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Whitworth holds No. 4 spot in “U.S. News” rankings of best values in the West

September 10, 2013

Whitworth listed in top 10 of annual rankings of best regional universities for 14th year in a row

Whitworth University held the No. 4 spot in U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of the best regional university values in the West. For the 14th consecutive year, Whitworth also maintained its position as one of the top 10 best regional universities in the West.

Whitworth ranks No. 9 in U.S. News' latest ranking of 121 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 2014 rankings were posted to the magazine's website ( today, and the 2014 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 14th 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.

“Given the options available to our students, and the investment they are making in their education, they demand and deserve the excellent faculty, facilities and programs we offer,” says Orwig. “What really makes Whitworth distinctive, however, can never be captured in rankings. What our students and alumni celebrate as much as or more than rankings is our mission to elevate rigorous, open intellectual inquiry and the integration of faith and learning, and the deeply relational character of our campus community.”

U.S. News has consistently ranked Whitworth among the best regional universities and best values in the Western U.S. Whitworth also was recently listed at No. 38 in Kiplinger's 2012 rankings of the best values among all private universities in the U.S., was designated a "Best in the West" university in The Princeton Review's 2013 Best Colleges: Region by Region guide, and was ranked among the top 10  private schools in the Pacific Northwest in Forbes' latest America's Top Colleges rankings.

The U.S. News rankings are based on various indicators of an institution's quality, including academic reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, freshman retention, graduation rate, financial resources and alumni giving.

Whitworth's student selectivity has increased dramatically as the number of freshman applications has grown more than 383 percent over the past decade. This fall’s incoming freshman class of about 597 students is one of Whitworth’s most academically successful freshman classes ever – with an average high-school GPA of 3.73 and average SAT of 1800. The national average SAT score of college freshmen is 1500. Whitworth has an average freshman-sophomore retention rate of 86 percent and an average six-year graduation rate of 77 percent, though the percentage of graduates who finish in four years is 85 percent. All of these measures are well above national averages. In addition, the university has lowered its student-faculty ratio to 11-to-1 even as undergraduate enrollment has risen.

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 $45.7 million in grants and scholarships to undergraduate students in 2013-14, and the average financial aid award for Whitworth freshmen receiving aid is nearly $30,403.

“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