#8 Best Private Colleges in Iowa

Central College

Pella, Iowa

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Central College overview
Location Pella, Iowa
Online central.edu
School Type Private 4 Year
Setting Distant Town
Religious Affiliation Reformed Church in America
Central College overview
Size Small
Status Non-profit
On Campus Housing Yes
Level of Study Undergrad
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Central College, located in Pella, Iowa, is a private, four-year liberal arts institution rooted in the Christian tradition. Established in 1853, the college offers a picturesque campus that boasts historical Dutch architecture, reflecting the town's rich European heritage. Central is situated approximately forty miles southeast of Des Moines, providing students with a blend of suburban tranquility and accessibility to urban amenities. The college is known for a spectrum of majors with notable programs in education, business management, and exercise science. Central College maintains a moderately selective admission process, and students are encouraged to live on campus, with a variety of housing options available, including residence halls and townhouse-style living. While Central participates in NCAA Division III athletics, it does not specifically emphasize sports achievement as a defining characteristic.

In the most recent statistical year 1,970 prospective students applied, and 1,561 were granted admission.  Of those admitted 351 enrolled in the school.  1,118 students are enrolled on a full time basis, and 51 attend part time. In-state tuition for 2022/2023, excluding room and board, is $19,800 plus fees of $0. Central College is ranked 519 nationally in the CollegeSimply.com 2024 U.S. Colleges Ranking.












Central College is rated within the top 46% of four-year colleges nationally and earns a CollegeSimply grade of 6 out of 10. Learn how ratings are calculated


Rankings for Central College within the 2024 CollegeSimply Best Colleges Lists.

View the CollegeSimply ranking methodology.

Getting In

Admission Standards

Central College overview
SAT 1040/1218
ACT 19/26
GPA 3.52

Applications Accepted

Central College overview
Applications Due -
Applicant Competition Very Low
Application Fee $25

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Annual Cost to Attend


Costs for Central College
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$1,275
Other Fees$0
Room and Board $10,860
Budget for Other Expenses$3,242
Total One Year Cost$35,177

Tuition and financial aid details


Average Salary After 10 Years

$48,000 per year

Bachelor's Degree Graduation Rate

63% within 6 years

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Popular Areas of Study

Popular subjects studied by Central College students
Subject Percent of Class
Business 17%
Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies 13%
Social Sciences 12%
Biology 8%
Foreign Languages 7%

View All 34 Majors

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Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=153108 IPEDS survey data for Central College.

Current students may use the Central College GPA calculator to determine their current college GPA.