Columbia (D.C.): Colleges, Universities and Technical Schools

Jul 28, 2020

The District of Columbia area provides prospective applicants with a number of options to choose from, which includes small and large colleges and universities. We will compare some of the public and private non-profit traditional schools with the highest undergraduate enrollment, among other stats, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES).

Closest Schools to the District of Columbia

Of the 16 colleges and universities in Washington DC, all are within five miles of the downtown area. Those closest to downtown include four private institutions and one public university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of areas.

  • Howard University (0.9 miles from downtown)
  • Gallaudet University (1.5 miles from downtown)
  • George Washington University (1.7 miles from downtown)
  • Trinity Washington University (2.4 miles from downtown)
  • University of the District of Columbia (2.9 miles from downtown)

Largest Schools in the District of Columbia

Some of the largest schools in the area had more than 15,000 students, as of fall 2018. Most of these institutions are 4-year private schools. However, the University of the District of Columbia is a 4-year public school similarly offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs to potential students.

  • George Washington University (28,172 students)
  • Georgetown University (19,204 students)
  • American University (14,311 students)
  • Howard University (9,139 students)
  • University of the District of Columbia (4,244 students)

Lowest Net Price

Generally speaking, the cost of attending a university in and around the District of Columbia is typically higher than what is normally found in more suburban and rural areas. That being said, being able to prepare for the overall cost of college can help prospective applicants get ahead of the game. Luckily, the NCES provides the average net price paid by students attending institutions throughout the country. The following are some of the D.C. universities with the lowest average net price for full-time undergraduates in 2018-2019:

  • Gallaudet University ($15,639)
  • Trinity Washington University ($15,738)
  • University of the District of Columbia ($15,886)
  • Howard University ($21,428)
  • Georgetown University ($38,829)

Highest Graduation Rate

Graduation rates can be a good indication of the type of commitment that students have when it comes to completing their program of choice. The NCES determines graduation rates for 4-year schools by calculating the number of students who have received their degrees within six years of their start date. The following are some of the schools with highest graduation rates for full-time undergraduates who graduated in 2018:

  • Georgetown University (95% graduation rate)
  • George Washington University (82% graduation rate)
  • American University (79% graduation rate)
  • Howard University (65% graduation rate)
  • Gallaudet University (51% graduation rate)

We've aggregated a multitude of schools into four categories, including lowest net price and largest student population, to help you make a well-informed decision about which school in the District of Columbia might be the best suited to your college needs.

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