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Seattle, Washington (WA) Colleges and Universities

There are over 25 colleges and universities in Seattle, Washington (WA). Read about the schools with most program variety, highest graduation rates, lowest student-faculty ratios and lowest costs to find the school for you.

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Most Program Variety

Students who are not yet sure of their career goals or graduate students looking for an area of specialization may benefit from knowing what type of programs a college has to offer. Seattle colleges and universities offer many programs; a couple schools offer more than 100 academic options. Listed below are the three schools in Seattle that offer the most program variety.

1 - University of Washington - Seattle Campus

The University of Washington (UW) in Seattle is a public school that offers more than 300 programs through 16 colleges and schools. Students enrolled at UW can choose from post-master's certificates, bachelor's and master's degrees, and both research/scholarship and professional practice doctoral degrees. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that UW awarded 7,887 bachelor's, 3,132 master's, and 1,273 doctoral degrees, and nine postgraduate certificates, in 2011-2012.

The most popular bachelor's degrees were in biology, business, communication and journalism, engineering, psychology and social sciences. UW also has campuses in Tacoma and Bothell, as well as an academic medical center. U.S. News & World Report ranked UW 46th among national universities in its 2013 Best Colleges. Several of UW's schools and programs were also listed in the U.S. News & World Report Best Grad School ranking.

2 - Seattle University

Seattle University is a 4-year Jesuit school that offers more than 100 academic programs. In 2011-2012, the university awarded 2,463 certificates and degrees, with the most popular areas of study being business, education, nursing and social sciences, reported the NCES. Seattle University was ranked 10th among regional universities (West) in the U.S. News & World Report 2013 Best Colleges. The university has ranked among the top ten for the past decade. Seattle University was ranked as one the best in the country for its undergraduate education in the Princeton Review 2013 edition of Best 377 Colleges.

3 - Seattle Pacific University

Seattle Pacific University (SPU), a 4-year school with about 4,200 students, offers the third highest program variety, with about 90 programs available. SPU offers post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates, as well as bachelor's, master's and research/scholarship doctoral degrees. According to the NCES, the university awarded 814 bachelor's degrees, 329 master's degrees and 25 doctoral degrees in 2011-2012.

According to the school's website, the five most popular undergraduate programs in Autumn 2012 were psychology, nursing, business administration, physiology and communication. U.S. News & World Report ranked SPU 15th among regional universities (West) and 2nd among best value schools in the 2013 Best Colleges.

Lowest Net Price

The cost of attending a college is often an important factor for students looking for a college. The NCES determines a college's net cost by subtracting the average amount of government or institutional financial aid students receive from the total cost of attending the college. The three schools listed below offer the lowest average net price among traditional not-for-profit schools in Seattle.

1 - Seattle Community College - North Campus

With a 2011-2012 net price of $3,594, Seattle Community College - North Campus is the cheapest option for students interested in a 2- or 4-year college. For the 2012-2013 year, in-state students paid estimated tuition and fees of $3,862, while out-of-state students paid $9,052, according to the NCES. The NCES also reported that 22% of the students enrolled in 2011-2012 received grants or scholarship aid and the average amount was $5,436.

2 - Seattle Community College - Central Campus

Seattle Community College - Central Campus had a 2011-2012 net price of $3,666, making it the second most affordable school in Seattle. During that same year, 34% of the students received grants or scholarship aid in the average amount of $6,252, according to the NCES. For 2012-2013, estimated tuition and fees were $3,893 for in-state students and $9,083 for out-of-state students.

3 - Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Located in Kirkland, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, a public school with about 4,100 students, had a net price of $5,260 in 2011-2012. According to the NCES, in-state students paid estimated tuition and fees of $3,875 for 2012-2013 and out-of-students paid $9,061. The NCES also reported that 28% of the students received grants or scholarship aid in 2011-2012 and 21% received federal student loans. The average amounts received were $5,526 for grants/aid and $6,901 for federal student loans.

