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Central Washington University Data & Information Overview

423 awards Ranking Badges
Fair Price Value for Your Money
88% Acceptance Rate
Get the facts about Central Washington University. Learn how it ranks, what majors it offers, how diverse it is, and much more.
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How Well Is Central Washington University Ranked?

#266 Best Colleges in Nation
#6 Best Colleges in WA
Teacher Education Grade Specific Highest Ranked Major
Quality Badge

2024 Rankings

College Factual recognizes the best colleges and universities in its annual rankings. These rankings include categories for best overall colleges, best colleges for each major, best value schools, and much more.

Central Washington University was awarded 423 badges in the 2024 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is teacher education grade specific.

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Overall Quality

CWU landed the #266 spot in College Factual's 2024 ranking of best overall colleges in the United States. The higher ed experts analyzed 2,238 colleges and universities across the nation to determine this ranking. This puts it in the top 15% of all schools in the nation. This is an improvement over the previous year, when CWU held the #282 spot on the Best Overall Colleges list.

CWU is also ranked #6 out of 51 schools in Washington.

See all of the rankings for Central Washington University.

Is It Hard to Get Into CWU?

88% Acceptance Rate
61% Of Accepted Are Women

Acceptance Rate

With an acceptance rate of 88%, CWU has a fairly liberal admissions policy. However, don't just assume you'll get in! Put together a good application and make sure you include all requested documents and materials.

Learn more about Central Washington University admissions.

Central Washington University Faculty

15 to 1 Student to Faculty
62% Full Time Teachers

Student to Faculty Ratio

The student to faculty ratio is often used to estimate how much interaction there is between professors and their students at a college or university. At Central Washington University, this ratio is 15 to 1, which is on par with the national average of 15 to 1. That's not bad at all.

Percent of Full-Time Faculty

In addition to the student to faculty ratio, some people look at what percentage of faculty members are full-time as a sign of how much time professors will be able to spend with their students. This is because part-time teachers may not be be on campus as much as their full-time counterparts.

The full-time faculty percentage at Central Washington University is 62%. This is higher than the national average of 47%.

Full-Time Faculty Percent  62 out of 100

Retention and Graduation Rates at Central Washington University

69% Freshmen Retention
35% On-Time Graduation Rate

Freshmen Retention Rate

The freshmen retention rate tells us what percentage of first-year, full-time students choose to continue on to their sophomore year at a particular school. The rate at Central Washington University is 69%, which is about average when compared to the national rate of 68%.

Freshmen Retention Rate  69 out of 100

Graduation Rate

The on-time graduation rate is the percent of first-time, full-time students who get their bachelor's degree with four years. At CWU this rate is 35%, which is about average when compared to the national rate of 33.3%.

On-Time Graduation Rate  35 out of 100

Find out more about the retention and graduation rates at Central Washington University.

Central Washington University Undergraduate Student Diversity

9,235 Full-Time Undergraduates
37.4% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
53.9% Percent Women

During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 10,518 undergraduates at CWU with 9,235 being full-time and 1,283 being part-time.

How Much Does Central Washington University Cost?

$16,514 Net Price
42% Take Out Loans
$21,876 Total Student Loans
The overall average net price of CWU is $16,514. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group. See the table below for the net price for different income groups.

Net Price by Income Group for CWU

$0-30 K $30K-48K $48-75 $75-110K $110K +
$10,796 $12,706 $17,235 $21,566 $22,466

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.Note that the net price is typically less than the published for a school. For more information on the sticker price of CWU, see our tuition and fees and room and board pages.

Student Loan Debt

Almost 66% of college students who graduated with the class of 2018 took out student loans, but that percentage varies from school to school. At CWU, approximately 42% of students took out student loans averaging $5,469 a year. That adds up to $21,876 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at CWU is 5.2%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

Get more details about paying for Central Washington University.

How Much Money Do CWU Graduates Make?

$55,685 Avg Salary of Grads
High Earnings Boost
The pay for some majors is higher than others, but on average, students who graduate with a bachelor's degree from CWU make about $55,685 a year during their first few years of employment after graduation. This is good news for future CWU graduates since it is 31% more than the average college graduate's salary of $42,485 per year.


See which majors at Central Washington University make the most money.

Location of Central Washington University

Washington State
9,235 Full-Time Undergraduates
Town Campus Setting
Central Washington University is a public institution situated in Ellensburg, Washington. The charming, small-town atmosphere of Ellensburg draws many to the area.

Get more details about the location of Central Washington University.


Contact details for CWU are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 400 East University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926
Phone: 509-963-1111

Central Washington University Majors

113 Majors With Completions
3,071 Undergraduate Degrees
285 Graduate Degrees
During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 113 majors graduated from Central Washington University. Of these students, 3,071 received undergraduate degrees and 285 graduated with a master's or doctor's degree. The following table lists the most popular undergraduate majors along with the average salary graduates from those majors make.

Most Popular Majors Bachelor’s Degrees Average Salary of Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 419 $47,716
Business Administration & Management 315 $44,355
General Psychology 201 $30,225
Criminal Justice & Corrections 177 $39,307
Teacher Education Subject Specific 157 $44,714
Accounting 139 $47,780
General Social Sciences 94 $36,440
Information Technology 90 NA
Health & Physical Education 80 $26,585
Finance & Financial Management 68 NA

Learn more about the majors offered at Central Washington University along with which ones have the highest average starting salaries.

Online Learning at CWU

72% Take At Least One Class Online
29% Take All Classes Online

Online learning options are becoming more and more popular at American colleges and universities. Online classes are great for students who have busy schedules or for those who just want to study on their own time.

In 2020-2021, 7,332 students took at least one online class at Central Washington University. This is a decrease from the 10,833 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2020-2021 7,332 2,921
2019-2020 10,833 7,145
2018-2019 10,718 2,971
2017-2018 10,706 3,033
2016-2017 4,770 1,855

Learn more about online learning at Central Washington University.

If you’re considering Central Washington University, here are some more schools you may be interested in knowing more about.

Curious on how these schools stack up against CWU? Pit them head to head with College Combat, our free interactive tool that lets you compare college on the features that matter most to you!

Notes and References


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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