Best Private Colleges in DC 2022

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 2022

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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How do we determine DC's best private colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

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

    17%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    What is Georgetown University known for?

    Georgetown University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #4

    Howard University

    Washington , DC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    39%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1205/24

    What is Howard University known for?

    Howard University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Law
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #6

    Gallaudet University

    Washington , DC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    915/16

    What is Gallaudet University known for?

    Gallaudet University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Communications
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #7

    Trinity Washington University

    Washington , DC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Trinity Washington University known for?

    Trinity Washington University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

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DC’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

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 utiulized 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