Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Georgetown vs. GWU vs. American

TNdude46TNdude46 Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
edited May 2010 in Georgetown University
Hey guys, I'm a rising senior and really like the idea of a DC area college experience. However, I don't know which school fits me best. I know that only I can figure that out, but with some background info on myself any input on my chances or just the colleges compared with one another would be awesome. Thanks!


-4.00 UW GPA
-4.34 W GPA
-30 Composite ACT
-5 AP courses upon graduation (US Gov., Macroeconomics, US History, Psychology, and English Literature)
-Top 5% of my graduating class


-Member of National Honors Society, Maryville Scholars (Top 5% of my class)
-United Community Bank Jr. Board of Directors (service organization that also helps to educate potential business majors)
-Tennessee American Legion Boys State Nomination for 2010
-Four year member of marching band, two year section leader

College Plans:
A major in History, Business Administration, or both.

Thanks again guys!
Post edited by TNdude46 on

Replies to: Georgetown vs. GWU vs. American

  • cjh901228cjh901228 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    Georgetown is unequivocally the most prestigious school among the three...
  • TNdude46TNdude46 Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    what do you think my chances are for georgetown?
  • clg210clg210 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Well, I'd say you're in at American, highly qualified for GWU, and Georgetown is a reach. But that doesn't answer the question of which school fits you best. The 3 schools you have mentioned offer very different college experiences and in order to help you find the one you would enjoy the most, we need to know what size school you want, how urban of a school you want, whether you want to be a big fish in a small pond or vice versa, and what general vibe you are looking for.
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    They're not similar, and if they weren't in DC, they wouldn't be compared. At American, only a third of the student body majors in the liberal arts. The rest are in International Service, Business, Public Affairs, and Communications. There are very, very few science majors, and tiny numbers in art and music. The School of International Service is the largest of its type in the world, far larger than Georgetown and GW's even though AU undergrad is half the size of GW. There are more courses and more faculty in International Studies than at either of the two schools, and far fewer adjunct faculty.

    At GW, more than two-thirds of the student body are in liberal arts and in engineering, with a significant portion in the sciences. The business school isn't nearly as good as AU's. There are fewer than half the number of studies in international relations.

    Georgetown more closely parallels an Ivy-like liberal arts university (think Penn), but with more international relations offerings.
  • carman788carman788 Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    I live in the area and actually had the opportunity of visiting all three about a month ago. The DC college experience is definitely something I'm going to look at. I can genuinely say that ALL three college experiences were completely different. I was thrown off by how different each experience was -- you feel like you're in three different cities, in fact.

    The other similar aspect is the relative affluence of the student body. This is not to say that Georgetown, GWU, and American are full of wealthy individuals, but it goes without sayin that there are many. We're talking about three of the most expensive schools in the country, with GWU once being the MOST expensive.

    The educational experience was the most similar. GTown, GWU, and American are strong schools for the Government/International Studies field, in that order. All have dedicated schools for that and are very well involved. If you come to DC with the intention of studying medicine and science, the experience varies (for example, American is really not that much of a school suited for the medicine type, you know?).

    The experience varies when it comes to campuses. Yes, that's right.

    Georgetown is an 84-acre campus, cramped on the western side of DC, near affluent brownstones and the Georgetown shopping area. It's crowded but very nice, very prestigious indeed. I was on the campus for an hour tour and I can say with gusto that "cramped" isn't a bad thing. The feel of Georgetown is unlike any other, it is pretty and unbelievably beautiful in its own way.

    GWU is a city campus. They're two campuses -- one in the middle of the city near Homeland Security and Embassy Row [Foggy Bottom] and then the other nearer to Georgetown in the Mount Vernon area. Foggy Bottom is where the campus tour and everything takes place, and it feels like you live in a city. It's very comparable to NYU in that you will find yourself walking from building to building, surrounded by corporate professionals on their way to work and others roaming the city. It doesn't really have a "campus" feel to it.

    American is located nearer to Maryland, actually, in the very affluent Massachusetts Avenue neighborhood. It's slightly bigger than Georgetown, but undeniably feels smaller since it is in a more remote part of the city. You can literally walk through the campus in about 10 minutes. Their "South" campus is literally right next to "North" campus and American's "downtown" area is literally a 10th of a mile strip underneath a major building. American is very personal, though. When I visited, I felt like they cared more about me than any others. And American's academic choices -- notably the fact that one can enroll in any school upon acceptance rather than have to apply to a specific school -- are the most unique in the DC area.

