How to Get Into Georgetown: Admissions Data and Strategies
The oldest Jesuit institution in the U.S. is also among the nation’s most elite undergraduate universities, and its popular Washington, D.C. locale helps draw massive numbers of applicants each year. Back in 1990, in a friendlier admissions universe, the average SAT for a Georgetown applicant was 1230; today, the average SAT is just shy of 1500. Even with some level of score inflation, that single comparison gives you a good sense of how much harder it is to get accepted to Georgetown today then when your mom or dad were applying to college. For an even crazier statistic, look to the fact that 50% of applicants were accepted in 1975. Unfortunately, in the absence of a time machine—we’re still waiting on that flux capacitor—we must confront the admissions reality before us. The intent of this article is to give those considering applying to Georgetown University:
1) An understanding of the big-picture of Georgetown admissions.
2) Data to help you assess your chances of admission with more accuracy.
3) What the Georgetown admissions committee looks for and how to get your application to stand out from the crowd.
To accomplish these goals we will touch on the following topics:
- Georgetown’s Class of 2024 overall acceptance rate
- Georgetown’s Class of 2024 EA acceptance rate
- Georgetown’s school-specific acceptance rates
- SAT, ACT, and class rank of accepted Georgetown applicants
- Admissions trends from the Georgetwon Class of 2024
- The demographics of current Georgetown undergraduates
- Georgetown’s yield rate
- How Georgetown’s admissions officers evaluate candidates
- Tips for applying to Georgetown
- How to assess whether applying to Georgetown is even worth the $75 application fee (for you)
Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.
Georgetown: Overall Acceptance Rate – Class of 2024
In a rare moment of encouraging elite admissions news, the acceptance rate in 2020 actually rose to 15% from 14% the previous cycle. Overall, 3,309 applicants were selected from a group of 21,318. The school accepted 100 more students than originally expected due to yield rate concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. With so many families financially impacted, the school worries that some accepted students may shy away from the almost $80,000 annual cost of attendance.
Georgetown Early Acceptance Rate – Class of 2024
Just 856 of the 7,305 Early Action applicants in the 2019-20 admission cycle were successful. This 11.72% acceptance rate was the lowest in school history, even though the total number of applications received declined for the second consecutive year. Early applicants to Georgetown College saw only a 10.95% acceptance rate, the lowest of any school within the university. The other three schools accepted between 12-13% of the applicant pool.
Georgetown’s School Specific Acceptance Rates and SAT range- Class of 2024
Acceptance Rate: 15%
SAT Range: 1420-1560
Walsh School of Foreign Service
Acceptance Rate: 15%
SAT Range: 1460-1560
McDonough School of Business
Acceptance Rate: 17%
SAT Range: 1420-1560
School of Nursing & Health Studies
Acceptance Rate: 16%
SAT Range: 1410-1560
Georgetown Admissions – SAT, ACT, and Class Rank
Across all colleges within Georgetown University, the mean class rank percentile was 94.5%, meaning that the average accepted student was in the top 5-6% of their graduating high school class. The middle-50% SAT was 1430-1560 and the ACT range was 32-35.
Admissions Trends & Notes – (Class of 2024)
- 11% of those accepted Class of 2024 students held first-generation status compared to 12% the prior year.
- The total number of applicants dipped from 22,788 in 2019 to 21,318 in 2020.
- The percentage of legacy admits—children/grandchildren of alumni—was 9%, lower than many other comparably prestigious universities. It was 8.7% in 2019.
- It is estimated that only 2.5% of the 3,202 students admitted into the Class of 2023 benefited from a “legacy tip”; most legacy students were admitted on their own merits.
- The Class of 2023 yield rate (percent of accepted students who enroll) was 49.4% compared to 51% the previous year. This was the lowest figure in Georgetown’s history.
Who Actually Gets Into Georgetown?
Let’s look at the demographics of Georgetown undergraduates:
Geographically, current students hail from:
- International: 9%
- Mid-Atlantic States: 33%
- Southeast States: 14%
- Western/Northwestern States: 15%
- Central/Midwestern States: 10%
- New England States: 13%
- Southwest: 5%
Competition is stiffest among those hailing from states with endless streams of qualified applicants (the entire Northeast & the West Coast). If you hail from a less populated state like Nebraska, South Dakota, or Alaska, your location is more likely to provide a boost to your admissions chances. Georgetown likes to accept at least one student from every state. In fact, they presently have 7 students enrolled from Idaho and 4 from North Dakota.
