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Washington Colleges

Find the best college programs in Washington State! Study online or in person at a school that fits your lifestyle. Our database includes two-year and four-year Washington colleges for traditional students and for adults heading back to school.

Find the Best Colleges in Washington

Washington is home to more than 50 accredited schools of higher education. The diversity fits everyone’s needs: Choose from major research universities, small liberal arts colleges, private career colleges, technical schools and religious schools. Affordable college education is a state priority, and some Washington college programs are free to the most cash-strapped students.
Studying out-of-state can be affordable too. Most notably, Washington residents can take advantage of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE). This program provides tuition discounts at about 150 schools in various western states. Community colleges and four-year schools take part. Some participating states are California, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii. See the full list below.

Washington Colleges & Universities

How much will college cost? Here are a few reassuring points about Washington college opportunities and expenses.

  • You won’t go broke. Washington colleges are relatively affordable. Washington community college tuition is under $4000/year for in-state residents. And while many four-year colleges in Washington charge $10,000/year and up, you won’t necessarily be expected to foot the bill. For one thing, approximately 200,000 Washington college students receive financial aid based on need.
  • Online learning is well respected in Washington. (We’d expect no less from Bill Gates’ home state.) Two of the top providers are the University of Washington and Washington State University, but plenty more online college programs in Washington are in our database. Learning online can seriously cut the cost of earning a college degree.
  • Washington makes deals. Thanks to the state’s membership in the Western Undergraduate Exchange, residents of Washington can save on tuition at various schools in these states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

Check out our list of top Washington colleges below.

Rank School Name City State Net Cost School Level Retention Rate Details
1

Academy of Cosmetology

Richland

WA

N/A

Vocational

75%

Distance Learning

No

2

Academy of Interactive Entertainment

Seattle

WA

N/A

Vocational

71.43%

Distance Learning

No

3

Antioch University-Seattle

Seattle

WA

N/A

4 year

0%

Distance Learning

No

4

Argosy University-Seattle

Seattle

WA

N/A

4 year

0%

Distance Learning

Yes

5

Bainbridge Graduate Institute

Seattle

WA

N/A

4 year

N/A

Distance Learning

Yes

6

Bakke Graduate University

Seattle

WA

N/A

4 year

N/A

Distance Learning

Yes

7

Bastyr University

Kenmore

WA

N/A

4 year

N/A

Distance Learning

No

8

Bates Technical College

Tacoma

WA

$7,029

2 year

62.25%

Distance Learning

Yes

9

Beauty Academy

Wenatchee

WA

N/A

2 year

88.89%

Distance Learning

No

10

Bellevue College

Bellevue

WA

$7,503

4 year

N/A

Distance Learning

Yes

11

Bellingham Beauty School

Bellingham

WA

N/A

2 year

N/A

Distance Learning

No

12

Bellingham Technical College

Bellingham

WA

$4,352

2 year

77.14%

Distance Learning

Yes

13

Big Bend Community College

Moses Lake

WA

$6,629

2 year

67.51%

Distance Learning

Yes

14

BJ's Beauty & Barber College

Tacoma

WA

N/A

2 year

80.95%

Distance Learning

No

15

Carrington College-Spokane

Spokane

WA

N/A

2 year

71.67%

Distance Learning

Yes

16

Cascade Beauty College

Auburn

WA

N/A

2 year

100%

Distance Learning

No

17

Cascadia Community College

Bothell

WA

$9,725

2 year

61.82%

Distance Learning

Yes

18

Central Washington University

Ellensburg

WA

$14,374

4 year

73.87%

Distance Learning

Yes

19

Centralia College

Centralia

WA

$6,681

4 year

N/A

Distance Learning

Yes

20

City University of Seattle

Seattle

WA

N/A

4 year

40%

Distance Learning

Yes

21

Clark College

Vancouver

WA

$6,659

2 year

60.2%

Distance Learning

Yes

22

Clover Park Technical College

Lakewood

WA

$4,595

2 year

63.25%

Distance Learning

Yes

23

Columbia Basin College

Pasco

WA

$8,038

4 year

N/A

Distance Learning

Yes

24

Cornish College of the Arts

Seattle

WA

N/A

4 year

78.06%

Distance Learning

No

25

Cortiva Institute-Seattle

Seattle

WA

N/A

Vocational

80%

Distance Learning

No


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Washington College Stats: Reasons to Brag

  • Washington voters and government leaders take good care of higher education. It’s given them some reasons to be proud. Here’s a quick rundown of their approach and the payoffs.
  • Washington invests in higher education. At a public Washington college you’ll notice consistent high quality in terms of the instructors, instructional materials and campus maintenance — and maybe also when you’re given a financial aid package. The state allocates about $11 billion to higher education every year, which is impressive for a state with just 7 million people.
  • Washington’s tuition assistance pays off. For every $1 Washington spends to help students pay for college, taxpayers get about $1.48 back. That calculation reflects tax revenue from successful graduates and a reduced need to spend on social services.
  • The economy is hopping! Education is a big part of the state economy. Washington’s public colleges alone employ about 50,000 people. Plus, Washington’s investment in academic research generates more than $2 billion in local economic activity every year.
  • Students are satisfied. Washington college students have higher-than-average completion rates for college. At the University of Washington for instance, about 95 percent of freshmen return for sophomore year. The average time to earn a bachelor degree at UW is 4.1 years.

Build your list of best colleges! Use the CollegeStats database to find the best colleges in Washington State and across America.