Virginia Alice Cottey Stockard founded Cottey College in 1884 with the firm belief that women deserved the same quality education as men. When Alice became a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, she realized that P.E.O. paralleled her own goals and ideas about higher education for women.

In 1927, the P.E.O. Sisterhood accepted Cottey College as a gift from Virginia Alice Cottey Stockard, making Cottey College the only nonsectarian college owned and supported by women. Ever since, the P.E.O. Sisterhood has continued to support and help provide excellent educational opportunities for women.

In the diverse and supportive environment of Cottey College, women create incredible futures as they develop their potential for personal and professional lives of intellectual engagement and thoughtful action as learners, leaders, and citizens. Cottey is a fully accredited four-year independent liberal arts and sciences college for women offering baccalaureate and associate degrees.

Cottey's relationship with the P.E.O. Sisterhood has helped maintain a rigorous and focused educational program and facilities that rival larger, well-known four-year liberal arts colleges and universities.

2022 U.S. News & World Report Regional Rankings

  • #4 Best Regional Colleges
  • #5 Best Undergraduate Teaching
  • #4 Most International Students (%)
  • #14 Top Performer on Social Mobility
  • #19 Best Value College

Cottey Students

Cottey’s residential student capacity of 350 women typically represents 40 states, Canada and 26 countries.

Cottey Campus

Cottey College is located in Nevada, Missouri, 100 miles from Kansas City and two hours from the Kansas City International Airport.

Cottey's attractive campus blends restored historic buildings and modern structures. Highlights of the 80-acre campus include up-to-date academic facilities, beautiful sculptures and gardens and a dining room with food that's second to none. 

International Experience

Each sophomore-level student has the opportunity to participate in a week-long international trip. Get more details on the Cottey International Experience here.

Cottey Athletics

Cottey participates in intercollegiate basketball, cross country, golf, softball, track and volleyball as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Athletic scholarships are awarded for these sports based on demonstrated ability


View the Cottey College admission policies at Refer a student to Cottey College here


About 99 percent of Cottey students receive some form of financial aid based on need or merit. For details on current tuition, room, board and fees, contact the Office of Enrollment Management at 1-888-5-COTTEY or visit the Cottey College website

Cottey College Alumnae

If you're a Cottey College alumna who is interested in learning more about P.E.O. membership, please complete this interest form and we will send it to chapters in your community.

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