New Student Guide
The guide below will be a great resource over the next few weeks and even throughout your student journey. Follow the steps to prepare to join our learning community and to gear up for the first day of classes.
AFTER you have accepted your offer of admission in the portal, complete the steps to confirm your attendance. You can begin completing the following requirements at the same time to prepare for the upcoming semester.
- Step 1: Setup your GW Accounts (Required for New GW Students)
GW's Identity and Access Management (IAM) service helps to create, maintain, and secure your digital identity while at the University. Your digital identity includes your GWID/UserID, which you will use to login to University resources, and your email address.
Students who have accepted their admission offer will receive an email in their preferred personal email address from firstname.lastname@example.org with instructions on how to verify your UserID and set a central password. You must verify your account within 48 hours. (Be sure to check your spam folder if you don't see it!) After verifying your UserID, you will receive a confirmation email to your preferred personal email address with your newly assigned GW email address. (If you do not receive either email, click below for instructions.)
Protect Your Accounts
Once you claim your identity, you will need to set up your two-step authentication (2SA). Without 2SA you will be unable to access many GW applications.
Check Your Email
All official notifications (grades, bills, and important academic communication) will be sent to your GW email address. Be sure to either check it regularly or have it forwarded to an account that you plan to check regularly.
Access GWeb Information Systems
The GWeb Information System allows online access to GW student services, such as registering for classes, viewing student billing accounts, viewing grades, and accepting financial aid. Be sure to also update your current address and contact information. To access your account:
- Visit my.gwu.edu and click on "GWeb Info System" in the left side navigation.
- Select the "Current Students" button.
- Enter the GW UserID (G+8 numbers) and password you previously created.
Request Technical Assistance
If you experience any technical difficulties, please contact the University Helpdesk at email@example.com or 202-994-4948.
- Step 2: Complete Requirements for Financial Aid and Scholarships
Complete the FAFSA
If you haven't already, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is required to apply for financial aid from GW. The form is available each year on October 1. If you are applying for federal student loans, you will need to complete the GW Graduate Loan Questionnaire in addition to the FAFSA. GW’s Office of Student Financial Assistance should be your main point of contact for all questions related to the FAFSA and loan process.
Apply for Financial Aid and Scholarships (If Needed)
There are various opportunities to receive funding through GW, GSEHD, and external resources. Explore our "Funding" page to learn more. The list of opportunities is not comprehensive, but it is a great start to learn more about options for funding your graduate education. Visit the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships & Fellowships for additional potential funding opportunities.
If you have an organization paying your bill (such as an embassy or employer), submit your sponsor authorization to Third-Party Billing.
Complete Loan Requirements (If Applicable)
The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) can provide more information about loans. If you utilize a loan program, below are a few reminders about items to complete, but be sure to consult OSFA for a comprehensive guide.
- Review Direct Loan limits for your degree program.
- Apply for a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan or Private Alternative Loan to cover additional charges or expenses and then submit GW’s Supplemental Graduate Loan Questionnaire (located under forms and documents then click the graduate tab) for the correct aid year.
- Complete Entrance Counseling for the Federal Loan Programs.
- Complete Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN) and Complete Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN) if applicable
Your admissions letter would have indicated if you are receiving a GSEHD award. If you did receive an award, please ensure you follow the steps in your award letter to accept the award; these steps are different from the steps for accepting your admission letter.
Note: Tuition discount awards will be added to your student account in the weeks prior to the first day of classes. Please do not pay your eBill until the award is listed on your student account.
Information and support regarding financial aid: Visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
- Step 3: Submit Tuition Payment
Access Payment Portal
GW bills by semester according to registration. Once you have registered for classes, a Statement of Account will be emailed to your GW email account regarding the payment amount and due date. We do not mail paper statements; all billing is done electronically through the Student Account eBill.
Please note: Payment for the semester is due on the first day of the semester on the main campus, not the first day of your session or the first day of the semester for an off-campus course, or upon registration for any courses added after the first day. Your billing statement will include the billing due date. View full list of financial due dates and deadlines >
- Arrange for your bill to be paid in full by the first day of the semester, or sign up for the Monthly Payment Plan.
- Enter your bank account information in Student Account eBill to make electronic payments and receive your direct deposit credit refund automatically.
- If you would like pay your account in person or have questions, please visit the Student Accounts office.
Consider Tuition Insurance
GW partners with GradGuard to provide students with the ability to protect your educational investment by reimbursing up to 100% of tuition, room, and board in the event of a medical or mental health withdrawal, based on your level of coverage.
- Step 4: Submit Final Documents (if applicable)
Submit Official Transcripts
If you submitted an unofficial transcript for your application review and were admitted “conditionally," you will need to submit official final transcripts from all colleges/universities where you earned a degree by the end of the first semester of enrollment. Make sure to do so as soon as possible so that your registration is not hindered.
Complete Immunization Verification
All students under age 26, regardless of program of study, location of study, part-time or full-time status, degree or non-degree status, must comply with the immunization requirement as set forth by the Law of the District of Columbia. It is important that you comply as soon as possible so that your registration is not hindered.
