How to Pay for the University of Washington

Whether you’re looking forward to cherry blossoms in the spring or cheering on the Huskies, you’ll also receive a great education at UW. Loved by students and well-respected at the same time (UW’s medical school is ranked number one in primary care in the U.S.), you’ll join a force of more than 50,000 students when you enroll at UW. How to pay for UW might not be at the top of your mind just yet, but don’t forget to do your research before signing those commitment forms.

How much does it cost to attend UW?

As you might expect for a state school, residents and non-residents pay varying amounts of tuition. For the resident of Washington living away from home in the 2016-2017 academic year, total expenses are estimated to be $25,948, $10,753 of which is tuition. Total costs will be less for students living at home. The costs of food, housing, and other additional expenses are estimated to be the same for out-of-state students, but tuition of $34,791 brings the total estimate to $49,986. To reduce tuition costs, non-resident students may wish to research establishing residency in Washington state.

Resident law students in 2016-2017 will pay $32,469 in tuition, whereas non-residents will be charged $43,860. This brings total yearly costs to just over $50,000 for residents and $60,000 for non-residents. MBA students at the Foster School of Business starting in the fall of 2016 will pay $32,394 for resident tuition and $47,214 for non-resident tuition. Expenses beyond tuition are estimated at around $30,000 per year for business students.

Residents of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WWAMI) pay far less for medical tuition than students from other states. For the 2015-2016 school year, residents from WWAMI paid $33,519 in tuition, whereas non-residents were charged $63,954. With additional expenses, students were expected to pay $54,619 (resident) and $84,814 (non-resident). It’s obvious that UW is committed to educating students from the WWAMI region not only in the cost, but also admissions statistics. For the entering class of 2015, nearly 20% of applicants from this region were admitted, whereas only 0.5% of non-WWAMI residents were accepted.

What kind of financial aid does UW offer?

Any non-resident students admitted to UW’s undergraduate program will be considered for a Purple & Gold Scholarship, which ranges from $5,500 to $8,500 per year for up to four years. The UW Diversity Scholarship awards $10,000 per year to high-achieving, underrepresented minority students. Transfer students coming from community colleges may also be eligible for one or both of two scholarships not available to freshman. Students should also research external scholarship programs – any need not met by scholarships can be fulfilled with federal and/or private student loans.

Law students wishing to be considered for UW Law Scholarships must submit an application once admitted. Continuing students may also apply. These scholarships are awarded based on merit, need, and other factors such as the area of interest within law. Separate from this application, students who demonstrate a commitment to a career in public service may apply for the William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Program, which covers tuition, fees, books, living expenses, and more. Beyond these two programs, UW awards a limited amount of other grants based primarily on need, which means you’ll need to submit a FAFSA to be considered for these awards.

Foster School of Business awards need- and merit-based scholarships to more than one-third of MBA students. Merit scholarships require no additional application for first-year students; those wishing to apply for a second-year merit scholarship (which is largely based on academic and extracurricular performance during your first year) must apply online. Consideration for need-based scholarships requires both submission of the FAFSA and submission of the online scholarship application. Students are also encouraged to pursue a paid summer internship between the two years of MBA coursework, and some work part-time during their second year at the school.

The School of Medicine offers one need-based scholarship, which requires an additional application. Students are also encouraged to research external scholarship opportunities. Those few students paying non-resident tuition may apply for residency status in Washington State after one year of living there, which is not guaranteed but, if granted, could greatly reduce the cost of tuition.

What kinds of extras should I expect to pay for at UW?

While having a car on campus at UW is an option, but it’s an expensive one and the school discourages first-year students from it. Instead, they recommend the U-PASS, which gives you access to a number of shuttles, buses, and trains that travel around Seattle. If you’re from out of state, also consider the expense of getting home, even if only a few times per year.

Outside of many sporting and social events on campus, you’ll be close to a vibrant city with lots of young people, so you might find yourself spending weekends in downtown Seattle. Enjoy it! But don’t forget that entertainment, dining out, and shopping can add up if you make them habits.

Learn how to pay for graduate school in our new, free guidebook.

Get the guidebook.