Top Online Colleges in Washington

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Washington’s higher education system includes 19 public and 38 private four-year colleges and universities, and 74 community and technical colleges. Perhaps the most notable university in Washington is Whitman College. Founded in 1883 and located in Walla Walla, it is ranked as the No. 42 best liberal arts college in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) is the authority responsible for monitoring and maintaining the state’s higher education system.

Unfortunately, Washington has seen dramatic decreases in state funding for instructional costs; in the 1960s and 1970s, the state covered over 90% of said costs, while today it only covers about 35%. As a result, thousands of Washington residents are unable, or struggle, to gain the education they need to not only succeed in their careers, but also make serious contributions to the state’s economy. As a result, the WSAC works tirelessly to improve not only state funding, but also higher education enrollment numbers. One goal that’s set is to, “monitor and fund higher education for results;” this includes further developing the state’s distance learning options. Distance learning, usually in the form on online courses and degrees, has become a popular academic avenue in recent years because it offers students flexibility and convenience. Some of top colleges with online programs in the state of Washington are discussed below.

Washington State University

Washington State University (WSU) opened its doors in 1890 and has since expanded to include a total of five campuses and centers, one of which is an online campus. Today, it has nearly 30,000 students, the majority of which attend its main campus in Pullman. WSU is ranked No. 115 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It offers online bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and certificates in such subjects as agriculture, business, humanities, and criminal justice. Perfect for prospective online students is WSU’s various online resources, including information webinars on WSU’s online programs, detailed information relating to online college courses, and a financial break-down of degree/course costs.

University of Washington

The University of Washington (U.W.) serves about 30,000 students from its 16 colleges and three campuses, and is ranked No. 42 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It offers students more than 1,800 bachelor’s courses alone each quarter. Additionally, U.W. gives students many online options, including fully online courses at the bachelor’s and master’s levels, and fully online master’s degree programs. Not widely offered by most schools, U.W. also gives students the choice of 11 free online courses, making it one of the state’s top colleges offering free online courses.

Western Governor’s University – Washington

Another of Washington’s top online universities is Western Governor’s University (WGU). This completely online university is the first non-profit, online university in the state of Washington. Its online degree and course options are wide-ranging, and are offered through four of WGU’s colleges. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees are offered in such disciplines as information technology, education, nursing, mathematics, and business. WGU makes the decision process simple for students; its Academic Experience page provides students with everything they need, including access to an enrollment counselor, degree plan details, and learning resources they’d use if enrolled at WGU. Unique is WGU’s educational approach, which bases students’ education on competency rather than the number of credits they receive. Also unique is that WGU allows students to take tests from the comfort of their home via a webcam proctor, rather than by means of a commute to a proctored testing center.

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