Best Value Colleges in Washington

The College ROI Report for Washington helps students and their families determine which colleges in Washington State offer the best return on investment for their educational dollars.  Read More

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1University of Washington (UW) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$523,800
Total 4 Year Cost$99,200
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,520
2University of Washington (UW) - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$452,600
Total 4 Year Cost$170,400
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,520
3Gonzaga University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$449,700
Total 4 Year Cost$183,300
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,960
4University of Washington - Tacoma Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$442,600
Total 4 Year Cost$100,400
Grad Rate49%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$21,800
5Washington State University (WSU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$379,500
Total 4 Year Cost$103,500
Grad Rate65%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,080
6University of Washington - Tacoma Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$371,300
Total 4 Year Cost$171,700
Grad Rate49%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$21,800
7Seattle University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$356,500
Total 4 Year Cost$196,500
Grad Rate77%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,200
8Washington State University (WSU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$331,000
Total 4 Year Cost$152,000
Grad Rate65%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,080
9Central Washington University (CWU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$317,200
Total 4 Year Cost$85,900
Grad Rate51%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,920
10Western Washington University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$287,500
Total 4 Year Cost$85,500
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,800
11Seattle Pacific University (SPU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$285,100
Total 4 Year Cost$177,900
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,840
12Central Washington University (CWU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$273,200
Total 4 Year Cost$129,800
Grad Rate51%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,920
13Western Washington University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$245,600
Total 4 Year Cost$127,400
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,800
14University of Puget Sound(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$240,900
Total 4 Year Cost$212,100
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,600
15Eastern Washington University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$231,700
Total 4 Year Cost$81,300
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,680

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

Those who attend school in the Evergreen State not only enjoy incredible value for the educations they receive but can also avail themselves of stunning mountain ranges, beautiful coastlines, thriving, progressive cities and many other incredible perks. Whether you'd like to attend college in Washington because it's where you're from, are drawn there by its thriving economy or because you've heard about the great college return on investment Washington students enjoy, consider using PayScale's information to zero in on the best value colleges in Washington prior to applying.

Located in Seattle and ranked 88th nationally on PayScale's 20 Year Net ROI report, the University of Washington attracts students from around the world. Typically referred to as UW or UDub, the university boasts a student population of more than 45,000. Earning a degree from this school, which is the largest on the West Coast -- and nearly the oldest too -- costs an average of $99,200. UDub alums report a median return of investment of $523,800. When financial aid is factored in, that number increases to $583,700. Because it's considered a "Public Ivy," the school handily deserves its reputation for being among the best value colleges Washington students can attend. The university has produced numerous notable alumni, with the legendary Bruce Lee being among the most interesting examples.

With its picturesque location on the banks of the Spokane River, Gonzaga University is 149th in PayScale's overall College ROI Rankings and third in the Washington College ROI Report rankings. A private Roman Catholic university that was founded in 1887, Gonzaga is only a half-mile away from downtown Spokane, which is bursting at its seams with terrific attractions, services and more. The average cost of a four-year degree from this well-regarded school is $183,300. For that relatively modest investment, alumni report a median return of investment of $449,700 in 20 years following graduation. When financial aid is included, that number rises to $515,000. With seven colleges, including the particularly esteemed school of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Gonzaga University offers a wide range of options for students from all walks of life. Those attending the school can avail themselves of a variety of great outdoor attractions, including the Spokane River Centennial Trail, the 100-acre Riverfront Park and a sky ride over some breathtaking waterfalls.

Coming in with a national ranking of 161 on PayScale's list of best value colleges in the nation, the University of Washington at Tacoma is a worthwhile option to consider when seeking the most bang for your educational buck. Situated in downtown Tacoma and founded in 1990, the school offers a 20 Year Net ROI of $442,600, which increases to $494,400 with financial aid. Earning a degree from UW Tacoma costs around $100,400, and the nearly 4,500 students who attend the school annually can take their pick from a wide range of degree programs, including business, education, nursing, information technology and urban studies.

With its national ranking of 243, Washington State University offers the kind of value of college education Washington students and their families seek. Located in Pullman, Washington, which is just a few miles west of the Idaho border, WSU -- or Wazzu, as it's often referred -- offers more than 200 fields of study across its 12 colleges and graduate school. The average cost of a degree from this school is around $103,500, but alumni report a median return of investment of $379,500 in the 20 years following graduation, and that figure increases to $420,900 with financial aid.