Central Washington University

Ellensburg, WA

Central Washington University, commonly referred to as CWU, is a public university located in Ellensburg, Washington. Established in 1891, it has an enrollment of over 12,000 students. The university offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate programs in various disciplines, including arts, sciences, business, education, and health sciences.

What sets CWU apart is its commitment to providing a transformative educational experience to its students. The university emphasizes hands-on learning, encouraging students to apply their knowledge in real-world settings. CWU boasts state-of-the-art facilities and resources, including modern laboratories, research centers, and a strong network of industry partnerships, fostering opportunities for internships, research projects, and career development for its students.

CWU also prides itself on its vibrant campus community and diverse extracurricular activities. With over 160 clubs and organizations, students have ample opportunities to engage in social, cultural, and athletic activities. The universityÆs location in the scenic Kittitas Valley offers breathtaking natural surroundings, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts who can take advantage of the nearby mountains, rivers, and forests for recreation and exploration. Additionally, CWU hosts numerous events, including lectures, concerts, and performances, providing enriching experiences beyond the classroom.

Overall, Central Washington University is a dynamic institution dedicated to providing a comprehensive education that prepares students for successful careers and lifelong learning. With its commitment to experiential learning, diverse campus community, and access to stunning natural landscapes, CWU offers a well-rounded college experience that nurtures academic growth while promoting personal development and active engagement with the world.

Located in Ellensburg, WA, Central Washington University is a public comprehensive higher education institution. It has a campus size of 380 acres. This institution follows a quarterly calendar. It has an acceptance rate of 90%. The freshman retention rate at Central Washington University is 67.49% and the six-year graduation rate is 54%.

For freshmen, the application deadline for this school is March 1. The transfer application deadline is March 1.

Here are some vital information on important things to consider about Central Washington University.

Quick Facts


Total Number of Undergraduate Students


Acceptance Rate


Student to Faculty Ratio


Graduation Rate


If you know as much as possible about the institution's criteria for admission, you can make a better judgment about your eligibility and boost your chances of getting accepted. Here are the most essential data you need to know about admission at Central Washington University.

According to the most recent information reported, this school uses standardized test scores for admission and it admitted 8,881 in 2023. Central Washington University has an official test-optional admission policy but considers standardized test scores if the applicant decides to submit them. Looking at entrance difficulty level for all or most incoming freshmen, based on data self-reported by the institution this school is moderately difficult to get into.

Test Scores

5% of first-time, first-year degree-seeking students submitted their SAT scores for admission, and 1% submitted ACT scores, out of the total number of those who submitted test scores. The latest reported average GPA of the enrolled students was 3.09. That means that you need a GPA that's above average in order to get into Central Washington University.

Average Test Scores Graph


Be sure to apply to this school by March 1. For transfer students, the application deadline is March 1.


Acceptance Rate

Retention Rate

The student retention rate is the percentage of students who re-enroll from one year to the next. When you create your list of possible schools to attend, make sure to consider the freshmen retention rate.

The freshman retention rate for Central Washington University was 67.49% in 2023.

The graduation rate is another indicator to take into account. This rate shows how many students complete their degrees in a certain number of years. The six-year graduation rate at this institution stands at 54%.

Student Body

It is never easy to figure out which school is the perfect place for you. Obtaining a better insight into a school's student body helps you learn more about its culture and life.

Main Student Body

In 2023, the school enrolled 9,257 students.

That year, the school had 6% of out-of-state students. The total number of undergraduate students enrolled at the school was 8,743, 243 of which were international students. The school admitted a total of 909 transfer students.

Student Population Gender Ratio

The student body is coeducational, with 3,702 male and 4,101 female full-time students in 2023. 77 full-time graduate men and 107 full-time graduate women attended this school.

Student Population Diversity

The importance of student diversity cannnot be denied, when it comes to the overall feeling of inclusion and beloning among the students of any school. In a diverse learning space, you will be exposed to people from different backgrounds, which promotes the feeling of inclusion and acceptance. Discover more about the many ethnic communities that go to this school.

In 2023, out of the total number of students enrolled at the institution, the number of Asian students was 388, and the number of African American students was 439. 1,728 students at this school declared as Hispanic/Latino and 737 as multirace. The school also had 78 students who declared as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, as well as 57 American Indian or Alaska Native students. There were also 263 students whose ethnicity is unknown.


One of the most crucial things to take into consideration when applying to any college or university is the financial component. Here are some important information on Central Washington University costs that most students encounter at this school.

Tuition and Fees

Wondering about tuition at Central Washington University? Here is what you need to know.

Tuition fees for area resident were $7,021, as reported by public county or municipal institutions. Tuition fees were $25,075 for students coming from a different state. For the students coming from abroad, tuition at this school was $25,075, as well. Full-time students in 2023 were obliged to pay additional fees in the amount of $1,318.

