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The colleges and universities of Washington, DC, are an elite and influential group, close to the seat of government and tied to power. Almost all of DC’s best value colleges and universities are values because of what they have to offer – some of the strongest connections for graduates outside of the Ivy League. 

Public Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC

  • Inter-American Defense College
  • National Intelligence University
  • University of the District of Columbia

Private Colleges and Universities in Washington, DC 

  • American University
  • Catholic University of America
  • Gallaudet University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Howard University
  • Institute of World Politics
  • Trinity Washington University
  • University of the Potomac
  • Washington Theological Union
  • Wesley Theological Seminary

Higher Education Value and Influence in the District 

The compact city of Washington DC, the U.S. capital, packs a punch with twenty colleges and universities listed under the Carnegie Classification of Institutes of Higher Education. Lining the same streets as the Capitol building, the White House, and the Supreme court are twenty private and public colleges and universities from the undergraduate to professional levels. Of the twenty colleges in the district, five are research institutions, four are master’s universities, and there are ten special-focus institutions. Of the more prestigious universities, Washington DC is home to American University and the Columbus School of Law. There are also two historically black colleges and universities, both members of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, an organization which supports 47 historically black colleges in the United States through funding opportunities. Those colleges are Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia.

Best Online Colleges in DC

The District’s universities are best known for their advances in medical research, as seen at the Washington Hospital Center and National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, both of which partner with the areas three medical schools: George Washington University, Georgetown University, and Howard University. The Higher Education Financial Services office for Washington DC aims to make “earning a postsecondary degree easier for students by minimizing the overall cost of attending and enrolling in higher education.” As a public service to its residents, Washington DC offers eligible residents a grant of up to $10,000 annually to offset the cost of tuition at any public university in the country. Additionally, residents wishing to attend a two-year private institution in the District, or a public two-year institution nationwide, may be eligible for an annual $2500 to put towards tuition costs.


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