Evergreen State College


The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington is a distinctive public liberal arts college where coordinated, team-taught, interdisciplinary programs – combining a range of topics around a central theme – replace disconnected courses. Faculty members write narrative evaluations to assess student work, rather than reducing performance and progress to a letter grade. The curriculum promotes engagement and collaboration, rather than competition. Students have the freedom, and accountability, to design their education to meet their personal and career goals, without the limits of formalized majors or rigid requirements. The curriculum is redesigned every year, and upper division students can propose individual learning contracts to further customize their learning experience. While in many ways Evergreen breaks the mold of traditional higher education – and in doing so opens up opportunities for students with a wide range of learning styles and career goals – the college delivers a high level of academic rigor. The National Survey of Student Engagement, sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts, notes that Evergreen students tend to read more, prepare more extensively for class, make more presentations and engage more actively with faculty and each other than at the vast majority of colleges and universities nationwide. Students have opportunities for research, hands-on field study, community service, internships and study abroad. Evergreen is one of just three institutions on the West Coast included in the book ‘Colleges That Change Lives’ by former New York Times education editor Loren Pope. Pope notes that at these colleges, “Learning is collaborative rather than competitive; values are central; there is a strong sense of community. They are places of great synergy, where the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Aspirations are raised, young people are empowered.” Evergreen is located in the vibrant state capital of Olympia. Students can easily access the urban life of Seattle or Portland, or the recreational opportunities of the Pacific Ocean, Mount Rainier and the Olympic National Park, all within a one- to two-hour drive. Evergreen’s forested 1000-acre campus features a half-mile of saltwater beach on Puget Sound, a Native American longhouse, an organic farm, and award winning, environmentally friendly architecture in its newest classroom and office complex. With a strong commitment to sustainability in operations, curriculum and policy, Evergreen has been noted as one of the nation’s top ‘green’ colleges. The vast majority of Evergreen’s 4800 students are undergraduates studying the liberal arts and the sciences, including natural and physical sciences. The college also offers graduate programs in Education, Environmental Study, Public Administration, and Teaching.

Key Data

School Type: Campus
Degrees Offered:
Student Life
Enrolled Students: 4,891
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24 to 1
Annual Cost
In State Tuition: $5,959
Out of State Tuition $16,987
Books and Supplies $924
Students with Financial aid:** 72%
  • ** Refers to % of students receiving some form of financial aid
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