College Spotlight: George Washington University

College MatchPoint's spring college tours included a stop in D.C. and a visit to George Washington University. Located a few blocks from the White House and the National Mall, GW University (est. 1821) offers an amazing urban campus. Located primarily in a 5x5 block radius in the heart of D.C., the downtown campus (known as the Foggy Bottom campus) is the heart of the university's academic programs. No surprise given its locale, GW is known as one the most politically active campuses in the nation, hosting a black-tie inaugural ball on campus every four years during election season. 

The campus facilities are top notch, notably the new engineering building which is clearly set up for collaborative learning. The business building also had that same collaborative feel, both buildings containing abundant study spaces with white boards and round tables. The hub of the city campus is the Marvin Center, which houses study abroad, admissions, research, dining, and student health services. While the campus is urban, it does not feel anonymous. We noticed students talking to each other and running into their friends. The campus felt much more contained/cohesive than the urban sprawl of NYU, to offer a point of comparison.

While a fantastic option for students longing for an urban campus, GW also has a Mt. Vernon campus (approx. 3 miles from downtown campus), which offers a more traditional college feel. Many freshman (1/3) opt to live and learn on the Mt. Vernon campus, taking advantage of the 24-hour shuttle buses to get to classes and events downtown; it is an ideal mix of campus life and downtown living, particularly for new freshman who might not want the hustle and bustle of DC life their first year away from home. 

Fast Facts:

  • Average class size: 30
  • 13:1 student-faculty ratio
  • Early Decision: Applications Due Nov 1
  • Early Decision 2: Due Jan 1
  • Regular Decision: Jan 15
  • Optional interviews begin in August for what GW a “holistic review” of applicants
  • Tuition locked in first year rate
  • Over 60% of students receive aid
  • Typical merit awards range from $10k-$30k (top 25% of admitted students offered aid)

Fun Facts:

  • 70 service learning courses offered
  • 50% of students study abroad in more than 60 countries
  • 130+ countries represented in class of 2018
  • Students must live on (either) campus through junior year
  • Internships are huge at GW—many students graduate having completed 3 or 4
  • A Whole Foods store is basically part of the Foggy Bottom campus

Consider GW If You Are:

  • Independent
  • Political
  • Type A
  • Adventurous
  • Smart
  • Self-advocate