George Washington University Admission Statistics

Learn About GW and the GPA, SAT Scores, and ACT Scores You'll Need

Science & Engineering Hall, GWU
Hongyuan Zhang/Getty Images

George Washington University has selective admissions with an acceptance rate of 41 percent. Admitted students typically have standardized test scores and grades that are well above average. Students apply to GW using the Common Application, and the application includes an essay and letters of recommendation. SAT score and ACT scores are optional for most applicants.

Why George Washington University?

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Campus Features: Located in Foggy Bottom, near the White House, GW's location supports its international emphasis. Graduation is held on the National Mall. The university recently merged with the Corcoran College of Art and Design.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 13:1
  • Athletics: The George Washington University Colonials compete in the NCAA DIvision I Atlantic 10 Conference.
  • Highlights: GW students come from all 50 states and over 130 countries. They can can choose from over 75 undergraduate majors and 300 study abroad programs. Popular majors include international relations, international business, and political science.

George Washington University Admissions Statistics 2017-18

For students who entered GW in the 2017-18 academic year, the acceptance rate was 41 percent. SAT and ACT scores are not a required part of the admissions process, but many applicants choose to submit them. Below are scores of admitted students organized by score percentile.

SAT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 640 720
Math 640 720
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

As the score ranges reveal, GW students tend to be equally strong in math and English. An average SAT score is a little over 500, so most admitted GW students scored at least 100 points above average.

ACT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 29 34
Math 27 31
Composite 29 32

GW is one of the more selective colleges in the Washington D.C. area. An average ACT score is 21, and most George Washington University students have scores near 30 or higher.

George Washington University GPA, SAT Score, and ACT Score Graph

George Washington University GPA, SAT score, ACT score data for admission
George Washington University GPA, SAT score, ACT score data for admission.  Graph courtesy of Cappex

The GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data in the graph was self-reported by applicants to George Washington University. You can see the real-time graph and calculate your own chances of getting into GW with a free account at Cappex.

Discussion of George Washington University's Admissions Standards

In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. Most admitted students had a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher, an SAT score of 1200 or higher, and an ACT composite score of 26 or higher. Higher test scores and grades obviously improve your chances of getting an acceptance letter.

Note that there are a bunch of red dots (rejected students) and yellow dots (waitlisted students) hidden behind the green and blue of the graph (see below). George Washington is highly selective, so some students with grades and test scores that were on target for admission did not get accepted. Note also that a few students were accepted with test scores and grades a bit below the norm. This is because GW uses the Common Application and has holistic admissions. George Washington University takes into consideration the rigor of your high school courses, your application essays, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. The admissions folks may also give consideration to your demonstrated interest.

As with most selective universities, the most important piece of your application is going to be your academic record. Grades aren't the only determining factor. The admissions folks will want to see that you've challenged yourself with AP, IB, and Honors courses. Also, having more than the minimum requirements in math and a foreign language will strengthen an application. Finally, grades that have an upward rather than a downward trend will make a positive impression.

Rejection and Waitlist Data for GW

George Washington University rejection and waitlist data
George Washington University rejection and waitlist data. Graph courtesy of Cappex 

If we strip away the blue and green data points for accepted students, the reality of a selective university emerges. Many students who had the test scores and grades to be admitted to GW were rejected.

Reasons for these rejections gets back to the nature of a holistic admissions policy. Decisions aren't simply based on numbers. A weak essay or unflattering letter of recommendation could lead to a rejection. GW is looking for students who will contribute to the campus community in meaningful ways, so thin extracurricular involvement could also weaken an application. Also, students who failed to push themselves by taking challenging high school classes are unlikely to be admitted.

More George Washington University Information

GW has a high price tag, but three-quarters of students receive financial aid, and grant awards are often sizable. The debt burden for students is typical of similar universities.

Enrollment (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 27,973 (11,999 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 40 percent male / 60 percent female
  • 91 percent full-time

Costs (2017 - 18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $53,518
  • Books: $1,325 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $13,000
  • Other Expenses: $1,525
  • Total Cost: $69,368

George Washington University Financial Aid (2016 - 17)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 77 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 75 percent
    • Loans: 42 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $29,429
    • Loans: $7,247

Academic Programs

  • Most Popular Majors: Biology, Economics, English, Finance, History, International Business, International Relations, Marketing, Political Science, Psychology
  • What major is right for you? Sign up to take the free "My Careers and Majors Quiz" at Cappex.

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 91 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 73 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 81 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Golf, Squash, Swimming, Baseball, Track and Field, Water Polo, Basketball, Rowing, Soccer, Cross Country
  • Women's Sports: Lacrosse, Volleyball, Water Polo, Track, and Field, Gymnastics, Basketball, Swimming and Diving, Squash, Cross Country, Soccer, Softball, Rowing

If You Like GW, You May Also Like These Schools

 Applicants to George Washington University tend to be attracted to selective private universities such as Johns Hopkins UniversityGeorgetown UniversityBoston University and American University. If you'd like to include some public universities in your application list, the University of Maryland at College Park and University of Virginia are popular with GW applicants.

Data Sources: Graphs courtesy of Cappex; all other data from the National Center for Education Statistics