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The State of Washington is commonly known as the Evergreen State for the myriad trees dotting the landscape of this Northwest state. It is the 13th most populous state in the country and ranked eighteenth largest state by land area. Home to over 130 accredited colleges and universities, the State of Washington offers a multitude of higher education opportunities. State universities can be found from Seattle to Pullman and from Bellingham to Ellensburg. Top ranked public colleges in Washington State include the University of Washington, Washington State University, Eastern Washington University, and Western Washington University. Start your college search by investing in you. Invest time and energy to analyze your skills, attributes, strengths, and academic passion. Net-net, the time spent up front will be offset by massive time savings down the road as you research accredited colleges found with MatchCollege and collect information from your top school choices. Use our award-winningeBook,money savingguide, andinsider tipsto help you crush the odds with college admissions.

2021 Best Public Colleges in Washington

Known as the largest college in the northwestern region of the United States, the University of Washington is comprised of three campuses, the largest being UW in Seattle. It was founded in 1861 and now belongs among the top universities in the world. UW is also recognized as a premier public research university, receiving one of the biggest amounts of federal funding for university research throughout the country. Over 4,000 faculty members oversee 18 schools and colleges, offering more than 250 graduate and undergraduate programs.

Contributing to the university's prominence is the UW School of Medicine, acknowledged to be the best in primary care education and medical research in the country. Faculty members are comprised by physicians from Harborview Medical Center, Seattle Children's Hospital, and numerous UW Neighborhood Clinics in the Seattle area. Since 1946, UW Medicine has constantly ranked among the country's top biomedical research facilities and has grown to accommodate a total of 30 academic departments and several graduate programs in biomedical sciences.

Students at UW are entitled to many university services for healthcare, counseling, on and off campus housing, a U-PASS commuter services program, and a childcare program for student-parents. UW is also famous for its commitment to environmental stewardship, switching to the use of renewable sources of electricity within campus grounds. Several student organizations are at the helm of promoting sustainable living and advocating environmental causes such as UW Farm which oversees the local production of food and promoting organic farming inside the UW community.

Establishments within the UW campus include several galleries and exhibits such as the Burke Museum which stands as the state museum of natural history, the Henry Art Gallery featuring contemporary art, the Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, and the UW Botanic Gardens. The athletic complex, on the other hand, includes the Dempsey Indoor Track, Nordstrom Tennis Center, King County Aquatics Center, Bank of America Arena, and the Husky stadiums for football, baseball, and soccer.

Enrollment

47,400

Student to Faculty Ratio

19:1

UWB provides a variety of program options for students to assist them in their growth and development. The school is located in Bothell, Washington and publically funded. Approximately 3,300 students are enrolled yearly at UWB.

Areas of study available at UWB include but are not limited to:

  • Business Administration
  • Nursing
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Education
  • Computer

The admissions process will begin with the submission of an application, school records, and standardized test scores, which are then reviewed by the admissions staff. Students may provide either the ACT or SAT exam scores to be considered for admissions at this school. A score between 1350 to 1700 on the SAT, or 19 to 25 for the ACT is common among accepted students. UWB has an acceptance rate of about 74 percent of which only 34 percent chose to attend. More information regarding admissions can be found here.

Tuition & fees at University of Washington - Bothell Campus vary for in-state and nonresidents. In-state tuition costs nearly $11,000 per year, while out-of-state tuition costing $30,000 annually. Housing is available for students and costs around $6,900 for the year. Financial aid may be offered to students that meet the required requirements by way of grants or student loans.

Contact information, academics information, programs offered, and much more can be accessed on school's website at http://www.bothell.washington.edu/.

Enrollment

5,970

Student to Faculty Ratio

20:1

Western Washington University is a public institution located in Bellingham, Washington and provides a large number of educational opportunities for students. Western Washington University has a yearly student enrollment of over 15,000.

Areas of study available at Western Washington University include:

  • Psychology
  • Liberal Arts And Sciences
  • English Language And Literature
  • Public Administration And Social Services
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Education

Students applying for admission are most often required to submit an application, transcripts, test scores and any requested application essays, which will then be reviewed by the admissions office. Students may provide either the SAT or ACT scores to be considered for admissions to this school. A score within the range of 1490 - 1830 on the SAT, or 22 - 27 for the ACT is common among accepted students. This school has an acceptance rate of 78% of which only 38% decided to enroll. More information from the admissions office can be found here.

