Last Updated: September 08, 2021
District of Columbia - The Federal District
Washington D.C, or Washington, or the district of Columbia is the capital city and is situated in the northwest corner of the United States of America. It was named after the first president of America, George Washington, and the famous explorer Christopher Columbus. It was founded on July 16, in the year 1790. The estimated population of the city in the year 2021 is around 700,000. What makes D.C. interesting is that it is neither a state, nor exactly a city, but a district that functions as a state with its own set of rules and regulations. The city experiences a fairly mild climate with all four seasons, spring being the most favorable among all the four, although winters are often mild, with more rain than snow.
Being the capital of the USA, and having around 175+ foreign embassies, the city has the world's finest higher education system, with education programs in every field. The city is an excellent choice for international students and various professionals who are looking for high-quality and affordable education. D.C contains some of the World's best universities like Georgetown University, Howard University, and George Washington University. Various universities, companies, and research institutions attract and provide higher education through educational exchange programs or direct enrollment.
The city provides education of every level including bachelor's, master's, etc. with both part-time and full-time courses, making it easy by providing various options for students. Washington is also famous for its medical research institutions such as Washington Hospital Center and the Children's National Medical Center.
- The average annual household income in the District of Columbia is $77,649.
- The District of Columbia is almost evenly bifurcated into the Black and White communities, and a slight difference in the average household income is generally noticed (with a lower average household income for the black community).
- With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the job market and economy were in complete chaos not just influencing the US alone, but the entire world. The unemployment rate is greater than the national average and is about 7.0%. Despite the situation, the economy is slowly flourishing with the comeback of several federal government jobs.
- Federal Government, Professional Services, Hospitality and Tourism, Health Care & Life Sciences, International Business, Higher Education, Real Estate, Retail, Technology are major economic sectors in Washington DC.
- Major Fortune 500 companies in Greater Washington DC are Danaher Corporation, Fannie Mae, Amtrak, FTI Consulting, Lockheed Martin, Capital One, Marriott International, and so on.
Tuition Fee and Living Cost in the District of Columbia
- Most of the top universities in the District of Columbia charge an average amount of about $50,000 or more, which signifies that affording quality education can be on the less affordable side for students who belong to humble backgrounds.
- However, just like most states in the US, the District of Columbia also provides various grants and scholarship programs for undergraduates and graduates so that education can be more affordable.
- The cost of education is not the only factor to be considered when living in the country's capital city. The cost of living in D.C. can be highly expensive especially as a student.
- Washington D.C. might not be as expensive as New York, but in the year 2020, it was considered the fourth most expensive place in the country.
- The cost of living in the District of Columbia is a lot higher than the national average, especially in terms of housing, transportation, and groceries. However, healthcare services are comparatively lesser.
List of Few Major Universities/Colleges
Being the capital of the United States of America, students all over the country and even across the world may seem intrigued to pursue higher education in the District of Columbia. It is also seen as a sign of prestige very often, because of the top universities situated here that reflect a legacy of academic brilliance. It is also highly reputed for the plethora of opportunities they offer in terms of jobs, internship, and research. Some of the best universities/colleges in Washington D.C. are:
- Georgetown University One of the oldest in the nation, Georgetown University is a private institution established in the year 1789. It was founded by a bishop named John Carroll and was initially known as Georgetown College. Despite being a Jesuit institution, the university does not compromise on the diversity of students within the campus. Students here are taught not just to ace examinations, but also to build character, with a greater focus on mental well-being. The various schools within the university are, Georgetown College, Robert E. McDonough School of Business, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown Law, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Health Studies, School of Continuing Studies, and McCourt School of Public Policy. The university also offers various scholarship programs for financially disadvantaged undergraduates, with an award amount of up to $60,000.
- George Washington University This is the largest university in the District of Columbia and was established on the 9th of February, 1821. It is situated in the downtown area of Washington D.C. There are more than 31,000 undergraduates and postgraduates enrolled in this institution from the country, and across 130 countries. It is widely acclaimed as an institution that produces leaders and thinkers out of its students, that is, the focus is not just on academic merit but also on developing the best skills and qualities required for a promising future. The university boasts of leading experts, diplomats, Pulitzer Prize winners, and supreme court justices as faculty offering the best to guide young minds of this institution. Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb, was a faculty here.
