Access & Success


Our campus community at GW is composed of students from across the country and all over the world. Each student brings their own life experiences and family history along with them, creating a diverse environment. We welcome and encourage this diversity and are excited about the knowledge and perspective that it adds to the campus experience for everyone.

Across GW, we look for opportunities to create and sustain a diverse student body. From the admissions perspective, we are working to reduce barriers during the application process, like being test-optional since 2015, and working with partners to bring the best and brightest students from all backgrounds to our campus. On the financial aid front, we are increasing aid to students with the most need. For our current students, we offer a variety of support services, including academic tutoring and mental and physical health services, plus a plethora of student organizations and spaces to support students from a variety of backgrounds.




Skye Blanks in front of Big Ben in London


"Once I found my community after being invited to a First Friday Dinner, hosted by the Division of Student Affairs and First Gen United, I knew I belonged! Having a group of people to relate to common challenges but also assist with tips and opportunities is invaluable and has helped me succeed here at GW."

Skye Blanks
Class of 2021, International Affairs

First-Generation Students


We know that first-generation students thrive in colleges that recognize their unique identities and provide support through services that embrace their cultural perspectives. That’s why at GW we are working to increase support services for our first-generation students. Along with various student organizations, GW’s Office of Student Life holds weekly office hours for first-generation students in addition to monthly dinners and other outreach programs.



Campus Visits

GW partners with community-based organizations to provide campus visits, mentoring, and college readiness workshops throughout the year.



Cisneros Institute

Funded by a GW alumnus and his wife, the institute offers a pre-college program to high-school juniors, with consideration given to students of Hispanic heritage who are committed to leadership and service within the Hispanic community. Incoming students may apply to join Cisneros Scholars, a program run by the Institute that supports GW students committed to leadership and community service for the Hispanic community.



College Application Week Workshops

Every year, members of the GW admissions staff visit D.C. public schools to participate in College Application Week activities, such as application workshops, financial aid discussions and question-and-answer sessions.



Test-Optional Policy

We do not require applicants to submit standardized test scores, except in select circumstances. The best indication of whether a student will be successful at GW is their performance in high school. This has always been the most important part of the application process at GW and this will not change, regardless of whether you choose to submit scores.




Posse Foundation 

In partnership with the Posse Foundation, a nationwide college access and youth leadership development program, a group of students from Atlanta with extraordinary academic and leadership potential is offered full tuition to the university.



Dual Enrollment with DCPS

GW partners with D.C. public schools to provide full tuition dual enrollment opportunities through the GW Early College Program. Students complete their final two years of high school while earning an Associate of Arts degree from GW.


Financial Aid 


Financial Aid Opportunities

99% of students with demonstrated need received some form of financial aid through the Office of Student Financial Assistance’s many programs. Our goal is to make a GW education affordable to each admitted student by offering the best possible aid packaged upon admission.



District Scholars

Incoming D.C. students who meet specific residential and income criteria can receive additional university grant funding.



Pell Grants

Federally funded Pell Grants are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional need. Award amounts are determined annually by the US Department of Education and are tied to both the Expected Family Contribution and the student’s enrollment status.



Say Yes to Education

Low- to middle-income students who graduate from public schools in New York and North Carolina can receive full-tuition scholarships to GW through a partnership with the Say Yes to Education foundation.



SJT Scholars 

This annual scholarship awards a handful of D.C.’s most exceptional students with full coverage of tuition, room and board, books and fees.



Yellow Ribbon Fund 

GW proudly participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, where degree-granting institutions can voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs to fund tuition expenses for military veterans.