UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

University of Washington is a public institution that was founded in 1861. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 29,574, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 703 acres. It utilizes a quarter-based academic calendar. University of Washington’s ranking in the 2011 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 41.

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Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, the University of Washington is a cutting-edge research university with a long-standing history as the first institution in the West. Students can join one of the school’s 500-plus student organizations, including 16 sororities and 27 fraternities, or can start a brand new club with at least four other students. University of Washington is known as a commuter school, and freshmen are not required to live on campus. Housing is not guaranteed for any student. For those that do reside in the residence halls, the university stresses “living green” through energy conservation and recycling. On the sports fields, the school’s varsity athletes are competitive in the NCAA Division I Pacific-10 Conference. The football team, in particular, is a traditional league stand-out. The teams are represented by two mascots: one, a costumed student known as Harry the Husky Dawg, and the other, Dubs, a live Alaskan husky. The university gym is free for students seeking a workout.

The University of Washington receives a hefty amount of federal funding each year to further its mission as a public research institution. True to its roots in research, the school hosts an Undergraduate Research Symposium every year for students to present their work to the community. The school has a highly ranked School of Medicine, College of Engineering, and Michael G. Foster School of Business. Nearly three fourths of University of Washington graduates remain in the state. Notable alumni include Thomas Foley, former U.S. Speaker of the House; Chris DeWolfe, co-creator of MySpace; and Irv Robbins, co-founder and namesake of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain.

In 2006, the University of Washington research budget passed the $1 billion milestone. UW is also the largest recipient of federal research funding among public universities and second among all public and private universities in the country, a position that the university has held each year since 1974.

Among the faculty, there are five winners of Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, one winner of the Fields Medal, eight winners of the Gairdner Foundation International Award, twelve MacArthur Fellows, two winners of the National Book Award, one winner of the National Medal of Arts, five winners of the National Medal of Science, six Nobel Prize laureates, nineteen winners of the Presidential Early Career Awards in Science and Engineering, and two Pulitzer Prize winners.

University of Washington library system is among the largest academic libraries in the United States, with holdings of more than 7.3 million volumes.

At University of Washington, 36.9 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $8,720.

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