than you ever dreamed.”

Student Life

There are over 1,200 undergraduate students enrolled in Central College, nearly all of whom live on campus among traditional dormitories, townhouses and apartment-styled “green pods,” reflecting the school’s commitment to energy efficiency and conservation. The College sponsors over 100 clubs and student organizations including several musical ensembles, club sports and intramurals. For the varsity athlete, the red and white Dutch field teams in 10 sports and participate in NCAA Division III competition. Campus traditions, including a Birthday dunk in the pond, annual Lemming Race and the Frosh-Soph Pull are anticipated annual activities. Central’s commitment to environmental issues is reflected in the school’s Vision: Central College is a leader in environmental stewardship in Iowa and the Midwest – Iowa’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating, silver, by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2003 for the renovation of the Vermeer Science Center; Earned gold LEED rating in 2004 for McKee Residential Hall; Received platinum LEED rating in 2010 for the Roe Center; Central is committed to LEED guidelines for all new campus construction and to an environmentally friendly campus.

Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?