Colleges in Washington DC

If you’re not quite sure about where you want to go to school yet, you might just want to consider our nation’s capital: Washington DC. This area has plenty to offer curious students who are looking to be constantly learning and having fun. DC is also home to some of the best colleges in the United States! Want to learn more about what Washington DC can offer a student like yourself? Keep reading!

Flickr user NCinDC

Top Colleges in Washington DC

  1. Georgetown University
    • Enrollment total: 20,984
    • Acceptance Rate: 12.3%
  2. George Washington University
    • Enrollment total: 25,939
    • Acceptance Rate: 49%
  3. American University
    • Enrollment total: 13,885
    • Acceptance Rate: 41%
  4. The Catholic University of America
    • Enrollment total: 4,968
    • Acceptance Rate: 86%
  5. Howard University
    • Enrollment total: 12,886
    • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  6. Gallaudet University
    • Enrollment total: 1,322
    • Acceptance Rate: 59%
  7. Trinity Washington University
    • Enrollment total: 1,895
    • Acceptance Rate: 97%
  8. See More

Why Go to College in Washington DC

Washington DC has so much to offer students! From the museums to the historical buildings, you will never run out of things to do. And if you want a bit of travel during your downtime, other major cities like New York City are only a train ride away! Here are some of the aspects that make Washington DC a fantastic place to go to school:

History and Education

As the capital of the United States, there are certainly plenty of things to do in the way of history! Just some of the sites you’ll want to plan a visit to during your downtime include the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the Capitol building, Library of Congress, the National Mall, Ford’s Theatre, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, among others.

And when it comes to museums, Washington DC is home to some of the best in the world. The Smithsonians are unmatched and include the Air and Space Museum, American History Museum, American Art Museum, Natural History Museum, and others! In addition to these, you could also see some amazing galleries and exhibits at the National Museum of the Marine Corps or George Washington’s Mount Vernon.


When it comes to art and culture, Washington DC has you covered. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (another Smithsonian) is right next to the National Mall and is regularly rotating its exhibits so there is always something new to see. And if you’re a night owl, you might just be interested in Art All Night: Made in DC. This special event helps showcase the area’s artists and gives you a chance to get involved.

The nation’s capital also has great food and restaurants. Many recommend the area’s Ethiopian restaurants and say to order kitfo (spiced raw beef), vegetarian platters, and tangy injera bread. Other staples include pupusas, Neapolitan pizza, and half-smokes.


Washington DC isn’t all about culture and history, either. There are plenty of fun activities if you want a bit of adventure in the city. Six Flags America is only 15 minutes away from the capital in Bowie, MD. You can even opt for a seasonal pass if you’re thinking about visiting regularly! 

And, of course, we do have to recommend another Smithsonian here: the National Zoo. Visitors can see cheetahs, zebras, otters, bison, elephants, lions, birds, gorillas, and so much more! And with regular demos from the keepers, you can learn more about many of the animals that call the zoo home.

If you need a break from the city, don’t worry. Some amazing hiking trails are just a short drive away. There’s the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park that features sights of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is home to part of the Appalachian Trail. A bit closer is the Prince William Forest Park which has 37 miles of hiking trails on 15,000 acres. 

Paying for Colleges in Washington DC

Washington DC can be an expensive location to go to school, so it’s important to save money where you can. Thankfully, the capital does have several programs for students and residents including:

  • DC Tuition Assistance Grant
  • DC Futures Program
  • OSSE Scholars Summer Enrichment Program
  • Mayor’s Scholars Undergraduate Program
  • United States Presidential Scholars
  • United States Senate Youth Program

For more information about these grants, students should head over to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s website.

Washington DC does not participate in any tuition reciprocity programs since it is not a state. 

Washington DC can be a great place to go to school for the next four years! Home to some of the top schools in the United States, students won’t be disappointed – and they’ll never be bored.

If you think our nation’s capital is the right location for you, it’s time to find your college match! College Raptor makes it easy, too. With our College Match tool, you can uncover the schools that meet your needs and wants. Use it today for free!

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