The good news is that the University of Washington has an awesome computer science department. They claim to be in the top 10 undergraduate or graduate, but my feeling is that they are just as good as anybody but the top 5 schools, which would include MIT, Stanford, Berkeley and CMU. They have a terrific new building funded by Paul Allen and Bill Gates of MIT with a dramatic atrium, and a building that's built to be wired and rewired with visible cable tracks in all the hallways. Technology review in one year had TWO UW people highlighted for their research one year and they had one in another year when most colleges don't get any. The University of Washington overall is about the equal of UCLA, but relatively easy to get in with an admit rate of 65 percent, SAT math range of 560 and 670 and ACT range of 23 to 28. I know of many high school students with 99 percentile test scores good enough to get into Stanford and Harvard, or got into places like USC who still put UW at the top of their list, and Asian parents who moved here from Texas and Kansas who put their kids through academic hell to get their kids into the UW.
The BAD NEWS ... the student I called for was admitted to the UW, but did not get notified that he was admitted into the computer science department, like he was for every other college he was admitted into (Santa Clara University ,Worcester Polytechnic, Villanova, Seattle University). When I called they said that all students who applied for the department who had taken enough classes (mainly calculus by graduation) were considered, but if he wasn't notified, he wasn't in. Most students have to take and do well in all of the required courses (chem, physics, calc etc) and apply in the spring. She said about 50% of applicants get in. HALF? That cuts the overall chance of 65% overall to more like 35%, which would be approaching Ivy League admission odds. Add that to the recent Seattle Times coverage of ridiculously huge freshman classes (budget swells class sizes) and rowdy frat crowds throwing bottles at officers checking out open bonfires, and the usual stories about crime in the area, and it's not such an easy call.