2017 Best Colleges in Washington

The Best Colleges ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni. The ranking compares more than 1,000 top colleges and universities in the U.S.
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Viewing 1-25 of 41
  1. 1

    University of Washington

    • Seattle, WA
    • 3,755 reviews
    Sophomore:I went to UW because I was a Seattle born girl who has never thought once about leaving the city. Also because all throughout high school I've done programs at UW and completely fell in love. I called it home before I even had the chance to apply. The campus is beautiful. The classes are challenging, I mean come on its college. There are TONS of things you can do at UW besides take classes. I have opportunities here where coming from my background I would never imagine myself doing. Hands down one of the best decisions of my life was to come to this University!
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  2. 2

    Whitman College

    • Walla Walla, WA
    • 341 reviews
    Freshman:The academic side of the school is pretty solid and prepares the students well for their future. However, the social life lacks because people are not very interesting and diverse. There is an immense lack of diversity and all around the campus you mostly see white people. For those that like diversity, it will be hard to find their place in this school. Also, students are not very politically or socially engaged. Nevertheless, there is a cool vibe in campus and people are quite chill.
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  3. 3

    Gonzaga University

    • Spokane, WA
    • 1,086 reviews
    College Freshman:Gonzaga was an easy college decision for me. I have 3 siblings currently attending the University . My twin brothers will both graduate this year . My brothers, Matthew and Sean are accounting majors. Both brothers have had successful accounting internships with possible jobs after graduation. My sister is majoring in business with a marketing minor. Rebekah, my sister has been very successful in her studies. My siblings have made many new friends and enjoy campus life!
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  4. 4

    DigiPen Institute of Technology

    • Redmond, WA
    • 210 reviews
    Sophomore:Most classes are geared toward your actual majors, however when you first start there's a lot of general studies to get through your first year. Things get more specialized the longer you stay. Faculty is nice, and all of them have worked in the industry in some way shape or form, so everyone knows what they're talking about! (Mostly)
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  5. 5

    Washington State University

    • Pullman, WA
    • 3,399 reviews
    Sophomore:Washington State University is an something that I can only wish every person could experience. The community is very welcoming and there are also new people to meet and befriend. We are constantly given opportunities to succeed in academics and in extra curricular endeavors. The social environment is great, because a majority of the students stay here every weekend as opposed to going home like our "friends" at the University of Washington. Our friendships grow stronger and we are able to establish the life-long friendships that we all dream about as we enter adulthood. Like I said, I only can wish that every could experience what it is like to be a part of this school. Go Cougs!
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  6. 6

    Whitworth University

    • Spokane, WA
    • 833 reviews
    College Sophomore:I have really enjoyed my experience at Whitworth so far! As a freshman, Whitworth was really great with helping me adapt to the big changes that come with college. Specifically at Whitworth, I have really enjoyed the traditiation for freshmen and all the events that it contained. I really enjoyed the events on campus during weekends. I wish the price could be cheaper so that it was easier to enjoy such a great education at Whitworth. I have met great friends who would probably answer the same as me. Another improvement I think Whitworth could make is making sure that students are able to understand how to get a job once they have finished college. This might be an improvement with the advisers but I think students need help with stress and knowing we can find stable careers out of college that correspond with our majors.
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  7. 7

    Seattle Pacific University

    • Seattle, WA
    • 936 reviews
    Junior:I have immensely enjoyed my time at Seattle Pacific University. Although the campus is small, it is a beautiful oasis nestled in the affable Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, with plenty of city to explore! The food--Gwinn--is amazing, and you'll love the buffet-style cafeteria featuring amazing cookies you can stash in your backpack for later. I have learned so much during my time at SPU, due to the excellent academics and engaging professors. Give it a chance and I promise you'll love it just as much as I do!
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  8. 8

    Seattle University

    • Seattle, WA
    • 823 reviews
    Junior:I absolutely love Seattle University! It has become the stage for so much growth in my life. It is a beautiful campus, loving community, and excellent education. After starting my education at SU, I have become a much more socially and politically aware person and student. It is a smaller school though, so be prepared to know most people on campus if you are a social person. Lastly, I love that there is no Greek life on campus.
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  9. 9

