Budget Student Spending

The GW experience

The GW experience doesn’t require a lot of student spending. But even in a city that offers one-of-a-kind free activities and entertainment—ranging from free National Mall concerts to professional sports events—there are temptations.  It may be frequent cab rides or the lure created by a Starbucks on every corner.

One sure way to get college costs under control is to watch your student spending and live within your budget. Having all the benefits of studying and living in a major city is not inexpensive, but it does not have to be a budget buster. We tell our current GW students and parents that managing student spending is about planning and making good choices. That often includes student employment or federal work-study to help students afford their spending habits.  Most of our students have part-time jobs for the experience and to break into the D.C. job market while still in school but also for the extra cash for personal spending.

The $1,400 in personal spending we suggest each year is typically used for public transit, laundry, convenience and drugstore purchases, dry cleaning, movie tickets, entertainment and grooming or salon services consistent with city living.

Strategies for Financing Your Education

Students sitting outside

We recognize that this tough economy has sparked tough questions and family conversations about college affordability. There are many financial considerations that might affect your choice of a private university. Our approach is to develop programs and financing options to assist families in planning for tuition at GW.  We also have the following common sense advice:  

1. Plan early.

2. Do research to find out what federal, university, state, private, activity and academic help is out there, as well as what independent scholarships, funding and awards are available.

3. Never self-select out of financial aid. Apply even if you don’t think you have need.

4. Follow deadlines in order to avail yourself of all opportunities and options.

5. Have family conversations about affordability and how much of a financial commitment your family is willing to assume.

Cost of Attendance

Family at Graduation

GW continues to move to stabilize tuition increases and reduce costs. To date, we have made a commitment to keep increases in the overall cost of attendance to within three percent. That, combined with programs such as GW’s Fixed Tuition, Guaranteed institutional grant money, minimal increases in living expenses and a generous student-aid funding commitment worth more than $150,000,000 is part of our efforts to help families meet and plan for expenses.

Academic Year  - 2012-2013

2013-2014 academic year costs will be finalized in late February 2013

Tuition* $45,735
Student Association Fee $45
Matriculation Fee** $350
Room and Board*** $10,530
Books and Supplies**** $1,275
Personal**** $1,450
Transportation $1,000


*Tuition: New GW students will pay this fixed tuition rate for up to a total of 10 consecutive semesters as long as the student maintains full-time continuous enrollment. Refer to the University Bulletin for details.

Students enrolled in the Seven-Year B.A./M.D. program have a fixed tuition rate for the first three years of their program.  After the third year, B.A./M.D. students pay the prevailing tuition of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences for medical students.  

**Matriculation Fee: One-time only fee for freshmen and transfer students.

***Room and Board: Room and Board reflects an estimated minimum freshman Colonial Cash plan for dining of $3,400 for the year ($1,400 of the Colonial Cash amount must be used in Sodexho venues, which include the Marvin Center, Ames, Duques, and Pelham Commons at West Hall). Students may choose to increase this amount to fit their individual dining needs. The room calculation is based on a cost of $7,130. Other, higher priced, options are available.

****Books, Supplies, and Personal/Miscellaneous Expenses: Students may expect to pay an average of $1,275 for books and supplies and $1,450 for personal/miscellaneous expenses (laundry, entertainment, etc.) for an average total of $2,725. Many of these expenses can be managed through the Colonial Cash plan.


Costs & Financial Planning

For more information, please visit:  

Undergraduate Costs and Financial Planning

Graduate Costs and Financial Planning



Contact Us

Office of Non-Degree Students

Old Main
1922 F Street
Suite 304
Washington, DC 20052
phone: 202-994-1972
office hours: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm

For the following groups, please click on the links below for specific contact information.

Alumni Course Audit Program
Office of Alumni Relations
phone: 202-994-6435

Center for Talented Youth (CTY Program)
Coordinator, Office of Non-Degree Students
phone: 202-994-1972

School Without Walls Exposure Program
Coordinator, Office of Non-Degree Students
phone: 202-994-1972

Pre-College Programs and Summer Institutes
GW Summer Sessions
1922 F Street, NW, Suite 304
Washington, DC 20052
phone: 202-994-6360
fax: 202-994-9360

Semester in Washington
(Applied Politics and Native American Political Leadership Program)
Semester in Washington
1922 F Street, NW, Suite 401
Washington, DC 20052
phone: 202-994-3284
fax: 202-994-8471

Programs for Alumni

Through the Alumni Course Audit Program, GW alumni may audit a variety of courses at a discounted rate on a not-for-credit basis.  The Program is a wonderful way to enhance professional skills, increase knowledge, reconnect with GW, and pursue a commitment to lifelong learning.  Details are available online:

Alumni Course Audit Program


The Alumni Course Audit Program is also open to DC residents 60 years of age and older who reside in the neighborhood surrounding our DC campuses (Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon).

Please note that participants in this Program must register through the Alumni House.  You should not complete a non-degree application or register through the Registrar’s Office or the University’s online registration system.

Any questions about the Alumni Course Audit Program should be directed to the Office of Alumni Relations:  202-994-6435 or alumni@gwu.edu

Center for Talented Youth (CTY)

Seventh to 8th grade students are selected through Johns Hopkins University’s CTY Talent Search to receive a one-course scholarship to GW.  A limited number of scholarships are available and CTY notifies GW of the eligible students. If you, or your son or daughter, has received a scholarship letter from CTY, please read the steps below regarding the process for enrolling in a course through this program.
  1. Most recipients use their scholarship during the summer, though you are eligible to use it during the spring or fall as well.  Please check the Schedule of Classes to search for a class.  If the schedule is not yet available for the term in which you want to register, please check contact the Office of Non-Degree Students (ONDS) to learn when the schedule will be published.
  2. You are eligible for courses numbered between 1000 and 2001 provided there are no prerequisites and there is space in the classroom.
  3. Courses are offered at both our main (Foggy Bottom) campus and the Mt. Vernon campus (accessible via shuttle), be sure to confirm the location of the course.
  4. Please note that the scholarship does not cover any related course fees and materials, so you will be required to pay those costs directly.
  5. In order to register for courses at GW as a CTY student, you will first need to fill out a Non Degree Student online application.
  6. In the Academic Information portion of the application under Select your Program please choose "CTY Scholarship Program."
  7. ONDS will process your application in approximately 2 business days and provide you with an ID number (GWid). Your GWid will be your unique student number and should be included on your Registration Form.
  8. Once you have been registered, ONDS will send you a confirmation e-mail with further instructions including how to obtain a GW identification card, library access, setting up a GW e-mail account and more.    
Congratulations on your award and do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail,onds@gwu.edu, or phone at 202-994-1972.

Special Programs

GW welcomes a number of special groups of students who are registered in non-degree status.  If you plan to enroll at the university as part of any of the programs listed below, please click on the link provided for application instructions.

How to Apply

Visiting students should apply for short-term abroad programs through the Office for Study Abroad.

Cloyd Heck Marvin Center
800 21st Street NW
Suite 505
Washington, DC 20052
Tel: 202.994.1649
Fax: 202.994.9133