Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Find Schools Near

2021 Best Colleges in Washington

23 Colleges
$48,543 Avg Salary*
45% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

It's not easy to decide which college to attend when you have so many options available. At College Factual, we're committed to helping you make that decision by providing information such as that found in our Top in Washington Colleges and Universities ranking.

After analyzing 23 schools in Washington, we came up with our list of those that offered the highest quality education. Our ranking methodology focuses on over 20 different objective factors - such as graduation rate, post graduate earnings, and a school's average expenditure per student - to make this determination.

Find out more about our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location and field of study as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors such as those of importance to veterans and returning adults or those who value diversity and value for your money.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Top Colleges in Washington

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Whitman College

Walla Walla, Washington

Our 2021 rankings named Whitman College the best school in Washington in terms of overall quality for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Whitman is a private not-for-profit institution located in Walla Walla, Washington. The school has a small population, and it awarded 374 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 0.4% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $51,300 during the early years of their career..

Full Whitman College Report

Request Information

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend University of Washington - Seattle Campus. The school came in at #2 in Washington on this year’s overall quality ranking.Seattle, Washington is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 9,269 students in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 2.8% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from UW Seattle make an average of $57,700 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on University of Washington - Seattle Campus

Request Information
#3

Gonzaga University

Spokane, Washington

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Gonzaga University. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Colleges in Washington list. This medium-sized private not-for-profit school is located in Spokane, Washington, and it awarded 1,441 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

With a freshman retention rate of 94%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga go into careers with an average salary of $56,100 during the early years of their career.

Full Gonzaga University Report

Request Information
#4

Seattle University

Seattle, Washington

A rank of #4 on our Best Colleges in Washington list means Seattle University is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Seattle U is a private not-for-profit institution located in Seattle, Washington. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,341 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.9%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $56,500 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Seattle University

Request Information
#5

University of Puget Sound

Tacoma, Washington

A rank of #5 on our Best Colleges in Washington list means University of Puget Sound is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Tacoma, Washington, and it awarded 664 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

With a freshman retention rate of 86%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $52,700 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on University of Puget Sound

Request Information
#6

Whitworth University

Spokane, Washington

With a ranking of #6, Whitworth University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Washington list. Located in Spokane, Washington, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 625 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.0%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Whitworth make an average of $42,100 a year.

Read full report on Whitworth University

Request Information
#7

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle, Washington

Seattle Pacific University landed the #7 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Washington ranking. SPU is located in Seattle, Washington and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 723 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.9%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. During the early years of their career, graduates from SPU make an average of $49,100 a year.

Read full report on Seattle Pacific University

Request Information
#8

Western Washington University

Bellingham, Washington

Western Washington University landed the #8 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Washington ranking.Bellingham, Washington is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 3,785 students in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 2.7% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $45,800 during the early years of their career..

Read More…

Request Information
#9

Pacific Lutheran University

Tacoma, Washington

With a ranking of #9, Pacific Lutheran University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Washington list. Located in Tacoma, Washington, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 728 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The low student loan default rate of 3.4% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from PLU is $49,400 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Pacific Lutheran University

Request Information
#10

Washington State University

Pullman, Washington

Washington State University landed the #10 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Washington ranking. Wazzu is located in Pullman, Washington and has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 5,827 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 4.1%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Wazzu go into careers with an average salary of $50,600 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Washington State University

Request Information

University of Washington - Bothell Campus did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Washington ranking, coming in at #11. University of Washington - Bothell Campus is located in Bothell, Washington and has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,872 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.8%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from University of Washington - Bothell Campus go into careers with an average salary of $57,700 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

Request Information

University of Washington - Tacoma Campus came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Washington ranking.Tacoma, Washington is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,523 students in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.8%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from University of Washington - Tacoma Campus is $57,700 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on University of Washington - Tacoma Campus

Request Information
#13

Saint Martin's University

Lacey, Washington

Saint Martin’s University came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Washington ranking. Saint Martin’s is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Lacey, Washington. It awarded 307 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.8%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Saint Martin’s go into careers with an average salary of $47,800 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Saint Martin’s University

Request Information
#14

DigiPen Institute of Technology

Redmond, Washington

DigiPen Institute of Technology did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Washington ranking, coming in at #14. DigiPen Institute of Technology is a small private for-profit school located in Redmond, Washington that handed out 185 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.5%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Digipen go into careers with an average salary of $80,200 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on DigiPen Institute of Technology

Request Information
#15

Cornish College of the Arts

Seattle, Washington

Cornish College of the Arts landed the #15 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges in Washington ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Seattle, Washington, and it awarded 145 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

With a student-to-faculty rate of 7 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Cornish College of the Arts make an average of $29,100 per year during the early years of their career.

Read More…

Request Information
#16

Walla Walla University

College Place, Washington

Walla Walla University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Washington ranking, coming in at #16. Located in College Place, Washington, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 352 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 86%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Walla Walla U go into careers with an average salary of $46,400 during the early years of their career.

Full Walla Walla University Report

Request Information
#17

Northwest University

Kirkland, Washington

With a ranking of #17, Northwest University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges in Washington list.Kirkland, Washington is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 250 students in 2018-2019.

The student-to-faculty rate of 8 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. During the early years of their career, graduates from Northwest University make an average of $41,300 a year.

Full Northwest University Report

Request Information
#18

Central Washington University

Ellensburg, Washington

Central Washington University came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Washington ranking. CWU is a fairly large public school situated in Ellensburg, Washington. It awarded 2,789 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from CWU is $46,500 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

Request Information
#19

Eastern Washington University

Cheney, Washington

Eastern Washington University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Washington ranking, coming in at #19. Eastern Washington University is a fairly large public school located in Cheney, Washington that handed out 2,439 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $43,100 during the early years of their career..

Full Eastern Washington University Report

Request Information
#20

The Evergreen State College

Olympia, Washington

The Evergreen State College came in at #20 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Washington ranking. Located in Olympia, Washington, the small public school handed out 881 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

During the early years of their career, graduates from Evergreen make an average of $33,200 a year.

Read full report on The Evergreen State College

Request Information
#21

Heritage University

Toppenish, Washington

Heritage University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges in Washington ranking, coming in at #21. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Toppenish, Washington, and it awarded 198 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty rate of 6 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Heritage University is $35,900 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Heritage University

Request Information
#22

City University of Seattle

Seattle, Washington

City University of Seattle ranked #22 on this year’s Best Colleges in Washington list. Located in Seattle, Washington, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 186 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The impressive student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from CityU make an average of $46,500 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on City University of Seattle

Request Information
#23

Charter College

Vancouver, Washington

Charter College came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in Washington ranking. This small private for-profit school is located in Vancouver, Washington, and it awarded 37 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Charter College make an average of $39,800 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Charter College

Request Information

Best Colleges in the Far Western US Region

View Best Colleges Nationwide >

All Majors and Fields of Study >

More Rankings >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 23 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You