2022 Top Public Universities in Washington

Public universities are often the most affordable option for students pursuing higher education, but it’s not just affordability that makes these institutions attractive. Public universities also rank highly among the best universities in many states, Washington included.

Public universities receive state and federal funding. Although they generally have larger class sizes than private institutions, they also tend to offer a wide variety of academic programs, diverse student bodies, and prestigious research opportunities.

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

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Showing 30 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    University of Washington-Seattle Campus

    Seattle, WA

    Graduation Rate

    82%

    Enrollment

    48,149

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10629

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $37998

    Located in Seattle, Washington, University of Washington-Seattle Campus educates college students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps students reach their educational goals. Bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division coursework. Enrollees also complete general education credits. Upper-division credits emphasize advanced concepts in the major. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The college charges an average of 896 per credit. The accredited institution qualifies for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #2

    Renton Technical College

    Renton, WA

    Graduation Rate

    57%

    Enrollment

    3,214

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3781

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4241

    A public institution located in Renton, Washington, Renton Technical College enrolls learners in multiple programs. The school's programs help graduates launch or advance professional careers. The institution offers affordable programs that do not sacrifice academic rigor. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $6926, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $7595. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Renton Technical College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an independent accrediting body.

    #3

    University of Washington-Bothell Campus

    Bothell, WA

    Graduation Rate

    63%

    Enrollment

    6,304

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10629

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $37998

    From its campus in Bothell, Washington, University of Washington-Bothell Campus grants college degrees as a public institution. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. University of Washington-Bothell Campus is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #4

    Seattle Central College

    Seattle, WA

    Graduation Rate

    27%

    Enrollment

    5,763

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3727

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3727

    Located in Seattle, Washington, Seattle Central College offers multiple programs as a public institution. The school's accredited programs prepare learners for the workforce. Learners benefit from the school's academic rigor and affordable tuition rate. The school offers nationally ranked programs in diverse fields. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Enrollees receive an average aid award of $7482, making the average tuition cost after aid $5191. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #5

    Cascadia College

    Bothell, WA

    Graduation Rate

    37%

    Enrollment

    2,597

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3916

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4348

    A public institution, Cascadia College enrolls students on its campus in Bothell, Washington. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The school supports enrollees with tutoring and career services. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. Cascadia College has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an independent accrediting body.

    #6

    Walla Walla Community College

    Walla Walla, WA

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    2,940

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4818

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6318

    From its campus in Walla Walla, Washington, Walla Walla Community College offers multiple programs as a public institution. The school's accredited programs prepare learners for the workforce. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Current students receive an average aid award of $6343, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $6770. Learners at the institution choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #7

    Whatcom Community College

    Bellingham, WA

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    2,719

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4419

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9867

    From its campus in Bellingham, Washington, Whatcom Community College offers academic programs as a public institution. Students can earn a degree or certificate that prepares them for the workforce. The institution offers academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Current students receive an average aid award of $6620, making the average tuition cost after aid $7919. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Depending on their program, enrollees complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #8

    Western Washington University

    Bellingham, WA

    Graduation Rate

    68%

    Enrollment

    15,197

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7377

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $24135

    From its location in Bellingham, Washington, Western Washington University offers multiple programs as a public institution. The school awards accredited degrees that prepare graduates for careers and professional advancement. The institution offers an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The institution reports that students receive an average aid award of $ 6064, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $ 18398. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Western Washington University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #9

    Highline College

    Des Moines, WA

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    5,829

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3351

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3351

    From its campus in Des Moines, Washington, Highline College educates college students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. Students complete courses and experiential learning opportunities to bolster their knowledge. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. The school is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #10

    Peninsula College

    Port Angeles, WA

    Graduation Rate

    46%

    Enrollment

    1,727

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3727

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4180

    Peninsula College, which is often listed among the best schools, operates from its main campus in Port Angeles, Washington. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Consult the institution's website to find information on the typical timeline for program completion. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The admissions department can provide more information on the process. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. Peninsula College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an independent accrediting body.

    #11

    Lake Washington Institute of Technology

    Kirkland, WA

    Graduation Rate

    39%

    Enrollment

    3,319

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2947

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7884

    A public institution located in Kirkland, Washington, Lake Washington Institute of Technology offers multiple programs. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Enrollees receive an average aid award of $5733, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $8283. Learners choose from academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take essential courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an independent accrediting body.

    #12

    University of Washington-Tacoma Campus

    Tacoma, WA

    Graduation Rate

    60%

    Enrollment

    5,364

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10629

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $37998

    A public institution, University of Washington-Tacoma Campus enrolls students from its campus in Tacoma, Washington. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The school's academic and technical programs prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that 84% of learners receive financial aid, while 35% take out loans. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 60%. The admission rate is 86% for prospective students. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. The school holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #13

    North Seattle College

    Seattle, WA

    Graduation Rate

    30%

    Enrollment

    5,240

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3727

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3727

    North Seattle College, located in Seattle, Washington, welcomes students with 83 program options. Degree-seekers enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school boasts a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The institution reports that of its total enrollees, 66% receive financial aid. The public school reports a 30% graduation rate. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #14

    Bates Technical College

    Tacoma, WA

    Graduation Rate

    37%

    Enrollment

    3,369

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5368

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14993

    From its campus in Tacoma, Washington, Bates Technical College offers programs as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their professional goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs such as the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #15

