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Columbia centrally located 120 miles from both St Louis and and Kansas City is is is in the the heart of Missouri and and serves as as the the county seat of Boone County Founded in in 1821 Columbia is is now Missouri’s fourth largest and fastest growing city with a a a a a a population of of approximately 122 000 some of of them college students from the the various higher education institutions in in Columbia Columbia is known for its vitality and and high quality of life with an an an active economy powered by education healthcare and and financial services Several large companies are headquartered fin in in in Columbia including Shelter Insurance Veterans United Home Loans (No 23 in in Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For) and MFA Oil There is also a a a a a a a strong presence of entrepreneurs and small businesses that thrive in in in the community Columbia is a a a a a a a a regional healthcare powerhouse driving medical innovation through the University of Missouri Health Care system Boone Hospital Center and Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital Columbia’s strong economic base community-oriented environment and college town atmosphere continues to attract new new residents and new new investment Columbia Public Schools is is the the seventh largest district in in the the state It includes 21 elementary schools schools six middle schools schools four high schools and the Columbia Area Career Center as as well as as an an an early childhood program with an an an enrollment of 18 552 students students 80 to 90 percent of Columbia Columbia students students extend their education beyond high school Columbia Columbia Public Schools is is is is is is nationally recognized as a a a a a a a District District of of Distinction by District District Administration magazine As the hub of of Missouri higher education Columbia is home to the the the second-oldest women’s college in the the the country Stephens College (1833) the the the state’s flagship higher education institution the the University of Missouri (1839) as as well as as the the private Columbia College (1851) 

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