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College Cost Comparisons

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Whether your long-term goal is to earn a bachelor's degree from a university or to learn a new skill and go to work, you can save money at a community or technical college.

Tuition Comparison

Based on the 2012-13 academic year (fall, winter, spring quarter attendance), here are estimated tuition rates for full-time undergraduate Washington resident students. Room, board, transportation and other fees vary per student.

tuition comparison
Educational Institution Cost
Room, board, transportation and other living expenses will vary per student.
Community & technical colleges, public $ 4,000
Eastern Washington University $ 7,372
Western Washington University $ 7,503
The Evergreen State College $ 7,812
Central Washington University $ 7,941
UW Seattle, UW Bothell, UW Tacoma $11,307
WSU Pullman $11,386
Private vocational, career schools (approximate) $30,000
Private four-year colleges and universities (approximate) $40,000

Professional-Technical Degrees

When you attend a community or technical college for workforce training — instead of a private vocational school — you can save thousands in tuition dollars and avoid large student loans.

And best of all, if you decide to transfer to a different community or technical college, your credits are transferable within the state community and technical college system.

Private vocational colleges cost more and, with some exceptions, their credits are not usually accepted at the community and technical colleges.

Tuition savings example

Cost estimate includes only tuition (no fees, books, housing or transportation) at today’s rates.

  • Associate of Applied Science in Network Services and Computing Systems from Bellevue College costs about $6,357. (Two years, 91 credits, $70 per average credit)
  • Applied degree in Information Technology/Computer Network Systems from ITT Technical Institute costs about $41,568. (Two years, 96 credits, $433 per credit unit)

Bachelor's Degree

If you plan to earn a bachelor’s degree, you can save money by earning a transfer degree — such as an associate in arts (AA) or associate in science (AS) — first.

Tuition savings example

Cost estimate scenarios include only tuition (no fees, books, housing or transportation) at today’s rates.

  • A 90-credit transfer degree from a community college for $6,270, plus two years at a regional university for $15,378 for a total of $21,648.
  • Four years tuition at a regional university costs $30,756.
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