    Washington State University

    Pullman, WA

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    31,159

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $10202

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $25145

    Located in Pullman, Washington, Washington State University grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, this school can help students reach their educational goals. Bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division coursework. Undergraduates also complete general education courses. In upper-division classes, degree-seekers learn advanced concepts in their major. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The school charges an average of 1024 per credit. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Washington State University has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #16

    South Seattle College

    Seattle, WA

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    5,324

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3727

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3727

    From its campus in Seattle, Washington, South Seattle College awards degrees and certificates as a public institution. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, enrollees qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. A total of 74% of students receive financial aid and 1% take out loans at the institution. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 40%. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. The school is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #17

    Green River College

    Auburn, WA

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    7,493

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3727

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4188

    A public institution located in Auburn, Washington, Green River College enrolls students in several programs. Enrollees complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. The institution offers academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school offers nationally ranked programs in diverse fields. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Enrollees receive an average aid award of $6807, making the average tuition cost after aid $9245. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. The school offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education courses in multiple majors. Green River College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #18

    South Puget Sound Community College

    Olympia, WA

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    4,665

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4230

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9687

    South Puget Sound Community College, located in Olympia, Washington, offers 56 programs for students. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school reports that 48% of students take advantage of financial aid. The public institution reports a 40% graduation rate. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps students enter the workforce. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Many schools no longer require test scores for admission. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements.

    #19

    Clark College

    Vancouver, WA

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    7,665

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3631

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9392

    A public institution located in Vancouver, Washington, Clark College educates students through multiple programs. The school offers programs that prepare graduates for careers and professional advancement. The institution offers academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $6354, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $8120. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #20

    Bellevue College

    Bellevue, WA

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    12,286

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3727

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9118

    Located in Washington, Bellevue College enrolls students in 101 programs. The institution's programs offer a rigorous course of study. The school provides a student-to-faculty ratio of 14-to-1. According to the school, 41% of students receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 34% graduation rate. Experiential learning opportunities help graduates on the job market. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #21

    Centralia College

    Centralia, WA

    Graduation Rate

    42%

    Enrollment

    2,314

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4230

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4691

    From its campus in Centralia, Washington, Centralia College enrolls students in 67 programs. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. A total of 72% of the students at this institution offest some of their education-related expenses with financial aid. Students in the school's programs graduate at a rate of 42%. Experiential learning opportunities help graduates on the job market. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements.

    #22

    Columbia Basin College

    Pasco, WA

    Graduation Rate

    33%

    Enrollment

    6,745

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5088

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6817

    Located in Washington, Columbia Basin College offers 93 programs for students. Students choose from rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The school maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 17-to-1. The school reports that 67% of students take advantage of financial aid. Students earn their degree from the school at a rate of 33%. The institution's commitment to experiential learning makes graduates more competitive. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #23

    Lower Columbia College

    Longview, WA

    Graduation Rate

    28%

    Enrollment

    2,325

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3703

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4891

    Lower Columbia College, which operates a campus in Longview, Washington, often ranks as a top school. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help learners reach a variety of career goals. Enrollees earn their degree or certificate in as little time as a few months or as much time as seven years depending on program type and enrollment status. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. These policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help students complete the process. Enrollees at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Lower Columbia College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #24

    Clover Park Technical College

    Lakewood, WA

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    3,591

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5040

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5040

    A public institution, Clover Park Technical College enrolls students on its campus in Lakewood, Washington. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their career goals. Students strengthen their knowledge of the field by completing coursework. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Clover Park Technical College holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #25

    Wenatchee Valley College

    Wenatchee, WA

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    3,090

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3768

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4182

    Wenatchee Valley College, located in Wenatchee, Washington, offers 66 programs for degree-seekers. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The school maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 13-to-1. A total of 72% of the students at this institution offest some of their education-related expenses with financial aid. Students in the school's programs graduate at a rate of 34%. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission. Prospective students can contact the admission department for more information about applying.

    #26

    Everett Community College

    Everett, WA

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    7,580

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3717

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9108

    Located in Everett, Washington, Everett Community College grants degrees as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Students prepare to contribute to their field by completing courses. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school often fund their education with federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #27

    Skagit Valley College

    Mount Vernon, WA

    Graduation Rate

    31%

    Enrollment

    4,227

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3626

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6485

    Skagit Valley College, a public institution in Mount Vernon, Washington, enrolls learners in multiple programs. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. These policies make it easier to enroll. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an independent accrediting body.

    #28

    Bellingham Technical College

    Bellingham, WA

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    1,848

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $2755

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3262

    From its campus in Bellingham, Washington, Bellingham Technical College enrolls students in 110 programs. The institution offers top-ranked programs that provide a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 16-to-1. The school reports that 62% of students take advantage of financial aid. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 52%. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

    #29

    Big Bend Community College

    Moses Lake, WA

    Graduation Rate

    37%

    Enrollment

    1,892

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4230

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4691

    A public institution located in Moses Lake, Washington, Big Bend Community College enrolls students in several programs. The school offers programs that prepare graduates for careers and professional advancement. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Current students receive an average aid award of $6468, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $8215. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Big Bend Community College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #30

    Yakima Valley College

    Yakima, WA

    Graduation Rate

    28%

    Enrollment

    3,954

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4230

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4691

    Yakima Valley College, which offers programs from its Yakima, Washington campus, often ranks among the top schools. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Depending on the program, students can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years earning their degree or certificate. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. Test-optional policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Yakima Valley College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.