The Department of Education ranked GW No. 8 among private four-year colleges for highest tuition as part of a new federal initiative to help students and families better understand the cost of college.
GW’s tuition for the 2009-2010 academic year, the year data was compiled, was $41,655, nearly double the national average for private four-year not-for-profit institutions.
Bates College, Connecticut College and Middlebury College took the top three spots respectively.
The Department of Education program also allows students to compare the total expense associated with each college after tuition, books and on-campus housing using the newest numbers available. The estimated real cost of attending GW during the 2010-2011 academic year was $55,625. The costs for other District universities were comparable, with Georgetown costing $56,485 and American University costing $52,065.
“These lists are an important part of the Administration’s work to make college costs more transparent and to boost college affordability and accessibility,” a press release about the rankings reads.
The University has battled its reputation as the most expensive school in the nation since 2007 when it topped multiple lists for its cost of attendance. Administrators have pushed back against this notoriety, citing GW’s locked-in tuition rates. When a student enters GW, their tuition does not increase for five years, which means they will still pay their freshman-year rate while their peers at other institutions face tuition increases annually.
“Our no surprises tuition guarantee helps students and their families plan for and manage college costs and has been well received,” University spokeswoman Candace Smith said in an e-mail. ”The fact that continuing undergraduates do not see any change in their tuition is especially important in this time of economic uncertainty.”
Smith did not respond to questions about how the new ranking affects the University’s expensive stereotype, but warned that many lists oversimplify the costs of college attendance. The Department of Education website recognizes the University’s tuition program with a note on GW’s page, but does not qualify its ranking on the tuition list.