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George Washington University is an elite private, not-for-profit university that was founded in 1821 by congressional charter. Unlike most private colleges and universities, GW is a large school with roughly 26,000 students. This population is quite diverse as it represents over 130 countries, DC, and all 50 states. Despite the large student body, the school also boasts a highly desirable 13 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Overview of George Washington University (GWU)

The appeal of GW is extensive. One such appeal is the wide range of academic opportunities including majors in art, business, engineering, and law to name a few. Many students also enjoy access to over 450 student organizations as a way to acquire leadership roles, integrate with other students, and to participate in first-hand experiential learning activities. The combination of academics, organizational participation, and community involvement provides GW students with competitive advantages over others when it comes to a job search upon graduation.

The goal of GW leaders is to foster an environment that creates discussion, exploration, change, growth, passion, and service. Washington, DC is the ideal backdrop to support such initiatives. Students have access to world-class facilities and faculty, well-regarded and impactful research, progressive curriculum strategies, and an educational reputation that remains unwavering worldwide.

Each year, students evolve through education, culture, and community engagement. Such activities include either playing for or supporting the many Division I athletic teams, exploring the many cultural galleries and museums in the city, attending musical performances of any variety, and participating in volunteer work. Students also have unprecedented opportunities to meet with and work with global leaders, experts in any industry, and assist on international projects, such as those at the International Monetary Fund.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 13:1
Graduation Rate 82%
Year Founded 1821

Student Enrollment

Total Students28,172


Undergraduate Student

Male 4,893
Female 7,653

Graduate Student

Male 6,094
Female 9,532

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GWU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 10,045
Female 16,933


Male 4,118
Female 6,943

Acceptance Rate41%

Male 41%
Female 41%

Enrollment 2,655

Male 637
Female 637
Application Fee $80
High School GPA Recommended
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Required
SAT/ACT Considered But Not Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline January 1
Common Application Accepted Yes

GWU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

GW is one of the most expensive large, private universities at $56,935 annually. With the help of financial assistance in the form of grants, student loans, and scholarships, the cost is reduced to $38,829 as the net price average. At least 77% of students receive financial aid. Students can expect to pay another $17,000 or so for books and supplies, room and board, class fees, and more direct educational expenses.

DC is a city filled with opportunity, excitement, and adventure. It’s a good idea for students to establish a discretionary budget to complement their budget for education to be able to embrace all events, activities, cultural experiences, and more that the city has to offer. Additional funds might be necessary for travel throughout the region to other impactful cities, trips to the great outdoors, and visits home.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $38,829
Average Total Aid $32,952
Students Receiving Financial Aid 77%
Room & Board $14,300

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $56,935
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $56,935
  • Books and Supplies - $1,400
  • Room & Board - $14,300
  • Other - $1,525


GW is impressive in almost any regard, and that is particularly true about academic opportunities. A highly unique aspect of GW is that, in spite of being expensive and the home to far more challenging curriculum than many private higher learning institutions, they manage to maintain a 93% retention rate and a graduation rate of 82%. These impressive figures may be related to the educational requirements imposed upon applicants prior to acceptance. Most students who attend GW appreciate the privilege and prestige of the university and do not let it go to waste.

Students can choose from 10 schools including arts and design, business, education and human development, engineering and applied science, law, international affairs, public policy and public administration, public health, professional studies, political management, media and public affairs, medicine and health sciences, and nursing. GW students also have access to 6 libraries and 100 research centers and it was home to over 65 former and current Fullbright Scholars.

The university is dedicated to meeting the needs of today’s students. As such, students have access to over 100 online programs for a more flexible learning experience. Strategic partnerships are also important for the university so that students can optimize hands-on experience options through co-ops, internships, and research initiatives. In the past, GW students have contributed to policies in law, business, science, and more.

Student Population Total

Student Population 28,172

Evening Classes : No
Distance Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Social Science Majors 1025 Total Graduates / 34%
International Relations and Affairs 626 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 227 Graduates
Economics, General 69 Graduates
Econometrics and Quantitative Economics 38 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 488 Total Graduates / 16%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 311 Graduates
Public Health, Other 7 Graduates
Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, and Treatment Professions, Other 33 Graduates
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 32 Graduates
All Business Majors 460 Total Graduates / 15%
Finance, General 113 Graduates
International Business/Trade/Commerce 82 Graduates
Accounting 67 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 63 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 183 Total Graduates / 6%
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering 56 Graduates
Mechanical Engineering 53 Graduates
Systems Engineering 27 Graduates
Civil Engineering, General 22 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 143 Total Graduates / 5%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 108 Graduates
Exercise Physiology 26 Graduates
Biophysics 7 Graduates
Neuroscience 2 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 24%

Outcome & Salary

The graduates of GW are in demand by corporations, government agencies, non-profits, and more. This demand has developed over time, in part, to the exceptional hands-on experience opportunities, including over 12,000 internships each year. Some employers offering internships include the White House, PwC, World Bank, National Institutes of Health, Discovery Communications, and Bloomingdale’s.

Career Services at GW are also available to all students with a wide range of services and assistance such as preparing resumes, career coaching, mock networking and interviewing, academic selecting, and more. The center also provides industry and career fairs, panels, and programs to assist with career planning and job selection.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $62,200
College Grads Average Salary $75,844
College Grads Mid Career Salary $130,400
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $758,440
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $2,062,440
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $155,316
10 Year Projected ROI $603,124
20 Year Projected ROI $1,907,124
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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