Cheyenne Vowell
9 How to Get Into

How to Get Into Georgetown: Admissions Stats + Tips

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What’s Covered:

 

Only 16% of applicants who apply to this top school are admitted. So, how can you improve your odds of getting in to Georgetown?

 

Located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington D.C., Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institute of higher learning in the United States. The university offers undergraduate programs in five of its schools, including:

 

  • Georgetown College

  • The School of Nursing and Health Studies

  • The Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business

  • The School of Continuing Studies

  • Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service

 

Georgetown also offers several special programs, including a joint-degree program with the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University, a science and engineering program in which students receive both an A.B. degree from Georgetown and B.S. degree from Columbia in five years. Students may also apply to the Baker Scholars Program, founded by George F. Baker in 1973 to cultivate young business leaders, in their sophomore year.

 

What does it take to get into this prestigious university? Read on to find out.

 

Want to learn what Georgetown University will actually cost you based on your income? And how long your application to the school should take? Here’s what every student considering Georgetown University needs to know.

 

How Hard Is It to Get Into Georgetown?

 

Let’s be real—16% admittance can be a scary number. Out of the 21,190 applications Georgetown received for the 2020-2021 school year, only 3,650 of them were accepted into the school. Of those accepted, 1,592 enrolled with 275 wait-list enrollments following. 

 

While Georgetown’s acceptance rate is incredibly low, your personal chances of acceptance could be different than the published rate, depending on the strength of your profile.

 

To better understand your chances at Georgetown, we recommend using our free admissions calculator. Using your grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and more, we’ll estimate your odds of acceptance, and give you tips on improving your profile!

 

Average Academic Profile of Accepted Georgetown Students

 

GPA

 

While Georgetown did not report the GPA distribution of their accepted students, it is safe to assume that most accepted students have very high GPAs of 4.0 or higher.

 

SAT/ACT

 

Out of the 2020-2021 class, 75% submitted SAT scores while 46% submitted ACT. The percentile distribution of scores is as follows:

 

Assessment

25th Percentile (25% of freshmen scored at or below)

75th Percentile (25% of freshmen scored at or above)

SAT Composite

1380

1530

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

690

760

SAT Math

690

790

ACT Composite

31

35

ACT Math

29

34

ACT English

33

36

 

Class Rank

 

For the Georgetown 2020-2021 class, 83% were in the top tenth of their high school graduating class. 96% were in the top quarter, and 99% were in the top half. 

 

What is Georgetown Looking for?

 

As with most highly selective colleges and universities, a stellar academic record is a must in order to be admitted to Georgetown. Particularly if you are applying to Georgetown’s politics, law, international relations, or School of Foreign Service programs, you should expect admissions requirements similar to the caliber of the Ivies. Though other Georgetown programs are less stringent, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Many candidates have strong GPAs and standardized test scores, meaning you’ll have to highlight your extracurriculars, passions, and essays to stand out in a competitive pool.

 

Georgetown also values thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and strong character. The university was founded based on religious values; that doesn’t mean you must be Catholic to attend—many students aren’t—but you must demonstrate compassion, care, and strong character.

 

That starts with your application. While it may seem tedious to fill out a separate application for one college, the adcom will notice the care and attention you’ve taken (or haven’t). Also, remember that all applicants are offered interviews, and you should take advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate your character and personal attributes. Be sure to emphasize that you are intellectually curious and engaged by discussing personal projects you’ve undertaken, the research you’ve conducted, or other activities in which you’ve engaged in and out of the classroom.

 

How Georgetown Evaluates Applications

 

While grades are really important, Georgetown places equal value on your academic GPA and personal qualities. That’s why you have to make sure you’re showing all your impressive qualities, and not just your academic ones. 

