Finding the Best Colleges in Washington State

There are several community colleges in Washington State. Community colleges are great for students who want a more technical, hands-on education. They are also ideal for students who want to save money by going to one of the two-year community colleges in Washington state before transferring to one of the four-year colleges in Washington.

Best Colleges in Washington State Red Award Emblem

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Colleges in Washington State

We have rounded up six of the best Washington colleges. These detailed reviews should help high school students and mature students find good colleges in Washington to advance their education.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Best Colleges in Washington State

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that college)

Top 6 Best Colleges in Washington State | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Best Colleges in Washington

Highlighted Features

Bates Technical CollegeCarpentry program
Clark CollegeResearch guides
Green River CollegeAerospace and Advanced Manufacturing Technology program
North Seattle CollegeProgram-specific advisors
Seattle Central CollegeCollege Transfer Center
Spokane Community College“Nontraditional” careers training

Table: Top 6 Best Colleges in Washington | Above list is sorted alphabetically

Perks of Studying at Community Colleges in Washington

Students don’t necessarily have to attend one of the four-year colleges in Washington. They can opt for one of the community colleges in Washington state instead. There are several benefits to choosing one of these Washington colleges:

  • Affordability: Community colleges Washington state are a fraction of the price of four-year colleges.
  • Convenience and Flexibility: A lot of these colleges offer flexible schedules and sometimes the ability to earn credits online.
  • Skills-Based Training: Many of these Washington state colleges offer programs that prepare graduates for specific jobs and even helps them gain the industry designations and certifications they need.
  • Ability to Transfer: Students who want to eventually go to a four-year college can attend one of these community colleges in Washington and then transfer, depending on the community college they choose.

good colleges in washington

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Detailed Review—Top Ranking Good Colleges in Washington

Below, please find the detailed review of each of the colleges in Washington on our list of the best colleges in Washington state. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these colleges in Washington state to score so well in our selection ranking.

Bates Technical College Review

Bates Technical College is one of the best colleges in Washington state because of its diverse program offerings that produce graduates with in-demand skills.

Academic Programs

Bates Technical College is one of the Washington colleges that offer a range of academic programs. They offer 50 associate degrees, 76 professional certificates, 12 associate of applied science transferrable programs, and 18 apprenticeship programs.

Their Career Education options include:

  • Accounting
  • Administrative Medical Assistant
  • Administrative Office Assistant
  • Carpentry
  • Civil Engineering Technology
  • Database Technology
  • Dental Assisting
  • Electrical Engineering Technician
  • Information Technology Specialist
  • Practical Nurse
  • Sheet Metal Technology
  • Software Development

Washington state colleges also offer tremendous flexibility and opportunity for individuals who want to upgrade their skills or pick up their education wherever they left off. Bates, one of the best colleges in Washington, offers the following continuing education programs:

  • Boiler Certification
  • Business Administration
  • Health/Sciences
  • Public Safety
  • Transportation & Distribution

Like many good colleges in Washington, this community college offers apprenticeship studies that are very valuable for students who want training in an area where they can instantly find a job upon graduation.

Easy Process for Getting Started at Bates

As one of the best Washington state colleges, Bates makes it easy for interested individuals to figure out how to apply to the school. High school students and mature students who wish to attend one of the top colleges in Washington can follow simple steps to get started.

  1. Attend an information session: Future students can sign up for a free session online and attend their session to receive important information about the school.
  2. Apply for admission: Easily complete the online application. Once accepted, applicants receive an email outlining next steps.
  3. Apply for financial aid: Those who need assistance paying for school need to obtain and FSA ID and complete a FAFSA form.
  4. Establish college placement: Get necessary college or high school transcripts together and submit to the school. Those who do not have any transcripts can take the Accuplacer assessment instead.
  5. Register for Classes: This is when a non-refundable $50 application fee is due. All future students are required to meet with a career advisor to register their classes for the first quarter.