Looking at ethnic identity, the breakdown of the students admitted into the Class of 2024 was as follows:
- Asian American: 28%
- Hispanic: 13%
- African American: 11%
- International: 8%
- White/Other: ~40%
The breakdown by gender of all current undergraduates is notably split in favor of women:
- Male: 44%
- Female: 56%
The breakdown by type of high school attended is as follows:
- Public: 47%%
- Jesuit: 7%
- Catholic: 11%
- Independent: 34%
Most People Who Get Accepted Choose to Attend
Georgetown’s yield rate—the percentage of accepted students who elect to enroll, divided by the total number of students who are admitted was 49% last year. For comparison, schools like Stanford, Harvard, the University of Chicago, MIT, and Yale all sport 70%+ yield rates. Schools like Pomona, Barnard, and Bowdoin are just slightly ahead of Georgetown in this category.
How Georgetown Rates Applicants
There are eight factors that Georgetown ranks as being “very important” to their admissions process: rigor of secondary school record, class rank, GPA, standardized test scores, the essays, recommendations, talent/ability, and character/personal qualities. Georgetown’s application process is a bit more personalized than many highly-selective schools since an alumni interview is required. They value “demonstrated commitment to the broader community” and personal qualities such as “resiliency, motivation and ambition.”
Georgetown is always seeking to put together a diverse freshman class ethnically, socioeconomically, geographically, and in terms of talents possessed. On that note, Georgetown wants to see an activities section/resume that contains evidence of accomplishment, passion, and leadership. They are not going to be impressed that you filled the ten spaces on the Common App Activity List; they are looking for genuine excellence in one or more activities. For example, you won a countywide math competition, you are one of the top cellists in your state, you conducted scientific research through part a highly-selective summer program, or were the president of a service organization that made a monumental impact. It definitely helps if you are recruited as an athlete to join one of Georgetown’s 22 Division I sports teams. Approximately 10% of incoming students are designated as “recruited athletes,” a higher percentage than at schools like Villanova or Boston College.
Tips for Applying to Georgetown
If you plan on joining the almost 20,000+ Hoya hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:
- Georgetown expects to see evidence of advanced coursework in high school. 70% of applicants submit AP exam results.
- Georgetown still requires all applicants to have an interview with a member of the 6,000-member Alumni Admissions Program. This organization is divided into 200 regional communities so chances are strong that an interviewer will be located near you. Early Application interviews are prioritized through the end of October so most Regular Decision applicants won’t interview until November. For advice on what types of questions you should be prepared to answer/ask, visit our blog—College Interview Tips.
- Georgetown does not consider “demonstrated interest” so you will not be judged on whether or not you made a campus visit, contacted an admissions officer, etc. However, given their decreasing yield rate—as addressed earlier—letting the university know if they are truly your top-choice school is not a bad idea.
- Make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the supplemental essays required by Georgetown. In the 2019-20 cycle, there were three prompts that every applicant must tackle and one additional school-specific question.
Prompt 1: Indicate any special talents or skills you possess. (250 words)
Prompt 2: Briefly discuss the significance to you of the school or summer activity in which you have been most involved. (1/2 page, single-spaced, or approximately 300-400 words depending on font size)
Prompt 3: As Georgetown is a diverse community, the Admissions Committee would like to know more about you in your own words. Please submit a brief essay, either personal or creative, which you feel best describes you. (1 page, single-spaced, or approximately 300-400 words depending on font size)
Georgetown University School-Specific Prompts
1) Georgetown College: What does it mean to you to be educated? How might Georgetown College help you achieve this aim? (Applicants to the Sciences and Mathematics or the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics should address their chosen course of study.)
2) School of Nursing & Health Studies: Describe the factors that have influenced your interest in studying health care. Please specifically address your intended major (Global Health, Health Care Management & Policy, Human Science, or Nursing).
3) Walsh School of Foreign Service: Briefly discuss a current global issue, indicating why you consider it important and what you suggest should be done to deal with it.
4) McDonough School of Business: The McDonough School of Business is a national and global leader in providing graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives. Please discuss your motivations for studying business at Georgetown.
(Each school-specific prompt should not exceed 1 page, single-spaced, or approximately 500-700 words depending on font size)
The key to mastering these four essays is to do your homework on the college within Georgetown University to which you are applying. Learn how to write a killer “Why This College” essay in our previous blog post on the subject.
Should I Apply to Georgetown?
Students with SATs in the 1300-1400 range will likely need a “hook” in order to achieve their dream of becoming a Hoya. Georgetown, with acceptance rates of 14-15%, is only hunting for students that possess 98th percentile (and above) standardized test scores and have earned mostly A’s in a highly- rigorous secondary curriculum. If Georgetown is your aim, make sure to also have a rock-solid backup plan. All seniors need to make sure that they formulate an appropriate college list, containing a complement of “target” and “safety” schools. You’ll definitely want to do this in conjunction with one or more trusted adults in your life, including your college counselor.
Dave has over a decade of professional experience that includes work as a teacher, high school administrator, college professor, and independent educational consultant. He is a co-author of the books The Enlightened College Applicant (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Colleges Worth Your Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).