Frequently Asked Questions


Student Life

Where do I go to find out information and procedures regarding GW Housing?

Visit the Living @ GW Website where you can find residence halls mailing addresses, the GWorld Card, Mail and Package Services, etc.  You can also find additional information about the various residential services provided.

Where do first-year students live?

  • Foggy Bottom Campus Residence Halls: Madison, Potomac, Thurston, Mitchell, Lafayette, Fulbright
  • Mount Vernon Campus Residence Halls: Somers, West, Clark, Cole, Hensley, Merriweather

A number of first-year Academic Residential Communities are located on the Mount Vernon Campus for students who are looking for an experiential living and learning experience. Click here to view additional information such as living options, the application process, and more!   

Can my student have a George Foreman Grill in his room?
George Foreman grills are prohibited in non-cooking areas.  Click here to view a full list of prohibited items. 

Are there washers/dryers in the residence halls?

Laundry is located in the common areas or basements of each residence hall.  Students can use Colonial Cash on their GWorld cards or quarters to pay for laundry services. 

Where do I get textbooks, computers, school supplies or a GW sweatshirt?

These items are available to purchase at the GW Campus Store.

My student doesn't know what they want to do after they graduate.  Where can I get help?

Find all the information you need to know about life after graduation as well as employment while at GW from the Center for Career Services.

  • Find out about internships, work-study or part-time jobs
  • Not sure what you want to do with the rest of your life?  Receive personalized career counseling.  Just click on the link above to find out where, when and how to get additional information.

My student wants to study abroad! Where can I get more information on the study abroad programs?

Visit the Office for Study Abroad to find out information regarding the policies, programs, security, costs, FAQ's, etc.  Should you have any specific questions regarding study abroad, please contact the office at 202-994-1649.

Is there a current parent I can speak with to ask general questions?  Such as "how much money should I give my student for allowance"?  Or "can you recommend a shipping/storage company"? 

You can speak with a member of the GW Family Ambassador Program.  Click here to submit your question.  

Where do I go to find out about student involvement opportunities?

From first year freshmen, to transfer students, to graduate, distance, and professional students, the Center for Student Engagement tailors services and events to reach all populations. Visit CSE to learn more about the 400+ student organizations, Greek life, leadership programs, and residential engagement.

In addition, through the Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, GW offers many pathways to community service and engagement.  We help students find opportunities to serve that build their interests and skills.

How does the dining plan work?

Undergraduate students living in GW residence halls will be assigned a Dining Plan based upon the availability of a kitchen in a student's housing assignment. All undergraduate students living in GW residence halls are required to participate in the Dining Plan.

2019-20 Academic Year Dining Cash Plan Rates:
Residents Without a Kitchen: $4,750 Dining Cash ($2,375 per semester)
Residents With a Kitchen: $3,050 Dining Cash ($1,525 per semester)

Can I add money to my student's GWorld Account?

Depositing Colonial Cash and Dining Cash is easy and can be done in a variety of ways such as in-office, online, at a value transfer station, or by billing the student account.

Do dining options exist for those students with severe food allergies or special dietary needs?

Yes, dining options do exist for those with food allergies and special diets (kosher, halal, gluten-free, vegetarian/vegan).  Tweet @gwdining or email [email protected] for additional information.  

What do I do in the event of an emergency?  How do I contact the police if necessary?

Your student can sign you up for the GW Alerts system for campus and weather advisories sent to your email or phone via text.  This can be done through the GW Alert portal.   

  • The GW Police Department (GWPD) can be contacted 24/7 for emergencies by calling 202-994-6111. The non-emergency line is 202-994-6110.
  • GWPD provides a number of services including 4-RIDE and the Colonial Express, both late night transportation services available to students.
  • The Division of Safety and Security and the Division of Information Technology provide a mobile safety app for the university called GW Pal, or Personal Alarm Locator.  When installed and opened on an iOS or Android smartphone, this app acts as a mobile silent alarm that can alert the GWPD if you're in trouble and send them your exact location.  You can also use GW PAL to submit crime tips to GWPD.
  • There are Blue Light Phones located throughout campus for use when emergency assistance is needed.
  • EMeRG (Emergency Medical Response Group) is a student-run EMT service.
  • GWPD also engraves drivers' license numbers on valuables to assist in their recovery in the events these items are lost are stolen. 

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When will we receive the bill for tuition?

Bills are due on the first day of each semester.  We do not mail paper statements; all billing is done electronically through the Student Account eBill.  Students can add family members as an authorized user in the eBill to view the student account activity and make payments to the account. 

Where can I find information about loans or scholarships?

Visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance website to find out information about loans, scholarships, emergency loans and any additional information pertaining to Financial Aid.

How do I go about getting finanical aid?

Students seeking financial assistance at GW must first complete an online financial aid application.  There are two online applications that are utilized by GW, the CSS Profile and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

How can I get access to my student’s records?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, seeks to guarantee both a student’s right of access to records and the confidentiality of student information. Institutions may not disclose information contained in education records without the student’s written consent except under certain conditions. A student’s record may be released to parents only if one of the following conditions has been met: 1. Through the written consent of the student; or 2. By submission of evidence that the parents declared the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form, as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Section 152.  To learn more, and to view the consent form, visit the Colonial Central website.

Does GW offer a Tuition Refund Plan (insurance)?