- Step 5: Last To-Do Items Before Classes Start
Request Your GWorld Card
The GWorld card is the official ID card at GW. Your card serves as your university identification, holds your meal plan and Campus Cash accounts and allows you to access facilities on campus. You can add Campus Cash to pay for printing and copying on campus.
If you are a virtual student (with no in person classes), we can send you a distance card for ID purposes. Distance cards do not provide any access to on-campus facilities.
Please check with your program and/or course instructors about what textbooks or other course materials you will need. You are welcome to obtain your textbooks through whatever service is most convenient for you. All textbooks will also be available at the GW Bookstore, which is located at the Foggy Bottom Campus University Student Center, 800 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20052.
Secure Student Health Insurance (If Needed/Required)
GW offers a comprehensive Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) through Aetna Student Health. Dental and vision insurance programs are also available. Graduate students are able to enroll in the programs if they choose. International students have additional requirements. Learn more under the "International Students" dropdown below.
Health insurance guarantees that you can obtain necessary treatment if you develop a serious illness or injury. It also guarantees that you can obtain preventative medical services like immunizations and physical exams.
Learn More about Parking/U•Pass® Student Transit Program for Metro & Metrobus
Parking: Students who are eligible to park at GW will only be assigned parking privileges on the campus where they reside or take the majority of their credit hours. Daily, monthly, and semester rates are available for the Foggy Bottom campus. VSTC offers free parking with pass, and Mount Vernon offers free parking up to 3 hours, and daily rates for additional hours.
U•Pass: The George Washington University has joined the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) U•Pass program, providing full-time students with unlimited use of Metrorail and Metrobus for a discounted, flat fee. Metro charges GW $1 per day during the semester per enrolled student. Students pay a subsidized fee of $100 on their eBill and the university covers the rest of the cost of the U•Pass transportation program.
Apply for a Parking Permit & Manage Account > Learn More About U•Pass >
Explore Campus Dining Options & Meal Plans
We take our food pretty seriously here, and we're sure to take full advantage of D.C.'s vibrant food scene. Designed to fit the busy lifestyle of students, GW dining supports a myriad of dietary preferences by providing healthy foods and convenience.
In addition to the GW Dining locations, we have relationships with more than 80 dining partners, including restaurant, quick service, fast-casual and grocery partners, at both on-and off-campus locations. These dining partners accept Dining Dollars and Campus Cash as a form of payment for your food.
- For Future Reference: Handbooks + Student Conduct
Review GSEHD Student Handbooks
We know, we know... No one ever reads the handbook. BUT we promise, there's a lot of important information included in them that will answer many of your questions and prepare you for registering for classes. Familiarize yourself with the topics included in case you need it in the future (ex: if you need to make a change to your course schedule, withdrawal from a course or program, etc).
Doctoral Students: Be sure to review the Doctoral Student Journey guide as well. It provides an excellent overview of the phases of your candidacy, expectations, additional checklists, and more.
Review Student Rights & Responsibilities + FERPA Materials
As a GW student, it’s important to know what GW expects of you and what you can expect from GW. The Code of Academic Integrity and the Code of Student Conduct provide some of the expectations for GW students’ behavior in class, outside of class, off-campus, and online.
GSEHD complies with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), commonly referred to as the "Buckley Agreement." If you want to grant another individual access to your financial, GWorld, and educational records, be sure to submit your FERPA Student Consent Form.
There are an abundance of resources available to support you in your time as a GW student/alumni. The list below is not comprehensive, but it provides a quick directory to some key departments and tools you may need to access.
- Student Services
- Course Registration/Academic Records: Office of the Registrar
- Program Requirements & University Policies: The GW Bulletin
- Online Course Support: GW Online | Blackboard Support
- GW Libraries & Academic Innovation:
- Peer Tutoring: Academic Commons
- Writing Support: University Writing Center
- Financial Aid/Fee Related
- Pay Bills, Review Financial Aid Awards, Access Forms, etc: Student Accounts
- Financial Aid: Office of Student Financial Assistance
- Additional Funding Opportunities: Office of Graduate Student Assistantships & Fellowships
- Campus Life/Business
- Technology Support: GW Information Technology
- Download Free Software
- Campus ID: GWorld Card
- Medical/Psychiatric Care, Counseling, Insurance: Student Health Center
- Safety & Security:
- Mount Vernon Campus Resources: Student Life
- Manage Parking Account/Pay Ticket: Parking at GW
- Dining Locations, Purchase Meal Plans: Campus Dining
- Housing: Campus Living & Residential Education is not currently able to offer housing to graduate, law, medical, and professional students. Current and prospective graduate students seeking housing opportunities near GW can explore the options below:
- Wellness Center, Club/Intramural Sports: Campus Recreation
- GW Bookstore
- Student Discounts
- Well-being & Support
- Medical + Counseling Services: Student Health Center
- Mental Health Support: GSEHD's Community Counseling Services Center (CCSC)
- Student Health Insurance: Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) through Aetna Student Health
- Comprehensive List of Well-being Initiatives/Resources: Division for Student Affairs
- Discrimination, Harassment, Violence Support: Title IX Office
- Campus Safety and Security: Division of Safety and Facilities
- Food Pantry: The Store
- Emergency Funding: Office of Student Financial Assistance