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Clark College Review

Clark College is one of the top colleges in Washington state. It is located in Vancouver, Washington and is home to more than 13,000 students.

Degrees Offered

As one of the top colleges in Washington state, Clark College offers six different kinds of degrees:

  • Associate in Arts
  • Associate in Science
  • Associate in Fine Arts
  • Associate in Applied Science
  • Associate in Applied Technology
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene

The associate degrees that the school offers can all be used in preparation for transfer to a senior institution. Individuals who wish to attend one of the top colleges in Washington state in order to eventually transfer to a four-year institution will find Clark College aligned with those goals.

Helpful Research Guides at Clark College Library

A library is given at any of the top colleges in Washington. The Clark College Library has the helpful resources in line with four-year colleges in Washington.

They offer helpful research guides for their students based on the subject area or course material that they are investigating.

They offer guides by subject (i.e. art, biology, chemistry, or nursing), by type (i.e. class guides, videos, tutorials), and owner (i.e. specific teachers or instructors).

Rich Student Life

The top colleges in Washington offer a rich student life so that attendees can receive a well-rounded learning experience. Student can participate in an intramural league, join student clubs and programs, and participate in arts and cultural events.

As one of the best community colleges Washington State, there are several cultural events and initiatives to choose from including:

  • Ace Book Sale
  • Archer Gallery
  • Business & Community Learning Series
  • Columbia Writers Series
  • Jazz Festival
  • Latino Celebration
  • Music Concerts
  • Native American Celebration
  • Sakura Festival
  • Summer Camps
  • Theatre Productions

As one of the best community colleges Washington state offers, Clark College offers both men’s and women’s sports teams like baseball, basketball, cross country, softball, and soccer.

Green River College Review

Green River College is one of the good colleges in Washington located in Auburn. It offers transfer degrees, pre-college and basic skills, continuing education, transfer degrees, and more.

University Transfer Programs

Students who wish to attend one of the good colleges in Washington before transferring to one of the universities in Washington may be interested in one of the following programs offered by Green River:

  • Associate in Arts
  • Associate in Business
  • Associate in Fine Arts
  • Associate in Math Education
  • Associate in Pre-Nursing
  • Associate in Science (Biology, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Geology, Earth Science)
  • Associate in Science (Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Atmospheric Science)
  • Associate in Science (Mechanical/Civil/Aeronautical/Industrial/Materials Science, Pre-engineering)
  • Associate in Science (Biological or Chemical Pre-engineering)
  • Associate in Science (Computer or Electrical Pre-engineering)

Technical Education

Green River College also offers several technical education programs for those who are not interested or not yet ready to enter a degree program. These programs are great for individuals who want to enter a specific job or profession at the end of their studies. Programs offered by Green River College, one of the good colleges in Washington state, include:

  • Accounting
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing Technology
  • Automotive Technology
  • Business Marketing and Entrepreneurship
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Forensic Technology
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Welding Technology

Support and Guidance from Student Affairs

Green River College is one of the good colleges in Washington that offers great support and guidance for its students. The professionals in this department can help student overcome specific barriers and access the resources they need to complete their education.

The school’s student affairs department is divided into separate branches including Career and Advising, TriO which helps first-generation and low-income students as well as students with disabilities, Disability Support Services, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, and Counselling & Health Services.

Good colleges in Washington prioritize student success and Green River College has put a support system in place so students can access the resources they need.

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North Seattle College Review

North Seattle College is one of the top colleges in Seattle Washington. The school was established in 1970 and is now one of the best colleges in Washington with more than 14,000 students. It prides itself on offering amazing technical programs as well as the chance for students to easily transfer to four-year colleges in Washington in order to continue their education.

