A wide variety of housing options are available throughout the metropolitan area. Personal preferences are generally the deciding factors in choosing a home. For GW students, proximity to campus may make a difference in where you want to live. No matter where you decide to make your home, close to campus or far away, there are tradeoffs. If cost is a key issue, remember that the farther away from the city, the less expensive the housing. If you rely on public transportation, keep in mind that living in the city requires less travel time. If you own a car, you should know that parking is generally difficult in the city, as street parking is scarce and garages often cost approximately $15 per day.
The District of Columbia is divided into four quadrants, with the U.S. Capitol serving as the center point. The quadrants correspond to the compass directions: Northwest, Southwest, Northeast and Southeast. Below is a brief overview of each quadrant:
- Northwest: the Northwest quadrant is home to GW's Foggy Bottom and Foxhall neighborhoods as well as Georgetown and Dupont Circle. It is the largest area of the District and is composed of several contrasting neighborhoods, including older areas and those being modernized and renovated. Most neighborhoods within Northwest, DC are accommodated by both Metro buses and the Metrorail system.
- Northeast: the area around Howard, Catholic, and Gallaudet Universities and Union Station. As many residents of this area are students, housing options are less expensive and less luxurious. Metro buses travel regularly through all major arteries within Northeast and both the yellow and green lines of the Metrorail system service neighborhoods of this area. Commuting time to campus is approximately 20-40 minutes.
- Southwest: the downtown area near Washington's waterfront. Southwest includes a wide range of economic and ethnic groups and is the location of many Federal buildings. New apartment complexes are being built in this area at very reasonable rates. Public transportation exists in the way of Metro buses and the Metrorail system. Commuting time to campus is approximately 20-30 minutes.
- Southeast: the neighborhood most famous in this area is "Capitol Hill" location of the Library of Congress and most major government offices. The Southeast is a very historic area, consisting of important Federal buildings and residences representing diverse architectural styles. Members of the political set, many Federal employees, and young professionals make their home in Southeast. Due to the diversity of the residents housing options and prices in the Southeast vary greatly. Public transportation via metro bus and the Metrorail system are available on a frequent basis. Commuting time ranges from 30-40 minutes in rush hour.
You'll find brief descriptions of popular neighborhoods in and around Washington, DC:
- Foggy Bottom
- Dupont Circle
- Capitol Hill/Eastern Market
- Adams Morgan
- Cleveland Park/Woodley Park
- Arlington, Virginia
- Alexandria, Virginia
- Silver Spring, Maryland
- Bethesda, Maryland