Finding affordable online colleges in Washington is one of the priorities of the top ten states with the most educated population. Additionally, Washington educational projections reveal that over 70% of Washington Jobs require postsecondary education by 2020.
We can find the best online colleges in Washington State and the best of all, they’re affordable.
Prospective students considering online schools in Washington may wonder about transfer credits, applying with a GED, and financial aid options. The following section answers some frequently asked questions.
Top Affordable Online Colleges in Washington
1. Washington State University
We can find a wide range of online programs at the University of Washington State. Students will be delighted with one of the largest online schools in Washington. WSU offers very popular online degrees such as economics, psychology, criminal justice, hospitality business administration among others. In addition to having degrees in various programs,
WSU also offers postgraduate courses through its online programs. The WSU Global Campus schedule is the same as Washington State University, online students secure the traditional semester format. However, they can take accelerated courses in winter.
2. Heritage University
Located in Toppenish, WA, Heritage University offers multiple high-quality online degree programs. Students looking to study humanities, English or education at an online school in Washington should consider Heritage University a great option. ProTech Portfolio is one of the most popular titles available through the online portal. The goal of this program is to help students become teachers in the state of Washington by providing the necessary requirements for second-level certification.
Heritage University has 24-hour availability 7 days a week in all online degree programs. Because of this, students will be able to follow their own pace, obtaining the same quality as their counterparts on campus.
3. Central Washington University
Central Washington University has a program with many different degree options for online students. It offers 12 online degrees, such as English, sociology, business administration, as well as 10 master’s programs. Of these programs, the paramedicine degree and the health-related master’s programs are hybrid in nature. This allows students to complete the requirements in person at the Ellensburg campus while completing other online studies.
A particularity of Central Washington University is that it has a special offer for online students out of state. They may qualify to pay the same as their peers within the state. CWU is one of the few online schools in Washington that offers a waiver to most students out of state. This reduces the cost of online education to match in-state tuition.
Do online credits cost more or less in Washington?
The cost of online credits varies depending on the institution. Public colleges and universities often charge less than private schools. Washington residents may also save on the cost of online credits at certain universities. Washington State University (WSU) and its online Global Campus, for example, charges part-time Washington resident students $507 per credit or $565 per credit for non-residents.
Students attending online colleges in Washington may save on tuition over students attending in person. For example, at WSU full-time online Washington resident students pay $10,135 a year in tuition, while the same Washington residents attending courses on campus pay $10,268 per year.
Non-residents save a significant amount by attending online. Full-time online WSU students from out of state pay $11,329 per year in tuition, while non-residents enrolled full time in an on-campus program spend $24,504 per year.
Which Washington schools accept the most transfer credits?
Each online school in Washington sets its own guidelines for accepting transfer credits. At Central Washington University, for example, students can transfer up to 135 quarter credits, or the equivalent of 90-semester credits, toward a bachelor’s degree. The City University of Seattle also accepts 135 quarter credits toward an undergraduate degree. When applying to an online college in Washington with transfer credits, students must submit their transcripts for review to determine how many credits apply toward their degree.
Not all credits automatically transfer. Many schools only accept credits earned at an accredited college or university, while someplace limits on how many upper-division credits apply toward a degree. Schools must also determine the course equivalency at their institution; some courses may not count if they have no equivalent class at the college.
Some institutions also grant credits for prior learning assessment, which can include military training, workplace experience, professional certifications, and examinations such as the Advanced Placement tests.
Will any online colleges in Washington accept a GED?
Most online colleges in Washington accept applicants who hold a GED instead of a high school transcript. Students who pass a GED exam earn the equivalency of a high school diploma, meeting the admission requirements for most colleges and universities. City U of Seattle, for example, accepts students with a GED, as does WSU. In most cases, students ask the testing agency which administered the GED to send proof of their passing score to the university during the admissions process.
Some students do not need to provide proof of a GED or high school transcript, including those with over one year of college credits. Depending on the program’s admission guidelines, these students may simply need to provide college transcripts rather than proof of high school graduation. Homeschooled students can also apply to online colleges in Washington by submitting proof of their course of study in the form of a curriculum or academic resume.
How many academic terms per year do online colleges Washington offer?
Some online colleges offer classes that start every few weeks or months, with multiple start dates throughout the year. Most of Washington’s public colleges and universities that offer online classes use the institution’s regular academic schedule, meaning students can start during any semester or quarter. WSU’s Global Campus uses the semester schedule, for example, and online students enroll for fall, spring, or summer semesters. At Central Washington, the online classes follow a quarter schedule, meaning students start in fall, winter, spring, or summer.
Due to academic schedules, many of the online schools in Washington do not offer courses starting every week or month. Prospective students can plan ahead, however, by researching the next class start date at their intended institution and completing their admission process in advance of the start date. Online schools may accept rolling admissions, meaning students can apply at any time to join the program or set an admission deadline for each semester or quarter. Students needing an earlier start date may be able to enroll in an online college outside of Washington state and transfer the credits to their Washington program.
Which online colleges will accept FAFSA in Washington?
Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for federal financial aid. The aid includes financial support through the Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and federal work-study programs. Not all online colleges accept FAFSA; in order to qualify, the program must hold regional accreditation from an agency that holds approval from the U.S. Department of Education. Prospective students can look up qualifying colleges and universities in the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
The best online colleges in Washington, including WSU’s Global Campus, Central Washington University, City University of Seattle, and Western Washington University, hold regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). In addition, all the schools ranked in our best online colleges in Washington list hold accreditation, meaning students can apply federal financial aid toward their degree.
Are there any free online classes I can take from Washington colleges?
Several Washington colleges offer free online classes, which are available to students in any state. Many operate as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These classes may incorporate live or pre-recorded lectures, assigned readings, discussion forums, and assignments. Students in Washington can take free online classes through several Washington colleges and universities.
For example, the University of Washington offers free online classes through multiple outlets, including UW Online, Coursera, and edX. Some of these courses base their content on information taught in the university’s certificate and degree programs. The free online classes offered by the UW include courses on programming languages, cybersecurity, public speaking, and information technology. Depending on the format, students taking a free online course may be able to complete the class at their own pace, or the course may start on a certain date and involve a cohort of other learners.
Keep in mind that free online classes do not typically grant college credit, nor can they be applied toward a degree. In some cases, students may be able to complete certification through taking these online classes if they pay a small fee.
How can I find the online program options at Washington’s colleges?
With multiple online colleges in Washington, prospective students may look to a program’s support services and other options to narrow down their choices. Many of the top online colleges in Washington offer tools and services for prospective students. UW Online, for example, offers bachelor’s degree completion programs fully online, and WSU Global Campus provides multiple undergraduate and graduate degree options. These programs also provide online learner support, including academic advisors, tech support, and online tutoring.
Prospective students can identify the best online colleges in Washington, as well as the most affordable online colleges in Washington, by using our ranking. Visiting each school’s online learning site also helps prospective students learn more about the degree options, student services, and online learning tools offered by each college.