Tuition FAQs


What is Central College doing and why?

For the Fall 2020 semester, Central College will:

  • Offer every Central student a new annual tuition price of $18,600. Central will continue to offer scholarship aid, scaled in proportion to the new tuition. Rather than listing an artificially high tuition price and offsetting it with high financial aid, Central is pricing tuition so it is clearer to everyone.
  • Provide every Central student who meets certain criteria at least one internship, one shadowing experience or one community service experience and graduation within four years. Learn More

Why is Central doing this now?

  • Central is changing its tuition price to make clear how affordable and mind-opening a high-quality, personalized Central education really is. And it’s the right thing to do. The price of a college education is becoming an increasing concern to students and their families. The high published price discouraged many students who might have benefited from a Central education, and could have afforded one, from even applying. We are in a great position to do this as we just welcomed Central’s largest incoming class in five years.
  • Because Central’s commitment to community service and four-year graduation also is timely in helping qualify graduates for careers and graduate school promptly. Central has long been a leader in both of these areas. Now Central is putting this commitment in writing because we believe so strongly in what we do for our students.
  • Because Central is in an excellent position to make this move. Central’s incoming class is the largest in five years. Central just completed several major updates to its campus and has the capacity to serve more students. The college also has more scholarship aid than ever, significant donor support and a large number of major gifts and fundraising success.

Does the new price apply to Central’s room and board?

No. It applies to tuition. Our prices for room and board are comparable or lower than other colleges and universities.

Can Central students still receive scholarships and financial aid?

Yes. The amount of the aid is proportional to tuition. A robust assortment of scholarships and financial aid remains available. In fact, Central will offer more scholarships than ever before in the college’s history. This includes more than 600 annual scholarships, almost 270 endowed scholarships, full-tuition scholarships and more. Learn more

What, if anything, do students need to do to benefit from Central’s new published price?

No special applications or additional qualifications exist. Central students and applicants enrolling in the fall of 2020 automatically benefit from the new tuition price. The new price and adjusted financial aid will appear on students’ and accepted applicants’ financial statements from the college.

Who do I talk to if I have questions?

Will Central continue to offer the same quality education?

Absolutely. Admission criteria have not changed. The academic profile of Central students remains high.

Central continues to feature an 11:1 student-faculty ratio and many academic programs. Those include STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), pre-professional programs in health care and dozens of hallmark programs such as business, psychology and education as well as historic strengths in social sciences, humanities and the arts.

The Central experience also offers undergraduate research opportunities with faculty, 20 NCAA Division III athletics programs, 18 music ensembles and 100-plus opportunities for student involvement in a variety of clubs and organizations.

What additional programs, activities and services will Central offer?

  • Career Kickstarter, a free, weeklong, career-focused program available to all sophomores as they explore career possibilities.
  • Membership into the National Society of Leadership and Success, the nation’s largest leadership honor society, which will offer Central students opportunities for leadership training, scholarships, awards and additional benefits beginning Fall 2019.
  • A new campus chapter of Alpha Alpha Alpha, an honor society for first-generation college students, opening Fall 2019. Central is the first college in Iowa to have a chapter of Alpha Alpha Alpha and currently one of just 18 in the country.
  • A new athletics leadership camp debuting January 2020.
  • A new varsity sport, women’s triathlon, to start in Fall 2020. Central is the 31st school in the nation and second in Iowa to offer women’s triathlon.
  • Two new club sports: Two new club sports, men’s volleyball and women’s bowling, with the possibility of both becoming varsity sports.
  • New student clubs and organizations, including clay target sports.
  • New themed housing for students interested in outdoor experiences.
  • Even more new programs, services and activities, to be announced soon.

I’m a Central student. How does this impact me?

In the Fall 2020 semester, your annual tuition price will be $18,600. Your financial aid will be adjusted in proportion to the new tuition. You will not pay more to attend Central in 2020-21 than you paid in 2019-20. You automatically benefit from the new tuition. You do not need to do anything special to qualify for this tuition. The new price and adjusted financial aid will appear on your financial statements from the college.

I’m a high school or transfer student looking at Central College. What does this mean for me?

You will pay an annual tuition of $18,600 in Fall 2020 if you apply, are accepted and enroll in Central starting in the Fall 2020 semester. That price may be lowered further by applying for financial aid.


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