Its back to school time again! And Washington, DC is not just home to the monuments, memorials, politicians, lawyers, lobbyists, bars, cherry blossoms, museums, nightlife, and everything else that makes the city unique. It’s also home to some of the best schools in the country. Many of the students that come to DC to study stick around after graduation. In fact, according to Forbes, Washington, DC is one of the best cities for new graduates in terms of jobs and mean income after college! Washington, DC is a college town.
Did you know that the largest employer outside of the government in DC is George Washington University (the second is Georgetown University, fifth is Howard University, and 7th and 8th are American and Catholic University)? The Princeton Review has even named three DC schools has being in the top ten college towns.
So lets take a look at some of the best schools in DC and some of the best schools in the country. The schools that help make DC a GREAT place to go to college:
George Washington University
The George Washington University is one of the largest employers in the city and is also one of the largest landowners in the city. It’s the largest school, with even more graduate students than undergrads. It’s also the only school thats really downtown. The State Department, the World Bank, the Red Cross, the IMF and the Federal Reserve are all located just steps off campus. Not to mention the school is just a few blocks from the White House (and one block from our office), GWU is always at the center of whats going on in DC and their students love the access. When big events happen, you can often find GWU students running towards the White House gates to celebrate.
GWU was started in 1821 through an act of Congress and with the help of a donation in George Washington’s will. Its access to the city is undeniable as more students at GW have internships complement their classes than any other DC school. They work for Senators, Congressmen, various government agencies, and even the President. It has a world class hospital that has treated presidents, vice presidents and members of congress for years. And their alumni include names from across the aisle and the country like Harry Reid, Eric Cantor, Jackie Kennedy, Colin Powell, Kerry Washington, Brian Williams, and more.
Take a snap shot of the classic American university, and it would definitely be Georgetown. Its history is undeniable. Founded in 1789, it was the first Jesuit and Catholic university in America and the first college in Washington, DC. After the Civil War, they elected Patrick Francis Healy (the namesake for the beautiful Healy Hall, centerpiece of campus) as their president. Born a slave, he became the first African American president of a major American university. They also changed their colors to their signature blue and gray to represent the reunification of the north and south after the Civil War (gray being the colors of the Confederacy and blue being the color of the Union).
Georgetown is one of the best Universities in the country, with an impressive list of alumni that includes Kings, Queens, and Presidents (like Bill Clinton). They also graduated such major names in politics like Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court, Bob Gates former head of the Defense Department, and former CIA head George Tenet. Not to mention Bradley Cooper, Jim Gaffigan, Pearl Bailey and John Barrymore. It is also located in one of the oldest and quaintest parts of DC. Georgetown the neighborhood predates Washington, DC and was actually a city within DC until 1871. Now, includes some of the best shops and restaurants in the entire city, all set in historic townhouse.
Located all the way in the Tenleytown neighborhood, close to the Maryland border, American University has an impressive history of quality education that truly lives up to its name. It was officially dedicated in 1914 and since then has become one of the most politically active schools in the country. It was also site to one of the most famous speeches in American history: John F. Kennedy’s Strategy of Peace speech. The Commencement Speech for the graduating class of 1963 was highlighted by Kennedy stating, “For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
Howard University has been the preeminent black university since its inception in 1867, just after the Civil War. It quickly became a place centered in “truth and service” and open to people of all races and sexes. Its impressive list of alumni speaks volumes to its impact on American history. Notable alumni include Ben Ali (of Ben’s Chili Bowl), Thurgood Marshall (Supreme Court Justice), Sean Combs (aka P. Diddy), Toni Morrison (Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning novelist). Its also located just steps from the U Street Neighborhood which was the nation’s largest urban African American community along with Harlem. It featured “Black Broadway,” an incredible hub of Jazz led by DC native Duke Ellington.
Catholic University of America
The focal point of the Catholic University campus is their Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the only church in DC (and possibly the country) that can rival the grandeur and immensity of the National Cathedral. Located in the Brookland neighborhood of DC and often called “Little Rome,” its campus and surrounding area feature over 60 Catholic Institutions. The University has made Business Insiders list of most underrated universities in the country and with many solar roofs and eco-friendly programs, its one of the greenest schools in the country according to the EPA.