Colleges By Location

Online Colleges in Washington

On this page, we’ve collected resources that will help you approach the online higher education opportunities in Washington. We begin by providing fact-driven surveys on postsecondary and online education in Washington today, which will give you a good idea of things like funding and enrollment trends.

Following these surveys are our rankings of online colleges in Washington, sorted by affordability. You can find state-specific scholarship information, as well ― keep in mind that most funding opportunities are open to both online and on-campus students. Following rankings and aid info is our list of resources, which consists of trusted sites designed to help you with your higher education research. Finally, you can explore our database of virtually all the online colleges across the country.


Postsecondary Education in Washington

Between 2003 and 2010, the number of Title IV postsecondary institutions in Washington fell from 124 to 117.

Washington is one of ten states that increased per student funding by more than 10% last year with a 15.5% increase in spending.

Average tuition at public 4-year institutions in Washington is over $1000 higher than the national average at $9,484.

The state boasts the third highest graduation rate in the country with 41.1% of students graduating in four years and 68.9% finishing in six years.


Online Education in Washington

NCES Report

According to a recent NCES report, in fall 2012, 7.5% of students enrolled in Title IV institutions in Washington (27,848 students) were in exclusively online programs.

  • 89.6% of those students were undergraduates
  • 34.7% were in public 4-year institutions
  • 10% were in private not-for-profit 4-year institutions
  • 1.4% were in private for-profit 4-year institutions
  • 29.8% were living in Washington
  • 7.5% were living elsewhere in the United States

In 2011, the Washington state-legislature established a fully online public university through WGU Washington. The school offers more than 50 bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a unique mentor format, allowing students to earn degrees based on competency and not on credit hours.

WashingtonOnline is a resource available to both teachers and students, which aims to foster partnership and collaboration to provide online students in Washington the best possible educational experience.


Most Affordable Online Colleges in Washington

Below, you’ll find the very best online colleges in Washington, sorted by affordability. These rankings identify the fully online programs in a school’s catalogue, explain how the school’s online interface works and spotlight the recognition a school has received for its online initiatives.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Peninsula College

1
Peninsula College
Port Angeles
N/A
$5,260

An Online Education at Peninsula College

PC currently offers one online program designed especially for associate degree holders looking to earn an MBA. By logging in to Canvas, PC’s online course management system, students gain access to all of their coursework, including syllabi and grades. A Canvas Student Quick Start class teaches those new to the web-based platform how to navigate it.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management

One unique aspect of this program is the internship requirement, which students may complete in their locale. An internship instructor works with students to orchestrate a successful experience.

A wealth of online resources are made available to students, including eTutoring, an online library, disability services, learning centers and labs. Non-residents of Washington state seeking to apply should note that Peninsula may need to receive authorization to deliver distance education in their home state prior to the start of the course or program.

Contact Information

1502 E Lauridsen Blvd
Port Angeles, WA 98362
(360) 452-9277

Central Washington University

2
Central Washington University
Ellensburg
$242
$7,245

An Online Education at Central Washington University

CWU delivers its online courses and degree programs through Canvas, for which the university provides an abundance of tutorials, guides, orientations and 24/7 IT support. This web-based learning platform offers a number of technology tools that serve to enrich the online learning environment, including Collaborate web-conferencing, Respondus Monitor exam proctoring, MediaAmp streaming media, and Panopto lecture recording. Most online courses are asynchronous, allowing students to complete their assigned coursework on their own timeframe. Interaction and communication between instructors and students takes place primarily through discussion forums, email and virtual chat tools.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in English: Professional and Creative Writing
  • Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology and Administrative Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies - Social Sciences
  • Bachelor of Arts in Law and Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Social Services
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

CWU offers a dual admission program to help transfer students smoothly transition from their community or technical college to CWU.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Master of Education in Literacy
  • Master of Education in School Administration
  • Master of Education Higher Education
  • Master of Science in Information Technology and Administrative Management

Several hybrid programs at both the graduate and undergraduate level are offered by CWU as well. Any prospective students residing outside the state of Washington should refer to the Qualifying States Disclaimer prior to applying to ensure CWU is authorized to deliver distance education in their state.

