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2023 Best Online Colleges in Washington

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 12/30/2022
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Anyone looking to start their online education can choose from a variety of public and private online colleges in Washington. Students earn online bachelor's degrees for many reasons, including the flexibility that helps them balance school with work and other responsibilities — indeed, many students need to work while in college for financial reasons. Washington schools provide online bachelor's degree options in many majors, including the most popular study subjects in the U.S.: business, liberal arts, social sciences, and psychology. Some of these majors can be the basis for graduate degrees, which are often required to secure the most stable and highest-paying jobs.

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2023 Best Online Colleges in Washington

RankSchool Salary Score Median Starting Salary
# 1 #1 University of Washington - Seattle 76 76 $59,840
# 2 #2 Washington State University 69 $46,433
# 3 #3 Central Washington University 65 $40,287
# 4 #4 Whitworth University 60 $43,223

#1 University of Washington - Seattle

  • Salary Score: 76
  • Median Starting Salary: $59,840
  • Locations: Seattle
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

The University of Washington - Seattle (UW) is a public school with two online bachelor's degree options. These are a Bachelor of Arts in Early Care & Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Social Sciences, both of them degree-completion programs for students with relevant associate degrees. The first is for students who want to teach or care for children, and the second is an interdisciplinary program for students interested in social science careers.

UW's online students use the Canvas learning management system (LMS) to complete their classes. The university accepts 56% of bachelor's degree candidates, and 84% of them end up graduating with a degree.

#2 Washington State University

  • Salary Score: 69
  • Median Starting Salary: $46,433
  • Locations: Pullman
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Washington State University (WSU), a public school, features a range of online bachelor's degrees. This includes some of the university's most popular programs, such as its Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, and Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication degrees. WSU accepts 80% of bachelor's degree candidates, 65% of whom complete their programs.

Online students sign in to Canvas to work on courses and interact with classmates. Only 13% of WSU undergraduates are fully online learners, but another 16% take at least some virtual courses. About 11% of all students take a part-time course load.

#3 Central Washington University

  • Salary Score: 65
  • Median Starting Salary: $40,287
  • Locations: Ellensburg
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

The public Central Washington University (CWU) has more than a dozen online bachelor's degrees to choose from. Some of CWU's most popular programs are available online, including the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and Bachelor of Arts in Law and Justice degrees. This school has an 86% bachelor's student acceptance rate and a 62% graduation rate.

The university uses the Canvas LMS to host online classes. The student population is primarily full time, with only 12% part-time enrollees. But CWU's online population is larger, with 28% of students taking distance classes exclusively.

#4 Whitworth University

  • Salary Score: 60
  • Median Starting Salary: $43,223
  • Locations: Spokane
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Whitworth University is a private Presbyterian institution with several online bachelor's degrees. Some options are a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities degree, and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Service Administration. Whitworth's acceptance rate is 91% for bachelor's degree applicants, and its graduation rate is 76% for the same population.

The university's online learners sign in to the Blackboard learning platform to complete coursework. Online classes are synchronous, with live class meetings held during weekday evenings over video conferencing apps. Nearly all students are full-time enrollees and most study on campus.

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