One of the most common questions that I am asked is, "How can I afford college?". While financial aid in the form of scholarships and loans will make up the most of your aid package, you can manipulate this number in one easy way. If college affordablity is a really large factor for you, consider applying to colleges where you fall into the top 10-15% of the admissions class. You are much more likely to receive significant aid from those schools who are looking to recruit you. Those "reach" schools probably have many applicants who match or exceed your qualifications and will not be able to send as much aid in your direction. Consider the admissions information provided by College Board and Collegedata when you apply to help increase your chance for aid. As always, The Right Fit College can help you with finding more sources for aid as you start your college search.
I recently returned from a trip to D.C. to visit some campuses on the East Coast. It has been a while since I have made my way to the area and I was excited to visit some of the school's I recommend in the area. I will include a few highlights here.
George Washington University
Located just of the National Mall, GWU is surrounded by great restaurants, entertainment and important Government Offices. This urban campus is constantly busy, including during the thunderstorm I encountered during my visit. You can find some quiet corners, but this definitely not a "sleepy campus". With just about 10,000 undergrads and another 7,000 graduate students, this is a mid-sized campus. I always look at the percentage of freshman who return as a sign of the campus' support and quality and with 94% of students returning for a second year, GWU is among the top schools for student retention. While not necessarily known for their sciences, GWU does offer several science degrees and offers engineering programs in many disciplines. As can be assumed by its proximity to Capitol, the most popular majors fall in the field of the social sciences. The school feels diverse and although there is no Freshman residency requirement, most students elect to live on campus and it owuld be considered a residential campus. Students are well connected to political internships and opportunities to get involved, which makes it a great school for those interested in government.
Somewhat smaller than GWU, Georgetown has just 7,500 undergraduates, with an almost equal number of graduate students. Although not directly linked to a metro stop, Georgetown is easily accessible by major bus lines, which can connect you to DC's efficient metro system. The Department of International Affairs with both undergraduate and graduate programs is one of the best of the nation and just like with GWU, they highlight their connections to the DC "movers and shakers". While GWU felt more like a city with a campus, Georgetown had more of a campus feel, although it was no less busy than GWU. Although a Jesuit school, the diverse campus is welcoming to students of all faiths. I find this common with moth of the Jesuit schools, although I know that some students can be put off by any connection to religion. Georgetown encourages this diversity by offering generous financial aid which meets the need of its applicants.
Other universities to consider would be American University- also located in D.C.,