Access & Success



a student from DC receiving her SJT scholarship from president knapp


Our campus community at GW is diverse and our students’ backgrounds vary. They come from all over the world and across the country with different life experiences and family histories. We welcome and encourage this diversity and are excited about the knowledge and perspective that it adds to the campus experience for everyone.

Across GW, we look for opportunities for a diverse student body, finding ways to keep financial backgrounds from being a limiting factor in attendance. We encourage students by providing support, financial resources and information on programs that help finance a GW education, as well as helping ensure academic success once enrolled.

In addition to a move to a test-optional application policy, GW participates in a number of initiatives and partnerships to bring the best and brightest students from all backgrounds to our campuses and classrooms.




"In the First Generation student group, simple things like first Friday dinners let us get to know each other and that we're not the only ones on campus. It really solidifies a community for us. No one will ever turn you away if you ask for help. There is not one person who wouldn't go out of their way to help a first-generation student."

Angelica Cortez

Class of 2017
Major: Sociology

First-Generation Students

14% of GW's undergraduate student population in 2018-19 are first-generation students 

We know that first-generation students thrive in colleges that recognize their unique identities and provide support through services that embrace their cultural perspectives. That’s why at GW we are working to increase support services for our first-generation students. Along with various student organizations, GW’s Office of Student Life holds weekly office hours for first-generation students in addition to monthly dinners and other outreach programs.



Campus Visits

GW partners with community-based organizations to provide campus visits, mentoring and funded summer opportunities to low-income students.



Cisneros Institue

Funded by a GW alumnus and his wife, the institute offers a pre-college program to high-school juniors, with consideration given to students of Hispanic heritage who are committed to leadership and service within the Hispanic community. The institute also provides scholarships to select GW students committed to leadership and community service with aspirations to give back to the Hispanic community.



College Application Week Workshops

Every year, members of the GW admissions staff visit D.C. public schools to participate in College Application Week activities, such as application workshops, financial aid discussions and question-and-answer sessions.



Test-Optional Policy

We do not require applicants to submit standardized test scores, except in select circumstances. The best indication of whether a student will be successful at GW is their performance in high school. This has always been the most important part of the application process at GW and this will not change, regardless of whether you choose to submit scores.



STEM Pipeline Partnership 

GW's College of Professional Studies (CPS) has partnered with Northern Virginia Community College to provide students with an affordable opportunity to pursue GW degrees in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Qualified students with a STEM associate’s degree can earn a bachelor’s degree through CPS and can potentially continue on to graduate study at GW.



Upward Bounds

The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences program provides free supplemental education, resources and opportunities for low-income, potential first-generation college students to facilitate their matriculation into a post-secondary institution.




Posse Foundation 

In partnership with the Posse Foundation, a nationwide college access and youth leadership development program, a group of students from Atlanta with extraordinary academic and leadership potential is offered full tuition to the university.



Dual Enrollment with DCPS

GW partners with D.C. public schools to provide full tuition dual enrollment opportunities through the GW Early College Program. Students complete their final two years of high school while earning an Associate of Arts degree from GW. The university also funds tuition for high school students who enroll in GW courses through the Exposure and High School/College Internship Programs.


Financial Aid 


Financial Aid Opportunities

More than 60% of GW students receive some form of financial aid through the Office of Student Financial Assistance’s many programs. Our goal is to help students and their families find the best possible aid package.



District Scholars

Incoming D.C. students who meet specific residential and income criteria can receive additional university grant funding.



Pell Grants

Federally funded Pell Grants are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional need. Award amounts are determined annually by the US Department of Education and are tied to both the Expected Family Contribution and the student’s enrollment status.




The INSPIRE Pre-College Program is a full scholarship open to Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian high school students who want to spend three weeks at GW to learn about relations between tribal governments and the federal government.



Say Yes to Education

Low- to middle-income students who graduate from public schools in New York and North Carolina can receive full-tuition scholarships to GW through a partnership with the Say Yes to Education foundation.



Siemens Corporation & Hearst Foundation

The partnership between GW, the Siemens Corporation and the Hearst Foundation funds opportunities for underrepresented D.C. public and charter school students to participate in pre-college programs in the STEM and Arts fields.



SJT Scholars 

This annual scholarship awards a handful of D.C.’s most exceptional students with full coverage of tuition, room and board, books and fees.



Yellow Ribbon Fund 

GW proudly participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, where degree-granting institutions can voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs to fund tuition expenses for military veterans.