Best Private Colleges in DC 2024

Badge for BEST IN DC PRIVATE COLLEGES

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in DC.

Best Private Colleges in DC

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  1. Georgetown University
  2. George Washington University
  3. American University
  4. Howard University
  5. The Catholic University of America
  6. Gallaudet University
  7. Trinity Washington University
  1. Georgetown University
  2. George Washington University
  3. Howard University
  4. American University
  5. The Catholic University of America
  6. Gallaudet University
  7. Trinity Washington University
  1. Trinity Washington University 97%
  2. The Catholic University of America 86%
  3. American University 64%
  4. Gallaudet University 62%
  5. George Washington University 50%
  6. Howard University 35%
  7. Georgetown University 12%
  1. George Washington University 13 to 1
  2. Howard University 12 to 1
  3. Trinity Washington University 11 to 1
  4. Georgetown University 11 to 1
  5. American University 11 to 1
  6. The Catholic University of America 11 to 1
  7. Gallaudet University 6 to 1
  1. Georgetown University $59,957
  2. George Washington University $59,870
  3. American University $53,334
  4. The Catholic University of America $52,156
  5. Howard University $28,916
  6. Trinity Washington University $25,110
  7. Gallaudet University $17,712
  1. Georgetown University $54,672
  2. The Catholic University of America $50,670
  3. American University $37,447
  4. Howard University $33,860
  5. George Washington University $32,850
  6. Gallaudet University $18,180
  7. Trinity Washington University $14,850
  1. Trinity Washington University
  2. Gallaudet University
  3. The Catholic University of America
  4. Howard University
  5. American University
  6. George Washington University
  7. Georgetown University
  1. Trinity Washington University
  2. Gallaudet University
  3. The Catholic University of America
  4. American University
  5. Howard University
  6. George Washington University
  7. Georgetown University
  1. Georgetown University 12%
  2. Howard University 35%
  3. George Washington University 50%
  4. Gallaudet University 62%
  5. American University 64%
  6. The Catholic University of America 86%
  7. Trinity Washington University 97%
  1. Gallaudet University 6 to 1
  2. Trinity Washington University 11 to 1
  3. Georgetown University 11 to 1
  4. American University 11 to 1
  5. The Catholic University of America 11 to 1
  6. Howard University 12 to 1
  7. George Washington University 13 to 1
  1. Gallaudet University $17,712
  2. Trinity Washington University $25,110
  3. Howard University $28,916
  4. The Catholic University of America $52,156
  5. American University $53,334
  6. George Washington University $59,870
  7. Georgetown University $59,957
  1. Trinity Washington University $14,850
  2. Gallaudet University $18,180
  3. George Washington University $32,850
  4. Howard University $33,860
  5. American University $37,447
  6. The Catholic University of America $50,670
  7. Georgetown University $54,672

What are DC’s Colleges & Universities?

DC’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 7 private universities in DC. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in DC, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

Best Private Colleges in DC

  1. #1

    Georgetown University

    Washington , DC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    12%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    Career Outlook for degree at Georgetown University

    Cost of Degree: $62,051
    Expenses: $22,644
    Starting Salary: $73,455
    Salary after 4 years: $94,738
    Cost Recoup Time: 15 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1360/31

    Career Outlook for degree at George Washington University

    Cost of Degree: $60,946
    Expenses: $18,745
    Starting Salary: $67,506
    Salary after 4 years: $81,848
    Cost Recoup Time: 16 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  3. #3

    American University

    Washington , DC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $53K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1305/29

    Career Outlook for degree at American University

    Cost of Degree: $53,889
    Expenses: $17,814
    Starting Salary: $51,337
    Salary after 4 years: $70,785
    Cost Recoup Time: 16 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  4. #6

    Gallaudet University

    Washington , DC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    915/16

    Career Outlook for degree at Gallaudet University

    Cost of Degree: $17,712
    Expenses: $22,000
    Starting Salary: $41,204
    Salary after 4 years: $54,225
    Cost Recoup Time: 13 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    2K

    Career Outlook for degree at Trinity Washington University

    Cost of Degree: $25,610
    Expenses: $15,080
    Starting Salary: $54,750
    Salary after 4 years: $68,586
    Cost Recoup Time: 12 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
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DC’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

2021 Ranking Archieve

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Georgetown University
  2. George Washington University
  3. The Catholic University of America
  4. Howard University
  5. American University
  6. Gallaudet University
  7. Trinity Washington University

Check out our directory of private colleges throughout the U.S. for a look at the top private schools in every state.

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