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"U.S. News & World Report": Whitworth No. 4 Best University in the West

September 13, 2020
Ranked No. 3 (tie) for best undergraduate teaching
Ranked No. 2 for best colleges for veterans 
Ranked No. 3 best value

U.S. News & World Report, in its annual college rankings, ranks Whitworth University the fourth best regional university in the West and the third best value, up from fourth last year.

In its web-exclusive ratings, Whitworth ranks No. 3 (tie) among the West’s regional universities for its strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, No. 2 for best colleges for veterans, and No. 8 (tie) for most innovative schools.

Whitworth’s No. 3 best value ranking among regional universities in the West is based on its academic quality ranking and the 2019-20 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

Whitworth’s overall ranking is based on methodology involving multiple indicators, including outcomes like social mobility, retention and graduation rates (40 percent); faculty resources (20 percent); expert opinion (20 percent); financial resources (10 percent); student excellence (7 percent); and alumni giving (3 percent).

This fall, Whitworth enrolled more than 600 first-year students. Thirty-eight percent of students in the Class of 2024 are first-generation students, and 36 percent are from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds. The university is also proud to welcome 113 new transfer students, its largest number to date.

Approximately 85 percent of Whitworth first-year students return as sophomores, and 94 percent of graduates finish in four years. Both of these measures are well above national averages, according to Vice President for Admissions & Financial Aid Greg Orwig.

“For Whitworth to be ranked in the top 5 in so many U.S. News categories underscores the university’s commitment to excellence in all that we do as well as the impact of our benefactors’ investment of more than $140 million in facilities, programs, faculty and student scholarships through the Campaign for Whitworth,” Orwig said. “We appreciate the recognition that comes from being ranked highly by so many outside organizations. But the assessment that matters most is reflected in the record numbers of students who have chosen to enroll at Whitworth over the past three years and in the amazing things our alumni accomplish when they graduate.”

Ninety-five percent of Whitworth’s recent graduates were employed or in graduate school within nine months of graduation.

The rankings are available online at and will be in the print edition of the Best Colleges 2021 guidebook.

2021 U.S. News & World Report - Best Regional Universities - West
2021 Rank Institution
1 Trinity University (TX)
2 University of Portland (OR)
3 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo (CA)
4 Whitworth University (WA)
5 University of Redlands (CA)

2021 U.S. News & World Report - Best Undergraduate Teaching
Regional Universities

2021 Rank Institution
1 Mills College (CA)
2 California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo (CA)
3 Abilene Christian University (TX)
3 California State University-Fullerton (CA)
3 Trinity University (TX)
3 University of Portland (OR)
3 Whitworth University (WA)

2021 U.S. News & World Report - Best Colleges for Veterans
Regional Universities - West

2021 Rank Institution
1 California Polytechnic State University -- San Luis Obispo (CA)
2 Whitworth University (WA)
3 University of Redlands (CA)
4 St. Mary's College of California (CA)
5 St. Edwards University (TX)
5 St. Mary's University at San Antonio (TX)

2021 U.S. News & World Report - Best Value Schools
Regional Universities

2021 Rank Institution
1 Mills College (CA)
2 Trinity University (TX)
3 Whitworth University (WA)
4 St. Mary's University of San Antonio (TX)
5 University of St. Thomas (TX)

About Whitworth University:

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


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