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2021 Best Colleges for the Money in District of Columbia

7 Colleges
$41,125 Avg Cost*
4.4 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

There are lots of options to chooose from today when trying to decide which college to attend. At College Factual, we're committed to helping you make that decision by providing information such as that found in our Best Value District of Columbia Schools ranking.

Our analysis looked at 7 schools to determine which ones were the best for overall value in District of Columbia. This ranking doesn't just identify the colleges with the lowest costs. Rather, it highlights those institutions that offer excellent educational experiences for a lower cost than other schools of roughly the same caliber. So it is possible that College A may rank better than College B, while College B is less expensive to attend.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

Our average cost calculation adds up all expenses, such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses, and then subtracts the average financial aid awarded to a student. This gives a rough estimation of how much money you can expect to pay out-of-pocket or through loans each year.

Custom Rankings

We've developed a number of other tools and rankings to help you make your college decision. Start by filtering this list by location or field of study and then explore our other rankings that feature schools great for different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Top Colleges for the Money in District of Columbia

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Gallaudet University

Washington, District of Columbia

Gallaudet University tops this year’s ranking as the best school for overall value in District of Columbia. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Washington, District of Columbia, and it awarded 200 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Gallaudet is 4.5 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $20,440. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet is about $92,798. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

With a student-to-faculty rate of 7 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed.

Full Gallaudet University Report

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#2

Howard University

Washington, District of Columbia

A rank of #2 on our Best Colleges for the Money in District of Columbia list means Howard University is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Washington, District of Columbia is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,353 students in 2018-2019.

The average student at Howard graduates in less than 4.3 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $29,620. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Howard is $127,366. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty rate of 8 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Howard is ranked #5 for overall quality in District of Columbia.

Full Howard University Report

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#3

Georgetown University

Washington, District of Columbia

Out of the 7 schools in District of Columbia that were part of this year’s ranking, Georgetown University landed the #3 spot on the list. Washington, District of Columbia is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 2,169 students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Georgetown is 4.1 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $59,413. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown be around $241,217. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.2%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Georgetown also took the #1 spot in our Best Colleges in District of Columbia rankings.

Full Georgetown University Report

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#4

George Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia

A rank of #4 on our Best Colleges for the Money in District of Columbia list means George Washington University is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. GWU is a private not-for-profit institution located in Washington, District of Columbia. The school has a large population, and it awarded 3,447 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at GWU is 4.1 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $53,016. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the GWU is $218,956. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 91%. GWU also made our Best Colleges in District of Columbia list, coming in at #2.

Read full report on George Washington University

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#5

Catholic University of America

Washington, District of Columbia

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Catholic University of America helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for the money in District of Columbia. CUA is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school situated in Washington, District of Columbia. It awarded 830 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at CUA about 4.1 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $46,863. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from CUA is $193,076. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 2.5%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. CUA did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #4 on our Best Colleges in District of Columbia list.

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#6

American University

Washington, District of Columbia

American University ranked #6 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in District of Columbia list. Washington, District of Columbia is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,952 students in 2018-2019.

The average student at The American University graduates in less than 4.6 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $52,778. This means that the average student pays around $243,307 to get a bachelor’s degree from The American University. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.8%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The American University did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #3 on our Best Colleges in District of Columbia list.

Full American University Report

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#7

Trinity Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia

Trinity Washington University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in District of Columbia ranking, coming in at #7. Trinity Washington University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Washington, District of Columbia that handed out 276 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Trinity College is 5.0 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $25,747. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College is $127,705. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 7 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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