 

According to their 2020-2021 Common Data Set, Georgetown considers the following factors “very important”:

 

  • Course rigor

  • Class rank

  • Academic GPA

  • Standardized test scores

  • Application Essay

  • Recommendation Letter(s)

  • Talent/Ability

  • Character/Personal qualities

 

These factors are “important”:

 

  • Interview

  • Extracurricular Activities

 

These are “considered”:

 

  • First Generation

  • Alumni/ae relation

  • Geographical residence

  • State residency

  • Racial/ethnic status

  • Volunteer work

  • Work experience

 

And these are “not considered”:

 

  • Religious affiliation

  • Level of applicant’s interest

 

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

 

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Georgetown

 

1. Achieve the best possible GPA while taking the most challenging classes available.

 

Easier said than done, we know. However, 83% of admitted Georgetown students were in the top tenth of their graduating class. While it’s not an Ivy League school, Georgetown is just as selective. Like the Ivy Leagues, Georgetown takes the Academic Index into account when reviewing your profile.

 

What is the Academic Index? Here’s the short version:

 

  • The AI is a calculation that combines your overall academic performance into a single numerical score.

  • Admissions officers use this score to make a quick determination as to whether you are academically qualified for admission.

  • In general, the AI takes into account your GPA or class rank, SAT/ACT scores, and SAT Subject test scores (if the school requires them).

  • The information is converted to a score 20-80, 80 being the best. The three areas then get added together for an index score out of 240.

 

Though you are more than just a number, the harsh reality is that the AI is often used as a screening tool in admissions. If an applicant’s AI doesn’t meet the school’s cutoff then it’s very likely that admissions officers won’t read the rest of the application. Thanks to the AI, it’s not always enough to just get straight A’s (or close to A’s). You need to take the most challenging courses you can, ace them, and do your absolute best on your standardized tests. For some more information on filling in your schedule, check out this post

 

If your GPA is lower, and you’re earlier on in your high school career, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it will be harder to increase your GPA, so the easiest way to increase your Academic Index is to get a higher standardized test score.

 

2. Aim for a 1530 SAT and 35 ACT.

 

Remember, most Georgetown freshmen scored between a 1380 and 1530 on the SAT, or a 31 and 35 on the ACT. In order to be competitive, you should shoot for scores that are on the upper end of this range. Georgetown does offer to take your highest Critical Reading and highest Math scores into account—so if you’re not happy with your first score, take the test one or two more times. It could help! For the ACT, Georgetown will take your highest Composite score into account for your application, no matter how many times you have taken the test. 

 

In light of COVID-19 test-optional policies, we recommend taking the test if you can do so safely (students who submit scores are accepted at higher rates than those without). We generally recommend submitting your score if it’s the 25th percentile or above for accepted students at that school. 

 

If you’re thinking about applying test-optional, try putting your information into our Chancing Engine. It’s free, quick, and will give you a great idea of your chances at hundreds of schools. 

 

To improve your SAT/ACT score, check out these free CollegeVine resources:

 

 

3. Cultivate at least one or two Tier 1-2 extracurriculars (find your “spike”).

 

When it comes to extracurriculars, you’ll be more competitive at any school, including Georgetown, if you have 1-2 well-developed interests rather than a bunch of unrelated ones. Those well-developed interests are what we call your “spike”! Having a spike will demonstrate you are someone with passion and drive, which can be the differentiating factor between accepting you or another applicant with the same Academic Index as you. What kinds of extracurriculars should you consider for your spike? There are four tiers:

 

  • Tier 1: Activities that are rare and demonstrate exceptional achievement or leadership. Examples include being a highly-recruited basketball player, exhibiting musical prowess by winning a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award, taking first place at the United States Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO), or attending a distinguished summer program.

 

  • Tier 2: Activities that show high levels of achievement and leadership. Some examples here are holding a leadership position in a well-respected club such as the Model UN, debate team, or Science Olympiad. You could also demonstrate success on the playing field or stage as an all-state selection in football, band, or orchestra.

 

  • Tier 3: Activities show your participation in pursuits outside of the classroom and help show colleges a more complete picture of you, but without the distinction of the higher tiers. These could include holding a minor leadership position in clubs like the Model UN or debate team, earning player of the week or being selected for a regional ensemble. 

 

  • Tier 4: These are the most common activities seen by college admissions officials. General membership in respected clubs, participation in sports, or general volunteerism. 

