Just up the road about 30 minutes from Yakima sits Ellensburg, home to Central Washington University (CWU) which among all the great things it has going for it, is the acknowledgement that it is one of the best schools for non-traditional students.

The National Center for Education Statistics defines nontraditional students as meeting one of seven characteristics: "delayed enrollment into postsecondary education; attends college part-time; works full time; is financially independent for financial aid purposes; has dependents other than a spouse; is a single parent; or does not have a high school diploma."

CollegeFactual.com has a new report out now showing CWU was ranked third in the 2021 Best Colleges for Non-Traditional Students In Washington  The report analyzed more than 20 data points, such as degree completion, post-graduate earnings, and distance-learning options. 50 colleges and universities in Washington, were looked at and in the end Central was ranked third in state and among the top 5 percent in the country.

The report concludes that CWU is among the best universities in the nation for overall diversity suggesting "Adult learners and other non-traditional students will be in good company if they decide to attend Central Washington University,” 

Education of course can be its own reward but it's safe to say most people go to college to prepare themselves for earning a living and there CWU performs very well. Take it from the report - “Students who graduate from CWU with a bachelor's degree go on to jobs where they make an average salary of $46,500 in their early years....17% more than the average college graduate’s salary of $39,802 per year.”

Congratulations Central. The Wildcats have to be wild about these findings  Full disclosure - my wife Sara is a proud Central grad and an excellent science teacher in the East Valley School District.  Go Wildcats!