George Washington University

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#137, overall score 43.75/100

Fun Fact:

GW’s commencement ceremony takes place on the National Mall.

Why should Jewish students attend GW? GW students get to experience the thrill of living in Washington D.C. and all it has to offer while staying connected to a warm, vibrant Jewish community that provides support and love. Jewish GW students are asked to not only be consumers but producers of Judaism as well. Creating meaningful events, hosting intimate Shabbat meals and running fellowships are just a few examples of the opportunities the GW Hillel has afforded to its students. - Rabbi Dan Epstein, senior Jewish educator, GW Hillel

With one of the largest Jewish student populations in the U.S., GW offers a unique place to keep and grow a strong Jewish identity in an amazing community. Students pursue a great education, all the while enjoying access to the “capital scene” and some of the world’s most prominent personalities and institutions. Chabad GW offers stellar Jewish events and programs, from our legendary warm yet lively Shabbat Dinners to Torah study opportunities large and small, great (new) kosher meal plan and leadership development opportunities - including Sinai Scholars, Knapp Fellows, Israel support and awareness groups and other innovative programs. — Rabbi Levi Shemtov, founding director, Chabad GW


  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Region: Mid-Atlantic
  • Campus type: Big city
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 11,504
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 11,504
  • Jewish population share: 26%
  • Student origin: 3% in-state / 97% out-of-state
  • Student newspaper: The GW Hatchet
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Colonials
  • Ultimate Frisbee team: Hippos

COST & AID Score: 0/15

  • Score: 0/15
  • Tuition: $53,518
  • Room & board costs: $13,000
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $11,800
  • Average loan debt: $33,305
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: None

ACADEMICS Score: 10/20

  • Score: 10/20
  • Acceptance rate: 40%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Median SAT range: 1280-1440
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Hebrew major: Minor

ISRAEL Score: 7/20

SAFETY Score: 5/11

  • Score: 5/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 1
  • Campus crime rate: 5.19/1,000 students (medium low)
  • City crime rate: 57.80/1,000 people (high)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 21.75/34

  • Score: 21.75/34
  • Hillel: GW Hillel
  • Chabad: Chabad GW
  • OU-JLIC: None
  • Jewish fraternities: none
  • Jewish sororities: AEPhi, SDT
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? No
  • Active Hillel clubs: 6
  • Hillel Friday night services: 3
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 75
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 20 (6 Orthodox, 7 Conservative, 7 Reform)
  • Eruv: Yes
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Chuck Todd
  • Most unique/noteworthy club: Kabbalah and Kream: Every Wednesday night, students gather at Hillel for all you can eat ice cream and discussions about Jewish mysticism. What makes Kabbalah and Kream unique is this conversation is open to all people of all faiths or no faith at all and often draws on various mystical traditions from around the world.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? Students come from all over. Many come from New Jersey and Long Island.
  • Kosher food details: Several options exist, including a meat food truck and a vegan soup restaurant. A Whole Foods is on campus with hundreds of kosher products, including frozen chicken and kosher fish.

What Students Say:

““Everyone is passionate and willing to learn about so many issues that are not just in the Jewish community.”…“The kosher food scene is very limited, making it difficult for kosher-keeping students. There is a kosher food truck and a kosher restaurant a few blocks away, which helps, but there is no kosher food offered by the University, and the University has shown itself to be very unwilling to improve the situation.”…“Chabad is really the main place to be. On Friday nights, Jews from every kind of background gather together for a beautiful, loud Kabbalat Shabbat followed by an awesome Shabbat dinner.”

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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