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Columbia Basin College: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Research Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington. Learn about its admission info, degree programs and financial aid to make an informed education decision.

About Columbia Basin College

Columbia Basin College (CBC) is a public community college located in the city of Pasco in southeastern Washington state. CBC opened its doors in 1955 with an enrollment of 299 students. Back then, classes were held in a building on the local naval base. Today CBC is situated on a 150-acre campus and has a student population of more than 6,000. The campus is close to Sacajawea State Park on the shores of the Columbia River where Lewis and Clark encamped during their historic journey. The school also operates a health science center in neighboring Richland, WA.


CBC is organized into 8 academic divisions: Business and Information Technology, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and World, Health and Physical Education, Basic Skills and Transitional Studies, Arts and Humanities, Career and Technical Education and Math and Science. Each division comprises a group of related departments. The school offers associate's degrees, certificates and continuing education courses. In 2009 the school also began offering a Bachelor of Applied Science degree program in applied management.

The Columbia Basin College Library offers students over 100,000 books, periodicals, sound recordings, instructional videos and other reference material in different media. The school also houses the Benton-Franklin County Regional Law Library. The school's Richland building houses the Columbia Basin Regional Medical Library.

The campus is also home to the Columbia Basin College's Center for Laboratory Sciences, a public-private partnership that provides research and laboratory services for federal and state governments as well as private-sector clients. Astronomy students can gain hands-on training using the 16-inch telescope at the Moore Observatory located on campus. CBC's teaching faculty numbered 125 full-time and 300 part-time instructors.


CBC has an open admission policy. Prospective students must submit the school's application and transcripts from previous schools. Applications are accepted through the mail or online along with an application fee. All students who intend on seeking a degree or certificate must take a placement test. Some programs require that a program-specific application be submitted along with the school's general application and may have additional prerequisites that must be met prior to admission. Applicants should consult the specific division or department prior to applying.

Credit or advanced placement can be gained through a variety of prior learning experiences like CLEP, AP, experiential learning and military service, among others. In 2011 over half the undergraduate students were enrolled full-time, and about 67% of undergraduates were white, 25% were Hispanic and slightly more than half were female. Nearly all undergraduate students were Washington state residents.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition at CBC is charged per credit hour. For the 2012-2013 academic year, the cost of tuition and fees for a full-time (15 credits per quarter), in-state student was approximately $4,349.40 a year (3 academic quarters). Tuition and fees for a full-time, out-of-state student were $6,364.96 a year. Books and supplies can total about $1,000 per year. Off-campus room and board can cost between $3,000 and $9,300 per year, depending on whether or not the student lives with his or her family.

CBC offers several different financial aid packages to help students and their families defray the cost of a college education. Federal, state and institutional grants are available as well as scholarships and student loans. A federal work-study program and a state-sponsored tuition waiver program are also available.

There are deadlines for financial aid applications: April 15 for fall and summer quarters, October 15 for winter quarter and January 15 for spring quarter.

School Type Public, 4-year (most programs 2 years or less)**
Degrees Offered Certificate, associate's, bachelor's*
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Quarters*
School Setting Small city**
Student Body 6,405 in fall 2011 (all undergraduates)**
Student Housing None**
Academic Divisions 8 divisions*
Student-Faculty Ratio 21 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Certificate: Health Professions (217)
Associate's: Liberal Arts and Sciences (652)
Bachelor's: Applied Management (23)***
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 32% overall rate***
First-Year Retention Rates 62% (full-time students)
45% (part-time students)**
Application Due Date Winter deadline: December 6, 2012*
Tuition In-state students: $113.01; Out-of-state students: $177.69 (fall 2012 quarter, per credit, including fees)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) For all undergraduate students in 2011:
Grant or scholarship (34%)
Pell grant (26%)
Federal student loans (8%) **
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid In 2011: 57% (full-time, beginning students)**

Sources: *Columbia Basin College, **College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, ***IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, Columbia Basin College, 2600 North 20th Ave., Pasco, WA 99301
  • Telephone: (509) 542-4524
  • Website:

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