Last Updated: October 17, 2021
Washington - The Evergreen State
Situated in the northwestern part of the United States, the Evergreen State received its statehood on November 11, 1889, making it the 42nd state of the US. The estimated population of Washington is about 7.7 million making it the 13th most populous state of America. Olympia is the state's capital city, whereas the largest city is Seattle. Washington is bordered by Canada, Idaho, Oregon, and the Pacific Ocean. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Yakima, Cayuse, Colville, Spokane, Chinook, Nez Perce, Nisqually, Quinault, and Puyallup.
Washington got its name from one of the Founding Fathers of America, George Washington. It is popularly known as the 'Evergreen State' (named by C.T. Conover) because of the abundant evergreen forests present in this state. Because of this, agriculture and timber production are major economic sectors of this state. The name is also symbolic of the state's timeless natural charm. Washington experiences a temperate climate where summers are dry and sunny, and winters are cold and occasionally wet.
Major Cities in Washington
Seattle is the biggest city in Washington state with a population of over 737,000. It was founded on November 13, 1851, and was established as a city on December 2, 1869. The city was named in honor of a Suquamish and Duwamish chief, called Si'ahl. The city is a major industrial hub with major companies headquartered here such as Amazon.com, Starbucks, Nash Holdings LLC, Swedish Health Services, Weyerhaeuser, Nordstrom Inc., Avanade, etc. Seattle University, University of Washington-Seattle Campus, Seattle Pacific University, are some of the top universities situated in this city.
With a population of around 229,000, Spokane is the second-largest city in Washington. Situated in Spokane County, the city is popularly known as 'The Lilac City' because of the abundant lilac flowers surrounding the region. The city was founded in 1873 by an American politician named James Nettle Glover. Spokane was established as a city on November 29, 1881. Gonzaga University and Whitworth University are popular educational institutes situated in this city. Spokane is also a major center for business and transportation.
The estimated population of Tacoma is approximately 220,000, which makes it the third-largest city in the state of Washington. The word 'Tacoma' is derived from the Salish Indian term which means "mountain that provided water to their tribe". Tacoma was established as a city in the year 1874. The city is also popularly nicknamed the "City of Destiny". Some of the major educational institutes in this city are the Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Puget Sound.
Vancouver is Washington's fourth-largest city and has an estimated population of about 191,000. The city is located in Clark County and was established as a city in 1857. Vancouver was founded in the year 1825 and was named in honor of Captain George Vancouver. The region used to be a major center for fur trading. The major industries in this city currently are healthcare services and business services. Top attractions in this city include Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Waterfront Renaissance Trail, Vancouver Lake Regional Park, and so on.
- Washington is widely known for agriculture and forestry. The state is a leading producer of apples, pears, red raspberries, and sweet cherries. It is also the largest apple-producing state in the country.
- With the abundance of Douglas fir, hemlock, white pine, spruce, larch, and cedar, the state is easily the leading timber producer in the US. The leading timber producing company, Weyerhaeuser, ranks number one in timber production and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
- Other important economic sectors in Washington are Aerospace (Fixed-wing aircraft), Food Manufacturing, Clean Technology, Information, and Communication Technology, Military and Defense, and Tourism.
- Microsoft Corporation, and Starbucks, the biggest coffee chain, are located in Washington. Other major companies headquartered here are Amazon.com, Costco Wholesale, Providence Health Services, Barrett Business Services, and Nordstrom.
- Despite the setbacks caused by the covid-19 pandemic, the economy of Washington is in its prime. According to Forbes, Washington state holds the second position in the US in terms of GDP growth. The unemployment rate has also declined from 5.5% to 5.1%.
- Trade, Transportation, Health & Education Services, and Government Services are the important sectors that are currently contributing to the state's economy.
Tuition Fee and Living Cost in Washington
The cost of living in the state of Washington is considerably higher than the national average. Housing costs are a lot higher than the national average, followed by the cost of transportation. However, healthcare and utilities are cheaper when compared to the national average. Lynnwood, Bellingham, Seattle, Mountlake Terrace, and Issaquah are some of the most expensive cities in Washington. Cities like Quincy, Ephrata, Toppenish, and Grandview are some of the most affordable places to live in.
The cost of education in some of the top universities/colleges (public and private) is more expensive than the national average. For example, the tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students at the University of Washington-Seattle Campus is around $13,000 (the national average is about $11,000). For out-of-state students, the tuition fee is around $41,000, which is not only more than the in-state fee but also much higher than the national average, which is roughly $23,000. In the top private institutions such as Seattle University and Whitman College, the tuition fee is almost $50,000 (the national average is about $39,000).