    Western Washington University

    • Bellingham, WA
    • 1,929 reviews
    Alum:I loved everything about Western Washington University! I graduated with two undergraduate degrees- Spanish and Communication, and I minored in Psychology. My Spanish professor was the best teacher I have had to this day; she even encouraged and helped me study abroad in Spain for a semester. Studying abroad was a life changing experience, and I am so grateful that Western helps make dreams to study and travel abroad into a reality. I love the surrounding area, Bellingham, as it boasts tons of hiking, running and biking trails. There are mountains close by for backpacking and skiing and tons of awesome camping spots. There are beaches, lakes, and water activities. There are amazing restaurants, breweries, shopping, and live music scene. I would recommend this college and surrounding city to anyone!
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  10. 10

    University of Puget Sound

    • Tacoma, WA
    • 694 reviews
    Recent Alumnus:University of Puget Sound is the total experience. You'll find world-class professors in every department, who not only love their topics, but love teaching and are great at it! Even better - the academic atmosphere extends beyond the classroom. Puget Sound students love to learn, discuss what they are learning, and apply it. The campus also has a strong focus on diversity and offers numerous opportunities to actively engage in important social topics effecting our culture and the world today. I miss the Puget Sound community, with all of it's intellectualism and social justice minded individuals. I have yet to find such a stimulating community anywhere else.
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  11. 11

    Pacific Lutheran University

    • Tacoma, WA
    • 814 reviews
    Alum:I love, love, love PLU. Amazing, challenging, intelligent, and kind professors. Beautiful campus--in all seasons, but especially fall. Great coffee and food options. This place challenged me in every way and gave me more than I could ever imagine!
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  12. 12
    Sophomore:I like how the campus isn't so big so you see lots of familiar faces. The students are friendly and very welcoming. I like the environment and the many restaurant choices that are close by. They have a bus transit right in front of the school so you are free to go wherever without walking too far. I like the University Y center, students can take fitness classes, play sports, work out and it's right next to the student housing which is great!
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  13. 13

    Saint Martin's University

    • Lacey, WA
    • 375 reviews
    Junior:I love Saint Martin's University. I really feel like part of the community. There is an abundance of resources for the students to be successful. There are constantly student activities and various clubs to keep students busy. The food is decent which is nice since I live on campus and eat there for most of my meals. The courses I have taken so far have been very entertaining and the professors are easily accessible. I have met a variety of different people from many different backgrounds. I enjoy the diversity. From some of the people I have talked too, I have learned a few things that could change. It would be nice and convenient for some students if there was child care. Not only would it be helpful for the parents, but would provide an opportunity for various majors to have access to children for potential studies or observation. Overall however, I love Saint Martins. They provide many scholarship opportunities to make the school an affordable place to go.
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  14. 14
    Alum:This commuter school is perfect for the traditional and nontraditional student! The professors were amazing, with the exception with one every here and there, but other than that, it was a great school.

    You also get the prestige that comes with the name "University of Washington" at a smaller campus, since this is an extension of the main campus in Seattle.
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  15. 15

    Heritage University

    • Toppenish, WA
    • 292 reviews
    Freshman:Heritage has been a great experience so far. The professors are very nice and are always willing to help even out of class. Heritage also has a writing center and an ASC which stands for academic student center. The help that they offer here is amazing! The tutors are students like myself who work with us to get a better understanding and best of all the tutoring we get is free. Something that I would like to see change is the involvement of sports. I would like to see our University has a soccer team since we have a lot of boys who like to play soccer on their free time.
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  16. 16

    Central Washington University

    • Ellensburg, WA
    • 1,300 reviews
    Junior:This university was the perfect fit for me! Ellensburg is far enough from the city, but not too secluded. So I always feel like there's something to do. CWU has the perfect class sizes for people who enjoy getting to know their professors. I think my largest class had 80 people in it, and my smallest had 15. I work as an RA in the residence halls. So I can tell you that they are fantastic places to meet new people. My only complaint about this university is that there is not much school pride. But, the university is working hard to change that.
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  17. 17

    Cornish College of the Arts

    • Seattle, WA
    • 232 reviews
    College Sophomore:My overall experience at this school has been amazing. The teachers are very interested in you and want the best for you. The school environment is very comfortable and welcoming. I would definitely recommend this school to others!
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  18. 18

