Peer Institutions

Main page content

UW Tacoma Peer Group Institutions

The institutions listed below comprise the official peer group that UW Tacoma uses for benchmarking institutional performance, both on quantitative metrics and qualitative measures (e.g., best practices). This peer group was established after the creation of the University's Charting Our Course 2016-2021 strategic plan.

It is difficult to find institutions that match UW Tacoma on all significant characteristics because the University occupies a very distinctive niche in higher education. Salient characteristics of UW Tacoma include:

  • A distinctive size range (approximately 4,600 undergraduates and 800 graduate students), which is larger than most traditional liberal arts colleges and is an important scaling factor for institutional complexity
  • A primary focus on undergraduate education in a commuter campus setting
  • A combination of traditional liberal arts with professional programs in engineering and technology, business, urban studies, education, social work and criminal justice, and nursing
  • An urban serving campus with strong community engagement
  • Master's degree programs in a range of disciplines
  • A highly diverse, highly first-generation, and high Pell Grant eligible student population

Each peer institution combines some but not all of these key characteristics. The peer list encompasses institutions of different Carnegie Classification types and different control, and includes both traditional peers and aspirant institutions.

The table below provides a link to the main website for each peer institution as well as the office at that institution which is best able to answer institutional data questions.

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON TACOMA   Master's Colleges & Universities (Larger Programs)
University of Washington Bothell Office of Institutional Research Master's Colleges & Universities (Larger Programs)
Worcester State University Institutional Research Master's Colleges & Universities (Larger Programs)
Winthrop University Institutional Research Master's Colleges & Universities (Larger Programs)
University of Southern Maine Institutional Research Master's Colleges & Universities (Larger Programs)
University of Michigan - Flint Institutional Analysis Doctoral/Professional Universities
University of Michigan - Dearborn Institutional Research Master's Colleges & Universities (Larger Programs)
Western Connecticut State University Facts and Figures Master's Colleges & Universities (Medium Programs)
Rutgers University Camden Office of Institutional Research Doctoral Universities (High Research)
Colorado State University - Pueblo Institutional Research & Analysis Master's Colleges & Universities (Small Programs)
University of South Florida St Petersburg Institutional Research Master's Colleges & Universities (Larger Programs)
University of Alabama in Huntsville Institutional Research Doctoral Universities (High Research)
Stockton University Institutional Research Master's Colleges & Universities (Larger Programs)
Fitchburg State Institutional Research & Planning Master's Colleges & Universities (Larger Programs)
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Institutional Research Master's Colleges & Universities (Larger Programs)
Ramapo College of New Jersey Institutional Research Master's Colleges & Universities (Medium Programs)
Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg Institutional Planning & Assessment Master's Colleges & Universities (Larger Programs)

Methodology for Peer Group Selection

We developed a methodology for the selection of this group using the following process:

  • We selected 19 IPEDS criteria (a few of which agregated IPEDS data)
  • We surveyed UW Tacoma Data Fellows to determine relative weighting for each data point
  • We did a deviation analysis (absolute) from the UW Tacoma number for each data point
  • We compiled an aggregate score from the deviation analysis to determine schools that most closely match UW Tacoma

This methodology was developed by the UW Tacoma Institutional Research 2019 Data Fellows Cohort and presented to Data Fellows on April 9, 2019. It was then presented to the Assistant and Vice Chancellors on April 15 and May 13, 2019, and to the Faculty Executive Council on April 22, 2019. Feedback was incorporated at each level. Feedback on the next selection process will be accepted through the link at the bottom of this page.

IPEDS Data UWT Value Weight

Total Enrollment

5162 (Fall 2017)

Institution Size Category

3 (Fall2017)

First-time degree/cert-seeking undergrad enrollment

588 (Fall 2017)

Transfer-in degree/cert-seeking undergrad enrollment 871 (Fall 2017) 4.25
Undergraduate Enrollment 4436 (Fall 2017) 4.25
Full-time Equivalent Fall Enrollment 4390 (Fall 2017) 4
Percent Underrepresented Minorities 24% (Fall 2017) 4
Carnegie Crossover - Number of Carnegie Categories in Common w/UWT 6 (2016-17) 3.5
Percent of Full-time first-time undergraduates awarded Pell Grants 44% (2016-17) 3.5

Average amount of Federal/State/Local/Institutional or other sources of grant aid Awarded to Undergraduate Students

$12,192 (2016-17) 3.5
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 17:1 (2016-17) 3.5
Graduate Student Enrollment 726 (Fall 2017) 3.5
Percent of Undergraduates Enrolled (Age 25-64) 29% (Fall 2017) 3.5
All full-time Instructional Staff - All Ranks 247 (Fall 2017) 3.5
Percent Admitted - Total 84% (2017-18) 3.5
Degree of Urbanization (Urban-Centric Locale) 12 (City:Midsize) 3.25
Admissions Yield - Total 35% (2017-18) 3.25
Total FTE Staff 632 (Fall 2017) 2.75
Total Price for In-State Students Living Off Campus (not with family) $26,310 (2017-18) 2.75

Descriptions and values for selection metrics.

How will this list be used?

The UW Tacoma Peer Institutions list will be used in a variety of ways:

  • Surveys - as a comparison group for use with survey instruments like the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), or the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
  • Benchmarking - as a benchmark when comparing UW Tacoma and for reporting outcomes and metrics that require data from comparable institutions
  • Practice Comparison - for anecdotal comparison of practices, policies, and programs at institutions that are similar

While this list represents a statistical comparison of UW Tacoma as a campus, individual schools and units may decide to have their own peer groups that have a closer resemblance to the makeup and operations at their level.

Calendar for Next Peer Group Review

This peer group will be reviewed on a schedule that allows for consistency in peer group comparisons over multiple years of surveys and instruments. As needs change, the 19 IPEDS metrics can be reviewed for appropriateness and weighting. Our next review period will be Winter Quarter 2022. (Then 2026, 2030...) If you have thoughts about IPEDS data points that should be considered next time, their weighting, schools that should be considered, or other input, please let the next review committee know by providing feedback through the link provided below.

Feedback? Click Here