Washington State Universities and Colleges

Washington State is home to nearly 130 colleges and universities. Compare some of the schools in Washington State based on factors like their costs and graduation rates to determine which schools might be right for you.

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There are many postsecondary options for students throughout Washington State, ranging from 2-year community colleges and technical institutes to 4-year state colleges and private for-profit universities. The data presented here, divided in categories for things like location and affordability, is based on statistics from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES).

Washington State Schools Near Large Cities

The schools in Washington that are located near large cities are mostly found in and around Seattle, and several schools are near Tacoma and Spokane as well. Most of the Seattle schools are private institutions.

  • City University of Seattle (Seattle)
  • Seattle University (Seattle)
  • Washington State University-Spokane (Spokane)
  • Spokane Falls Community College (Spokane)
  • University of Washington-Tacoma Campus (Tacoma)

Largest Schools in Washington State

The largest schools in Washington are mostly 4-year public schools. Some of these schools offered student enrollments of more than 20,000 students as of the fall in 2015.

  • University of Washington-Seattle Campus (45,408 students)
  • Washington State University (29,686 students)
  • Western Washington University (15,332 students)
  • Bellevue College (13,398 students)
  • Eastern Washington University (12,361 students)

Lowest Net Price

Expenses are a critical component of any enrollment decision for most students. In this category, the schools with the lowest net prices are listed according to NCES data for full-time undergraduates. The NCES calculates net price by subtracting the average amount of undergraduate financial aid from the average total cost of annual expenses per student. This data comes from the 2014-2015 school year.

  • Seattle Central College ($3,783)
  • Bellingham Technical College ($4,420)
  • Spokane Community College ($4,842)
  • North Seattle College ($5,011)
  • Grays Harbor College ($5,712)

Highest Graduation Rate

The NCES determines a school's overall graduation rate by looking at the number of first-time, full-time undergraduates who graduated within 150% of normal time - that's within six years or less for a bachelor's program. The graduation rate is one way of assessing the overall quality of education students typically receive at an institution.

  • Whitman College (87% graduation rate)
  • University of Washington-Seattle Campus (84% graduation rate)
  • Gonzaga University (83% graduation rate)
  • Trinity Lutheran College (80% graduation rate)
  • Seattle University (79% graduation rate)

We've compiled schools in Washington into four separate categories based on location, price, students, and graduation rate to help you decide on one that makes sense for you.

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