The history of the college can be traced back to 1867, when a flour mill was built on this site in Barkly Street. The Ararat Grammar School opened in 1909 in Barkly Street and the first headmaster was Mr A.G. Butchers. The Ararat Higher Elementary School was established in 1912. On Wednesday 25th June 1913 the school was proclaimed a District High School and Mr Butchers was the headmaster.
Ararat Technical School had its beginning in 1947 when the Education Department authorised a third form (Year 9) course at the Ararat High School to include technical subjects. In 1969 the first principal, Mr J. Pitt was appointed the head of the technical trained staff who taught at the school. The new Technical School in Elizabeth Street, was first occupied at the beginning of 1972 with Mr N.R. Baker as principal.
In 1991, the Ararat Secondary College was established with the amalgamation of Ararat High School and Ararat Technical School. In August 1997, Ararat College consolidated onto one site with the establishment of a TAFE section and both middle and senior campuses combining on the Barkly Street site.
In 2007 the School became known as Ararat College. In 2013 we proudly celebrate 100 years of State Secondary Education in Ararat.