The George Washington University Visit Report by nightchef
Visit to The George Washington University in July 2009 by nightchef(Parent of Student, HS Class of 2010)
(Member since July 21 2008 with 1115 posts)
2 of 2 people found this visit report helpful
Information Session: Yes
Campus Tour: Yes
Classroom Visit: Yes - Technically, yes, we did visit a classroom, but there wasn't a class going on. The tour guide just used it as a rest stop on the tour. But it was a nice room.
Friendliness/Courtesy of Students:
Friendliness/Courtesy of Staff:
Appearance of Campus:
Overall Campus Impression:
Area Immediately Around Campus:
Campus Visit Notes for The George Washington University
The info session was directed by a nice youngish admissions guy, who went back and forth with a student who was in the international relations school but minored in theater. This was encouraging to our son, who would be trying to double major in IR and music. The session was well done, though I don't love that format where the admissions guy says something and then the student basically repeats what he said in student-ese. A lot of useful information was gleaned, though, especially about housing and internships.
At the end of the session they introduced about eight tour guides who each read off the names of a half-dozen or so students who would be accompanying them. Our guide turned out to be a small, manic redhead from Ohio who was very entertaining, though he did drive us a bit nuts by prefacing every other sentence with "WIth that being said,...." The tour was well planned and conducted, showing us a bit of nearly everything, though we were sorry that the Elliot School was not on the itinerary (understandable, though, since it's at the very far corner of the campus from the admissions office).
We really liked the way the campus is an organic part of a city neighborhood (and a very nice city neighborhood in a great location, at that). Entirely different from Goucher, which we had visited the previous day and loved, but very appealing in its own opposite way. The dorms were impressive, as was the one classroom we visited. And the idea of the "GWorld card" that combines student ID and debit card functions is pretty cool. This school is obviously putting a lot of resources into creating a high-end experience for its students, which goes a long way toward explaining the high-end price tag.
At the end of the session, we went up to the Mt. Vernon campus. We were too late for the official tour, so we just drove around. We didn't like it much. It was suburban in kind of a sterile, shadeless, buttoned-down way. Bucolic it wasn't. It seemed like the main attraction of the place would be for people who want to go to GWU but are uncomfortable in an urban setting, and our son is a city kid. We all agreed that if he ends up at GWU he would keep to the Foggy Bottom campus as much as possible.
All in all I think our visit confirmed what we had gone in suspecting: that GWU is a strong contender for its curriculum, facilities and location, but not necessarily the best fit in terms of institutional and social culture. It didn't feel preppy exactly, just kind of middle of the road or something. For instance, it seemed like our son was the only young man there (either tour guide or visitor) who didn't have a buzz cut. Nothing wrong with that, but it was one of the things that made it feel like the place might be a little out of our son's sweet spot.
Hotel/Lodging Recommendations or Comments:
We stayed at the Holiday Inn White House-Central, about 8 blocks from campus. Very convenient and comfortable. We ate at the hotel restaurant, which was unexpectedly decent.