Before Bellevue College became a four-year institute, it outclassed all other
community colleges in size and diversity. Now, as a full college, BC is the third largest in the state, right beneath University of Washington and Washington State University, serving approximately 37,000 students every year. Most of these students began their BC education in fall quarter.
This fall, there are currently 34,000 students enrolled. Of these students, 79 percent are attaining an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s degree, or a certificate, and 21 percent are in the Continuing Education or Adult Basic Skills programs.
BC prides itself on transfer students – more students transferring to universities come from BC than any community college in the state. 55 percent of BC credit students are completing their freshman or sophomore years at BC before transferring to a different institution.
Diversity is another well-expressed aspect of BC. The college has students from all over the world. 69.1 percent identified themselves as white, and 20.3 percent of the student population are Asian and Pacific Island American. African Americans make up 6.1 percent, and Native Americans 1.1 percent. Students who are multi-racial make up 3.4 percent, and 5.4 percent of students identified as Hispanic.
The female to male ratio at the college is fairly even – 60-40 in favor of females. Of these students, 55 percent are full-time and 45 percent are part time. 65 percent hold down jobs while enrolled at BC, and 22 percent have family or other dependents. BC’s financial aid assists 13 percent of enrolled students, and the college’s Disability Resource Center helps 550 students.
The college is host to 1,300 international students from all over the world, but the majority – 62 percent of the student population – comes from the Greater King County area. The average student age is 26 for credit students and 31 for all students; however, young people are also represented through the 1,200 students served by The Running Start program, which allows high school students to take college level classes.
At the end of last year, 19 students graduated with a Bachelor’s degree, and 1616 graduated with a two-year degree. A total of 386 students graduated with a certificate and 28 graduated with a GED.
Success after leaving BC is, overall, at a higher percentage than the statewide average. For those who leave BC after participating in a technical or professional program, the employment rate nine months after graduation is at 85 percent, four percent higher than the state average. The median hourly pay for these graduates is $19.38, compared to the state average of $14.19 and the community college average of $12.89.
In addition to this program’s success, 57 percent of all Bellevue College graduates now earn more than $30,000 a year.
These demographics show a promising diversity for the new school year and more here at Bellevue College.