For years, The George Washington University was synonymous with the phrase “the most expensive college in the country.” Though GW lost the No. 1 spot to Sarah Lawrence College in 2008 according to various lists, this is the first year that Forbes did not rank GW in its top 10 list. It is promising that GW no longer sits among the 10 most expensive schools in the country, and this is a result of University administrators working to make GW a more affordable school. However, GW is only $25 away from jumping back into the top 10, so we hope that GW continues to work toward becoming even more affordable.
Being known as one of the most expensive schools in the country could be detrimental to an institution, but University President Steven Knapp worked to change that reputation. Knapp has been living up to his promise to make GW a more affordable school, a goal he set when he came to GW in 2007. With the approval of the Board of Trustees, the University raised tuition by only 3 percent this year, while the average at other schools was 4.5 percent. Administrators have also worked to provide students with a great deal of financial aid. GW also has fixed tuition so students pay the same amount of tuition each semester that they paid when they first came to GW. Knapp has been largely successful at carrying out his vision to make GW less expensive, and this is ultimately benefiting current and future Colonials.
Along with President Knapp, GW’s Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz has also played an important role in GW’s change in fiscal rankings. Katz managed to carry out the policies adopted by the Board of Trustees, and under his direction, GW has managed to keep tuition costs from drastically rising. This is especially notable during a recession, as other schools were forced to hike their tuitions.
But GW still sits dangerously close to the top 10 most expensive schools list, as it is only $25 less expensive than the number ten school, Bates College. Dropping out of the top 10 is overall a good step for the University, but even more work can be done. GW needs to continue to lower overall costs and ensure that it can drop even more spots in future rankings.
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