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Colleges / Central Washington University

About Central Washington University (CWU)

Central Washington University is a public, state school in a small town setting in Ellensburg, Washington. Central Washington University (CWU) was founded in 1891 and now enrolls around 11,174 students a year, including 10,518 undergrads. Central Washington University (CWU) offers housing for students. Most students live in off campus housing.

There are many ways for students to get involved at Central Washington University (CWU)! Love music or performing? Join a campus band, sing in a chorus, or perform with one of Central Washington University (CWU)'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.

There are no fraternities or sororities at Central Washington University (CWU), so it might be a good choice if you're not interested in Greek life.

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.

Learn more about life at Central Washington University (CWU) on the Student Life page.

Mark your calendar! March 1, 2022 is the final deadline to submit an application for Fall.

2021 Central Washington University (CWU) Facts At-A-Glance
Academic Calendar Quarter
Overall Acceptance Rate 86%
Average GPA 3.1
Applicants Submitting SAT scores 75%
In-State Tuition $6,475
Out-of-State $22,551
Percent of Need Met 59%
Average First-Year Financial Aid Package $10,546

Is Central Washington University (CWU) a Good School?

The definition of a "good school" is different for different people. Admissions criteria, acceptance rate and average GPA are good indicators of how selective an institution is, but they don't tell you how happy or successful students are. There are a few statistics that can give you a good idea of how satisfied students are and how well a school supports its students.

Let's take a look at to get a better sense of what Central Washington University (CWU) offers and if it might be the right college for you.

Central Washington University (CWU) Acceptance Rate 2021

It is moderately difficult to get into Central Washington University (CWU). Around 86% of applicants get into Central Washington University (CWU) each year. Last year, 12,203 students applied to Central Washington University (CWU) and 10,526 were admitted.

Retention and Graduation Rates at Central Washington University (CWU)

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

Out of all the first-year, full-time undergrads who start at Central Washington University (CWU), around 70% return for the next year. Around 60% 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.

Central Washington University (CWU)'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. Central Washington University (CWU)'s endowment was valued at $6.3 million in 2021, compared to a national average of $905 million. For each full-time student, Central Washington University (CWU) spends about $8,769 a year.

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 59% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates. The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $10,546 a year.

The average student debt for graduates in the class of 2021 was around $24,498 per student, not including those with no debt. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

The 2022-2023 FAFSA Opened on October 1st, 2021

Some financial aid is available on a first-come, first-served basis, so fill out the FAFSA early. Visit the FAFSA website to apply for student aid. Remember, the first F in FAFSA stands for FREE! No one should ever pay to fill out 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, how does Central Washington University (CWU) sound? 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 admitted to some of the 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 want 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


Wondering what your chances are of getting into Central Washington University?

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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 - 1110


Math SAT Range

450 - 550


Reading SAT Range

460 - 560

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1110 and Above


920 to 1110


920 and Less


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SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for Central Washington University (CWU) students is 1014. Applicants with SAT scores of 1110 and above have a good chance of being admitted to Central Washington University (CWU), while applicants with SAT scores between 920 to 1110 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 11,174 students enrolled at Central Washington University (CWU), including 10,518 undergraduate students and 656 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



© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

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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