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Whitworth University is No. 5 in U.S. News rankings of best values in the West

September 13, 2016
Whitworth University was ranked No. 5 in U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of the best regional university values in the West. For the 17th consecutive year, Whitworth is also ranked in the top 15 best universities out of 124 master's-level universities in the 15-state region of the Western United States.

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 $57 million in grants and scholarships to undergraduate students in 2016-17. The university’s average award for incoming freshmen who receive financial aid is $34,132, making Whitworth one of the most affordable private universities in the West.

This fall’s incoming freshman class of nearly 600 students is one of Whitworth’s most diverse and academically successful freshman classes ever – with 28 percent coming from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds and an average high-school GPA of 3.76. Eighty-five percent of Whitworth freshmen return for their sophomore year and 85 percent of graduates finish in four years; both of these measures are well above national averages.

To ensure that students receive the best value for their educational investment, Whitworth has built new art, science, and music buildings over the past 10 years, has added several new interdisciplinary majors, and has expanded its faculty to facilitate small class sizes and faculty-student interaction. These academic investments are reflected in Whitworth’s position among the top three schools in its U.S. News ranking category for student-faculty ratio (11-to-1), percentage of classes with fewer than 20 students (59 percent), and percentage of classes with more than 50 students (1 percent).

These statistics relate directly to positive student outcomes, according to Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid Greg Orwig. Ninety-three percent of Whitworth’s most recent graduates were employed or in graduate school within nine months of graduation, including several students earning prestigious full-ride scholarships to Princeton, Stanford and other top graduate schools. Whitworth captured national championships in forensics and Ethics Bowl. And Pirate Athletics captured its ninth consecutive trophy for the best overall program in the Northwest Conference.

“Whitworth’s continued ranking among the best regional universities and best values in the West provides compelling evidence of our commitment to providing our students with excellent faculty, programs and facilities,” says Orwig. “But what really makes Whitworth stand out can never be captured in the rankings. Our students, parents and alumni lift up Whitworth’s warm campus community, mentoring from professors inside and outside the classroom, learning opportunities such as research, service-learning and study abroad, and our mission to elevate academic excellence and faith-learning integration as complementary rather than competing values.”

Whitworth also showed strong standing in the U.S. News specialty college and university rankings, seen on the magazine's premium website page (, including No. 5 on the ranking of most economically diverse; No. 5 on the ranking of most need-based aid awarded; No. 10 on highest six-year graduation rate; No. 11 on highest freshman retention rate; and No. 17 private school for least debt.

U.S. News has published its rankings annually since 1983; the 2017 rankings were posted to the magazine's website ( on Sept. 13.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


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

Lauren Clark, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or