The country's oldest Catholic and Jesuit university, Georgetown is one of the more expensive schools in Money's rankings. But one reason for that — its location in Washington, D.C. — is also one of its biggest draws, especially for students interested in politics or international relations.

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With a beautiful red brick campus overlooking the Potomac, Georgetown frequently welcomes Washington's elite to lecture or teach. Among the university's recent additions is former White House COVID-19 advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, who joined the faculty after retiring from government service. Other distinguished alumni include actor Bradley Cooper, comedian John Mulaney and Today show host Savannah Guthrie.

Roughly 4 in 10 undergraduate students receive some form of grants or scholarships to help defray their costs. Georgetown's graduation rate is roughly 94%, and students post median earnings of roughly $102,000 a decade after enrollment. Sports are a big part of campus life: The school touts that 1 in 10 undergraduates is a varsity athlete. Its revered basketball team has made it to the NCAA Final Four five times and clinched the championship once, in 1984.

In one of Georgetown's more head-turning traditions, students can attend screenings of The Exorcist each Halloween — and then walk to sites on campus where the movie was filmed, including the "Exorcist stairs," where the film's climax takes place.