Tuition Fees Total
Out-of-State $25,075 $1,318 $26,393
In-State $7,021 $1,318 $8,339

Books and Supplies

Another important expense to consider is the approximate cost of books and supplies for a college or university. The cost of books and supplies for full-time students of this school is estimated at about $900.


Before you apply to a college or university, you should, among other things, think about the price of a dorm room and cafeteria meals. What do schools typically charge for accommodation and meals?

In 2023, room and board cost at Central Washington University amounted to $16,314 a year. The cost of a dorm room only at this school in 2023 totaled $8,917 for one academic year.

Tuition $ 7,021
Room and Board $ 16,314
Book and Supplies $ 900
Total Expense $ 24,235

Financial Aid

Grants, loans, scholarships, work-study programs: these are all different types of financial aid for students. If you want to find out more about need-based and non-need-based aid at Central Washington University, here are some recent data you should consider.

According to the most recent data, 1,056 freshmen were awarded financial aid. The average financial aid package awarded to students added up to $11,385.


Need-based aid is financial aid that a student can receive if they are determened to have financial need and meet other eligibility criteria.

There were 4,340 students who received need-based financial aid of any kind. Need-based college-administered scholarship and grant aid at Central Washington University is available to international students. The total number of students (including freshmen) who were determined to have financial need was estimated to be 5,188. The amount of federal need-based scholarships/grants awarded to the students at this institution stood at $16,425,370, and state $22,103,546. The students of Central Washington University received the -institutional need-based aid in the amount of $1,105,318, and external in the amount of $2,541,991.


Average Amount of Aid Received

Non-Need Based

Any financial aid given to a student who does not meet the requirements for need-based aid is considered non-need-based aid. The most popular forms of non-need-based financial aid for students are loans and grants, like Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Graduate PLUS Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, and the Teacher Education Access for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant.

Institutional non-need-based scholarships or grants were given to 117 students overall (including freshmen) at Central Washington University in 2023. Institutional grants or scholarships that are not based on financial need were given to 25 full-time freshman. The total dollar amount of federal non-need-based scholarships/grants awarded to the studens at this school was $16,425,370 while the state aid is $13,177. The total amount of institutional scholarships and awards that were not based on financial need was $90,602. This includes endowment, alumni, other institutional awards, and also external funds awarded by the institution, but doesn't include athletic aid and tuition waivers. $893,931 was the amount that the students at this institution got from external sources (like Kiwanis and National Merit).




Student to Faculty Ratio

Knowing more about a school's faculty can help you gauge the caliber of the education it can provide to you.

According to the most recent data, the student-faculty ratio at Central Washington University was 18:1: that means 18 students per one teacher. The total number of faculty teaching at the institution is 488. This number included 305 men and 321 women. The fact that female faculty members outnumber the male ones at this school is telling of the importance gender equality has at Central Washington University.

Student Population Diversity Graph


Campus Life

Knowing what to expect out of campus life at a college or university can set you up for success. Find out some info about students' life at Central Washington University.

Student Organizations

A student organization is run by students at a university or a college institution, whose membership typically consists only of current students and/or alumni.

There are 128 student organizations and groups with open membership at this school. The percentage of male students who are members of organizations is 42 and female students 58. The student organization that attracts the greatest number of students is Society of Human Resource Management, followed by Alpha Kappa Si and Cosplay. Other popular organizations at Central Washington University are Brother 2 Brother and SISTERS.

Students interested in music can join the Central Washington University band or chorus. For students with a talent for acting, there is a drama club. Interested in media and communication? Central Washington University publishes its own newspaper and has its own radio station.

Student Services

Central Washington University has a number of services needed for a pleasant and safe life on campus.

There are emergency phone and alarm devices available around the clock. There are electronically operated dormitory entrances. There is a security patrol available 24/7. Theer is a nighttime transportation/escort service.

There is a health clinic with personal/psychological counseling. In addition, other services like Veteran's Affairs are available to the students of Central Washington University.

All in all, campus life at Central Washington University is rich and vibrant and provides everything most students need.

Career Services

Having career services at a college or university can mean a great deal for your career planning, so find out what you can expect at Central Washington University.

Career Counselling

There is campus employer recruitment for all the students. This school offers alumni networking opportunities, which could be highly beneficial for your future career.


Central Washington University is located in Ellensburg, WA.

Central Washington University offers need-based college-administered scholarship and grant aid to international students.

This school has an official test-optional admission policy but makes use of SAT, SAT Subject Tests, ACT, or other standardized test scores in admission decisions for the candidates who choose to submit them.

The most recent data indicate that the acceptance rate for Central Washington University is 90%.

The most recent reported freshman retention rate for Central Washington University is 67.49%.

Contact Information

Central Washington University,

400 East University Way

Ellensburg, WA


509 963-1111

School Website

Data Source: IPEDS and Peterson's Databases © 2023 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved. Portions of this content were co-written with OpenAI's GPT-3.5 model.

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