Eastern Washington University is a hidden gem!! The students are down-to-earth and seemed very happy. A mid-sized public university, EWU has about 13,000 undergrads, and it’s located in Cheney, about 20 minutes outside of Spokane.
While the majority of students are from the local area, students are required to live on campus their first year, and 65% of all students live on campus. Freshmen are spread out and don’t necessarily room with other freshmen, and dorms are both traditional and suite style (apply for housing early to get a room in the newest dorm, snyamncut [“sin-yam-an-suit”], which means “The Gathering Place” in the Salish [Native American] language). Every floor of every dorm has a social lounge and a kitchen.
EWU is on the quarter system, so students may need to adjust to the fast pace of a 10-week term. EWU students take the GECRs – general education core requirements, which allow them choices to fulfill each distribution area. Because of this, only about three courses get as large as 200 students. All students are required to take a computer proficiency class. Upper level classes have a 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio. My tour guide was a creative writing major and journalism minor who was thrilled that he did not have to take calculus to fulfill his math/quantitative requirement.
EWU is the only school in Washington with a forensic chemistry major. Other strong programs include education (EWU was founded as an education school), 3D animation/gaming, robotics, athletic training, occupational therapy, and criminal justice. All majors are listed here.
When you visit, don’t miss seeing the red-turf football stadium – Roos Field (THE INFERNO) is quite the experience! Sports are Division I here, though they are not in the PAC-12 league. Many students compete in intramural sports. And The Roost, the restaurant inside the beautiful state-of-the-art recreation center, has tasty design-your-own pasta, wok bowl, salads and sandwiches, all part of the meal plan (I know that it’s tasty because I taste-tested it for you!).
Your Eagle Card (student ID) gets you free rides on all Cheney and Spokane public buses, and the Cheney bus goes into Spokane, including to the airport, regularly. So travel to EWU is easy and convenient.
There are merit-based scholarships for students with a 3.5 GPA and an SAT score of 1000 (CR+M) and higher, and EWU was voted the safest college campus in the state. With the WUE tuition break, EWU would cost about $22k per year, around the same (possibly a little less?) than a Cal State school – and most EWU students graduate in four years.
Admissions stats: Mid 50% SAT CR 420-540; M 430-550; Wr 410-520
Visit date: October, 2014