Location: Washington, D.C.
Size: 6,824 Undergraduate, 3,449 Graduate, 1,716 Law
Percent Women: 60%
Tuition (one year): $41,833
Most Popular Majors: International Relations and Affairs; Business Administration and Management, General; Political Science and Government, General; Speech Communication and Rhetoric; and Criminal Justice/Safety Studies
Greek Life: Yes
Acceptance Rate: 41.6% (2012)
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit American’s website.
Why Choose American?
"The opportunities I've been presented with and the people I've met have changed me immensely, and only for the better. I am much more aware of who I am and who I want to be thanks to the faculty and students at AU.”
"I've met some amazing people are doing really cool things in their field. Everyone has a worldly perspective and I feel as though I fit into that.”
"The school is big enough to always meet new people, but small enough to make it feel like a community. I feel prepared for the real world, but I have also had fun in college. I have memories and friendships that will last the rest of my life.”
"The Professors for the most part are excellent and going to AU has given me tons of great experiences such as interning at The Washington Post and going abroad to Europe for a semester."
"The awesome poeple, location, activities, and professor made it a great choice. Going to school in a city is a must."
“The location, the campus, and the professors: they are all incredibly experienced and truly care about their students 100%.”
“I would have to say the friends I made are going to be life-lasting relationships.”
“The size, the lack of sports, and the proximity to the city without being downtown.”
“Really politically active. Clubs bring in really cool speakers, like Bill Clinton!”
“AU offers access to urban life while combining students with the comfort of a campus.”
"I chose AU because it has honestly the best location that opens so many doors. Whether it is for internships, exploring the city, or networking with established individuals, D.C. is the place where everything happens. On top of being a place of opportunity, it really is just so much fun to hop on the metro and enjoy everything D.C. has to offer (free museums, monuments, speakers, concerts, shopping and amazing food!)"
“The pressure to stay politically active and girl/boy ratio.”
“The classes offered are standard, I wish there were "cooler" classes to take.”
“The lack of straight available desirable men is appalling. Frats are annoying and sororities seem non-existent. You will keep running into the same people all the time, and the campus feels like its shrinking more and more everyday.”
“There isn't much a diverse selection of food on campus, but probably because D.C. has so many great selections!”
New Collegiette on Campus
"It can be scary to be a freshman at American, but not to worry-- you'll make friends fast."
"Orientation does a pretty good job at getting you ready for school. Join clubs fast and talk to many poeple as possible to get used to AU."
"No special traditions for first-year students, but they have a big event in August to get ready for classes."
"They have dorms just for freshman, so you live with a ton of freshman and get to know a ton of people because you share that experience."
"As an international student I didn't have a great first impression, but it took time and got a lot better."
All About Academics
“Course reserves at the library are a great feature to have because you don’t have to buy books and carry them around. It saves your bank account and your back.”
“Academics at AU are very strong with knowledgeable professors. Expect to work hard at American as A's do not come easy. Work hard and you will do fine, slack off and you will not."
“The academics are challenging but not grueling. I've found almost all of my classes to be completely worth the time and energy I have put in to them, expanding my knowledge exponentially.”
“I'd say medium in difficulty. It depends on the class/teacher but some are really manageable while others take a ton of work. Everyone's academically oriented but also know when to relax!”
“Fairly strong, not overly challenging but far from easy. Due to a growing student population, average GPAs might seem low, but don't underestimate the classes.”
Learn from the Best
"Go to office hours! A lot of people go and it's the best way to make a special impression with your teachers. It is extremely helpful."
"There are tons of popular professors, like Talan and Kumar in the School of Communication, so be sure to try and take a class with a popular professor."
"The classes with the better professors are the best. They go back the quickest and you will remember them the most."
"My favorites include Sanal Mazvancheryl in Kogod, Caty Borum Chattoo in SOC."
"I have had bad professors and good ones. Just make sure to do your research."
Interests & Involvement
"There is seriously no excuse for not being involved on campus at AU. There is Greek life, organizations for all creeds, political beliefs, and interests. There is something for everyone and it's so easy to get involved."
