The George Washington University

Updated November 30, 2022 · 3 Min Read

Learn more about the various counseling degree programs available at The George Washington University. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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George Washington University, also known as The George Washington University and as GWU, is one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges in the nation and has a selective admissions process. Though not an Ivy League school, it accepts less than 35 percent of students who apply every year. Those who like the idea of seeing GWU on their resumes may apply for the university's online program, which is less selective. Attending classes online will also significantly reduce the amount of money they spend on tuition and other fees.

Established in 1821, GWU went through several name changes before deciding to rename itself in honor of former president George Washington. U.S. News and World Report and Washington Monthly routinely named GWU as one of the top 100 schools nationwide, and U.S. News and World Report even ranked it as the 52nd best university in the country. Forbes ranked it within its top 125 schools on a similar list. ARWU, QS and Times also ranked GWU on a national level. The school has a total population of more than 25,000 students, with more than half of those students enrolled in graduate and doctoral level programs. GWU also recently saw a rapid increase in the number of students enrolling in its online programs.

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The George Washington University Accreditation Details

George Washington University was one of the first schools in the country that received accreditation from a prominent organization. It now has accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, which is one of the regional divisions associated with the Higher Learning Commission. Also known as the HLC, this organization prides itself on conducting a high level of research before awarding accreditation to any school. A school must show that its students graduate with a strong foundation of skills and are ready to go to work or attend graduate school. The MSACS returns to the campus every 10 years or more often to ensure GWU still deserves its accreditation.

GWU is also proud that it is on the American Association of University List list. This list identifies the schools in the country that offer the best opportunities for female students. Though the HLC and MSACS offers general accreditation and allows the school the ability to grant and award degrees, some of the programs it offers have accreditation from other organizations and agencies. Students can check with the department on campus that offers the programs they want to take to find out if those programs have accreditation and who granted the accreditation.

The George Washington University Application Requirements

Before applying for admission, students often want to know what their chances are of receiving an acceptance letter. Though GWU is extremely selective with who it admits to its programs, it looks for students who are well rounded and have experience outside of school as well as high grades. Students must send in a mid-grade report that shows the grades they have in their senior year classes, an official transcript, a score on the ACT or SAT, a letter of recommendation from a school counselor and a letter of recommendation from a teacher. They must also complete a full application packet that includes several essay questions. Those applying for early admission may also attend an on campus interview with a professor working in the department they want to study.

George Washington University requires that those planning to take online courses only fulfill the same requirements. The university looks for students who did volunteer work, worked a part time job, traveled and had experiences outside of school. Those experiences may help you just as much as getting a perfect score on one of the standardized tests or having a high grade point average can. GWU notifies all students of who it accepts at the beginning of middle of spring.

Tuition and Financial Aid

GWU announced plans in 2015 to bring down the cost of attendance for its students. Tuition for students living on campus or off and taking classes on campus is more than $50,000 a year. Room, board and other expenses can increase the cost to more than $65,000 a year. Though its online classes are more affordable, the cost of tuition depends on the program. Programs charge tuition rates of around $250 to more than $500 per credit hour. You will also pay between $120 to $200 or more each semester for books and other supplies. Programs with a residency component require that students live on campus for a period of time, which can add several thousand dollars to your total cost.

If the price of attending GWU puts you off, make sure that you fill out the Free Application for Student Financial Aid and list the code for GWU on the application. GWU will take into account your background, interests, grades and other factors when determining if you qualify for any scholarships. You will usually qualify for subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and depending on your parents' income, you may qualify for grants too. There are also special PLUS loans available for the parents and guardians of college students.

Online Degree Available

George Washington University offers an individualized program that awards students a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development. This unique program gives students the chance to pick and choose from various classes to build a program that more specifically relates to their future career goals. They still meet with professors and advisers to ensure that they take the right number of courses and that all the courses they take apply to their major. After taking a class on quantitative research and education statistics, students will need to take 23 to 27 credit hours of other graduate level courses. Students may also earn two master's degrees at the same time, but GWU requires that those students take around half their classes on campus and the remainder online.

This program provides students with a strong understanding of how learning disabilities and other developmental problems and delays can affect humans at all ages. Graduates may work in schools, tutoring centers, hospitals and private offices. Prior to graduating, students will need to take a comprehensive examination that determines if they are ready to finish their studies, and GWU may require that students take this test on campus and not online. A degree in human development from George Washington University may open more doors for you than a degree from another school could.

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