What Does it Cost to Attend The University of Washington – Seattle Campus?

The University of Washington – Seattle is consistently ranked one of the top public universities in the country by The U.S. News and World Report. It boasts a diverse student body and exemplary academic programs, which makes it clear why UW is on the minds of many prospective college students. Because of its popularity, UW is also one of the more competitive public institutions in the United States.

 

Why are college costs variable?

 

At first glance, attending any college may seem overwhelmingly expensive. Even public schools like UW have a high list price. However, you can’t assume that the list price (the published cost) is what you’ll actually end up paying. Instead, pay attention to the net cost, the amount you’ll be expected to pay out of pocket. Taking into account financial aid (government aid, institutional grants, and merit scholarships), your net cost will likely be far lower than the list price. Families tend to pay different amounts because of their income, in- or out-of-state residency, and many other factors.

 

What is list price at UW?

 

Like at many public universities, at UW, the list price is lower for in-state students than for out-of-state students. In-state students pay $29,948, while out-of-state students pay $49,986.

 

Most families don’t actually pay the list price, though. In general, only families earning more than $175,000 should expect to pay this figure. For students from high-income families, they may still pay less than the list price if they earn merit scholarships, or scholarships based on achievement.

 

What is the price of attendance with financial aid at UW?

 

Financial aid greatly reduces the cost of attending college for many families. At UW, students receiving aid pay an average net cost of $22,586 in-state and $46,624 out-of-state.

 

The price tends to vary greatly based on family income:

 

Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $7,129*
$30,001-$48,000 $6,805
$48,001-$75,000 $8,984
$75,001-$110,000 $21,018
Over $110,000 $24,502

 

* These numbers do not reflect any Pell Grants that families may receive. Families with an income of $0-30k often receive Federal Pell Grants, which reduce the amount of financial aid that individual institutions need to award. This is why there is a higher tuition rate for families with $0-30k vs. those with $30k-48k.

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What is the merit aid net price of attendance at UW?

 

Both students receiving financial aid and those without financial need are eligible to receive merit scholarships, which are awarded based on students’ accomplishments in and out of the classroom. UW awards merit scholarships to 8.8% of students who don’t receive financial aid. The average award amount is $529, which places UW at 827th in a pool of more than 1,000 institutions CollegeVine analyzed with regard to merit aid generosity.

 

The merit aid net cost for students without financial need is thus only marginally lower: $25,419 for in-state students and $49,457 for out-of-state students. That said, remember that these statistics only account for students without financial need. UW offers a handful of generous merit scholarships (discussed later in this post), but students with financial need often receive them.

 

How many students take out loans at UW?

 

Many students take out government loans to help pay for college, which must be repaid according to individual timetables after graduation. At UW, 5% of students take out loans, with an average amount of $3,170 across their college careers.

 

What are student outcomes for UW?

 

A high graduation rate and salary for alumni can indicate a strong return on investment (ROI) for an institution. At UW, 82% of students graduate within six years, and alumni earn an average salary of $57,700 after 10 years.

Local Area Cost Considerations for Seattle

 

Living in Seattle is expensive. The cost of living index is 204, indicating that it is over twice as expensive as the national average.

 

Students are not required to live on campus at UW, although many do. According to the housing office, 68% of freshmen choose to live in university housing. If your student decides to live off-campus, they’ll be contending with an average one-bedroom rental price of $2,014 or a two-bedroom rental price of $2,775.

 

Washington state’s minimum wage is currently $12. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for all workers in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metropolitan area was $31.42 in 2017; it’s important to keep in mind, however, that this figure encompasses professions requiring a college degree and certain levels of experience.

 

What are other ways to save on college?

 

UW offers a number of merit scholarships to students, including Academic Scholarships and UW Undergraduate Academic Excellence Awards for in-state students. These scholarships are awarded in an average amount of $4,000 for two years and do not require separate applications. UW also offers scholarships to out-of-state students, such as the Purple and Gold Scholarship (for U.S. residents only), awarded in varying amounts. Students are automatically considered for this award as well.

 

Students should also consider applying for scholarships awarded by external organizations, many of which take into account demographics, intended majors, accomplishments, and other factors. One popular scholarship is the National Merit Scholarship, awarded to top 1% scorers on the PSAT. For more information on the opportunity, read our post: How to Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship.

 

Many students also work part-time jobs during the year, or over the summer. Getting a job can teach students about responsibility while helping them pay for their education. Seattle is a vibrant community offering plenty of local work opportunities. If your student prefers to stay on campus, they may be able to score a work-study job, allowing them to engage with the campus community while earning a paycheck. Common campus jobs include being a library desk aide, working in the dining hall, or grading for a professor.

 

Looking for help navigating the Financial Aid process at UW and other colleges? Our Finances tool, available though CollegeVine’s Applications program, will help you compare the ROIs of different colleges, understand what you’ll actually pay, and more. Learn more today!

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.