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Washington State University is one of the top public colleges located in the state and has a good reputation throughout the country as well. Established in 1890, it went through several name changes over the years and was once known as a state college and an agricultural school. Some of its early programs focused on preparing students for working on farms and rural parts of the northwest. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that it officially became Washington State University. WSU now has 10 separate colleges and schools that offer both graduate and undergraduate degree programs in psychology, computer science, business and dozens of other topics.

U.S. News and World Report included WSU on two of its rankings that it did on colleges in the country. WSU ranked as number 70 on its list of best public colleges in the nation and at number 138 on its list of top private and public colleges. Its international business program also ranks as one of the top in the country. WSU now has four campuses in the United States and Canada and boasts a large online system as well, which helped its enrollment grow to nearly 28,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

Washington State University Accreditation Details

Students often forget to check on the accreditation of a college before applying, and others aren’t sure how to find out if a school has accreditation. Washington State University makes it easy for potential students to learn more about its accreditation with a full list of all organizations that granted it this recognition. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which is one of the largest organizations of its type and related to the Higher Learning Commission, granted the university accreditation for its general studies programs. This gives WSU the right to award college degrees. Other programs on campus also have accreditation, including its psychology, computer science, business, and theater programs.

WSU announced in 2014 that it would establish a task force designed to seek accreditation for many of its online programs. This task force met to discuss what the campus needed to do prior to seeking accreditation and what organizations would grant it that accreditation. WSU established other groups prior to requesting accreditation from other organizations in the past. The NWCCU and similar organizations provide accreditation to colleges and universities that can prove students receive the best education and have all the skills necessary to succeed in their future careers after finishing school.

Washington State University Application Requirements

Washington State University offers students the option of applying and starting classes in the fall or starting classes during the spring semester. All incoming freshmen students must complete a transcript that shows they completed the necessary classes required for admission by the state, which includes courses in english, math, science, social science, and a foreign language. They will also need to request that the school receive copies of the scores they received on the ACT or SAT and fill out an online application. Students can then pay the application fee. WSU also offers a guaranteed acceptance policy for students who have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and/or graduated within the top 10% of their high school classes. Those who are over the age of 25 and did not attend college in the past can apply for admission without taking one of the standardized tests first.

Students applying for one of the graduate programs will need to submit other information. In addition to showing that they graduated from an accredited college or university, students will also need to submit transcripts and scores from the General Records Examination or a similar test. Some online graduate programs do not require that students take one of these tests before applying.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost of attending a public college is often much less than the cost of attending a private college, and taking classes online can help students save too. Though WSU charges different rates for tuition rates based on whether students live in or outside the state, it charges separate rates for those taking classes online. The cost of attending WSU online ranges from around $500 per credit for undergraduate classes to just over $500 per credit for graduate classes. Both undergraduate and graduate students studying full time online will find that they pay around $6,000 to $6,100 per semester. Students are also responsible for buying their own textbooks and other supplies.

While most forms of financial aid are not available to part time students, students taking a full course load of online classes do qualify for financial assistance. They should complete a copy of the Free Application for Student Financial Aid and list the WSU code on the application. Students may qualify for assistance in the form of grants or loans from the federal government. WSU also offers scholarships to some students and can assist students in finding and applying for private student loans as well. Both part time and full time students can apply for private or alternative student loans.

For scholarship information, see: 30 Great College Scholarships

Online Degrees Available

Washington State University established its Global Campus for students who wanted to attend WSU but could not live on campus. As the program expanded, it saw students enrolling from cities across the country and around the world. The Global Campus now offers nine different undergraduate degree programs in accounting, hospitality business management, management, management information services, criminal justice, humanities, psychology, social sciences and human development. Undergraduate students can also select one of more than 10 minors offered through the online system, including aging, film studies, history, business administration and sociology. Full time students can complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in four years or less.

WSU also offers 12 different graduate programs for students who already have an undergraduate degree and want to complete their advanced studies. The Sport Management MA program prepares students for managing and assisting professional and amateur athletes and for working in sports complexes and arenas. The Special Education EdM is a unique program that combines online and offline learning and requires that students complete some fieldwork as part of their studies. Other programs available through the Washington State University Global Campus may require that students spend one semester or more working in their hometowns to obtain credit towards their studies.