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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.20
Liaison Meghan Chapple
Submission Date May 14, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

George Washington University
PAE-10: Affordability and Access Programs

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Meghan Chapple
Director of Sustainability, Senior Advisor on University Sustainability Initiatives
Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s participation in federal TRIO programs:

The university has approximately $160 million dollars of institutional funds to help create a diverse student population. GW also participates in the majority of all federal aid programs for undergraduate students that make it accessible and affordable to low-income students.

The undergraduate admissions office partners with the MSSC to coordinate events, such as Colonial Insight and Colonial Connection, to help parents learn about available university resources, as well as to help them develop the knowledge needed to navigate the higher education landscape. The admissions office also works closely with a wide range of local and national community-based organizations to provide programs and activities that target first generation and low income families. Finally, the MSSC hosts pre-college programs for students and parents from public and private schools in the local and regional area, as well as throughout the country targeting large percentages of first generation and low-income students.

The university participates in a program called The High School College Internship Program (HISCIP), which is a partnership with the DC Public Schools (DCPS) and eight colleges in the DC and Maryland area. HISCIP allows for students to take college courses
during their senior year of high school. HISCIP offers DCPS students the opportunity to maintain their high school status while enrolling part-time or full-time at a participating college or university. For students accepted into GW, the university pays the tuition cost of each enrolled student.

Currently in its 14th year, The Upward Bound Program in GW's School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), offers high school students the opportunity to explore the medicine and the health sciences fields. Additionally, the program offers students general, Department of Education approved core courses, SAT/ACT prep sessions, weekly tutoring, and spring/college tours. Upward Bound participants benefit directly from the time and services of SMHS faculty, staff and students who are working to assist in our mission of targeting students with medical/health science interests
and providing opportunities for internships, workshops and increasing career awareness.


A brief description of the institution’s policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students?:

GW has adopted a fixed tuition plan/policy for undergraduate students, which guarantees that the academic-year tuition fee upon year of entry will not increase for up to five years of full-time study. This coupled with the university's guarantee of a portion of institutional aid from year of entry for up to five years, helps to stabilize and minimize the cost of attendance for all-students, in particular for low-income students.


A brief description of the institution’s programs to equip the institution's faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

Through HR, MSSC, and Service Excellence, the university offers limited, but on-going training and workshop for faculty and professional and pre-professional staff working with special populations, such as students from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds. Additionally, we recently initiated a grants program called Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion, where we have received numerous proposals that can be utilized to better serve students from low-income backgrounds.


A brief description of the institution’s programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

As mentioned earlier, GW's MSSC sponsors a number of programs to prepare students such as the RISE program, Black Men's Initiative, and partnerships with the University Counseling Center to gain awareness and work-through the challenges of long-term persistence at a predominately white institution (PWI).


A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

The George Washington University Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholars program offers full scholarships to D.C. students. The SJT Scholars Program aims to provide local students with the opportunity to continue their education and leadership development through professional and civic experiences.


A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

The undergraduate admissions office partners with the MSSC to coordinate events, such as Colonial Insight and Colonial Connection, to help parents learn about available university resources, as well as to help them develop the knowledge needed to navigate the higher education landscape. The admissions office also works closely with a wide range of local and national community-based organizations to provide programs and activities that target first generation and low income families. Finally, the MSSC hosts pre-college programs for students and parents from public and private schools in the local and regional area, as well as throughout the country targeting large percentages of first generation and low-income students.


A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

As part of its recruitment practices and programming, the office of undergraduate admissions regularly provides information on applying and affordability to all prospective students, parents, and high school counselors. The office seeks to cast a wide net in order to attract as diverse a pool of applicants as possible, which enables GW to enroll a diverse student population. Some examples of admissions outreach efforts include:

• Affordability, scholarship, and financial aid information that is sent to applicants via email.

• Several on campus events in both fall and spring for high school juniors and seniors. Travel grants are provided upon request in the fall, and bus transportation is provided to students from New York City in the spring.

• Partnership with Yes Prep school district in Texas to recruit, admit, and enroll first generation and low-income students.

• A GW hosted information session on the SJT Scholars program for all public, private, and charter schools in D.C. at a neighborhood library.

• Partnerships with several community-based organizations, such as the Center for Student Opportunity, which serves low-income and first generation students. GW is listed in their College Access and Opportunity Guide, which provides scholarship and financial aid information for students.

• Partnership with Chicago Scholars program to offer onsite admissions information and decisions to first generation and low-income students.

• The Admissions staff annually visits 1,200+ high schools throughout the country, including public and charter schools in urban and rural areas that generally have large percentages of first generation and low-income students. We also host several off campus information sessions in these areas.


A brief description of the institution’s other admissions policies and programs:

If students indicate that they cannot afford the application fee, the office of admissions will waive the application fee.

The Office of Admissions routinely reviews/grants request for payment plans to cover the enrollment deposit.


A brief description of the institution’s other financial aid polices or programs:

The overall financial aid policy of the university is as follows. Based on the results of the financial aid application, a determination is made on the amount a family can contribute to the student’s educational expenses. When there is a difference between the familial contribution and our cost of attendance, the university uses both its funding and federal funds to award financial aid to bridge this difference.

As part of GW's fix-tuition policy, upon enrollment a portion of a student’s financial need-based award will be guaranteed for all four years. This allows the student and parents to plan their four years of education knowing tuition will not increase and a portion of the need based award will remain the same for all four years. If the “need” increases other funds will be used to address the need of the student/family.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs not covered above:
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The website URL where information about programs in each of the areas listed above is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.