Central … Briefly

Central . . . Briefly

  • Located in Pella, Iowa – 40 minutes southeast of Des Moines
  • Founded in 1853
  • Campus includes nearly 50 major buildings on 200 acres
  • The newly renovated Douwstra Auditorium has been a gathering place for concerts, lectures, convocation and baccalaureate.
  • The Roe Center is a platinum LEED-rated (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building and houses education, political science, psychology, and sociology programs..
  • Vermeer Science Center earned Iowa’s first LEED rating, a silver medal, from the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • Maytag Student Center features a fireside lounge, fitness center, Fred’s café and Central College Spirit Shoppe.
  • Howard McKee Hall, an apartment-style residence hall, earned Central’s second LEED rating, a gold medal.
  • Scholte Hall is Central’s largest residence hall.
  • Weller Center for Business and International Studies features many environmentally friendly elements.
  • The Central Market is Iowa’s most original dining hall with a unique European marketplace design.
    • Ron Schipper Fitness Center is a state-of-the-art fitness center available to all students. It’s located in the newly renovated A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex.
  • Geisler Library holds 160,000 volumes and is home to the Global Café, which offers espresso, coffee, and snacks.
  • Kruidenier Center hosts numerous performances and theatre productions to showcase our musical theatre majors.
  • Lubbers Center for the Visual Arts includes one of only two teaching glassblowing studios in Iowa.
  • The Chapel is home to Central’s Campus Ministries program, which is open to all.



  • One of the Best Liberal Arts Colleges in America, Niche.com, 2023
  • One of the Best Colleges for Kinesiology and Physical Therapy in America, Best Colleges for Education in America and a Best Value College in Iowa, Niche.com, 2023
  • One of the Best Christian Colleges and Universities—Edsmart.org, 2023
  • Top 25% of Money Magazine’s Best Colleges in America, Ranked by Value—Money, 2022
  • One of the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges, U.S. News and World Report, 2022
  • #1 Ranked College in Iowa for Environmental Studies, College Factual, 2022
  • One of the Best Colleges for Education and Teacher Education Grade Specific Schools, College Factual, 2022
  • Top 15% in Placement for Best Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for the Money, College Factual, 2022
  • Top Performers for Social Mobility Colleges, U.S. News and World Report, 2021
  • One of Money Magazine’s Best Colleges in America, Ranked by Value, Money, 2021
  • Central students have won some of the nation’s most prestigious scholarships and awards for academic achievement and leadership. Olivia Svoboda ’22 received a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant grant award to teach English is Spain for the 2022-23 academic year. In 2021, Cameron Coles ’22 earned the Goldwater Scholarship. In 2020, Katelyn Wang ’21 and Elizabeth Sheldon ’21 earned a Goldwater Scholarship and a Udall Scholarship, respectively.
  • Top 15% in the nation for Division III Women’s Soccer program, collegefactual.com, 2020
  • One of only seven Iowa private colleges or universities with a chemistry program approved by the American Chemical Society.

Accredited by:

  • the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org; 800-621-7440)
  • State of Iowa Board of Education
  • Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • Council on Accreditation of Strength and Conditioning
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
  • Certified by the American Chemical Society



  • Total enrollment: 1,169
  • Number of states represented in student body: 32
  • Foreign countries represented in student body: 4
  • Average aid (including scholarships, grants, work study and federal loans) awarded to all incoming freshman in 2021-22: $17,231
  • 6-year graduation rate: 28%



  • Total full-time and part-time faculty: 92
  • D. degree or terminal degree: 84.7 percent
  • Faculty-student ratio: 13:1
  • Average class size: 16


New, first-year student admission profile (Fall 2022):

  • Total applications: 1,970, total acceptances: 1,561; final enrollment: 351 (192 men; 159 women)
  • Reformed Church in America students: 66
  • Percent in top 10 percent of high school class: 21 percent
  • ACT composite score average: 22.5
  • Average HS GPA: 3.61
  • Percentage entering with AP or college credit: 67 percent.


Financial aid profile, entire student body:

  • Receiving need-based aid: 61.39 percent
  • Receiving scholarship and grant aid: 98.95 percent


Music program:

Central’s music department is committed to providing both majors and non-majors a variety of musical performance opportunities: A Cappella Choir, Chamber Singers, College-Community Chorus, College-Community Orchestra, Flying Pans Steel Drum Band, Pep Band, Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and ALMA.


Athletics program:

  • Central College is affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (Division III) and the American Rivers Conference for men and women. Our 21 teams include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, women’s triathlon, volleyball, and men’s and women’s wrestling.
  • Central athletes have captured 11 NCAA Division III championships, 37 NCAA Division III national individual titles, 187 conference team championships, 76 national top-10 team finishes, 66 CSC Academic All-America®, 24 NCAA postgraduate scholarships and 10 NCAA Division III player of the year awards.


A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex includes:

The A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex was recently transformed and includes:

  • S. Kuyper Fieldhouse with indoor track, tennis and basketball court surface
  • Ron Schipper Fitness Center
  • Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium
  • Competition soccer field with separate men’s and women’s practice fields
  • Ryerson Golf Practice Range, one of the only golf practice facilities on a college campus in Iowa
  • 8,000-meter cross- country course on campus
  • H. Kuyper Gymnasium
  • Baseball and softball game fields