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Eastern Arizona College (EAC) is a community college located in Graham County, Arizona. Founded in 1888, the institution was the first community college in the state. Students can choose to attend classes on three different campuses: Thatcher, Globe, and Payson.

Overview of Eastern Arizona College (EAC)

An energetic learning-environment, Eastern Arizona College (EAC) is home to qualified and caring instructors who prepare students for the most in-demand careers and advanced study. It offers more than 90 certificates and degrees, including the number one nursing school in Arizona and a fine arts program featuring the only marching band in the state. The institution also boasts on-campus housing, more than 30 clubs and organizations, active intramurals, and nationally ranked athletic and E-sports teams.

The total student population is 4,864, all of whom are enrolled in undergraduate programs. The school also employs approximately 83 full-time and 144 part-time faculty members. All of these professionals focus solely on instructional efforts. Overall, the school’s student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1, which is lower than the national average. Notably, half of the classes offered have 10 or fewer students enrolled.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Remote
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 19 : 1
Graduation Rate 49%
Year Founded 1888

Student Enrollment

Total Students4,864


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,994
Female 2,870

Graduate Student

Male 0
Female 0

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EAC Acceptance Rate and Admissions


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EAC Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Eastern Arizona College offers a highly personalized education at a quarter of the cost of an Arizona university and a fraction of the cost of trade schools in the state. In fact, most students leave the institution with no debt thanks to over 100 on-campus employment opportunities. The institution believes in helping students focus on their education rather than how to pay for it.

The exact amount students will spend at Eastern Arizona College will depend on individual class schedules, as well as housing and meal arrangements. In-state residents enrolled in 15 credit hours can expect to pay approximately $1,470 per semester during the 2023-2024 academic year. Out-of-state students, on the other hand, will owe closer to $5,970 per semester for the same course load.

Notably, it’s possible for some non-Arizona residents to also pay lower tuition rates. Eastern Arizona College is part of the Wester Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Through WUE, students in western states may enroll in many two-year and four-year college programs at a 150% reduced tuition level of the institution’s resident tuition. This means that WUE students at Eastern Arizona College will pay $2,205 per 15-credit semester during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Prospective students must also anticipate paying for books, supplies, transportation, housing, and food. Eastern Arizona College estimates that students will spend approximately $600 per semester on books and incidentals. Additionally, the institution does offer room and board options, with a projected cost of $1,600 per semester. This is only about $220 per month to live on campus.

All Eastern Arizona College students are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is how the institution determines federal aid eligibility, including the Pell Grant and other funded grants that do not require repayment. The college also offers generous scholarships in academics, athletics, and the performing arts. As of the 2021-2022 academic year, 78% of full-time beginning undergraduate students enrolled at the institution received some sort of financial aid. Only 1% required the use of student loans.

Average net price 2021-2022
Net Price $8,594
Average Total Aid $8,834
Students Receiving Financial Aid 78%
Room & Board $7,950

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $2,232
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $9,192
  • Books and Supplies - $900
  • Room & Board - $7,950
  • Other - $3,836

Popular Academic Programs at EAC

Eastern Arizona College offers high quality, extremely affordable degree and certificate programs in a welcoming community. The classes are small and taught by dedicated, highly certified professors. The programs and facilities are top-rated. This includes a well-equipped fabrication lab and Discover Park, which functions as a living science laboratory of various ecosystems and access to the Mt. Graham International Observatory. The institution also offers career-focused academic options designed specifically to prepare those enrolled to transfer to four-year colleges and universities in the future.

Students can choose from a wide array of programs, including:

  • Administration of Justice
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Art
  • Automotive
  • Business
  • CADD Drafting
  • Cosmetology
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Graphic Design
  • Media Communications
  • Nursing
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Theatre Arts
  • Welding

According to data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the retention rate for first-time, undergraduate freshmen who began their studies at Eastern Arizona College in 2021 was 51% for full-time students and 33% for part-time students. Notably, the national average is 68%. Overall, this indicates that a slight majority of students enrolled at the university chose to return in 2022.

The overall graduation rate for students who began their studies in fall 2019 was 49%, with an 11% transfer-out rate. This means that about half of students were able to complete their academic requirements within 150% of normal time, which is three years for associate degrees.

Eastern Arizona College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which is recognized by the US Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation. It is also authorized by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) to offer online classes to students residing outside of Arizona.

Student Population Total

Student Population 4,864

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors NA Total Graduates / NA%

Outcome & Salary

As a community college, Eastern Arizona College’s mission differs from that of traditional four-year academic institutions. Whereas other institutions are designed to help students earn degrees, community colleges focus on serving the unique educational needs of individuals within the community. Many students at these schools do not intend to earn degrees or transfer.

Based on graduation and transfer surveys conducted by Eastern Arizona College, many students from the 2018-2022 cohorts transferred to other community colleges within Arizona or four-year institutions following the completion of their studies.

Some of the top receiving academic colleges and universities include:

  • Arizona State University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • University of Arizona
  • Brigham Young University
  • New Mexico State University

Occupational job placement rates are also assessed. While each year’s graduated fared slightly differently, 89.3% of respondents from 2018 to 2022 were employed within six months of graduation. Additionally, graduates reported being satisfied with the quality of instruction and overall education experiences at Eastern Arizona College.

It’s also worth mentioning that Eastern Arizona College employs academic counselors and mentors to help ensure a smooth transfer to other universities and/or entry into the workforce as highly skilled professionals. This support may make it easier for students with the goal of transferring to four-year universities later.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $49,000
College Grads Average Salary $42,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $72,400
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $420,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,144,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $34,376
10 Year Projected ROI $385,624
20 Year Projected ROI $1,109,624
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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