Tuition & fees at Western Washington University vary for in-state and nonresidents. In-state tuition costs nearly $8,500 per year with out-of-state tuition costing $20,000 per year. The cost of on-campus housing is approximately $6,400 annually. Students enrolled at this school may qualify for aid which is usually grants and loans.

The Western Washington University Vikings participate in a number of intercollegiate athletic programs, within the NCAA. Available sports offered may include but not limited to:

  • Basketball (NCAA Division II)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division II)
  • Golf (NCAA Division II)
  • Rowing (NCAA Division II)

Students can visit the Western Washington University website to see a complete list of academic programs offered, student services, and more.

Enrollment

16,121

Student to Faculty Ratio

18:1

Washington State University (WSU) is one of the top 60 public research universities in the U.S. The main campus for WSU is its Pullman Campus, located in southeastern Washington and 75 miles south of Spokane. WSU also has campuses in Spokane, Vancouver and the Tri-Cities.

The faculty at WSU is highly acclaimed, and includes Fulbright Scholars, National Science Foundation awardees, and members of the National Academies among its researchers.  WSU offers more than 200 fields of study, with 95 majors available for undergraduates and 64 master's degree programs available for graduate students. There are 44 doctoral degree programs available, and two professional degree programs (Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine). WSU offers many study abroad programs in 91 countries.

History

Washington State University's Pullman was Washington's original land-grant university, which was founded in 1890.

Academics

The academic calendar for Washington State University follows the semester system with fall and spring semesters and a summer session.

Colleges and Schools

Washington State University has 12 academic colleges, a graduate school and a center for distance learning and professional/career education:

  • Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Business
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Honors
  • Liberal Arts
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy
  • Sciences
  • University College
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Graduate School
  • Center for Distance and Professional Education

Student Life

There are more than 300 student clubs and organizations available to students at Washington State University, with many of opportunities for civic engagement, leadership, and student government.  There are also multicultural student centers, as well as mentorship programs that offer peer tutoring in topics that include writing, engineering and mathematics.  There are also many chapters of national fraternities and sororities available on campus.

The WSU Pullman campus has many residential halls for students who wish to live on campus. The residence halls feature "living-learning communities" that help to keep freshmen students focused on their studies.  Off campus housing is also available in the tree-lined communities that surround the Pullman campus.

Athletics

The "Cougars" athletic teams of Washington State University compete in numerous intercollegiate sports, including:

Men's Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Track and Field 

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball 

The athletic department of Washington State University also runs a baseball academy for youths.

Satellite Campuses

In addition to its Pullman Campus, Washington Status University has campuses in Spokane, Tri-Cities and Vancouver, Washington. It also has Extension Offices in every county of Washington State, and offers online programs that are available to students around the world.

Community Life

The WSU Community Action Center serves as a connection or liaison between families and their community. Its mission is to help low to middle-income families become self-sufficient and self-sustaining. The WSU faculty and staff are involved to help with activities and programs such as the food assistance services, nutritional counseling, assistance and guidance with budgeting, and more.

Among its many other community programs, WSU offers agricultural research stations throughout the state that provide benefits to local industries and communities through research and services. WSU also has Small Business Development Centers, the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, and a 4-H Youth Development Program.

Enrollment

31,478

Student to Faculty Ratio

15:1

Central Washington University provides a variety of program options for students to aid them in their growth and development. The school is located in Ellensburg, WA and publically funded. CWU has a yearly student enrollment of about 12,000.

Areas of study available at CWU include:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Education
  • Security And Protective Services
  • Social Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Biological And Biomedical Sciences

The admissions process starts with the submission of an application, school records, and standardized test scores, which are then evaluated by the admissions committee. A SAT or ACT exam may be required prior to applying, with scores in a range of 1320 - 1650 for the SAT exam and within the range of 18 - 24 on the ACT is common among students accepted to Central Washington University. Central Washington University accepts about 80% of applicants yearly. Of those students accepted, around 39% enrolled. More information regarding admissions can be found at cwu.edu.

The cost of undergraduate tuition varies for in-state and out-of-state residents. In-state residents pay around $8,800 and nonresidents pay $21,000 annually. Student housing is available on-campus for students. The annual cost of housing is estimated to be $4,400. Some students at CWU may qualify for financial aid, which is generally provided as grants or student loans.

