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2022 best colleges in Washington D.C. best-colleges

Washington D.C. has a number of excellent private colleges and universities, an exceptional nightlife, and tons of employment opportunities. While the University of the District of Columbia is the only public university in D.C., the D.C. Tuition Assistance Program (DCTAG) helps to defray the cost of public universities outside of D.C. This provides D.C. residents a unique opportunity in receiving reduced tuitions at public universities across the states, though the cost will usually remain somewhat higher than enjoyed by in-state residents. 

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Net cost: The median annual cost of all students that receive any aid. This does not refer to the “sticker price”, the price listed by the college.

Earnings: The median earnings of all bachelor-level students 10 years after enrollment. This includes both students that do and do not graduate, across all majors.

Payback: The amount of time in years it takes to pay off the median net cost by the median earnings. For this calculation, the median earning of high school graduates (in the school’s home state) are deducted from the median earnings.

Degree premium: The difference between the school’s median earnings and the median earnings for all schools in the same state. This is called “Vs. state average” in school profiles below.

Ranking: The payback rate is divided by the degree premium (set as a percentage), the lower the number the higher the rank. (i.e. payback=1, degree premium 20% higher than state school median: 1/120% = .883.

Net cost
Earnings
Payback
Degree premium
Rankings
Ranking methodology
#1 in District of Columbia

Georgetown University

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: 17%

Grad rate: 94%

Net cost: $28,909

Payback: 1.6 Years

Earnings: $96,375

Vs. state average: + $47,089

Economic score: 0.82

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#2 in District of Columbia

George Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: 44%

Grad rate: 81%

Net cost: $33,719

Payback: 2.4 Years

Earnings: $80,606

Vs. state average: + $31,320

Economic score: 1.47

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#3 in District of Columbia

The Catholic University of America

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: 83%

Grad rate: 75%

Net cost: $34,230

Payback: 2.9 Years

Earnings: $71,804

Vs. state average: + $22,518

Economic score: 1.97

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#4 in District of Columbia

American University

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: 39%

Grad rate: 79%

Net cost: $43,451

Payback: 3.6 Years

Earnings: $71,933

Vs. state average: + $22,647

Economic score: 2.47

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#5 in District of Columbia

Howard University

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: 39%

Grad rate: 63%

Net cost: $41,289

Payback: 5.3 Years

Earnings: $56,236

Vs. state average: + $6,950

Economic score: 4.67

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#6 in District of Columbia

Gallaudet University

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: 63%

Grad rate: 57%

Net cost: $14,595

Payback: 6.5 Years

Earnings: $33,841

Vs. state average: - $15,445

Economic score: 9.43

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#7 in District of Columbia

Trinity Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: 96%

Grad rate: 32%

Net cost: $14,396

Payback: 3.3 Years

Earnings: $43,669

Vs. state average: - $5,617

Economic score: 3.67

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#8 in District of Columbia

University of the District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: 25%

Net cost: $15,894

Payback: 4.7 Years

Earnings: $39,326

Vs. state average: - $9,960

Economic score: 5.88

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Wesley Theological Seminary

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: N/A

Net cost: N/A

Payback: N/A

Earnings: N/A

Vs. state average: N/A

Economic score: N/A

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University of the District of Columbia-David A Clarke School of Law

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: N/A

Net cost: N/A

Payback: N/A

Earnings: $39,326

Vs. state average: - $9,960

Economic score: N/A

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Institute of World Politics

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: N/A

Net cost: N/A

Payback: N/A

Earnings: N/A

Vs. state average: N/A

Economic score: N/A

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The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Washington DC

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: N/A

Net cost: N/A

Payback: N/A

Earnings: $52,835

Vs. state average: + $3,549

Economic score: N/A

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