Contact Information

400 East University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7501
(509) 963-1111


Acclaim for online programs

  • #194 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
  • #168 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Programs

Eastern Washington University

3
Eastern Washington University
Cheney
N/A
$7,371

An Online Education at Eastern Washington University

EWU’s Eastern Online division conducts virtual courses through the Canvas Learning Management System, for which an immense amount of personal, 24/7 IT support is provided to students. Each course is carefully constructed by a team of faculty members and Eastern Online staff to provide a rich, engaging online learning experience that fulfills the objectives of each program. Interactive elements such as informative graphics, lectures with audio or visual components, electronic documents and interactive media are just a few of the forward-thinking features the Canvas platform offers.

Some of the online courses involve proctored exams, requiring students to fill out a proctor request form well in advance of the test.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Children’s Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (Degree Completion)

The children’s studies program is notably the first of its kind in the U.S.

Beyond those degrees, EWU offers an Education Specialist in School Psychology endorsement and an online graduate certificate in addiction studies for those looking to further enhance their professional credentials, not to mention an abundance of individual online courses.

Contact Information

526 5th Street
Cheney, WA 99004-2496
(509) 359-6200

Faith Evangelical College & Seminary

4
Faith Evangelical College & Seminary
Tacoma
$165
$7,425

An Online Education at Faith Evangelical College & Seminary

Western Online offers three varieties of eLearning: term-based, self-paced or degree/certificate programs. All three types utilize the Canvas learning management system to deliver online courses. Asynchronous and synchronous assignments and activities are often presented in lieu of traditional teacher-centered lectures. Instructors will indicate in course syllabi when students need to submit assignments, whether or not exams will need to be proctored and when collaborative activities are due. Throughout the week, students will continue communicating with their classmates and instructors primarily through the Canvas discussion forums. Online courses generally follow the traditional academic quarter schedule.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Services

A TESOL certificate and business core degree prep can be earned completely online as well. Contract Independent Study (CIS) is an online option that does not require enrollment at WWU, allowing students to instead work independently with a faculty member. Several financial aid and scholarship options are available to Western Online students.

Contact Information

3504 N Pearl St
Tacoma, WA 98407-0186
(253) 752-2020

Washington State University

5
Washington State University
Pullman
N/A
$11,386

An Online Education at Washington State University

WSU currently uses the Blackboard-owned learning management system ANGEL and is in the process of migrating fully to Blackboard Learn. Many technology aids are available 24/7 for both students and instructors, including a demo course and P.E.T.E. - a helpful Personal eLearning Tool Expert. Through the web-based classroom students can experience events live-streamed by the Media Center, such as webinars, web-conferencing and other virtual “live” features. Additionally, students and professors chat online, post questions and thoughts in threaded discussion forums, and collaborate on group projects.

Online tutoring, writing lab access, textbook purchases, and academic mentoring are just a few of the resources available to eLearners.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Management and Operations
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Development
  • Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Aside from these degrees, non-degree and teaching endorsement options may also be earned totally online through WSU.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Master of Arts in Sport Management
  • Master of Engineering and Technology Management
  • Master of Science in Agriculture
  • Master of Science in Food Science and Management
  • Master of Science in Agriculture - Plant Health Management

Unlike many online programs that follow a fast track or offer accelerated degrees, WSU’s Global Campus follows the semester system, keeping online students more connected to the WSU community. Distance learners are even invited to social gatherings, lectures and other on-campus events.

Contact Information

French Administration Building
Pullman, WA 99164-5910
(509) 335-3564


Acclaim for online programs

  • #20 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
  • #21 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online MBA Programs
  • #29 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs

City University of Seattle

6
City University of Seattle
Seattle
$347
$15,615

An Online Education at City University of Seattle

Through the web-based interface known as Blackboard, CityU online students log in to the virtual classroom and actively participate in group projects, post on discussion boards, receive and submit assignments, view grades and email their instructors. All faculty members have professional and leadership experience in their fields, allowing them to bring first-hand knowledge to the learning environment and incorporate real-world understanding into the curriculum. Beneficial student services allow eLearners to chat live with an academic advisor, access the library 24/7, connect with the career and counseling center and peruse the bookstore.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Services
  • Bachelor of Arts in Education: Elementary Education
  • Bachelor of Arts in Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems
  • Bachelor of Science in General Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration

Most of these degrees can be finished within three years, with many graduates continuing on to earn an advanced degree in a related field. Incoming students have the option to complete a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) that translates previous life and work experience into college credit, potentially saving large amounts of time and money.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Leadership
  • Master of Education in Adult Learning
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Science in Computer Systems
  • Master of Science in Project Management
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Doctor of Education in Leadership

Beyond these degrees, numerous undergraduate, graduate and professional certificates/endorsements can be earned entirely online.