- Howard University This is another one of the best universities in the District of Columbia. It is a private university established to promote quality education among the African-American community. The university was founded in the year 1867. It has 13 schools and colleges under it in areas of Arts, Business, Communications, Dentistry, Divinity, Education, Engineering, Architecture, Fine Arts, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Work. However, it is popular for its strong programs in STEM fields. One of the mottos of Howard University is to get involved in truth and service. The university promotes this motto not just with words, but also through the actions of the many students who actively participate in community services within the city, as well as across the globe. Famous Pulitzer Prize-winner and author, Toni Morrison, is one of the notable alumni of the institution.
- Catholic University of America This is a private university with an evidently Catholic affiliation. Despite having a religious affinity towards various institutional goals, the university welcomes students from all religious backgrounds. The Catholic University of America was founded in the year 1887, by the Bishops of the US, and former Pope Leo XIII. The campus is known for its beautiful and vibrant setting and has more than 6,300 students. The university has more than 250 programs available. It majorly focuses on quality teaching and research, promoting individualized teaching, maximizing interaction and bonding between students and teachers. The institution also offers several extracurricular activities and events for students to participate in, as they strongly aim for the full-fledged development of students.
Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students
Affording higher education in the District of Columbia can be daunting considering the cost of living, and the overall educational cost. With the required understanding of the various grants and scholarship programs offered for students, pursuing the desired educational goal will not be much of a problem. Given below are some of the grants and scholarships offered for students. Students must apply for the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before applying for any specific scholarship program.
- DC Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG): This is the most popular grant provided to students regardless of their in-state or out-of-state status. The award amount for this program is up to $10,000. Out-of-state students need to establish residency in D.C. a year before enrolling in an institution. Eligibility requirements for students include not being older than 24 years, not having previous student loans, maintaining a satisfactory score as required by the institution, and demonstrating a certain level of financial need.
- Horatio Alger District of Columbia, Maryland & Virginia Scholarship Program: This is a scholarship program based on financial need, and it is offered to students across the country, including the residents of the District of Columbia. To be qualified for this scholarship, the students need to procure transcripts, a letter of recommendation, and prove that they have overcome significantly adverse situations by explaining it through a detailed essay. The student will also be evaluated based on overall personality, participation in community services, and also the level of financial requirements. Students should also be US citizens, belong to an accredited private or public institution (2-year or 4-year), and secure a minimum of 2.0. GPA out of 4.0. The award amount may vary from $7,000 to $10,000.
- Federal Pell Grant: This is a grant offered by the federal government to undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need and have not yet earned a bachelor's, graduate, or any professional degree. To be eligible the candidate must be a citizen of the United States, and not be convicted of any criminal offense, and must plan to pursue a full-time or part-time degree program in an accredited institution. The grant money can be up to $5,000.
- AFCEA Washington, DC Chapter Scholarship: This is a scholarship program offered by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, to assist students pursuing education in STEM fields. To be eligible students must take up majors like engineering, mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, cybersecurity, communications, and so on, from an accredited four-year institution on a full-time basis. The student should also be a permanent resident of D.C., actively participate in extracurricular activities, and produce a two-page letter of recommendation describing why the candidate is eligible for the scholarship. The award amount is $12,000.
Apart from being well-known as the nation's capital and a place with a rich history, the District of Columbia is also acclaimed as a place brimming with opportunities, cultural, social, and religious diversity, an outstanding education system, and of course, the White House. But Washington D.C. is not limited to just the White House in terms of popular tourist destinations. It includes places like the United States Capitol and Capitol Hill, National Air and Space Museum, The Washington Monument, the National Gallery of Art, Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin, the International Spy Museum, Washington National Cathedral, and more. Iconic must-try dishes available in D.C. are Saganaki, Avocado Toast, Steak, Pumpkin Curry, etc.
Universities & Colleges in District Of Columbia
*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
- Recommended program (Top 250)