Close Menu

Whitworth climbs to No. 3 spot in “U.S. News” rankings of best values in the West

September 8, 2014

Whitworth remains in top 10 of annual rankings of best regional universities for 15th year in a row

Whitworth University achieved the No. 3 spot in U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of the best regional university values in the West. For the 15th consecutive year, Whitworth also maintained its position as one of the top 10 best regional universities in the West.

Additionally, Whitworth ranks No. 3 in the West for having a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching. Administrators at regional universities and colleges were surveyed about peer institutions in the regions. The institutions in this ranking were cited most often by college presidents, provosts and deans who were asked to identify up to 10 schools in their ranking category with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.

Whitworth ranks No. 9 in U.S. News' latest ranking of 120 master's-level universities in the 15-state region of the Western United States. U.S. News has published its rankings annually since 1983; the 2015 rankings were posted to the magazine's website ( today, and the 2015 edition of the magazine's Best Colleges guidebook will hit newsstands later this month.

Greg Orwig, vice president for admissions and financial aid at Whitworth, says that to be ranked a top-10 regional university by U.S. News for the 15th year in a row, in addition to being recognized by so many other outside ranking organizations, is a sign of Whitworth’s commitment to excellence.

“Whitworth’s consistently high rankings underscore for students that they are getting an excellent return on their educational investment – not only in the outstanding faculty, programs and facilities they enjoy but also in the great things they accomplish when they graduate,” says Orwig. “What really makes Whitworth distinctive, however, goes beyond top rankings. What our students and alumni highlight is the deeply relational character of our campus community and our mission to elevate academic excellence and faith-learning integration as complementary rather than competing values.”

This fall’s incoming freshman class of 625 students is one of Whitworth’s most academically successful freshman classes ever – with an average high-school GPA of 3.76 and average SAT of 1763. The national average SAT score of college freshmen is 1498. 85 percent of Whitworth graduates finish in four years. All of these measures are well above national averages. In addition, the university has lowered its student-faculty ratio to 11-to-1 and is one of the few universities in the U.S. to cap enrollment at current levels in order to preserve small class sizes and strong student-faculty interaction inside and outside the classroom.

The U.S. News best-values rankings are based on academic quality and the net cost of attendance for a student receiving the average level of need-based financial aid. Whitworth will provide more than $49.9 million in grants and scholarships to undergraduate students in 2014-15, and the average financial aid award for Whitworth's incoming freshmen receiving aid is $31,897. This strong investment in financial aid, coupled with the high percentage of students who finish in four years, makes Whitworth one of the most affordable private universities in the West.

“Whitworth is always appreciative of recognition,” says Provost and Executive Vice President of Whitworth Carol Simon. “Even while we value being seen as a leading comprehensive university, we continue our efforts to integrate intellectual openness with Christian commitment, liberal arts with professional preparation, and freedom with faith. Whitworth graduates continue to be very successful in being accepted to top graduate programs and in becoming sought-after employees.”

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Greg Orwig, vice president for admissions and financial aid, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4580 or

Lucas Beechinor, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or