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Whitworth University is No. 5 in "U.S. News" Rankings of Best Values in the West

September 11, 2017
No. 2 Best in the West for Undergraduate Teaching

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 18th consecutive year, Whitworth also ranked in the top 15 best universities out of 126 master's-level universities in the 15-state region of the Western United States, ranking No. 8 this year. Whitworth also earned the No. 2 ranking on the list of best undergraduate teaching in the West.

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 $60 million in grants and scholarships to undergraduate students in 2017-18. The university’s average award for incoming freshmen who receive financial aid is $36,022, making Whitworth one of the most affordable private universities in the West.

This fall’s incoming freshman class of more than 500 students is one of Whitworth’s most diverse and academically successful freshman classes – with 28 percent coming from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds, and an average high school GPA of 3.73 and an average SAT score of 1280. Eighty-five percent of Whitworth freshmen return as sophomores 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 personal 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 (61 percent), and percentage of classes with more than 50 students (1 percent).

These statistics directly correlate with positive student outcomes, according to Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid Greg Orwig. Ninety-five percent of Whitworth’s most recent graduates were employed or in graduate school within nine months of graduation, and several students earned prestigious full-tuition scholarships to Princeton University, Stanford University and other top graduate schools. Whitworth captured national forensics and Ethics Bowl championships. And Whitworth Athletics captured its 10th consecutive trophy for the best overall program in the Northwest Conference last year.

“Whitworth’s continued ranking among the best regional universities and best values in the West highlights our commitment to providing our students an excellent education at an affordable net price after financial aid,” Orwig says. “What really makes Whitworth stand out can never be captured in the rankings: our students, parents and alumni who lift up Whitworth’s warm campus community; mentoring from professors inside and outside the classroom; learning opportunities such as study abroad, research and service-learning; and our mission to elevate academic excellence and faith-learning integration as complementary rather than competing values.”

U.S. News has published its rankings annually since 1983; the 2018 rankings were released on the magazine's website on Sept. 12 at

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

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or