Contact Information

521 Wall Street, Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98121
(800) 426-5596


Acclaim for online programs

  • #27 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
  • #117 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online MBA Programs
  • #68 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Business Programs (Excluding MBA)
  • #154 on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs

Heritage University

7
Heritage University
Toppenish
N/A
$18,456

An Online Education at Heritage University

This Yakama Indian Reservation-based university uses the popular learning management system Blackboard to deliver its online courses. Through this peer-supportive network, students are able to share ideas, contribute feedback and participate in collaborative discussions on a regular basis.

HU follows the semester schedule system; full-time students can take up to 4 courses (or 12 credits) per semester, while part-time students take half that amount. Full-time graduate students take 6 credits per semester. Regardless of the level or intensity of study, online students should plan on logging in to their online courses three times per week.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in English and Humanities
  • Bachelor of Arts in American Cultural Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in American Indian Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in English/Language Arts (5-12)

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in English
  • Master of Education in Organizational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration

A ProTeach Portfolio program is available for teachers with a residency teacher certificate who wish to fulfill the secondary-level Washington certificate. Although HU welcomes transfer students, those who do not hold an associate of arts degree or who happen to have 60 or fewer semester credit hours will most likely have to take an assessment test to confirm their earned credits.

Contact Information

3240 Fort Rd
Toppenish, WA 98948
(509) 865-8500



Scholarships and Financial Aid in Washington

Academic Achievement and Diversity Scholarship

Deadline: January 31, 2016
Scholarship Amount $4,000 See Scholarship

The Academic Achievement/Diversity Award is available to freshmen entering Washington State University. Selection is based on academic merit, leadership skills, commitment to community service, and financial need. Maximum award is $4,000 for 4 years.

Alumni Board Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $1,000 See Scholarship

Western Washington University’s Alumni Associate offers this scholarship to full-time WWU students and to transfer students entering WWU. Applicants must be undergraduate students with a GPA of 3.10+. Preference will be given to students with financial need, and to those who are active in serving their community.

Central Investment Fund Scholarship

Deadline: March 1, 2016
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

Central Washington University provides this merit-based scholarship to incoming freshmen or transfer students. Applicants must be Washington state residents, have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and demonstrate leadership and academic potential. Applicants must also have completed a college prep curriculum.

Chancellor’s Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $16,000 See Scholarship

The Chancellor’s Scholarship is available to freshmen entering Saint Martin’s University. Recipients are selected based on high school GPA, class rank, SAT/ACT scores, and leadership or community service. Students receiving this award have an average GPA of 3.86 and SAT score of 1796. The award is $16,000 per year for 4 years.

Dean’s Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $14,000 See Scholarship

The Dean’s Scholarship is open to freshmen entering Saint Martin’s University. Recipients are selected based on high school GPA, class rank, SAT/ACT scores, and leadership or community service. Students receiving this award have an average GPA of 3.33 and SAT score of 1504. The award is $14,000 per year for 4 years.

Glenn Terrell Presidential Scholarship

Deadline: January 31, 2016
Scholarship Amount $4,000 See Scholarship

Washington State University offers the Glenn Terrell Presidential Scholarship to international transfer students. Selection is highly competitive, and is based on academic excellence and merit. The maximum award is $4,000 per year for 4 years. Recipients must maintain a GPA of 3.2 or higher.

President’s Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $15,000 See Scholarship

The President’s Scholarship is available to freshmen entering Saint Martin’s University. Recipients are chosen based on high school GPA, class rank, SAT/ACT scores, and leadership or community service. Students receiving this award have an average GPA of 3.62 and SAT score of 1590. The award is $15,000 per year for 4 years.

President’s Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $6,500 See Scholarship

Western Washington University’s Presidential Scholarship is available to incoming freshmen. Recipients are selected based on academic performance (measured by GPA and SAT/ACT scores). The maximum award is $6,500.

Regents Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Full tuition See Scholarship

Washington State University provides the Regents Scholarship to incoming freshmen who demonstrate exceptional academic ability and community or civic involvement. Selection is competitive. Applicants must be residents of Washington state.

State Need Grant

Deadline: open
Scholarship Amount $10,868 See Scholarship

Provided by the Washington Student Achievement Council, the State Need Grant is available to Washington residents pursuing a bachelor’s, certificate, or associate degree at an approved institution within the state. The award amount varies based on the institution the recipient attends; the maximum award is $10,868 per year.


Higher Education Resources in Washington