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Colleges / Central Washington University

Central Washington University

Ellensburg, WA 4-Year Public
Acceptance Rate90%
Acceptance Rate90%

About Central Washington University (CWU)

Central Washington University Overview

Central Washington University is a public, state school in the small town setting of Ellensburg, Washington. Central Washington University (CWU) was founded in 1891 and now enrolls around 10,176 students a year, including 9,566 undergraduate students. Central Washington University (CWU) ensures housing for up to 4,249 students. Most students live in off campus housing.

📆 Mark your calendar! The final application deadline for Fall 2023 is March 1.

Student Activities at Central Washington University (CWU)

Are you interested in music or performing? Join a campus band, sing in a chorus, or perform with one of the school's theater groups.

Interested in journalism or communications? Central Washington University (CWU) students can write for the campus newspaper, host a radio show or be a producer for the student-run television channel.

Central Washington University (CWU) does not have any fraternities or sororities, do it might be a good option if Greek life isn't a priority for you.

Planning to play sports? Central Washington University (CWU) has many options for athletes. See them all and learn more about life at Central Washington University (CWU) on the Student Life page.

2022 Central Washington University (CWU) Facts At-A-Glance
Academic Calendar Quarter
Overall Acceptance Rate 90%
Early Decision Acceptance Rate ED not offered
Early Action Acceptance Rate EA not offered
Average GPA 3.1
Applicants Submitting SAT scores 30%
In-State Tuition $6,656
Out-of-State $23,184
Percent of Need Met 58.89%
Average First-Year Financial Aid Package $11,170

Is Central Washington University (CWU) a Good School?

There is no one way to define a "good" college or university. Some factors that can help you determine what a good school for you might be include admissions criteria, acceptance rate, tuition costs, and more.

Let's take a closer look at these areas to get a better idea of what Central Washington University (CWU) offers and if the school might be a good choice for you.

2022 Acceptance Rate for Central Washington University

It is moderately difficult to get into Central Washington University (CWU). Around 90% of applicants get into Central Washington University (CWU) each year. Last year, 9,862 students applied to Central Washington University (CWU) and 8,874 were admitted.

Retention and Graduation Rates at Central Washington University (CWU)

Retention refers to the number of students that stay enrolled at a school over time. It is a way to measure how satisfied students are with their school experience, and if they have the support necessary to succeed in college.

Around 68% of students who start at Central Washington University (CWU) come back for their second year of college. Around 55% of students who started at Central Washington University (CWU) earn their Bachelor's degrees within six years. Compare this to the average six-year graduation rate for colleges and universities in the U.S., which is around 61% for public schools and 67% for private.

Job Outlook Central Washington University (CWU) Graduates

Job placement rates after graduation and average starting salaries can all give important clues about the value of a degree from a specific school.

Check with Central Washington University (CWU) directly, for information on any information on starting salaries for recent grads.

Central Washington University's Endowment

An endowment is the total value of a school's investments, donations, and assets. Endowment is not necessarily an indicator of the quality of a school, but it can give you a sense of how much money a college can afford to invest in expanding programs, improving facilities, and support students.

As of 2022, the total market value of Central Washington University's endowment was $6.5 million. The average college endowment was $905 million in 2021. The school spends $9,862 for each full-time student enrolled.

Tuition and Financial Aid at Central Washington University (CWU)

Cost is another important factor when choose a college. Some colleges may have high tuition, but do a better job at meeting students' financial need.

Central Washington University (CWU) meets 58.89% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates. The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $11,170 a year.

Students in the class of 2022 who had taken out student loans graduated with an average of $22,088 of debt. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

The 2023-2024 FAFSA Opened on October 1st, 2022

Some financial aid is available on a first-come, first-served basis, so fill out the FAFSA as soon as you can. Visit the FAFSA website to apply for student aid. Remember, the first F in FAFSA stands for FREE! You should never have to pay to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so be very wary of anyone asking you for money.

Learn more about Tuition and Financial Aid at Central Washington University (CWU).

Based on this information, is Central Washington University (CWU) the school for you? Remember, the best school for one person may be a terrible fit for another! So ask yourself: Is Central Washington University (CWU) a good school for you?

If Central Washington University seems like a school you want to apply to, click the heart button to save it to your college list.

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Central Washington University (CWU) Community Forums

Then use the college admissions predictor to take a data science look at your chances of getting accepted at some of the most selective colleges and universities in the U.S.

Where is Central Washington University Located?

Central Washington University (CWU) is located in the small town setting of Ellensburg, Washington, less than an hour from Seattle.

If you would like to see Central Washington University (CWU) for yourself, plan a visit. The best way to reach campus is to take Interstate 90 to Ellensburg, or book a flight to the nearest airport, Yakima Air Terminal, Seattle-Tacoma International.

You can also take a virtual campus tour to get a sense of what Central Washington University (CWU) and Ellensburg are like without leaving home.

Considering Going to School in Washington?

See a full list of colleges in Washington and save your favorites to your college list.

College Info

400 East University Way Ellensburg, WA 98926

Campus Setting: Small Town

Central Washington University (CWU) Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Mar 1

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Central Washington University (CWU) is Mar 1.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Central Washington University (CWU) is Mar 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Central Washington University (CWU) ACT Scores


ACT Range

17 - 23

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

23 and Above


17 to 23


17 and Less


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ACT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median ACT score of an admitted student to Central Washington University (CWU) is 20. Students with an ACT score of 23 and above have a good chance of getting into Central Washington University (CWU). Students with an ACT score that falls between 17 and 23 have an average chance of getting admitted, and students with an ACT score of 17 or below have a low chance of being offered admission.

Central Washington University (CWU) SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

920 - 1090


Math SAT Range

450 - 540


Reading SAT Range

450 - 560

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1090 and Above


920 to 1090


920 and Less


SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for Central Washington University (CWU) students is 1007. Applicants with SAT scores of 1090 and above have a good chance of being admitted to Central Washington University (CWU), while applicants with SAT scores between 920 to 1090 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 920 have a low chance of being offered a spot at Central Washington University (CWU).

Central Washington University (CWU) Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


In State


Cost Breakdown
In State
State Tuition

Student Life

Wondering what life at Central Washington University (CWU) is like? There are approximately 10,176 students enrolled at Central Washington University (CWU), including 9,566 undergraduate students and 610 graduate students. 88% percent of students attend school full-time, 93% percent are from WA and 7% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting

Small Town

Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Mar 1
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