List of Few Major Universities/Colleges
Some of the top universities/colleges in the state of Washington are:
- University of Washington-Seattle Campus This is the most prestigious public university situated in the largest city of Washington, Seattle. It was established on November 4, 1861, and was formerly known as the Territorial University of Washington. The university is well-known for its campus diversity, high-quality education, and excellent faculty. With over 56,000 students and around 6,000 teachers, the student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is around $13,000 and about $41,000 for out-of-state students.
- Washington State University Situated in the city of Pullman, this is another reputed institute of higher learning in Washington State. It was founded on March 28, 1890, as the Agricultural College, Experiment Station, and School of Science of the State of Washington. The university is known for its excellent research quality, which provides students with research and internship opportunities. With approximately 36,000 students and around 3,000 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. The tuition fee for in-state undergraduate students is about $13,000 and around $29,000 for out-of-state students.
- Gonzaga University This is a renowned private university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and is located in the city of Spokane. The university was founded on September 17, 1887, by a Jesuit priest named Joseph Cataldo. This institution is popular for its focus on great academic quality, ethical values, student diversity, and extracurricular activities. With roughly 8,500 students and over 400 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. The tuition fee is almost $49,000 for all undergraduate students.
- Whitman College Located in the vibrant city of Walla Walla, this is one of the best private liberal arts institutes in Washington. The university was founded on December 20, 1859. It is also reputed on a national level and ranks #38 according to USNews, in the 2022 edition. The university is known for its rigorous curriculum and excellent academic quality. Popular majors offered here are Research and Experimental Psychology, Political Science and Government, and Economics. With about 1,500 students, the student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1. The tuition fee is roughly $50,000 for all undergraduate students.
Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students
- Washington College Grant (WCG): This is a popular need-based grant to assist students studying in a college or pursuing vocational training. To be qualified for the program, the student must be a legal resident of the state of Washington, must pursue a degree from an accredited institute of higher learning, and demonstrate economic need. The award amount may vary based on the student's need, family size, the type of institution, and the chosen program. The grant covers full tuition costs.
- American Indian Endowed Scholarship (AIES): This is a scholarship program to assist meritorious students belonging to the American Indian tribe or community in the state of Washington. To be qualified for the program, the student must be a permanent resident of Washington, must pursue a degree (except Theology) from an accredited institution on a full-time basis, use their education to help the American Indian community, and demonstrate economic need. The student must submit proof describing association with the American Indian tribe or community, academic transcripts, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and the FAFSA. The award amount may range from about $500 to $2,000.
- Columbia-Willamette Chapter President Scholarship: This scholarship program is initiated by the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). To be qualified for the program, the student must be a legal resident of Washington, must pursue a degree in areas related to occupational safety and health from an accredited institution, and secure and maintain a minimum score of 3.0 GPA. Along with the application form, the student should also submit an essay, a letter of recommendation, a personal statement, and official transcripts. The student should also be a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers. The award amount is $1,000 per academic year.
- WSAJ Past Presidents’ Scholarship: This is a scholarship program administered by the Washington State Association of Justice. To be qualified for this scholarship, the student must be a legal resident of the state of Washington, graduate from a high school in Washington state, and plan to attend an accredited post-secondary institution. The student must also demonstrate financial need, must have overcome adversities, injuries, or have a disability, and must pledge to use the educational benefits for a greater cause. The student must submit the FAFSA, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and official transcripts. The award amount will be up to $2,000 and may vary each year.
Washington state is known as the Evergreen State not just for its multiple evergreen forests but also for its timeless natural beauty. With its abundant natural wonders and diverse landscapes, the state is a blessing for lovers of Nature. Washington is a state so beautiful that one must keep aside ample time to explore the best this place has to offer. Some of the best natural attractions include the Olympic National Park, Hoh Rain Forest, Granite Mountain, Goat Rocks Wilderness, Ape Caves, Dry Falls, Palouse Falls, The Enchantments, Columbia River Gorge, Snoqualmie Falls, and a lot more. These places are ideal for a variety of adventures and fun outdoor activities like hiking, biking, cycling, camping, etc.
Must-try foods in Washington state include Rainier Cherries, Salmon, Almond Roca, Razor Clams, and Apples.
Universities & Colleges in Washington
*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
- Recommended program (Top 250)