    Being someone living in the area, I can say that all three schools are beautiful, but all are different at the same time! It's a surprise -- a pleasant one, though.
  • aaron21aaron21 Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
    "At GW, more than two-thirds of the student body are in liberal arts and in engineering, with a significant portion in the sciences."

    I disagree, GW is by far mostly Political Science, IR, etc. In fact the Engineering school seems to be struggling with low numbers. GW does however include many sciences that are non-existent at American.
  • aaron21aaron21 Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
    I was in your exact shoes last year. I knew I wanted DC, so I spent the summer at programs at all 3 schools, which allowed me to experience each school.

    I agree that they all have different atmospheres, which makes them unique. If you ask different people you will get many different responses, so make sure you ask people from all around. (For example, the Georgetown board will surely favor GTown, and for the record, I will be at GW after applying ED).

    I ended up choosing GW because I felt it fit my personality the best. I enjoy the being in the city and didn't want to be limited by a campus gate. It seemed that their learning philosophy fit my goals.

    I would be happy to give more of my insight on the schools. Feel free to post or message me any questions you have.
  • clg210clg210 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    I'll preface my remarks by reiterating aaron's point that people on this board are likely to be more pro-Georgetown than people elsewhere, so be sure that you do your research both on and off of CC, check out the other threads on this topic, and visit as many times as you feel you need to in order to make an informed decision about where to apply and then attend, especially since you are local.

    First off, mini...a couple questions. Can you tell me where you are getting your information about the size of SIS at AU relative to GWU's Elliott School and G'town's Walsh SFS? Are you counting enrollment at AU campuses overseas? To the OP, even if there is a size difference, it is not that great, and frankly, the higher ranking of Georgetown and probably GWU as well outweighs any resources that the larger size of AU's SIS may offer you. But again, all great schools, and the size and ranking is really a technicality as far as I'm concerned. Also, BusinessWeek ranks GW's undergrad business school at #51. American's business school isn't even on its list of the top ~110 schools.

    OP, I think your impressions of the various schools and campuses are largely correct. You are correct that American is very concerned with students having a personalized experience...lots of contact with faculty advisors, etc. from the time of matriculation. Clearly, you have a solid understanding of what each school has to offer and what its advantages and disadvantages are. Just choose what feels right for you! Easier said than done, I know.
  • WCASParentWCASParent Registered User Posts: 2,099 Senior Member
    Only a visit to all three can give you a feel for where you'd be happiest.
    Academically speaking, the three schools are not in the same tier. Georgetown is clearly superior to the other two (and the other two are pretty darn good).
    However, a 30 ACT is on the low side for GU.
    Bottom line: if you like the idea of going to college in DC, you should apply to all three and see what your options are when decisions come in.
  • carman788carman788 Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    Yeah, the feel for all three universities was definitely different but all are worth considering and none gave me a wrong feel. I have the general feeling that IF you like the idea of DC, if you like the idea of what DC has to offer, you will be a fit for ALL three of these schools. Without a question.

    I love DC, I live close to it and having been to many cities across the country, I can say that DC probably only rivals Boston when it comes to cleanliness, a balance of culture, etc. etc.
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    "First off, mini...a couple questions. Can you tell me where you are getting your information about the size of SIS at AU relative to GWU's Elliott School and G'town's Walsh SFS? Are you counting enrollment at AU campuses overseas?"

    From their respective websites.

    AU's Business School was ranked 28th in 2009, four places below Georgetown's and more than 20 places ahead of GWs. This year, they didn't turn in enough student surveys to be ranked. (They didn't drop 100 places in one year.)

    "GW is by far mostly Political Science, IR, etc. In fact the Engineering school seems to be struggling with low numbers."

    Didn't say anything about Poli Sci. at GW, they are in the liberal arts. AU they are in the schools of public affairs and communications. But I stand by what I said about IR - you can check the numbers yourself.
  • aaron21aaron21 Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
    According to wikipedia:

    Elliott School of International Affairs (GW) = 2105 undergrads
    School of International Service (AU) = 1485 undergrads

    Elliott School of International Affairs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    School of International Service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Still looking for an official source so if you can find updates stats, please post.

    I think mini's point is that at GW, Poli Sci majors are part of the Colombian College of Arts and Sciences whereas at AU they are in their own school. I would not consider them to be Liberal Arts, just in the Arts and Sciences school. I don't think the location of the program matters a whole lot, but its worth looking in to.
  • hec2008hec2008 Registered User Posts: 550 Member
    I am also interested in the relevance of the size of the undergraduate program and question its coloration to the quality of the education. Is size measured by undergraduate population, resources, course offerings?
This discussion has been closed.