• “Christian education is the guaranteed pathway to the workplace and to eternal life,” wrote WAU President Weymouth Spence.
    • In 2018-19, WAU tuition cost was $25,200.
    • In 2020, WAU suspended several degree programs due to economic factors.

16 May 2022 | Washington Adventist University (WAU) is offering to all Seventh-day Adventist members of the Columbia Union Conference (CUC) a flat tuition rate of $12,000 (USD) per year, according to an article in the Visitor, the CUC magazine.

The Columbia Union Conference is part of the North American Division and covers Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia; comprising the Allegheny East, Allegheny West, Chesapeake, Mountain View, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Potomac Conferences in the United States, according to the Adventist Yearbook. Washington Adventist University is located in Takoma Park, Maryland.

“Our intention is to eliminate the obstacle of cost in order to gain access to Christian education. Christian education is the guaranteed pathway to the workplace and to eternal life,” wrote Weymouth Spence, the author of the Visitor article. Spence is the president of WAU.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the 2018-2019 cost of tuition at WAU was $25,200. With other costs ($12,130 for books and on-campus room and board), the average cost of attending WAU was $37,330. The average cost after aid (which includes grants and scholarships from the institution, state and federal government) was around $19,000.

WAU also recently announced a partnership with Howard Community College and Prince George’s Community College to expand access to bachelor’s degree programs at Laurel College Center. Laurel College Center is a Maryland regional higher education center that serves students seeking associate and bachelor’s degrees, reported the North American Division.

Students who earn their associate degrees at Howard Community College or Prince George’s Community College will be able to transfer their credits and gain admission to WAU classes at the center. Washington Adventist University at Laurel College Center will offer a Bachelor of Science in general studies with a concentration in communication or a concentration in health care administration. Courses are taught one night a week in eight-week sessions, allowing students to complete their bachelor’s degree from WAU in 18-24 months.

Laurel College Center’s partnership with WAU guarantees admission for all Howard Community College and Prince George’s Community College students who meet eligibility requirements.

These moves come in the wake of turmoil at WAU in recent years. In May 2020, WAU suspended several degree programs, including education (traditional), biochem/chemistry, communication, history, math, political science, and social work. WAU cited the possible shrinking of enrollment, loss of donations, philanthropy, record unemployment, and many other economic factors related to COVID-19 as reasons for the cuts.

In Fall 2020, WAU had a total enrollment of 968 students, reported U.S. News and World Report. In its 2022 edition of Best Colleges, WAU is ranked #131-#171 in Regional Universities North;* #17 for Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie); and #627 in Nursing (tie). Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

WAU had a graduation rate of 59% in 2018-2019, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Graduation rate is for non-first-time, full-time undergraduate students who graduated within six years. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists President Ted N.C. Wilson is a notable alumnus of the school.

*Note: After the school ranked #130, 41 schools were all ranked as #131-#171.


(Photo: Washington Adventist University, whose archway is seen here, recently announced that it was lowering its tuition to $12,000 for Seventh-day Adventist members in the Columbia Union Conference. Photo via the Visitor.)

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