I'm writing this review to advise students to know what they are getting themselves into by going to GWU. This is not a typical college, and if you are looking for a typical college experience, I would highly suggest looking elsewhere. This might seem like a rant, but it is my opinion of GW and I don't want someone else to be in my situation. I've spoken with a lot of people here and many agree that they don't love GW, and in some cases hate it but put up with it because it has a good name. The select few who are accustomed to the GW lifestyle love it, but I would honestly say the majority of people who go here don't love it...they put up with it.
The campus is primarily what sets GW apart from other colleges. This can either be good, or bad. Essentially, there is no campus. You will find that your classes are generally in the same area, but range from K street to E street, and between 23rd and 20th. There are maybe 2-3 small areas of grass where you can sit outside and do work or relax, but this type of space is limited. If you are an urbanite and love the city life, GW is for you. If you've never lived in a city before, it can be difficult. For the most part, the general area in which the school buildings are located is well-kept but there are a multitude of homeless people who like to take advantage of any grassy, quiet area even if it is on "campus".
The People Here:
If you live on the east coast and are thinking of going to GW, you'll fit in fine. Coming from the west coast (CO) I found the people here to be polar opposites from what I was accustomed to. Essentially, if don't own a pair of boat shoes, polo brand clothing, salmon shorts and pastel v-necks and some lacoste sweaters for the winter, you won't fit in. Everything here is about status so it is unheard of to leave your room wearing sweatpants and a hoodie. God forbid you might look poor. My class had 50% of people rush for frats or sororities so that also defines the population here well. The majority of people are snobby and it is rare to find down-to-earth people. Other than that, everyone is fairly open-minded when it comes to accepting people of all different backgrounds (unless you're poor). But if you lie and pretend to be rich, you'll be set.
Classes: The classes here are excellent. I have absolutely no complaints about my professors and their qualifications. GW does an incredible job of hiring qualified, english speaking professors. Technology at the school is also up-to-date. The majority of lecture hall classes have the classes recorded and put on itunes so you can listen to lecture later if you miss a class or just need to go back and review something. My econ class also had a video of the screen put on itunes for each class so that was great for graphs and formulas and whatnot. If you go to class, and get your work done, you will learn a lot!
Dorms: Dorms here are pretty nice. Some are old, but they are still decent. Freshmen dorms are usually the worst because they are smaller and don't have kitchens in the room, and sometimes you have to share a bathroom, but once you are a sophomore and up, the dorms are pretty good. Off-campus housing is a bit tricky. Housing in DC is so incredibly expensive (but so are the dorms) so sometimes it is practical to live off "campus" but most people stay on campus all four years. My friend is renting a one bedroom apartment in the neighborhood with small kitchen and living room and it is $2000 a month...which is a great price for the area.
What I don't like about GW.
There really is no cafeteria. Regardless of what they tell you about J Street (our "cafeteria") it is not good at all. There is no variety in the food and they only have maybe 4 main options for what you want to get to eat. There is the chinese food, an indian place, a diner where you can get a hamburger or chicken fingers, and then a hot bar with one main entree option that rarely changes. One time it was tacos for a week. They give you about $1000 per semester freshman year to spend at restaurants that are on Gworld (a limited number) but this amount gets decreased every year, and by senior year it is almost $0. There is one grocery store on Gworld (whole foods) so you're limited that way as well. Overall, food is so frustrating to get here IMHO and you are lucky to find lunch for under $10 and dinner for under $12-13.
I am a sophomore and still haven't found a good group of friends to hang out with. It is hard to fit in if you don't have daddy's credit card to spend frivolously on $5.00 starbucks drinks three times a day and on designer clothes.
There really is no campus. Its pretty much real life living in the city and going to school.
There are no decent athletics. We supposedly have a basketball team, but I've never met anyone who has gone to a game. No football on the weekends, like I said-this is not your typical college experience.
Everyone talks politics when they're drunk at a party. (comes with going to college in DC)
Transportation is sometimes easy with the metro, but the price of parking pretty much inhibits anyone from having a car. Parking right now is about $175/month whether you get it through the school or a parking company or your apartment.
The only grocery store on gworld is wholefoods. Safeway went out of business and trader joes is in georgetown and not on gworld so you have to use "real money"I just want college to be over. I wanted to enjoy college and experience growing up, but I don't feel like that is happening at GW. GW was not the right fit for me and GPAC (look it up on the gw website) prevented me from transferring because I repeated all the classes I had AP credits in so it put me a semester behind when I tried to transfer.