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). Our first peer group was established after the creation of the University's Charting Our Course 2016-2021 strategic plan. This is our second round of identifying peer institutions.
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 4,400 undergraduates and 700 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.
Methodology for Peer Group Selection
We developed a methodology for the selection of this group using the following process:
- We selected 15 IPEDS criteria (a few of which agregated IPEDS data)
- We elected to use one source outside of IPEDS provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to determine the Equitable Value of Institutions
- 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, 2022. It was then presented to the Administration on July 8, 2022 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|
5264 (Fall 2020)
|Percent Admitted Total||
86 (Fall 2020)
|Percent of Undergraduate Enrollment, 25-64||
20 (Fall 2020)
|First-Time Degree / Certificate-Seeking Undergraduate Enrollment||621 (Fall 2020)||4.13|
|Transfer-In Degree / Certificate-Seeking Undergraduate Enrollment||1130 (Fall 2020)||4.25|
|Graduate Enrollment||797 (Fall 2020)||3.38|
|Total FTE Staff||621 (Fall 2020)||3.88|
|Instructional Staff - Total||53 (Fall 2020)||3.88|
|Percent of Full-time first-time undergraduates awarded Pell Grants||42% (Fall 2020)||3.88|
Average amount of federal, state, local or institutional grant aid awarded
|Earnings relative to Threshold 0||$22,536.96||3.17|
|Total Under-Represented Minority Enrollment||2273 (Fall 2020)||4.38|
|Student Faculty Ratio||16:1 (Fall 2020)||3.75|
|Total price for in-district students living off campus (not with family) 2020-21||28,407 (Fall 2020)||3.25|
|Percent Admitted - Total||84% (2017-18)||3.5|
|Degree of Urbanization (Urban-Centric Locale)||12 (City:Midsize)||4.38|
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 15 IPEDS metrics can be reviewed for appropriateness and weighting. Our next review period will be Winter Quarter 2026. (Then 2030, 2034...) 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.