Washington State Colleges and Universities: A Guide For Aspiring Students

washington state colleges and universities

Introduction: Welcome to Washington – A Hub of Higher Education

If you’re looking for a great higher education experience, Washington can also be your resort for your needs. Washington state colleges and universities are composed of six public four-year colleges and universities, 22 private schools, and 30 junior and public colleges.

Higher Education Landscape: Exploring Colleges and Universities in Washington

Washington’s educational scene is also bustling. With several accredited colleges in Washington state, we’re sure you can find the best fit for your aspirations and lifestyle. Here are the ten best colleges in Washington state. 

University of Washington

Seattle, WA

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UW is among the largest and oldest public universities in the United States, and the biggest is in Washington. The university offers over 180 degree programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees. The most popular programs at UW include Public Affairs Healthcare, Fine Arts, and Nursing. 

UW has an acceptance and graduation rate of 54% and 82.9%, respectively. In-state students pay $34,554, while out-of-state students pay $63,906 per year. 

Washington State University

Pullman, WA

Washington State University is a top public research university, offering hundreds of research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. WSU’s initiatives range from the humanities and business to plant sciences and veterinary medicine. 

WSU has an acceptance and graduation rate of 83.1% and 59.8%, respectively. In-state students pay $29,944, while out-of-state students pay $45,628 per year. 

Gonzaga University

Spokane, WA

Gonzaga University is one of the most outstanding private universities in Washington state. The university is also recognized as one of the leading institutions in fields like Business and Finance, the Sciences, and Computer Science. Students will pay the same amount of tuition, regardless of residency status. 

Gonzaga has an acceptance and graduation rate of 69.7% and 84.6%, respectively. Students pay an average tuition of $54,380 per year regardless of their state residency status. 

Whitman College

Walla Walla, WA

If you’re looking for a private liberal arts college, consider Whitman College. The institution’s average class size is 9-to-1, which makes it among the lowest in the United States. Its strongest majors are neuroscience-focused majors like Psychology and Biology. 

Whitman has an acceptance and graduation rate of 48% and 89.9%, respectively. Students pay an average tuition of $63,500 per year regardless of their state residency status. 

Western Washington University

Bellingham, WA 

WWU has among the strongest campus efforts toward sustainability, with a reputation as one of America’s top green schools. WWU is renowned for its innovative initiatives, waste reduction programs, and strong focus on renewable energy sources. 

WWU has an acceptance and graduation rate of 93% and 77.1%, respectively. In-state students pay $7,995, while out-of-state students pay $26,562 per year. 

Seattle University

Seattle, WA

Seattle’s STEM programs are among the strongest in the state. SeattleU also offers plenty of Study-Abroad opportunities designed to help students develop cultural awareness, a skill essential to today’s interconnected job market. Moreover, it is known for social activism. 

Seattle has an acceptance and graduation rate of 85.2% and 74.7%, respectively. Students pay an average tuition of $55,620 per year regardless of their state residency status.  

University of Puget Sound 

Tacoma, WA

If you want to study in a quieter location in WA but still have easy access to bigger, more bustling cities, consider universities near Seattle, Washington state. The University of Puget Sound is located in a safe, family-friendly Tacoma. It has access to more outdoor activities, has a robust economy, is more affordable than Bellevue or Seattle, and offers a global city atmosphere. 

Puget Sound has an acceptance and graduation rate of 83% and 78%, respectively. Students pay an average tuition of $62,310 per year regardless of their state residency status.   

Central Washington University

Ellensburg, WA

CWU is known to have one of the lowest out-of-state rates for public school students. If you want to major in Paramedicine, Physics, Music, Education, and Geology, you should consider putting CWU on your list of universities in Washington state. 

CWU has an acceptance and graduation rate of 93.5% and 52%, respectively. In-state students pay $7,021, while out-of-state students pay $24,600 per year.

Eastern Washington University 

Cheney, WA

EWU is one of the strongest Washington state public colleges, housing the only bachelor’s degree in industrial robotics and automation in the area. EWU has also been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) along with the NSA (National Security Agency). 

EWU has an acceptance and graduation rate of 97% and 57%, respectively. In-state students pay $11,219, while out-of-state students pay $25,517 per year.

Whitworth University

Spokane, WA 

Whitworth is a private college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. It is perfect for students looking for a small school experience and intimate campus life. The university is one of the only 4-year colleges in Washington to offer opportunities to study human cadavers or live animals on campus at the Robinson Science Hall. 

Whitworth has an acceptance and graduation rate of 90.5% and 68.1%, respectively. Students pay an average tuition of $51,500 per year regardless of their state residency status. 

Why Choose Washington?: Discovering the Benefits of Studying in The Evergreen State

Washington has among the strongest economies in the United States, with a $672.13 billion GDP in 2023. This means that students who pursue schools in Washington have many opportunities for educational and career advancements, from tourism and agriculture to technology and aerospace. 

Moreover, the state is also known as where the “next big thing” begins. It has taken the lead in promoting human rights, sustainability, and social and civil issues that generate rifts in other states. 

Beyond educational and career opportunities, Washington State offers a vibrant, varied, and diversified life quality that gives you plenty of options to relax. There are various cultural activities and an ever-changing schedule of festivals and celebrations, which can be a little daunting, particularly during the summer.

Finding the Right College: Exploring Programs and Campus Life in Washington

Finding the best institution for your needs depends on several factors, especially the overall academic fit. Here’s a list of effective strategies when choosing a college in Washington: 

Overall Cost

For instance, the University of Washington in-state tuition is $34,554, while its out-of-state tuition is $63,906. On the other hand, Gonzaga University has a flat-rate tuition of $54,380 regardless of residency status. Gonzaga will be expensive for in-state students but more affordable for out-of-state residents, which means if you’re a non-resident student, do not rule out private schools. 

Overall Academic Fit

There are several factors when considering overall academic fit. They include program availability, faculty expertise, class sizes, academic resources, campus culture, and delivery format. 

One of the best and quickest ways to ensure that the school aligns with your needs is to visit the campus or you can also talk to people who can help like advisors, mentors, and friends.

Conclusion: Empowering Your Educational Journey in Washington

Washington has a lot to offer. Whether you’re drawn to the bustling city life of Seattle or the serene beauty of the Pacific Northwest, there’s a college in Washington that can cater to your needs and aspirations.