Western Washington vs. Washington State??

I got rejected from UW Seattle, which was my #1 choice. :’( Fortunately, I got accepted to WWU & WSU as well, and now it’s just a matter of deciding which one to choose to attend. I’m leaning more towards WWU, but it’s still a possibility I could choose WSU. Does anybody have any input? Or any pros/cons on the two schools? Please be as detailed as possible. That would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

You don’t say what you’d like to major in so it’s kind of difficult to help you. Looking at the Naviance data for my local high schools, the scatterplots show fairly clearly that (on average) WWU has an academically stronger incoming class than WSU does. However, it also shows WSU with a much higher variance so there are a larger number of really academically strong kids at WSU than there are at WWU. Correspondingly, it’s clear WSU takes on more “projects” than WWU does as there are more kids at the lower-end of the GPA/SAT range than there are at WWU.

My experience touring both colleges:

  • Bellingham is way nicer than Pullman. After visiting Pullman, I couldn’t see spending any time there on purpose while Bellingham is a place worth visiting. To those who think I’m being pejorative to that region, I visited Moscow, ID (~8 miles east) at the same time I visited Pullman and that is a place worth considering. While it’s not as nice as Bellingham (no ocean), it’s still a terrific small city.
  • I thought WSU had nicer facilities on average but I hated the campus layout.
  • Internships? I have no idea if it’s easier to get an internship from Western or WSU. I hire tech staff for a Seattle-based company and I only know of one intern from WSU (sample size: 25-30 range). For CS and the like (e.g. ACMS and HCDE), UW is our most fertile ground with WWU coming in as a close second. As an aside, it’s Berkeley and Santa Clara for our San Jose office. For electrical engineering, it’s mostly kids from Eastern.
  • I would pick WSU over Western iff some combination of the following are true: you get into the honors college (presumably accounts for many of the academically strong kids in the scatterplot), it’s a family thing (“we’re all Cougs!”; probably accounts for a few more of the top kids), you want a D1 college sports experience, or you want a program Western doesn’t have (e.g. engineering; presumably that’s not the case for you as you already applied to both) or it’s significantly stronger (e.g. journalism). Otherwise, I’d pick Western as it’s smaller with a slightly stronger student population and it’s in Bellingham.

http://colleges.startclass.com/compare/4521-4525/Washington-State-University-vs-Western-Washington-University gives you some interesting information.

Good luck.

@fragbot thank you!! That does help a lot. Btw I am planning on changing my major from psychology to business administration, and I think I’ve heard that Western has a better business administration program… not sure if that’s true.

Completely different school experiences, WSU will have the big rah rah sports (and party) feel whereas WWU is more artsy and liberal in general and no football. WSU is almost twice the size of WWU and will have much larger classes especially first year.

I have no idea which one is stronger for business. I agree with much of what is posted above. My son chose not to apply to UW or WSU and elected WWU as his only in state public option, as it delivered more of the college experience he was looking for (didn’t want large school, could care less about football, many other reasons EC wise and definitely location) and is stronger in his program area. I am not sure he will end up there but it is still very much in the running. We will evaluate after a program meeting next weekend.

Travel over the pass can be a pain and dangerous so depending on which side of the state your are in, that could be a factor to consider.

I went to high school in WA and would advise you to go to Western. WSU is known as a party school, although they’re trying to change that. The other posters are spot on - Bellingham is a much nicer place to live, and the proximity to internships in Seattle is a huge benefit. I have a couple friends at Western, one in business (marketing) and one in econ, who are both happy with their choice. Still, English, psych, and marine sciences are the biggest deal…and Western is full of lefty hippie liberals. Not saying that in a negative way! It’s just really prevalent there, and if you don’t like the crunchy vibe, it may not be a good fit.

I would add environmental science and studies as something WWU is very known for. Hopefully you were able to go to today’s admitted student day at WWU and can do the same as WSU.