 

***Please note: these examples are not an exhaustive list, just some ideas!***

 

At a school like Georgetown, you should aim to have at least one or two Tier 1-2 activities. For some other examples of stellar extracurriculars, check out this blog post!

 

3. Write engaging essays.

 

Once you clear the academic thresholds, essays are the best way to set yourself apart from other applicants. You want to share your authentic voice and demonstrate your fit with the school.

 

Georgetown doesn’t use the Common App, which means you will have to fill out the essays and other supplementary questions separately from any other application. The school has two required prompts for all applicants, and you are required to write one additional prompt specific to the school you are applying to. 

 

Read our blog post to learn everything you need to know about how to write the Georgetown essays.

 

4. Nail your interview.

 

Interviews may not be the most important aspect of the college application process, but they shouldn’t be overlooked. For Georgetown, they are considered an “important” part of your admissions decision- meaning you’ll need to put your best foot forward. Some common questions to prepare for include:

 

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • Why do you want to attend this college?

  • Describe a challenge you’ve overcome? How did you do it?

  • What are your biggest strengths?

  • What are your biggest weaknesses?

 

Due to the pandemic, you may need to conduct your interview online. Here are some tips!

 

  • Dress business casual and in solid, simple tones. 

  • Have hair nicely arranged and any facial hair well-groomed.

  • Check your technology before you begin!

  • Make sure you have good lighting and as blank a background as possible. 

  • Practice, practice, practice!

 

5. Send in great letters of recommendation.

 

Your recommendations are extremely important to Georgetown. When you’re requesting a letter, be sure to:

 

  • Ask early and nicely.

  • Be professional and include relevant details to your relationship with the teacher.

  • Follow up periodically before the letter is due.

  • Give them some sort of resume or background about you- make it easy for them!

  • Thank them! The Georgetown recommendation is a little different than most recommendations teachers are asked to complete, so it will take a little more time to complete. Your teachers do this out of the goodness of their hearts- make sure you show some appreciation.

 

Your recommendation must come from a specific teacher depending on the school or program you wish to enter. Here are your options:

 

Program

Recommending Teacher

Georgetown College Science or Pre-Med

Science or Mathematics

Georgetown College Languages and Linguistics

Foreign Language

Other Programs in Georgetown College

Teacher of your choice in a core academic subject

McDonough School of Business

Mathematics or Social Studies

School of Nursing and Health Studies

Science or Mathematics

Walsh School of Foreign Service

Teacher of your choice in a core academic subject

 

How to Apply to Georgetown

 

Deadlines

 

Application Timeline

Deadline

Early Action

November 1, 2021

Regular Decision

January 10, 2022

 

Application Requirements

 

Georgetown only accepts its own application, helpfully named the Georgetown Application. Filling out this ten to fifteen-minute application is the first step to creating your official admissions profile with the school. It will also initiate your alumni interview, usually conducted sometime between September and February. 

 

Step two is the Application Supplement. You will need to provide:

 

  • Extracurriculars you have been involved in

  • Honors or awards received

  • Employment experience

  • Any special talents or skills you possess

  • A short essay- about one-half, single-spaced page

  • Two longer essays- one for all applicants, and one school-specific

 

Then, you will need to provide a copy of the Secondary School Report to your principal, headmaster, or college advisor. That person will then need to submit this form for you through the Georgetown online recommendation forms, Slate.org, or postal mail. They will be asked for:

 

  • Class rank

  • GPA

  • Highest GPA in class

  • Rigor of your course selection

  • General ratings 

  • A recommendation

  • Your class schedule

 

Learn more about Georgetown

 

 


Short Bio
Hi! I’m Cheyenne. I help educational institutions inform stakeholders and the wider public about the offerings available to them.

After graduating with my BA in History, and MA in Teaching, I knew education was my passion. Maverick Educational Copywriting was born out of my desire to make all levels of education accessible to students, families, alumni, and all other potential stakeholders. I believe education is at the heart of a healthy society, and making it understandable is a huge start! When not writing, I am usually spending time with my husband and dog, most likely hiking a new trail!

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