When it Comes to Doing Our Homework, You Can Count on GW

As one of the nation’s preeminent research institutions and one of the largest private employers in the Washington, D.C. area, GW is concerned with numerous policy and legislative issues at the federal level. The Office of Government Relations concentrates its policy focus on issues like student financial aid, federal research funding, immigration, and higher education reauthorization.

In addition, the Office participates in a variety of national forums and works with various higher education associations like the American Council on Education (ACE), the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to advocate for GW’s interests. 

Here are the primary areas of concern for the Office of Government Relations:

Student Financial Assistance

Containing the costs of a college education has, for good reason, become an issue of national concern. OGCR, on behalf of the university, advocates for increasing financial aid for students. Thousands of GW students benefit from a variety of federal need-based loans, including Pell Grants (1,726 awards for Academic Year 2021-2022). In March 2021, George Washington University signed onto a letter to congressional leaders calling on them to double the amount of the individual Pell grant. The university continues to work with the federal government to help ensure that qualified students, regardless of financial resources, can take full advantage of a GW education.

Federal Research Funding

In Fiscal Year 2020, GW spent $270 million on research, with well over half that sum ($157 million) coming directly from the federal government. GW appreciates the federal government’s commitment toward expanding national R & D through its partnership with American institutions of higher education.

As the primary office for advocating for GW’s share of federal funding, OGCR continues to ensure that this crucial source of financial support will continue to help GW fulfill its mission of advancing new knowledge and educating future generations of citizen leaders.


Rooted in the belief that GW is a better institution because of its ability to admit talented, gifted and passionate students without regard to national origin or ethnicity the university takes an active role in immigration policy, with a particular emphasis on policies that impact the undocumented and DACA communities. GW has a long history of supporting DACA recipients and undocumented students in the United States.The university has called on Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. 

In addition to protecting Dreamers, GW believes a robust international exchange of scholars is critically important. The university supports policies that allow US and international students to pursue studies abroad.

Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

Another key area of concern in Congress is the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The HEA is the landmark piece of federal legislation that governs higher education in the United States. Congress has periodically reauthorized the HEA since its creation in 1965 to reflect changes it feels are necessary for the higher education sector. 

Reauthorization of HEA will bring a whole host of issues on the table, from a full-scale reexamination of the entire federal financial aid system, including Pell Grants and all Federal Loan Programs, consolidating all federal loans and grants, streamlining FAFSA paperwork, increasing the amount of consumer information colleges provide to potential applicants, and devising new regulations on colleges and universities in several areas, including teacher preparation and college safety standards.

OGCR will continue to monitor the progress of HEA and help provide any necessary insight and expertise to ensure that its policies benefit both higher education in general and the entire GW community in particular.