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Should I apply to GW (Location, Urban ect)

Izzygirl400Izzygirl400 16 replies6 threads Junior Member
Hello! I am currently a High School Senior trying to decide where I am applying to college. I toured GW last year and loved the programs, as someone really interested in politics, the fact that they have a political communications major is amazing to me. I have heard that it is one of the most politically engaged schools in the country (Maybe even more than Georgetown).

The main downside to me is that I worry that it is too urban. My older sister attended NYU and hated how she really did not have a campus or a traditional college experience. I know that DC is a smaller city, but I still worry that GW is very urban, not even having a cafeteria. Although the Mount Vernon campus seems nice, I feel that it is just so out of the way and I worry it will make the school feel divided. I was really looking for more of a small town right of the campus feel (Georgetown, Ann Arbor etc)

I don't know if I should focus more on the programs or the location when picking a school. My mom says I should just apply and decide once I hear back but I worry that is a waste of time and money given that I am likely applying to 15 schools altogether.

I am wondering if anyone has any advice on whether GW feels too urban. Would it make more sense to apply to AU instead (More of a campus?) Also does GW give good merit aid? Has anyone had experience with the Politics and Values program?

I am a latina female coming from a top NY Public School. I have a 95 GPA, 1450 on the Sat, 770 and 750 on history subject tests. I have leadership in 3 clubs, was a US Senate page, and have done lots of internships. Therefore, I think I have a strong chance of getting into GW.

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Replies to: Should I apply to GW (Location, Urban ect)

  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College 2262 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    Congratulations on your achievements!

    Only you can say what feels “too urban” for you. You will be living at the college for four years, so campus life is not a meaningless consideration in comparison to majors and academic interests. It is important.

    You did a great job of naming some colleges with more of a campus-centered experience. So, apply to them, and to similar ones. If you still are attracted by GW, despite the lack of campus-centered living, apply to it! If it is a top choice in April but you are still unsure, then visit it and your favorite of the campus-centered colleges, to compare them before deciding which to attend.

    Your mom is right that you will want to apply to several colleges you are seriously considering and then see where you get in. But you also want to make sure that those colleges will meet your search criteria.
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  • liveyourlife26liveyourlife26 127 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Even though it may seem like GW has a very urban campus, I feel like most people here still feel like they have a "campus within a city." Unlike NYU, it is very evident when you are no longer on GW's campus. I was honestly a little worried about the same issue when I was picking a college, but I can now say I love it, and it has not been a problem for me. Everything I need and more is a quick walk or Metro ride away as GW is the only DC school to even have a Metro Station on campus. The campus is also a lot smaller than it may seem when you first visit, and everything is new.

    It is a bit funny to me that people complain about not having a cafeteria. When there was one, everyone hated it as it was so overpriced ($9/lb of food), and the food was not good at all. I feel like the people who complain about it the most are the ones who never experienced it (as they took it out the summer going into my sophomore year, so all the complaints I have heard have come from those younger than me). I can assure you that no one I know ever made friends in the cafeteria anyways. The meal plan is basically a debit card for food places and grocery stores, which gives you so much flexibility.

    Merit aid varies so much, so it is difficult to say. I believe the highest amount you can get is 30k, but the most common amount I have heard is 15k and 20k. I received 20k in merit + need-based aid with lower scores than yours. I found that the school's online calculator was accurate when measuring my need-based aid, but it does not factor in potential merit aid, so you may want to check that out.

    Overall, I think programs and location are both really important factors in your college decision. I completely agree with your mom though - you should just apply and see what happens. It definitely seems like you would fit in well with the "politically engaged" aspect of GW. With your scores though, I would also recommend applying to Georgetown as well.
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 2721 replies14 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2018
    I think you should visit both GWU and AU. Weigh up the “more urban” feel vs the “traditional but more isolated” feel. Just because your sister didn’t like an urban campus, doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it. You may prefer a cafeteria as you’ll get at AU, or you may find it restrictive vs the choices offered at GW. You should get your own feel and campus tours will be one way to do it. I agree with your mom about applying to both - my D is, she liked them both, even though the campuses feel quite different. DC in general as a location is wonderful for anything politics related and honestly (I know many partisan people disagree but) I think either GW or AU will give you what you want, so choosing based on what campus you’ll live on for the next four years is totally acceptable!

    Agree you should probably visit Georgetown as well, though it’s pretty much a reach for many people even high scorers. It is the ultimate for DC though, sadly a high reach for my D who decided against even applying.

    ** if the cafeteria concern is social, you’re much more likely to make friends in residence halls than grabbing a quick lunch anyway -
    edited November 2018
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  • NHufferNHuffer Forum Champion GWU 990 replies2 threads Forum Champion
    Welcome to the forum!

    I agree with what @SJ2727 said regarding your sister's views of NYU- you can't compare yourself to her. I can't speak to a comparison of NYU vs GW (although it seems @liveyourlife26 captured it), but I'd definitely call GW an "urban" campus. There's just no way around it- the campus is on city blocks, there is gridlock traffic on 23rd st during the evening rush hour (maybe the morning, too, but none of us were up early enough to check, lol), you have a hospital on campus that means ambulances wailing down the street at all hours... it's urban.

    With that said, urban doesn't necessarily mean bad. It's totally up to what you expect. Personally, I found that spending my first year on the Mount Vernon campus (a traditional campus) helped me to "ease in" to city life. And honestly, never once did I feel that GW was "too urban."

    You said that you already toured the campus last year- what'd you think? You said you liked the programs but what about the location? The feel? I definitely think you should visit again if given the chance, as now that you're a little older you might have a better idea of what you expect. And tour Georgetown and AU as well. All three feel very different and you'll likely pick a favorite.

    Good luck!
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