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Western Washington University (WWU) is located far north in Washington, in the seaside town of Bellingham. There, over 14,000 undergraduates pursue degrees alongside over 1,000 graduate students. Undergrads have over 200 academic programs to choose from in areas that span interests in business, science, humanities, and allied health, to name a few. WWU also offers students the option of creating their own major degree program through the Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies.
Overview of Western Washington University (WWU)
WWU students do more than buckle down with academics, however. They can achieve a well-rounded college experience with active pursuits that include fitness, sports, and an array of student organizations. The recreation center is a hub of extra-curricular activity on the Bellingham campus. There, students can swim laps, enjoy the climbing wall, or take a fitness class such as yoga, MMA Kickboxing, or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
There are also sports clubs that offer students the opportunity to compete against other colleges in the area. Each year, WWU fields teams in sports that include lacrosse, golf, hockey, cycling, and wrestling. Intramural options include 5v5 basketball, dodgeball, and wiffleball, among others. Students who enjoy outdoor activities are sure to love the opportunity to kayak in Bellingham Bay, ski or snowboard on Mt Baker, or hike on the innumerable paths in the area.
|Campus Setting||City: Small|
|Student Faculty Ratio||17 : 1|
Top Rankings For Western Washington University
WWU Acceptance Rate and Admissions
|High School GPA||Required|
|High School Rank||N/A|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Recommended|
|Formal demonstration of competencies||Recommended|
|SAT/ACT||Considered But Not Required|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Required|
|Application Deadline||January 31|
|Common Application Accepted||Yes|
WWU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
Western Washington University is a publicly funded institution that can contain costs for students who qualify for in-state tuition. This includes both Washington residents and students from states that participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange program. Those fortunate enough to qualify for in-state tuition rates pay a bit more than $10,000 for a year of tuition, books, and academic fees. Non-residents, on the other hand, pay upwards of $28,000 for a year of learning.
Naturally, students need a place to live and food to eat, on top of other living costs. The university estimates that these costs, on top of the academic expenses, bring a gross cost for in-state tuition students that rises to just under $29,000. Out-of-state students can pay quite a bit more, with gross costs rising to upwards of $47,000.
These gross figures are dramatically ameliorated by the financial aid office. They apply grants and scholarships to the costs and can bring the average net price tag to a mere $11,000 for a year of learning and living in Bellingham. The lowest-income students see their costs fall even further, with average net costs coming to a mere $4,000. Even the highest earning households only see their average net cost rising to $16,000.
|Average net price||2020-2021|
|Average Total Aid||$7,112|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||86%|
|Room & Board||$14,691|
- Tuition In-State - $8,967
- Tuition Out-of-State - $26,873
- Books and Supplies - $1,086
- Room & Board - $14,691
- Other - $4,131
Popular Academic Programs at WWU
Western Washington University has so much to offer its students. While students may be attracted to the campus location, the sports teams, or the fact that their friends are there, WWU's academic programs solidify their college experience. Our researchers went in search of the academic statistics that support WWU's reputation and found very good things in the retention rate and graduation rate, among other statistics.
The retention rate is a measure of how many first-time, full-time students return to the Bellingham campus for a second year. Since WWU reports a staggering 81% retention rate, it's clear that their students, and their families, are very satisfied with the school's faculty, curriculum, and campus resources. This figure is all the more impressive at a publicly funded university.
The retention rate is further bolstered by the school's graduation rate. WWU reports a strong 68% graduation rate, which is impressive when you consider that many WWU students could potentially transfer to the main Washington University campus in Seattle, if not Eastern Washington University, or some other campus.
Many are tempted to attribute the lack of attrition to WWU's bucolic surroundings, but there's more to it than that. Researchers point to the 17 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio. This indicates smaller classes and an academic experience that fosters real learning and intellectual growth.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services||405 Total Graduates / 12%|
|Marketing/Marketing Management, General||113 Graduates|
|Business Administration and Management, General||73 Graduates|
|Management Information Systems, General||41 Graduates|
|Social Sciences||352 Total Graduates / 11%|
|Sociology, General||112 Graduates|
|Political Science and Government, General||86 Graduates|
|Anthropology, General||52 Graduates|
|Economics, Other||40 Graduates|
|Education||265 Total Graduates / 8%|
|Special Education and Teaching, General||97 Graduates|
|Elementary Education and Teaching||49 Graduates|
|Early Childhood Education and Teaching||26 Graduates|
|Physical Education Teaching and Coaching||16 Graduates|
|Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies||234 Total Graduates / 7%|
|Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other||100 Graduates|
|Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, General||67 Graduates|
|Sustainability Studies||22 Graduates|
|Biological and Physical Sciences||22 Graduates|
|Psychology||232 Total Graduates / 7%|
|Psychology, General||218 Graduates|
|Developmental and Child Psychology||14 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||55%|
Outcome & Salary
Western Washington Students enjoy a terrific academic and social experience at a fantastic financial value. Our researchers found that their return on investment is likely to be phenomenal, as well. When they reviewed the outcomes from past graduates, they found that the computer and information sciences students were reporting a median salary in excess of $100,000. The top five was also well-distributed among departments, with business students who focused on management information science earning $83,000 and chemistry students starting their career with a median salary of $73,000. Registered nursing students and industrial production degree holders also made the top five.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||NA|
|College Grads Average Salary||$76,000|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||NA|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$760,000|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||NA|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$45,552|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$714,448|
|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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