    Northwest University

    • Kirkland, WA
    • 492 reviews
    Alum:NU prides itself in a strong, interconnect community in student life - there is a very positive atmosphere amongst students. NU also provides its students with a holistic education that (I believe) has prepared me for my vocation. The College of Education has great professors which set me up for success in my field. Not only this but the majority of graduates have teaching jobs within a year of graduation. I personally don't fully agree with a liberal arts education at the collegiate level, but NU formats the degree programs in a way even my disbelieving mind could substantially benefit and grow. // Dorm/apt life is . The remodeled lounges are very nice. The opened-door mentality people naturally bring to the dorms offer a very warm community experience. // A great university. Highly recommended for a believer in Jesus who wants to grow academically and spiritually, while expanding their worldview, in order to impact and carry their specific calling into their vocation or field.
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  19. 19

    South Seattle College

    • Seattle, WA
    • 152 reviews
    Freshman:I have not been at south for very long, but I love it! The campus is small but very beautiful. Almost everywhere you go there are fun plants and interesting student artwork for display. across the South parking lot, there is a Chinese garden, with many paths and plants, the students in the horticulture program work to make it a very beautiful little park! The only problem I've ever come across at south is the Financial Aid office, I have spent a long time waiting to receive an award letter, however besides some office problems, South is a small and amazing school to attend!
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  20. 20

    Eastern Washington University

    • Cheney, WA
    • 1,435 reviews
    Junior:I absolutely love EWU! The campus is beautiful, and you really get to experience all four seasons. All of my professors were super approachable and willing to help in anyway possible. They really want to see you succeed, and that is refreshing to see. I would recommend EWU to anyone looking for an environment where they can grow and achieve their personal as well as academic goals.
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  21. 21

    Walla Walla University

    • College Place, WA
    • 355 reviews
    Junior:Walla Walla University is a great school academically and socially. The classes we are required to take in are specific major well prepare us for are future careers. The classes challenge you academically, which is very beneficial. The relationships you build with professors will help you in the long run especially since most professors can help with internships and job opportunities. The students are extremely welcoming and polite. The atmosphere of the college may come off too protective, but I feel like I appreciated this the most. This college cares about the balance between school and personal life. In some classes even professors give pointers for incorporating a healthy life style like incorporating god and working out into your schedule. Overall this university has impacted my life positively in so many ways and I appreciate the time I have spent here and the time I have left here. The connection I have made with fellow students and professors I feel will last a lifetime.
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  22. 22

    Cascadia Community College

    • Bothell, WA
    • 212 reviews
    Alum:It was a very nice place to attend college to easily transition to a University. I received an Associate Degree with a "Direct Transfer Agreement" and had no issues transferring to a University as Junior. Small class sizes make learning easy, however, the large amount of group work they do is just not for me!
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  23. 23

    North Seattle College

    • Seattle, WA
    • 174 reviews
    Alum:I really enjoyed attending North Seattle College, it was close to my house but in a very convenient location. The campus was set up as more of an outside campus, if the spring and summer, it was nice to step right out of the classroom into the outside sun and air. The teachers and students I met during my 2 years there were very friendly and attentive. I never had an issue getting my questions answered from any source.
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  24. 24

    Highline Community College

    • Des Moines, WA
    • 484 reviews
    Senior:I really love Highline! I decided to do the Running Start program, and that was one of the wisest decisions I made in my entire life. Highline is a great school; it is very diverse, the teachers are difficult but awesome , and the students are respectful and kind. Overall it is an amazing college. One thing I would change though is adding more parking; there never seems to be any parking spaces and it takes a long time to park. Other than that, it is a great college.
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  25. 25

    Clover Park Technical College

    • Lakewood, WA
    • 270 reviews
    Sophomore:Out of all the colleges I have attended I really like clover park over all of them for so many reasons, one being the staff is really committed to the success of each student. Secondly most of the instructors are either in college themselves or were once students there which really give them and edge and making them able to relate to us as students. Thirdly they have free tutoring centers with current students and instructors which makes its really nice to get that extra help you need but cant afford to get help outside of school.
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