Yes, the tuition insurance annual plan is administered by A.W.G. Dewar, and protects your educational investment by reimbursing up to 75% of tuition, room, and board in the event of a medical or mental health withdrawal. Visit the Student Accounts Office website for additional information.    

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Who does my student contact for advising?

The links below will take you directly to the advising office for the specific school. 

If my student is struggling academically, where should I send them?

You should always encourage your student to speak directly with their professor or teaching assistant during their office hours.  Students can also visit Academic Commons, a one-stop shop for academic resources and services across the university.

What can a student do if they are unhappy with their class schedule?
Encourage them to keep an open mind and be flexible with their schedule/courses.  They should continue to work with their academic advisor(s) to make sure they are on track and remember that students can change their classes online through a certain period

Can I check my student's grades?

Not unless you have your student's consent.  Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the law prevents us from releasing a student's information to anyone but the student unless we have the student's written consent.  You can ask your student to show you his or her grades on the GWeb Portal.  If this isn't practical, you can ask your student to complete the student consent form that would permit the Registrar to mail you a copy of the transcript.   

My student has a medical condition/disability that requires special accommodations.  Who should they contact?

The Disability Support Services office works collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff across campus to foster a climate of academic excellence and promoting disability culture, creating an inclusive environment that provides equal access for all students.  That access is often facilitated through implementation of formal disability accommodations.  Click here for additional information.   

Where can I find the academic schedule?

The Fall 2019/Spring 2020 academic calendar can be found here

To whom should my student bring a concern about a professor?

Concerns or complaints about the course content, grading, class requirements or your professor’s behavior and teaching methods should be directed first to the professor, then to the academic department, and finally to the Academic Dean.

Where does my student turn if he/she been discriminated against by a professor or staff member?

If your student believes he/she was discriminated against or sexually harassed by a faculty or staff member, they should review the Guide to Student Rights and Responsibilities and call the Division of Student Affairs at (202) 994-6710 to consult about your rights and the procedures available to investigate and resolve the issues.

Where does my student get recommendation/Dean's disciplinary clearance for a job, graduate school or law school applications?

All certification of clean disciplinary records for employment or graduate applications can be obtained from the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

My problem seems very complex and confusing.  It also involves a lot of different offices and I just don't know where to start.  What should I do?

The Office of Student Support and Family Engagement is available to help sort out complex issues and know what office to contact for further help or guidance. Feel free to contact our office at (202) 994-2305.

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Health and Wellness

Where can my student go to speak with someone when they are in distress?

Students can visit Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the Colonial Health Center. CAPS offers Individual and Group counseling, along with an online Self-Help Library. Students can access in-person counseling by visiting CHC, during regular business hours (no appointment is required). or Tthey can speak to a counselor at 202-994-5300, post business hours 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Where can I get information about the student health insurance program (SHIP)?

All undergraduates students, medical, on-campus nursing, on-campus Health Science, and ALL international students holding a J1 or F1 visa are required to carry student health insurance while they study at GW.  Students are automatically enrolled in the GW SHIP and must submit an opt-out waiver if they have another insurance plan that meets the criteria.  Click here for additional information. 

Are there any support resources available for students in with addiction or in recovery from substance use disorders?

The Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) supports students with addiction or in recovery from substance abuse disorders, eating disorders, and/or other process addictions.  The CRC will help students navigate recovery, thrive in their environment, and strive to be the best versions of themselves, while pursuing their academic, professional, and personal goals. 

How do I receive alerts when there is an emergency on or around campus?

Family members can have their emails and phones linked to GWAlert, an emergency communication system. To link your email and/or phone, you or your student must log in to banweb, scroll down to GW Alert Emergency Notification and enter the information there.

My student qualifies for a Federal Work Study position. How can he or she find out what positions are available?

Information on Federal Work Study positions can be found through the Center for Career Services website. Search for all student employment positions using the University’s job search database, Handshake. Student Handshake accounts are automatically created approximately 6 weeks before students begin attending GW.  If your student needs help accessign or using their Handshake account, contact [email protected].

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For Families

My student will not be home for their birthday!  How do I send a special cake or gift to them?

Do you want to let your student know you are thinking of them?  Send them a care package through GW Campus Stores.

I want to mail a letter/package to my student. Where do I send it?

To mail an item to your student, use the following format found on the Living at GW website.

Where should I stay when I go to Washington D.C. to visit my student?  

The main GW website features hotels located near each of GW's campuses.  In addition, this new website provides easy and convenient access to hotel information, competitive rates, availability, and visitors can easily make reservations directly through the website.  

Looking for information about parking on Campus?

Check out the website for GW Parking Services.  You will be able to find out about parking rates and the garages that are available for students and family. 

How can family members stay informed at GW?

Families can stay on top of campus news and events by signing up for our GW Family Listserve.

When is Family Weekend?

Colonials Weekend, family and alumni weekend, is scheduled Friday, September 20- Sunday, September 22nd.  Visit the Colonials Weekend website to view a recap from last year.

How can family members stay involved with GW?

There are four areas in which families can stay engaged and connect with the GW community: career engagement, event volunteering, family communication, and family philanthropy.  Click here to learn more about this program.   

Family philanthropy plays a crucial role in building and shaping an exemplary educational experience for GW students.  Families support students through internships and career opportunities and through financial contributions that impact all areas of student life.  Call (202-994-3229) or email ([email protected]), and we'll help match your interests and availability with the needs of the university and its students. 

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