The mascot for CWU is the "Wildcats", and they participate in intercollegiate athletics through the NCAA. Available athletic programs offered may include the following:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division II)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division II)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division II)

Enrollment

12,342

Student to Faculty Ratio

19:1

University of Washington - Tacoma Campus is a public university that has a large number of programs available for students to choose from. The school is located in Tacoma, Washington, in a predominantly urban area. Over three thousand students enroll at UWT yearly.

Students can pick from several areas of study, including:

  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Education
  • Computer
  • Nursing
  • Accounting

Students applying for admission are most often required to submit an application, school records, test scores and any requested application essays, which will then be reviewed by the admissions committee. Students may submit either the ACT or SAT scores to be considered for admissions to University of Washington - Tacoma Campus. A score in a range of 1320 to 1680 on the SAT, or 18 to 23 for the ACT is common among admitted students. This school has an acceptance rate of 77% of which only 37% chose to enroll. More information from the admissions office can be found at tacoma.washington.edu.

The tuition at University of Washington - Tacoma Campus varies based on the state of residence of the student. In-state residents pay close to $11,000 per year and out-of-state residents are charged $31,000 annually. Housing may be available for students who wish to live on-campus for around a cost of $8,200 each year. This school may help with costs by offering financial aid for students who are eligible in the form of grants and loans.

Contact information, admission forms, areas of study, and much more can be viewed on school's website at http://www.tacoma.washington.edu/.

Enrollment

5,354

Student to Faculty Ratio

16:1

Eastern Washington University provides a variety of educational opportunities for students to assist them in their growth and development. The school is located in Cheney, Washington and publically funded. Approximately twelve thousand students are enrolled per year at EWU. Students may select from several areas of study, including but not limited to:

  • Public Administration And Social Services
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Psychology
  • Biological And Biomedical Sciences
  • Health And Clinical Professions
The admissions process begins with the submission of an application, transcripts, and standardized test scores, which are then reviewed by admissions officials. Either the SAT or ACT exam must be taken to apply to EWU. Scores within the range of 18 - 23 on the ACT or 1260 - 1600 on the SAT are needed to increase the chance of getting accepted. An estimated 80% of all students that applied were admitted at this school, with 48% of those admitted choosing to attend. More information from the admissions office can be found at ewu.edu. The cost of tuition varies for in-state and out-of-state residents. In-state residents pay approximately $8,000, while out-of-state residents pay $19,000 annually. Financial aid may be provided to students that meet the necessary requirements. The EWU Eagles participate in several athletic programs, as part of the NCAA organization. Athletic programs available may include the following:
  • Basketball (NCAA Division I-AA)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division I-AA)
  • Football (NCAA Division I-AA)
  • Golf (NCAA Division I-AA)
Contact information, admission forms, areas of study, and more may be viewed on school's website at http://www.ewu.edu.

Enrollment

12,633

Student to Faculty Ratio

21:1

The Evergreen State College is a liberal arts college that offers an undergraduate education and helps students in developing important skills useful in pursuit of graduate education or employment. A liberal arts curriculum exposes students to a variety of topics and subjects. The school is located in Olympia, WA, which is a predominantly suburban area. The Evergreen State College has a yearly student enrollment of approximately four thousand.

Areas of study offered at Evergreen include:

  • Liberal Arts
  • Biological and Physical Sciences
  • Public Administration
  • Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
  • Environmental Studies
  • Mathematics Teacher Education

Students applying for admission are generally asked to submit an application, transcripts, test scores and any requested application essays, which will then be reviewed by admissions officials. An ACT or SAT exam is required prior to applying, with scores within the range of 1440 - 1830 for the SAT exam and in a range of 21 - 26 for the ACT exam is typical among students accepted to this school. 96% of applicants are accepted to The Evergreen State College, of which 33 percent choose to enroll. More information regarding admissions can be found at evergreen.edu.

Tuition & fees at this school are different for in-state and out-of-state residents. In-state tuition costs close to $8,200 per year with out-of-state tuition costing $21,000 per year. The cost of on-campus housing is about $6,600 for the year. Financial aid may be provided to students that meet the necessary requirements.

Athletic programs are available at The Evergreen State College through the NAIA, allowing students to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Sports available may include but not limited to:

  • Basketball (NAIA Division II)
  • Track & Field (NAIA Division II)
  • Soccer (NAIA Division II)

Students should visit the Evergreen website to get a complete list of areas of study, programs, student services, and more that is available at this school.

