Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom: Academics, Admissions & Tuition

Research Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom. Learn about its admission requirements, degree programs and financial aid to make an informed education decision.

About Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom is a 2-year college located on 140 acres in Lakewood, Washington, adjacent to Fort Steilacoom Park and Waughhop Lake. Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom is the largest school in the Pierce College District, which also includes a campus in Puyallup and two military education centers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.


At the Fort Steilacoom campus of Pierce College, students can complete associate's degrees designed to transfer directly to 4-year colleges, which include programs in liberal arts, business, biology, education and health science. Pierce College also offers professional and technical associate's degrees and certificates in over 20 areas of study, including computer information systems, digital design, early childhood education, nursing and homeland security emergency management (HSEM). Students in the HSEM program can benefit from the on-campus Washington State Center of Excellence for Homeland Security. The Center for Excellence is a coalition of public community colleges, government agencies, organizations and businesses working together to provide education and training in national security.

High school students can enroll in Pierce College courses through the Running Start Program. Running Start courses fulfill high school graduation requirements and count as college credits. Students remain enrolled in both high school and college until enough credits are earned for a high school diploma.


Students who want to enroll in a certificate or degree program at Pierce College can fill out an online application and submit the $25 application fee. Applications are accepted year round, and admission packages are sent via email. Since this school has an open admissions policy, students who meet the minimum qualifications are accepted. High school students seeking admission to the Running Start Program must attend a registration workshop before applying.

In Fall 2012, all students who were enrolled at this school lived in the state of Washington and 45% of these students took classes on a full-time basis, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). A little over half of students enrolled in 2011 were 25 years old or older.

Tuition & Financial Aid

For the 2013-2014 academic year, tuition at Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom was $115.34 per credit for Washington residents and $128.34 for non-state residents who have permanent residency within the United States. Additionally, Pierce College charges $287.34 per credit for non-citizens without residency status. All tuition rates include comprehensive, technology and recreation center fees. Students can pay with credit cards, e-payment or set up an installment plan.

Financial aid is available to Pierce College students who have completed a high school diploma (or GED) and are U.S. citizens enrolled in a qualified program with a minimum of a 2.0 GPA. Students interested in aid should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by the priority deadline for the quarter they plan to enroll. The priority deadline for the Fall 2014 quarter was June 1.

School Type Public, 2-year*
Degrees Offered Certificates and associate's degrees*
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Quarters**
School Setting Small city*
Student Body 6,855 undergraduates in Fall 2012*
Student Housing No on-campus housing available*
Programs 64 total for both Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup campuses**
Student-Faculty Ratio 19 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2012:
<1 Year Certificate: Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration (58);
1-2 Year Certificate: Medical Administrative/Executive Assistant and Medical Secretary (10);
Associates Degree: Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies (750)*
Graduation Rates 11% in normal time;
20% within 150% of normal time*
Admission Rate Open admissions*
Entering Class Size 489 in 2012*
First-Year Retention Rates 56% for full-time and 40% for part-time students*
Application Due Date Rolling admissions**
Decision Notification Date Within a few days of applying**
Tuition & Fees (2013-2014) $3,777 in-state, $8,967 for out-of-state per year*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2012: Federal grants (53%), state and local grants (30%), institutional scholarship (11%), federal loans (24%)*
Percent of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 70% in 2012*

Sources: *NCES, **Pierce College.

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