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D.C. Narrowing: American University vs. George Washington University

spt.leonidasspt.leonidas Registered User Posts: 489 Member
edited January 2011 in College Search & Selection
Hey Guys,

I have been looking into colleges in the DC area, specifically George Washington and American University. I want to apply to only one school in DC due to budget problems. I have a 30 ACT and I would like to major in either Political Science, Economics or Accounting. I know GWU has a prestigious name but American has wonderful internship/co-op opportunities. As far as campus environment goes I heard American has a more traditional one but I don't know how GWU's campus is like. I love meeting new people and socializing and I would like to have a campus where there is lots to see and do at night or during free/social time. Also if possible I would like to go to a university where there is at least one organization dedicated to south asian culture/hindu culture so I can also meet people of my culture as well. Which one is a better fit for me? Any help or feedback would be awesome

Post edited by spt.leonidas on

Replies to: D.C. Narrowing: American University vs. George Washington University

  • ricegalricegal Registered User Posts: 1,350 Senior Member
    American fits your stats better. The school is a little further removed from nighttime events, but there is a bus that runs to the subway stop during the daytime. Check the schedule to see how late it runs. You might have trouble getting back to campus at 2AM, for example. The internship program is terrific and the school is structured around it. A lot of classes don't meet on Wed, I think, so students can work at their internships. The campus has a beautiful quad and the buildings look almost like govt (marble) buildings. DC is a bit more urban. Both schools have a diverse student body, but since GWU is larger, you might find more Indians.
  • IBfootballerIBfootballer Registered User Posts: 2,250 Senior Member
    GW hardly has a campus. It is a collection of buildings affiliated with the University spread out over a fairly large area.

    If you're trying to be economical, American and GW are not good places to look. They are very expensive (GW is perennially most expensive in the nation) and are just frankly not worth the money they cost. They cost as much as a top private college, but are not even as good overall as UMD a few miles away.

    If you're looking for a school which is strong in areas other than just the PoliSci department (both schools are strong in PoliSci), GWU and American are not the places you want to look.
  • spt.leonidasspt.leonidas Registered User Posts: 489 Member
    @Ricegal & IBFootballer: Thanks for some feedback! Money is NOT a HUGE problem for me, but it is somewhat of a problem. The reason why I am looking into these schools because of the good opportunities for internships and even jobs after graduate school.

    I forgot to add gpa and rank if it helps:

    GPA: 3.92 Unweighed/ ? Weighed
    Rank: 32/600 (About Top 5%)
  • justadream92justadream92 Registered User Posts: 617 Member
    I agree with whats been said here by IB and ricegal. American is a good school and the professors are great (late night convo with a friend who goes there last night). I think you can get more bang for your buck there and they do have some incredible internship opportunities. But GW also has a lot of opportunities if you're looking into getting into policy work ... and their dorms are incredible. It doesn't have a campus (foggy bottom count?), but it's right in the center of the Hill and you'll have DC as you're playground. Not implying that's not so for American, but it's just a little further away. I picture more of GW as an "NYU" if you will, and American is more residential.
  • IBfootballerIBfootballer Registered User Posts: 2,250 Senior Member
    GW is just a bit separated from downtown, American is right on the border with Maryland.

    honestly, look at University of Maryland College Park. It's a lot cheaper, it's really close to DC, and it's a top recruiting centre for all sorts of government work.
  • spt.leonidasspt.leonidas Registered User Posts: 489 Member
    @IBFootballer: Really? Then I will definitely look into it! Thanks for the suggestion!

    since american is farther away does it make it less of a city life? For those of you all looking at the thread for the first time I forgot to mention I am a URM/First Generation college student if that helps
  • spt.leonidasspt.leonidas Registered User Posts: 489 Member
    bump? 10 char
  • cltdadcltdad Registered User Posts: 937 Member
    My son went to AU. He chose it over both GW and UMCP. All three gave him merit scholarships, but AU was the most generous. He also preferred the campus. He had no problems getting anywhere he wanted. He often went to clubs to hear his favorite bands. The Metro (subway) is within walking distance of campus, so you do not have to depend on the shuttle bus.
  • america2011america2011 Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    you should visit both schools.
  • rockvillemomrockvillemom Registered User Posts: 6,750 Senior Member
    Just commenting on the campuses - American is a beautiful campus - one of the prettiest I have ever seen. Gorgeous landscaping. American looks like a traditional suburban campus with a quad - yet - you can hop on a bus and be downtown in a few minutes. You have the best of both worlds.

    GW is a very urban campus - it is downtown. It would only appeal to those who really want an urban campus and don't care so much about the typical campus quad or greenery.
  • averbyaverby Registered User Posts: 305 Member
    George Washington has been declining in ranks for the past few years. Take it as you will.
  • kvilledeackvilledeac Registered User Posts: 287 Junior Member
    American students go further into the city multiple times a week. It's location is not a problem.
  • 23simone2323simone23 Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    Hey guys! Just wanted to say I'm super someone bumped this thread up because it's pretty helpful. I was just wondering one thing: I've heard a lot about AU as being full of kids who "couldn't get into Georgetown"
    Is this true? Are most kids sulking around wishing they were there, or are they happy to be getting the education they're getting at AU?
  • beliefbelief Registered User Posts: 579 Member
    ^ I heard that about GW, not AU.

    my sister goes to gw and my cousin goes to au, and au, i feel, is more mature than gw.
    gw has a bunch of partying, and while au does too, their overall environment emits responsibility and seems to have their priorities straight. their student president is such a great guy too, whereas i can't say the same for gw's. my best friend visited both and says similar things.

    that said,
    my sister loves gw
    and my cousin loves au.
  • SvenskanFiskSvenskanFisk Registered User Posts: 191 Junior Member
    I don't necessarily think that AU is a place for Georgetown rejects...I am applying to AU as are several other of my friends. We like AU not as a Georgetown backup (none of us are applying to Georgetown), but for its own merit. AU seems much less stuffy to me than Georgetown, and the students appear to be more socially-conscious and connected to DC.
This discussion has been closed.