Highest Graduation Rate

The success of a college in graduating students can also be important to students looking for a college. The graduation rates reported by the NCES are based on the number of students who began their studies in 2005 or 2008 and graduated in 150% of the standard time it takes to complete the program. Listed below are the three Seattle colleges that have the highest graduation rates.

1 - University of Washington - Seattle Campus

Offering the highest graduation rate is UW, with 80% of students completing their programs within six years. The 4-year graduation rate for students who began their studies in 2005 was substantially lower at 59%, according to the NCES. U.S. News & World Report stated that 34.3% of the classes at UW have fewer than 20 students, a factor that may help the students reach their academic goals. The NCES also reported that UW had a 2010-2011 retention rate of 93% for full-time students and 76% for part-time students.

2 - Seattle Pacific University

Seattle Pacific University ranks second in terms of graduation rate, with 74% of students who began their studies in 2005 graduating within 150% of normal time. According to the NCES, Seattle Pacific University boasts a high retention rate, with 85% of full-time and 100% of part-time students who began their studies in Fall 2010 returning in Fall 2011. The class sizes at SPU may contribute to the students' success; 47.9% of classes at SPU have fewer than 20 students, according to U.S. News & World Report.

3 - Seattle University

According to the NCES, 71% of Seattle University students who began their studies in 2005 graduated within the normal time. Of the students who began their studies in Fall 2010, 86% of the full-time and 60% of the part-time students returned in Fall 2011. Seattle University has a Student Academic Services department, which offers students many services to help them reach their academic success.

Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Schools with low student-faculty ratios are more likely to provide students with personalized attention. The three schools below have the lowest student-faculty ratios among traditional 2-year and 4-year not-for-profit schools.

1 - City University of Seattle

Part of the National University System, City University of Seattle is a private university that has about 2,300 students and a student-faculty ratio of 8:1, one of the lowest in the area. As of Fall 2012, the university had 29 full-time and 588 part-time faculty members, according to the NCES.

1 - Antioch University - Seattle

Also tied for having the lowest student-faculty ratio is Antioch University in Seattle, which also has an 8:1 student-faculty ratio. Antioch University is a 4-year college with a population of about 1,000 students. As of a 2012 NCES report, Antioch University had 38 full-time and 95 part-time faculty members.

2 - Seattle University

Seattle University has about 7,800 students and a student-faculty ratio of 13:1. As of Fall 2012, the university had 464 full-time and 251 part-time faculty members, according to the NCES. U.S. News & World Report stated that 49.2% of the classes at Seattle University have fewer than 20 students. The school's website reports that the average class size is 19 students.

Seattle Area Schools at a Glance

School Name Location School Type Programs Offered Area Ranking
Antioch University Seattle, WA 4-year, private not-for-profit Postbaccalaureate certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio (tie)
City University of Seattle Seattle, WA 4-year, private not-for-profit Less than 1-year, 1-year but less than 2-year and postbaccalaureate certificates; associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio (tie)
Lake Washington Institute of Technology Kirkland, WA 4-year, primarily associate degrees, public Less than 1-year, 1-year but less than 2-year, 2-year but less than 4-year; associate and bachelor's degrees 3rd Lowest Net Price
Seattle Community College - Central Campus Seattle, WA 4-year, primarily associate degrees, public Less than 1-year, 1-year but less than 2-year, 2-year but less than 4-year; associate and bachelor's degrees 2nd Lowest Net Price
Seattle Community College - North Campus Seattle, WA 2-year, public Less than 1-year, 1-year but less than 2-year and 2-year but less than 4-year certificates; associate degrees Lowest Net Price
Seattle Pacific University Seattle, WA 4-year, private, not-for-profit Postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees 3rd Most Program Variety,
2nd Highest Graduation Rate
Seattle University Seattle, WA 4-year, private not-for-profit Postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees 2nd Most Program Variety,
3rd Highest Graduation Rate,
3rd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA 4-year, public Post-master's certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees Most Program Variety,
Highest Graduation Rate
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