Thursday, February 15, 2007
George Washington University Raises Tuition to $39,000.
The school already has the dubious distinction of being the most expensive college in America.

And it is about to raise tuition again for the 2007-2008 school year.

This will push the total cost of attendance to $54,000 a year, including room, board, fees, and personal allowances. GW does provide financial aid, but the average need-based package was less than $32,000 for 2006-2007. Assuming the need-based aid package increases dollar-for-dollar with the tuition increase, that's still a shortfall of $20,000 every year before merit aid is accounted for.

The school does promise to hold tuition steady for an enrolled student for five years, and the need-based package is also guaranteed not to fall. However, $80,000 out of pocket strikes me as a lot for a school that ISN'T the best-ranked by most measures.

Does anyone have any insight into the value of GW for the price? I did apply there for undergrad, and was offered a half-tuition package, but it was still far too expensive even then.



Blogger English Major said...

Eh--seems to me you can go to better schools for less money. A quick search turns up a student:faculty ratio of 13:1, which leads me to believe that the extra money's being spent on things other than providing an awesome academic experience. The runner-up, the University of Richmond (also a large university), has a student:faculty ratio of 9:1, and of course, the Ivy and liberal arts colleges listed are all in the neighborhood of 6-8:1.

Though rankings are, of course, profoundly flawed, the U.S. News & World Report, in particular, uses factors like endowment, reputation, facilities, and graduation rates to try to portray some of the non-academic benefits of attending a school, and GWU doesn't even crack the top 50. I think every other school listed is a top-tier school.

So...this one gets an "eh" from me. I'd be perfectly happy, as a parent, to pay top-tier rates for a top-tier school. But to pay the highest tuition in the country for a school underperforming its lower-priced competitors? I'll pass (unless my kid passionately wanted more than anything to be involved in politics as a college student, and even then, what's wrong with Georgetown?).

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still find it shocking how many schools like GW, and tiny private "liberal arts" colleges charge. Many of these places get no cache from employers, aren't the best instruction, depth of alumni networks, etc...and have the gall to charge far more than places that can. Just silly.

Blogger mapgirl said...

These are all guesses of mine living in DC and having friends who went to GW. DC has strong unions and has to compete against the government for benefits packages. Unlike a lot of small liberal arts colleges, they also run a teaching hospital, which is likely a bit of a drain. Since the campus is scattered and spread out, they probably have shuttles to run staff and supplies around campus.

But I can't really say that any of those things are the point without looking at the university's balance sheet and comparing it to other schools.

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