Washington College

2014 Quick Stats
300 Washington Avenue

Chestertown, MD 21620

Phone: (800) 422-1782
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
rolling admission

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#107 Overall Score: 53 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

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Washington College is a private institution that was founded in 1782. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,512, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 112 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Washington College's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 107. Its tuition and fees are $41,120 (2013-14).

In 1782, Washington College became the first college chartered after American independence from the British, under the patronage of President George Washington. Today, the small liberal arts school in Chestertown, Maryland, offers small class sizes and more than 40 bachelor's degree programs. Outside the classroom, Washington College students are in a prime location to take in the excitement of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, which are each about 90 minutes away. If they want to stay closer to campus, students can explore the shops and restaurants of Chestertown, which started as a colonial port about three centuries ago.

On campus, Washington College students can get involved in about 60 clubs, several Greek-letter organizations and sports. Student athletes can play intramural and club sports or try out for the Washington College varsity teams, which compete in the NCAA Division III in various conferences. The intercollegiate teams are named the Shoremen and Shorewomen, which is particularly appropriate for the varsity rowing and sailing teams that compete in the nearby Chester River. Notable Washington College alumni include John Emory, for whom Emory University was named.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Founded under the patronage of George Washington as the first college chartered in the new nation, Washington College takes seriously its mission to "challenge and inspire emerging citizen leaders to discover lives of purpose and passion." Our small size and dedicated faculty enable us to deliver a truly personal and interactive education with abundant opportunities for research, internships, creative projects, and study abroad.

Our flagship academic enrichment program, the Cater Society, rewards creativity, initiative and intellectual curiosity with competitive grants to support research and scholarship anywhere in the world.

Known for a strong literary culture centered around the Rose O'Neill Literary House, the College brings internationally known writers to campus and each May awards the world's largest undergraduate literary prize, the Sophie Kerr Prize, to a graduating senior. Good writing is not just for English majors: The ability to think critically and write clearly and persuasively is integral throughout the curriculum.

WC's setting in the Chesapeake Bay watershed enriches studies in history, archeology, biology, chemistry, and environmental studies. The Center for Environment & Society helps students integrate ecological and social values through programs that promote learning, research and stewardship. Each fall its Chesapeake Semester engages students in the study of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, exploring how science, policy, and residents' lives intersect.

Throughout the year, the Chester River Field Research Center at nearby Chino Farms offers research and study in areas such as bird migration, sustainable agriculture, and habitat restoration. CES also boasts a Geospatial Information Systems Lab where students use the latest computer software to map crime statistics for the state of Maryland, map the Chester River for environmentalists and create 3D renderings for town planners and preservationists.

The arrival in 2010 of Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, a former State Department policy advisor and special envoy to Northern Ireland, as our 27th president has raised our profile in international studies. Dr. Reiss introduced a prestigious NATO internship opportunity and regularly welcomes experts on international relations and security for lectures and panel discussions. A team of Washington College students brought home top honors at a regional CIA-simulation competition.

Study abroad opportunities abound. Signature programs include travel to Tanzania, Rome and Oxford as well as biology fieldwork in Bermuda, Ecuador and Mount Desert Island. This spring, Professor Andrew Oros took his Japanese Politics class to Japan to study government and culture in Tokyo and lend disaster relief to a coastal town hit by the tsunami.

History students enjoy the Colonial setting of Chestertown and gravitate to the impressive programming and research opportunities at the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. Housed in the colonial-era Custom House on the Chester River, the Center brings accomplished historians to campus and directs the annual "American Pictures" Series at the Smithsonian.

Typical of our hands-on learning approach, students make all the decisions for the Alex. Brown Investment Fund, learning how to manage nearly $500,000. New initiatives of the career-counseling office include the "Washington College to Wall Street" program, in which an alumni network helps students interested in business and finance boost their skills and connections.

With ample opportunity for leadership through clubs and student groups, close relationships with professors, and a well-honed sense of citizenship and community, Washington College graduates enter the "real world" with a can-do attitude, prepared to lead in the community and the workplace.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1782
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting rural
2012 Endowment $165,548,576


When applying to Washington College, it's important to note the application deadline is rolling, and the early action deadline and the early decision deadline are December 1 and November 1, respectively. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due February 15. The application fee at Washington College is $50. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 66.4 percent and an early acceptance rate of 71.2 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 66.4%
Application deadline rolling
SAT/ACT scores must be received by February 15

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Washington College is 12:1, and the school has 60.3 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Washington College include: Social Sciences; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Psychology; and History. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 84 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 12:1
4-year graduation rate 65%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Social Sciences 20%
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 15%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 11%
Psychology 9%
History 8%

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Student Life

Washington College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,512, with a gender distribution of 41.8 percent male students and 58.2 percent female students. At this school, 85 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 15 percent of students live off campus. Washington College is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 1,557
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

Washington College offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, placement service, health service, and health insurance. Washington College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Washington College, 45 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Washington College.

Students who have cars on campus 45%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Washington College, 60.6 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $22,865.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $41,120 (2013-14)
Room and board $9,442 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

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