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What Does it Cost to Attend George Washington University?

Each year, college costs continue their steady climb upward. This trend represents a significant financial hurdle for many families, so it’s not surprising that in 2016, 85% of college students were receiving financial aid. Now, the average family can expect to spend more than $100,000 on a four-year degree from a private university.


One aspect of college funding that makes it especially daunting for many families is its unpredictable nature. With so many factors impacting exactly how much you’ll pay out of pocket, it can be hard to anticipate costs in advance. That’s why we at CollegeVine have analyzed the costs of attending over 1000 colleges to help you more accurately predict what your family can expect to spend. In this post, we take a closer look at George Washington University and offer our insights to help you narrow down your cost estimate there.

Why Are College Costs So Variable?

The amount that a family pays out of pocket to attend a college varies depending on a wide range of factors. What college it is, how much a family earns, how much merit aid a student receives, and how much institutional aid is available at that school will all play a role. Because it’s rare for these factors to all line up in exactly the same way from one family to another, it’s hard to nail down exactly how much any single family can expect to pay. Taking a closer look at the factors that impact costs can be a good starting point, though.


One of the largest factors in determining how much a family pays for college is that college’s list price. A list price, also sometimes referred to as a sticker price, is the total amount that any family would pay out of pocket without any kind of financial assistance. This price is usually all-inclusive and covers things like tuition, room and board, and any necessary fees. At some schools, though, especially those with a high population of commuter students, you might find that specific costs like room and board are not included. Always be sure that you know exactly which costs are included when you compare list prices.


While list price is a good starting point, a college’s net price can be a much more helpful metric for most families. The average net price at a college is the average amount that families pay out of pocket after applying financial assistance. Net price varies based on things like institutional aid, merit aid, and federal, state, and local aid. Although it is difficult to predict just how much aid your family will receive, average net price can give you a better idea of how much families like yours pay to attend a certain school.

What Is the List Price at George Washington University?  

In 2016-2017, the list price at George Washington University was $67,225. This is the same for both in-state students and out-of-state students because it is a private university.


Most students will not pay the entire list price. Instead, only those with a combined annual family income of $175k or above should expect to pay list price.

What is the Average Net Cost of Attending George Washington University?

After accounting for financial aid, the average net cost of attending George Washington University in 2017 was $57,662.


For students who don’t qualify for financial aid, the average net cost of attending George Washington University was $54,425. It’s worth noting here that at this particular college, merit aid tends to be more generous than financial aid.

What is the Net Cost Based on Income of Attending George Washing University?

The primary factor in determining financial aid awards is a family’s income. This means that it can be more helpful to look at net costs as they are broken down according to income. At George Washington University, net costs by family income level breakdown as follows.


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $23,038
$30,001-$48,000 $20,666
$48,001-$75,000 $26,883
$75,001-$110,000 $29,667
$110,000+ $44,178

How Much Merit Aid is Typically Awarded at George Washington University?

George Washington University tends to be one of the more generous colleges when it comes to awarding merit aid. In 2017, 65.7% of students who did not qualify for financial aid received merit aid. The average merit aid award for a student without financial need was $12,800. This places George Washington University 263rd in the pool over 1000 schools we analyzed for merit aid generosity.

How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend George Washington University?

Loans are a common part of the funding equation for most students at George Washington. In 2017, 73% of students had a loan to help pay for college. The average federal student loan per undergraduate student was $5,331.

Student Outcomes

Student outcomes are a smart way to gauge your return on investment. Because college expenses represent a significant initial investment, understanding their potential longterm return can be a useful place to start. After all, people with a college degree tend to have higher earning potential than those without.


At George Washington University, 82% of students complete their degrees within six years and the average salary ten years after graduation is $69,600.

Local Area Cost Considerations

Tuition, room and board, and college fees may account for the bulk of your student’s costs during the college years, but it’s inevitable that other expenses will also arise. Things like transportation, groceries, or off campus housing will all be impacted by the local cost of living, so this is something that you should also consider in advance.


George Washington University is located in Washington, DC where the cost of living is significantly higher than the national average. At an index of 173.9, Washington, DC is over 73% more expensive than the national average. Transportation costs and housing are the two most expensive factors in the high cost of living there. In Washington, DC, students can expect to pay over $1400 per month for a studio rental, or $2200 per month for a 3-bedroom.


The job market in Washington, DC has not been great recently, but it is projected to improve in the near future. The unemployment rate is currently 5.6%, which is above average, but job growth is also above average and this is predicted to continue climbing. Minimum wage in Washington, DC is $13.25/hr, which is significantly higher than the federal minimum, and the median hourly wage is $33.82.

Other Ways to Fund a College Education

Scholarships are another great way to help offset college costs, and there are many more options out there than most families realize. There are now niche scholarships for things like being vegetarian, making a prom dress from duct tape, or even being the child of an employee at specific corporations.


One of the largest and most well known scholarship programs is the National Merit Scholarship Program. To qualify for this program, high school juniors simply take the PSAT and are recognized for their strong performance. Students can also be recognized for their performance on the test by the National Hispanic Recognition Program and other specific corporations or individual colleges. To learn more about the program, check out our post How to Qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.


Other scholarships run the gamut from large national talent competitions to smaller, local or specialized awards. You can learn more about some of the options out there by checking out these CollegeVine posts:



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Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.