Best Community Colleges in Washington 2022

Best Community Colleges in Washington 2022

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in Washington offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Colleges and Universities in Washington

Of the 40 public options, the University of Washington in Seattle is the largest. Roughly 40,000 students attend classes in fields like nursing, education, biology, and computer science. This public research institution is also affordable, charging about $11,000 for tuition. In fact, none of the public schools in Washington exceed $12,000 in price. This includes community colleges, technical colleges, and four-year universities, making Washington a uniquely affordable place to earn your associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Washington also has 24 private institutions. Of those, nine are religious. The most widely known of these, Catholic university Gonzaga enrolls roughly 7,000 students, at a cost of $40,000, in areas such as religious studies, engineering, and law. Central Washington University (CWU) is a smaller public school, serving just over 12,000 students, and has a tuition of $8,000. With 15% of its population being Hispanic, CWU is now recognized as an emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution. Washington health professions also have the opportunity to receive funding for loan repayment through Washington’s Health Professional Loan Repayment Program.

Set in the Pacific Northwest, Washington offers ocean beaches and lush forests. In fact, over half the state is covered in forests, earning Washington its nickname as The Evergreen State. Viewers atop the Space Needle in Seattle can take in the sights of Puget Sound, Mount Rainier, and both the Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges. In addition, prospective students can choose from over 60 higher education institutions in the state.

Check out the top higher education programs and find an affordable degree in Washington.


What are Washington’s Colleges & Universities?

Washington’s Best Overall

Washington's Best Community Colleges Badge
Download Badge

How do we determine Washington's best community colleges?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

We’ve identified 33 community colleges in Washington. The following list shows the best community colleges and primarily associate degree granting colleges in Washington.

Best Community Colleges in Washington

  1. #1

    Bellevue College

    Bellevue , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    10K

    What is Bellevue College known for?

    Bellevue College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Columbia Basin College

    Pasco , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    6K

    What is Columbia Basin College known for?

    Columbia Basin College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Peninsula College

    Port Angeles , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Peninsula College known for?

    Peninsula College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Medical
  4. #4

    Seattle Central College

    Seattle , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    6K

    What is Seattle Central College known for?

    Seattle Central College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Physics
    • Business
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Wenatchee Valley College

    Wenatchee , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Wenatchee Valley College known for?

    Wenatchee Valley College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Highline College

    Des Moines , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Highline College known for?

    Highline College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Spokane Community College

    Spokane , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    6K

    What is Spokane Community College known for?

    Spokane Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Lake Washington Institute of Technology known for?

    Lake Washington Institute of Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Education
  9. #9

    Everett Community College

    Everett , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    7K

    What is Everett Community College known for?

    Everett Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Spokane Falls Community College known for?

    Spokane Falls Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Social Work
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Physics
  11. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    4K

    What is South Puget Sound Community College known for?

    South Puget Sound Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
  12. #12

    Skagit Valley College

    Mount Vernon , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Skagit Valley College known for?

    Skagit Valley College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Nursing
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    Olympic College

    Bremerton , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Olympic College known for?

    Olympic College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Physics
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #14

    Charter College

    Vancouver , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    7K

    What is Charter College known for?

    Charter College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
  15. #15

    Centralia College

    Centralia , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Centralia College known for?

    Centralia College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #16

    Shoreline Community College

    Shoreline , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Shoreline Community College known for?

    Shoreline Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Physics
    • Business
    • Medical
  17. #17

    Bates Technical College

    Tacoma , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Bates Technical College known for?

    Bates Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Engineering
  18. #18

    Green River College

    Auburn , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    8K

    What is Green River College known for?

    Green River College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #19

    Walla Walla Community College

    Walla Walla , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Walla Walla Community College known for?

    Walla Walla Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #20

    Edmonds College

    Lynnwood , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    6K

    What is Edmonds College known for?

    Edmonds College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. #21

    North Seattle College

    Seattle , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    4K

    What is North Seattle College known for?

    North Seattle College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Physics
    • Business
    • Medical
  22. #22

    Whatcom Community College

    Bellingham , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Whatcom Community College known for?

    Whatcom Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Social Work
    • Education
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Business
  23. #23

    Lower Columbia College

    Longview , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Lower Columbia College known for?

    Lower Columbia College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #24

    Big Bend Community College

    Moses Lake , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Big Bend Community College known for?

    Big Bend Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Nursing
  25. #25

    Tacoma Community College

    Tacoma , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Tacoma Community College known for?

    Tacoma Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  26. #26

    Clark College

    Vancouver , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    7K

    What is Clark College known for?

    Clark College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  27. #27

    Clover Park Technical College

    Lakewood , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Clover Park Technical College known for?

    Clover Park Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Medical
  28. #28

    Bellingham Technical College

    Bellingham , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Bellingham Technical College known for?

    Bellingham Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
  29. #29

    Northwest Indian College

    Bellingham , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Northwest Indian College known for?

    Northwest Indian College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Medical
  30. #30

    South Seattle College

    Seattle , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    4K

    What is South Seattle College known for?

    South Seattle College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Physics
    • Business
    • Medical
  31. #31

    Yakima Valley College

    Yakima , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Yakima Valley College known for?

    Yakima Valley College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  32. #32

    Grays Harbor College

    Aberdeen , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Grays Harbor College known for?

    Grays Harbor College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  33. #33

    Renton Technical College

    Renton , WA

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Renton Technical College known for?

    Renton Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Business
2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Bates Technical College
  2. South Puget Sound Community College
  3. Shoreline Community College
  4. Big Bend Community College
  5. Everett Community College
  6. Walla Walla Community College
  7. Lower Columbia College
  8. Northwest Indian College

Resources for College-Bound Students