College Spotlight: Georgetown University

Jack, Georgetown’s bulldog mascot, doesn’t like to sit on command on Fridays. At least that was what his student handler told me when he wouldn’t sit for a photo with a prospective freshman before the admissions information session during my visit to campus.

My two tour guides, Aneesh ‘19 and Charlotte ‘20, had several things in common. First, they had lived in the same freshman dorm. Second, they had both spent time at Georgetown’s famed villa outside of Florence, Italy, where students can spend anywhere from a semester to a few weeks in the summer. But their paths to Georgetown were very different. Charlotte’s parents both attended Georgetown and met while living in the same freshman dorm Charlotte had lived in. Aneesh, on the other hand, attended a large public school in Tallahassee, Florida and expected to attend a public university in Florida. His college counselor encouraged him to apply to Georgetown and he says that he was so glad he did. He had completed internships at the Department of Defense and the FBI. Next year he is heading to medical school.

As the oldest Catholic university in America, you might think that you’d feel out of place if you’re not Catholic. But my tour guides assured me that it’s quite the opposite. Actually, John Carrol founded Georgetown in 1789 because he wasn’t allowed to attend a U.S. college since he was Catholic so he had to be educated in Europe. He came back to America and started his own college, which is Catholic but “pluralistic.” In fact, Georgetown was the first Catholic university in the U.S. to hire Jewish and Hindu chaplains.

According to Aneesh, “Students here are intersectional. That makes them more accepting. We can engage and have discussions on anything.” He and Charlotte both said that they recommend to prospective freshman that if they come to Georgetown, they should attend different religious services each week to gain new perspectives.

Located right on the Potomac a few miles from the National Mall, Georgetown’s campus feels stately and traditional. Traditions abound on campus, including pranks. A tall clock tower on Healy Hall often falls prey to student “creativity”, such as the 2017 incident where two students stole the clock tower hands and replaced them with an inflatable unicorn head. Shops and restaurants on nearby M street are a major draw for students, locals and tourists. Georgetown Cupcake is a popular student destination.

Georgetown does things differently than many universities. Here are a few examples of how:

  • To match freshman roommates, the university uses a app called Charms, where students connect with each other to find a roommate

  • Freshman have the opportunity to go on an overnight retreat in the Shenandoah Mountains in small groups

  • Students are required to live on campus for three years; some upper classman dorms have views overlooking the Potomac

  • Students run The Corp, which owns and operate charitable businesses on campus that give profits back to the school for scholarships, generating annual revenues over $5 million

  • Georgetown offers early assurance programs for medical and law school, meaning you can apply to medical school after your sophomore year without having to take the MCAT and you can apply to law school at the end of your junior year without having to take the LSAT

  • Students can minor in Turkish or Persian

As for applying to Georgetown, here’s important information you need to know:

  • Georgetown doesn’t offer merit aid - all financial grants are based solely on need

  • There is no ED option, only EA and RD; All EA applicants are either accepted or deferred

  • Alumni interviews are requried of all applicants

  • You must send ALL standardized tests you’ve taken (both ACT and SAT) - it is not a score choice college

  • Three SAT subject tests are required

  • Goergetown does not use the Common Application