Tuition & Expenses

Exceptional education, incredible value

Western is nationally recognized for providing excellent education at an affordable cost. Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine ranks Western as a top value in education, taking into consideration not just the costs associated with your education, but also graduation rates and average debt at graduation.

Western was also named one of the best “Bang for the Buck” schools in the nation for helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices by Washington Monthly magazine.

Estimated Annual Expenses for 2015-2016

The estimated annual expenses for the 2015-2016 academic year at Western Washington University for full-time undergraduate students are as follows:


Washington Residents


Tuition (10-18 credits per quarter)






Housing & Meals
(based on a double room & unlimited meal plan)



Direct Costs



Additional Expenses



Books & Supplies






Personal & Misc.



Total Cost of Attendance:



Explanation of costs

Direct Costs are the charges billed to students by the university.  These include Tuition, Fees, Housing and Meals. 

Total Cost of Attendance (COA) are the direct costs plus indirect costs.  The financial aid office estimates indirect costs for items such as books, supplies, personal expenses and transportation. A student’s financial aid package will reflect a combination of aid up to the Total Cost of Attendance.

Tuition is based on full-time attendance for three quarters (fall, winter & spring) and will vary if a student is less than full-time or in a self-supporting program.

Fees include: Health Service, Non-Academic Building, Recreation Center, Technology, Renewable Energy and Transportation.

Housing expenses can be reduced with room type, residential area and meal plan choice.

Additional Expenses: estimates for books & supplies, transportation and personal expenses are not billed by the university and will vary based on the student.

Payment options

Tuition, fees, housing and meal plan charges are billed quarterly and due the first day of each term. If the student borrows federal loans through the financial aid program and completes the necessary paperwork on-time, loans are dispersed after the start of each quarter.  The university offers short-term institutional loans for temporary cash flow problems. 

Working in college

Many students work while they are at Western.  A recent survey shows that students who work ten to fifteen hours per week actually do better academically than those who do not work at all.  Work experience allows you to discover your strengths, try out career options and build a resume during your time as a student.  The Student Employment Center at Western is the best place to start when searching for both on- or off-campus jobs (including work-study positions).  Students working on campus and in the larger community are key to the vitality of Western, Bellingham, and the local area. 


Resident or Non-Resident status is determined based on the information provided in the application for admission. An offer of admission includes residency status. For detailed information on establishing residency or to apply to change your residency classification, please visit

House Bill 1079 & The Real Hope Act

Western Washington University extends educational opportunities and resident tuition to all students who meet the criteria of Washington House Bill 1079, established by the State legislature in 2004.  Supporting all students pursuing a degree, Western ensures confidentiality and protection of student education records, including immigration status.  We also celebrate the passage of the Real Hope Act in Washington State and encourage eligible students to apply for State Need Grant using the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA).

Net Price Calculator

The calculator is intended to provide estimated net price information.  Defined as the estimated cost of attendance minus the estimated grant, scholarship and federal aid. Students and families can enter minimal information for an estimate based on what similar students paid in the comparison year.  Learn more and get your estimate here.