The Chipola District, Composed of Jackson, Washington, Holmes, Calhoun, and Liberty Counties is located in the Florida Panhandle - a rural area abounding in forests, rivers and lakes. Part of the district borders on the Georgia and Alabama state lines. The main economic base of the region is agriculture and forestry. Situated in Marianna near the banks of the Chipola River, the campus uses only about forty of its 105 acres. The remainder is its natural state - covered with pines, cedars and hardwoods.
The majority of students who attend Chipola College are natives of the five-county district served by the college. Thus, most students are from a rural or small town background. Marianna, with a population of about 10,000, is the largest city in the district. The population of the entire district is less than 94,000. Most regional students commute to the campus. Most out-of-state and foreign students live in Chipola's Residence Hall.
The major industries of the Chipola District are agriculture and forestry. The district is Florida's top producer of peanuts and a major producer of beef cattle. The second largest income producing industry in the area is corrections. A federal correctional facility, four state prisons, and a juvenile corrections center are located within the five counties. Unlike most of the state, tourism is not a major industry in the district, although thousands visit annually to fish in Lake Seminole and the many other rivers, lakes, streams and ponds.
The racial makeup of the college is 80.8 percent white, 16.5 percent black, 1.7 percent Hispanic and 1.0 percent Native American or other.
The gender mix at Chipola is 55.6 percent female and 44.4 percent male.
In contrast with most urban community colleges, students 17 to 24 years old make up the majority of Chipola's student body, some 61 percent. The remaining age groups are represented as follows: 11 percent 25 to 29, 24 percent 30 to 49, and 4 percent 50 and above.
Because most students commute and some 60 percent hold part or full time jobs, most classes are scheduled between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Evening classes meet Monday through Friday. During the summers, classes meet four days a week, Monday through Thursday.