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Whitworth University is No. 3 in “U.S. News” rankings of best values in the West

September 9, 2015

Whitworth remains in top 10 of annual rankings of best regional universities for 16th year in a row

Whitworth University maintained the No. 3 position in U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of the best regional university values in the West. For the 16th consecutive year, Whitworth is also ranked one of the top 10 best universities out of 118 master's-level universities in the 15-state region of the Western United States.

Additionally, Whitworth ranks No. 3 in the West for having a notably strong commitment to undergraduate teaching. The top 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 also ranks No. 10 in the West for its participation in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees.

U.S. News has published its rankings annually since 1983; the 2016 rankings were posted to the magazine's website ( on Sept. 9, and the Best Colleges 2016 guidebook will hit newsstands on Sept. 29.

Greg Orwig, vice president for admissions and financial aid at Whitworth, says that to be ranked among the best regional universities by U.S. News for 16 consecutive years, 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 should give students confidence that they are getting an excellent return on their educational investment – not only in the outstanding faculty, programs and facilities they will enjoy but also in the great things they will accomplish when they graduate,” Orwig says. “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, the mentoring they receive from professors inside and outside the classroom, and our mission to elevate academic excellence and faith-learning integration as complementary rather than competing values.”

This fall’s incoming freshman class of nearly 600 students is one of Whitworth’s most diverse and academically successful freshman classes ever – with 29 percent coming from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds and an average high-school GPA of 3.74. 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. 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 strengthen student-faculty interaction.

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 $50 million in grants and scholarships to undergraduate students in 2015-16, and the average financial aid award for Whitworth's incoming freshmen receiving aid is $32,343. 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 University pays attention to rankings as one indicator of how we are perceived,” says Provost and Executive Vice President Carol Simon. “We value being seen as a leading comprehensive university. We distinguish ourselves from other universities by the high quality of our programs combined with our integration of intellectual openness with Christian commitment, liberal arts with professional preparation, and freedom with faith. Whitworth graduates continue to be accepted to top graduate programs at very high rates and become sought-after employees. Our alumni also express gratitude for how Whitworth equipped them to think about worldview and to lead lives that matter.”

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

Nancy Hines, director of communications, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4638 or