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Westcliff University (WU) is a private, for-profit higher education institution located in Irvine, California. It was established in 1993 to provide quality education for students wishing to enter the expanding fields of business and education. The university is globally recognized with a student body represented by over 100 countries. It was ranked number one for Top Graduate Marketing Programs by Best Value Schools in 2021.

Overview of Westcliff University (WU)

The university promises students that no matter where they live, they have direct access to an affordable, consistently high-quality, world-class education. Westcliff University seeks to education, inspire, and empower enrollees from around the world to achieve personal and professional success. Core values include integrity, accountability, social responsibility, global citizenship, diversity, equality, inclusion, collaboration, and compassion.

The student population is 5,625. Of those, 1,817 are pursuing undergraduate degrees. Westcliff University works hard to ensure a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes plenty of personal attention and mentoring opportunities. As a result, the overall student-to-faculty ratio 10:1. This is much lower than the national average. The university employs 42 full-time and 260 part-time faculty members, most of whom provide instructional assistance. Notably, the institution also maintains a limited number of graduate assistants providing instructional support to faculty.

General Information

School Type Private for-profit
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing No
Student Faculty Ratio 10:1
Graduation Rate 44%
Year Founded 1993

Student Enrollment

Total Students5,625


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,127
Female 690

Graduate Student

Male 2,361
Female 1,447

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Top Rankings For Westcliff University

WU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 441
Female 267


Male 291
Female 187

Acceptance Rate67%

Male 66%
Female 70%

Enrollment 418

Male 244
Female 174
Application Fee $50
High School GPA Required To Be Considered
High School Rank Not Considered
High School Transcripts Required To Be Considered
College Prep Courses Not Considered
Recommendations Not Considered
Formal demonstration of competencies Not Considered
Work experience Not Considered
Personal statement or essay Not Considered
Legacy status Not Considered
SAT/ACT Not Considered
Other Test (Wonderlic,WISC-III,etc) Not Considered
English Proficiency Test Required To Be Considered
Application Deadline NA
Common Application Accepted NA

WU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The total cost of attending Westcliff University varies depending on the type of degree sought. Students pay per credit hour, with rates differing based on education level. As of 2023, those enrolled in bachelor’s programs paid $695 per credit hour, while those working towards master’s degrees paid $795 per credit hour. The institution also charges more for professional master’s programs. Individuals enrolled in these and basic doctoral programs owe $855 per credit hour. Professional doctoral programs, however, are charged a rate of $940 per credit hour. Notably, state residency does not impact the cost of tuition as Westcliff University is a private institution.

Westcliff University also offers numerous certification programs. The cost to enroll in these varies greatly but is not calculated based on credit hours. Depending on the program selected, students can expect to pay between $2,600 and $12,000.

Notably, the cost of tuition is different for online students. Those enrolled in bachelor’s programs remotely only pay $475 per credit hour. The cost is $765 per credit for online master’s programs and $780 per credit hour for doctoral programs. There is no distinction between professional and non-professionals options for distance learners.

It’s important to realize that tuition rates do not include additional fees mandated by the university. All students are responsible for paying registration and enrollment fees. Other fees may apply as well, however, such as fees for student ID card replacements, CPE exams, program changes, and payment plan processing. Prospective students should also plan to pay several additional expenses. In most cases, it is necessary to pay for books, supplies, housing, meals, transportation, and miscellaneous personal items. Westcliff University estimates that most enrolled individuals will spend $3,000 to $3,500 per semester on a shared occupancy room.

The majority of students attending Westcliff University do not receive any form of financial aid. Students may apply for need-based aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online, however. The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid. The institution also offers scholarships, but these are processed through a separate application process.

During the 2021-2022 academic year, only 21% of beginning students entering postsecondary education at Westcliff University for the first time received some form of financial assistance. Most received some amount in grants and/or scholarships, but 9% still required student loans.

Average net price 2021-2022
Net Price $23,926
Average Total Aid $8,145
Students Receiving Financial Aid 21%
Room & Board $12,051

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $17,550
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $17,550
  • Books and Supplies - $17,550
  • Room & Board - $12,051
  • Other - $4,860

Popular Academic Programs at WU

The faculty and academic leadership at Westcliff University consider program quality as a top priority. Curriculums are designed to allow students the opportunity to chart their own paths. Professors are also continuously developing their skills as educators to ensure they are effectively connecting with those enrolled by using various learning styles, facilitating shared learning processes, and applying the most up to date methods of instruction. Additionally, courses are taught synchronously both online and on-campus by committed and passionate professors who are recognized in their fields. Students can choose from a wide variety of academic programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral certificates are also available.

All programs are offered by the following colleges:

  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Technology and Engineering
  • College of Law

As of fall 2022, Westcliff University had first-year, undergraduate retention rate of 74% for full-time students. Notably, the national average is 68% for all higher education institutions. This indicates that the majority of full-time students enrolled at the university were happy with their experiences to return the following year.

The overall graduation rate for first-time students who began their studies in 2016 was 44%. Graduation rates demonstrate how frequently students complete their degrees or certificate programs within 150% of standard time, which is approximately six years. Most students strive to graduate within four years, however. The institution’s transfer-out rate was only 1%.

Westcliff University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), which is recognized by the US Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). It is also globally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Student Population Total

Student Population 5,625

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 114 Total Graduates / 87%
Business Administration and Management, General 114 Graduates
All Education Majors 16 Total Graduates / 12%
Education, General 16 Graduates
All Computer and Information Sciences Majors 1 Total Graduates / 1%
Information Technology 1 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 0%

Outcome & Salary

Westcliff University conducts a student satisfaction surveys on a regular basis. Students during the period of January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022 were asked how satisfied they were with their studies. The overall satisfaction rate was 92%. The Westcliff University Alumni Affairs and Career Services Department is also available to provide students and graduates with resources designed to maximize professional potential. The department collaborates with college, community, and corporate leaders to provide a network of employer partners.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary NA
College Grads Average Salary NA
College Grads Mid Career Salary NA
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential NA
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential NA
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $95,704
10 Year Projected ROI NA
20 Year Projected ROI NA
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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