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  • AASHE-STARS

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 68.76
Liaison Meghan Chapple
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Washington University
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.34 / 4.00 Keely Walston
Asst. to VP ODI
ODI
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of any 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 any 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.

The newly formed GW Task Force on Access and Success will offer recommendations to reduce barriers and create opportunities to enroll low-income, first-generation and/or students underrepresented in STEM fields and careers. The task force recommendations will emphasize high impact, replicable models for success.


A brief description of any 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).

Private foundations and donors are funding scholarships that enable high school students from target populations --first-generation, Latino, Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian-- to enroll in new summer pre-college programs. GW is hosting several seminars and symposia such as the 2015 Reach for College! College Readiness Summer Institute for Educators and the Graduate School of Human Development and Education’s College Access and Affordability Institute.

In partnership with local nonprofits and GW student organizations, GW’s Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service co-sponsored college awareness and readiness programs for 35 families of two DC middle schools, 33 Vietnamese high school students and their parents and 60 Latino elementary school students.


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 any 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.

In partnership with local nonprofits and GW student organizations, GW’s Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service co-sponsored college awareness and readiness programs for 35 families of two DC middle schools, 33 Vietnamese high school students and their parents and 60 Latino elementary school students.


A brief description of any 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.

The Office of Admissions also implemented DC-focused programming that improves the readiness and increases the number of students enrolling in colleges across the nation. Among the new initiatives are programs bringing 30 high school counselors and 25 juniors to campus; a service project deploying the undergraduate admissions staff during College Application Week to assist students completing college applications at DC high schools; and dedicated staff to support and implement best practices in DC high schools that improve college readiness. The 30% increase in DC high school graduates enrolled in the Fall 2014 first-year class demonstrates GW’s enhanced commitment to local students.


A brief description of other admissions policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

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 other financial aid policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

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 other policies and programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students not covered above:

This fall the university moved to a policy of only accepting the common application , as a way to increase completion of applications from low-income students.New recommendations will be forthcoming from the Task Force on Access and Success, with implementation expected in the 2016- 17 academic year


Does the institution have policies and programs in place to support non-traditional students?:
Yes

A brief description of any scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:
---

A brief description of any onsite child care facilities, partnerships with local facilities, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

The Bright Horizons Children’s Center serves the GW community by providing full-time,
part-time, and back-up care for children from 6 weeks to 5 years old.


A brief description of other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

The GW Parenting Initiative and website provides information about parent and breastfeeding resources.The GW Parenting Group was established in Spring 2014 as a place for GW faculty, staff and students who are also parents to gather, both virtually and in person, to share tips, ideas, challenges and experiences gained on the journey of parenthood.


Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (accessibility and affordability indicators)?:
Yes

Indicators that the institution is accessible and affordable to low-income students::
Percentage (0-100)
The percentage of entering students that are low-income 13
The graduation/success rate for low-income students 80.60
The percentage of student financial need met, on average 89
The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt 51

The percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students:
---

The website URL where information about the institution's affordability and access programs 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.