Enrollment

3,327

Student to Faculty Ratio

21:1

University of South Florida Sarasota - Manatee provides a variety of degree programs for students to guide them in their growth and development. The school is located in Sarasota, FL and publically funded. Enrollment at University of South Florida Sarasota - Manatee exceeds a thousand per year. Students may choose from many areas of study, including:

  • Elementary Education
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences
  • Accounting
To be considered for admissions, students may be asked to fill out an application, provide letters of recommendations, and submit test scores or other school records, which are then reviewed by the admissions office. More information from the admissions office can be found at sarasota.usf.edu. The tuition at University of South Florida Sarasota - Manatee varies based on the state of residence of the student. In-state residents pay nearly $5,600 per year and out-of-state residents are charged $16,000 for the year. Financial aid may be provided to students that meet the required requirements in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs. Contact information, financial aid information, areas of study offered, and much more can be accessed on school's website at http://www.sarasota.usf.edu.

Enrollment

2,069

Student to Faculty Ratio

12:1

Degree Programs at Washington State Universities

The employment base in the state is as diverse as its geography. From high tech to manufacturing and service to education, the State of Washington offers something for every vocational interest. Public universities in the state offer hundreds of majors for students to consider that support a growing economic base. You can readily find offerings in traditional majors such asengineering,business,biology,teaching, andmathto emerging areas of study. Leading edge majors found at top rated public universities includerobotics,toxicology,hydrology,gerontology,cytotechnology,sustainability studies,immunology,data modeling,computer engineeringto name a few. Whether you elect to pursue an undergraduate degree in a niche field or mainstream area of concentration, you can parlay that degree into a graduate program to create a robust resume. For example, students studyingmathcan utilize that knowledge to earn an advanced degree incomputer scienceor an undergraduate degree inengineeringcan be leveraged to a graduate degree inforensic scienceorlaw.

-2

The 5 schools listed below are part of the -2 system. By following the links below, you can view each school's profile in detail.

Institution Name Number Students Information Virtual Tour
Centralia College in Ellensburg, WA10,000 to 19,999info
Edmonds Community College in Cheney, WA10,000 to 19,999info
Pierce College District 11 in Olympia, WA1,000 to 4,999info
University of Washington - Seattle Campus in Pullman, WAMore Than 20,000info
Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA10,000 to 19,999info

University of Washington

The 2 schools listed below are part of the University of Washington system. By following the links below, you can view each school's profile in detail.

Institution Name Number Students Information Virtual Tour
University of Washington - Tacoma Campus in Bothell, WA5,000 to 9,999info
Wenatchee Valley College in Seattle, WAMore Than 20,000info

Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

The 21 schools listed below are part of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges system. By following the links below, you can view each school's profile in detail.

Institution Name Number Students Information Virtual Tour
Alderson Broaddus College in Yakima, WA1,000 to 4,999info Virtual Tour
Bellingham Technical College in Bellevue, WA10,000 to 19,999info
Big Bend Community College in Bellingham, WA1,000 to 4,999info
Clover Park Technical College in Vancouver, WA5,000 to 9,999info
Columbia Basin College in Lakewood, WA1,000 to 4,999info
Cornish College of the Arts in Pasco, WA5,000 to 9,999info
Everett Community College in Lynnwood, WA5,000 to 9,999info
Green River Community College in Aberdeen, WA1,000 to 4,999info
Johnson & Wales University - Denver in Bothell, WA1,000 to 4,999info Virtual Tour
Lower Columbia College in Kirkland, WA1,000 to 4,999info
Northwest University in Seattle, WA5,000 to 9,999info
Saint Martin's University in Renton, WA1,000 to 4,999info
Seattle Central Community College in Seattle, WA5,000 to 9,999info
Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, WA5,000 to 9,999info
South Puget Sound Community College in Mount Vernon, WA5,000 to 9,999info
Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane, WA10,000 to 19,999info
University of Puget Sound in Port Angeles, WA1,000 to 4,999info
Walla Walla Community College in Tacoma, WA5,000 to 9,999info
Walla Walla University in Walla Walla, WA1,000 to 4,999info
Western Washington University in Wenatchee, WA1,000 to 4,999info Virtual Tour
Whitman College in Bellingham, WA1,000 to 4,999info

Notes: Tuition & fee amounts are for both Washington in-state residents and out of state students, unless noted otherwise. The tuition information displayed is an estimate, which we calculated based on historical data and should be solely used for informational purposes only. Please contact the respective school for information about the current school year.

Source: IPEDS Survey 2012-2020: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.

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