College Transfer Programs

For many high school students and mature students, community colleges in Washington offer a great opportunity to get their feet wet, experience an easier transition from high school, or simply save up before going to pricier four-year schools. North Seattle College offers several college transfer programs including the following:

  • Accounting
  • American Ethnic Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Communications
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Nursing
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • Sustainability
  • World Languages

Career Training Programs

More interested in programs that prepare you for a specific career? As one of the good colleges in Washington for skills-based education, North Seattle College offers many career training programs including the following:

  • Accounting
  • Aerospace
  • Engineering Graphics and Design
  • Tech
  • Business
  • Communication
  • Information Technology
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Electronics
  • Health & Medical
  • HVAC Technician
  • Nanotechnology
  • Parent Education
  • Real Estate
  • Watch Technology

On-Campus Support

Even the most motivated students require support services from one of the best colleges in Seattle Washington whether it’s academic advising, career guidance, or just a fully stocked library.

Like most of the good colleges in Washington, North Seattle College’s advisors are divided by specialty. Students can speak with an advisor who is well-versed in their specific program and industry to give them the best academic and career advice possible.

To reduce wait time and speak with their advisor more conveniently, student can speak to their advisor by booking an appointment.

They can help new students get adjusted to one of the top colleges in Seattle Washington, guide students in their final year find post-grad employment, and guide students through the process of transferring to a four-year school.

Seattle Central College Review

Seattle Central College is one of the top colleges in Seattle Washington. They offer three bachelor’s degrees, 29 associate degrees, and 16 professional certificates.

Perfect Place to Start a College Career

As one of the best colleges in Seattle Washington, Seattle Central College makes a compelling case for why students who want a four-year degree should consider starting at Seattle Central College.

  • Get a solid education in small class sizes who actually know their name and who they are and don’t treat them like a number.
  • Gain the confidence and discipline they need to take on a four-year school. Seattle Tech reports that students who start at a two-year college often perform better than those who enter a four-year university directly.
  • It is significantly cheaper to attend one of the cheap colleges in Washington that offer transfer programs and then move into the pricier four-year universities.

Successful Transfers to Four-Year Universities

Not only is Seattle Central Tech one of the cheap colleges in Washington, it is also one of the best community colleges in Washington. It is known for being one of the most successful community colleges in Washington State for transferring students to four-year colleges.

Graduates of Seattle Central College have transferred to the University of Washington, Seattle University, Washington State University, Western Washington University, Gonzaga University, and other universities located outside of Washington.

College Transfer Center

To further underline its commitment to helping students move on to four-year universities, this is one of the good colleges in Washington that has a dedicated College Transfer Center.

This center can help students:

  • Figure out what they need to do to successfully transfer
  • Search for suitable colleges that are aligned with their academic goals
  • Figure out the admissions and applications process
  • Write their personal statements

For one of the cheap colleges in Washington, Seattle Central College offers a lot of bang for its buck.

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Spokane Community College Review

As the name suggests, Spokane Community College is located in Spokane, Washington. It is one of the best colleges in Washington for adult basic education, technical education, and college transfer programs.

This is one of the top colleges in Washington that are designed to prepare students either for a rigorous four-year program or a demanding job straight out of school.

Associate of Arts Degree for Transferring Students

Students can pursue an Associate of Arts degree from Spokane Community College and use it to transfer to a four-year university. They can specialize this degree by taking courses in the following subject areas:

  • Communication
  • Health/Physical Education
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences

Nontraditional Careers

As one of the best colleges in Washington, Spokane Community College also offers training for what they call nontraditional careers. These are high-demand professions that require skilled workers. Spokane Community College offers training for those who wish to pursue careers in:

  • Agriculture
  • Aviation Maintenance
  • Avista/SCC Lineworker
  • Firefighter
  • Landscape Management
  • Nursing

Spokane Community College - colleges in seattle washington

Source: Trip Advisor

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Conclusion—Top 6 Best Colleges in Washington State

There are a lot of great academic and career paths out there. They tend to get overshadowed by the glamorous prospects of being a doctor, lawyer, or engineer.

While those are great and useful careers, there are several others out there that require skills, work ethic, and intelligence to pursue. Community colleges in Washington can help students discover new careers, find a cheaper entry into four-year schools, or acquire useful skills-based training.

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