"No one is forced to really be a part of something. Unlike high school you can't join everything, you really have to choose wisely of where you want to spend most of your time and effort.”
“AU has tons of different people ranging from sorority girls to hipsters to nerds to sports jocks. The key to AU is finding your own niche within the crowd. There are tons of organizations such as fraternities and other organizations that you can join. People generally work hard during the week, and party hard over the weekends.”
“For some they're involved in a million different club like they were in high school. Other kids slip under the radar, it really just depends on the student. Greek life isn't that big compared to some state schools, but there is a Greek presence on campus. The professional fraternities are also popular. We have some sports, but to be honest I've never been to an event, never will, and do not feel as though I'm missing out.”
“There are so many varied ways for everyone to get involved. You are guaranteed to find something you want to spend time doing, and they are a fantastic way to make friends, especially freshman year.”
"There's isn't much team spirit in terms of sports here, but they really try."
"It is not super popular to attend sporting events at school, but everyone has at least been to one event, so that's nice."
"We offer intramural and club sports and a lot of people are active in those."
"Athletes are all friends but they are also friends other people-- it's not a weird thing to be a student-athlete."
Check out the AU Athletics website for more information! Go Eagles!
"There are so many women on campus, much more so than guys. It's comfortable in a lot of ways."
"A lot of women hate the gender ratio, but that's because it's harder to find men to be friends with or date. It's always been an issue."
"I know so many women who have a women's issue they really care about, it's extremely important to a lot of my friends."
"There is a lot of awesome programming on campus for women, but sometimes it can be a lot to handle if you don't always agree on women's issues, choice vs. abortion."
Food & Drink
“The food is okay. They just added a lot of options but they still get old fast.”
“Being a vegetarian at AU is really easy because there are lots of different options in the dining hall so you don’t have to eat the same things every day.”
“There's only really one true dining hall. It's pretty good. If you want greasy American food there's another one called "the Tavern" you can go to. It's nice when you're on campus and you're a freshman but once you start to figure out how you like to live I think grocery shopping is the way to go.”
“Could be a lot better. But, that's what D.C. is for. (And the on-campus Subway and Starbucks).”
“TDR is usually okay, and if you do not want TDR there are lots of other options close by, although those are usually less healthy. There are a lot of vegan options, but the salad bar can be somewhat lacking at times.”
"Some people choose to go out. Some people choose to stay in. It's honestly all up to you. There are parties, but no one is forcing you to go. It fits you, no matter what you like."
“Student life really is whatever you want it to be. If you want to go out and party, you can. If you'd rather stay in and watch a Disney movie, you can do that too. I promise that whatever you prefer, there are plenty of other people who will want to do it with you.”
“Since Greek life isn't a big thing, the party scene isn't that intense. It really depends on your group of friends, but small invite-only apartment parties are what most people do. Any night you can find upperclassmen at Chef Geoffs for happy hour or on Thursday nights everyone can be found at Clyde's.”
“Some party, some don't. Some see movies and some go into the city to hang out.”
“During the weekends students take advantage of everything that D.C. has to offer in terms of going out. Students take advantage of free museums and events, but also take advantage of the numerous bar areas and clubs in the area.”
“Students generally live on campus the first two years in the dorms, which is the best way to make friends and get used to not living at home. During junior year, some students move off campus and others stay on campus for a semester since tons of juniors go abroad. Senior year almost everyone lives off campus.”
“Freshman and sophomores are guaranteed on campus housing if they want it, but most people live in apartments sophomore year and on because it can be cheaper if you do it right. That being said, the on campus housing is very nice, and most buildings are in great condition and are constantly being renovated.”
“The housing lottery is a real pain. If you get a high enough number, you may as well just sign up for off campus housing at the Berkshire Apartments along with half the other upperclassmen. A lot of people live off campus, but you have to live with a group of people because rent is super, super expensive in the neighborhood surrounding AU.”
“Freshmen and most sophomores live on campus, then I'd say most juniors and all seniors live off campus. Freshman year you rank what buildings you'd want to be in (top three), and they place you. The rest of the time you get put into a housing lottery, it's only cool if you get a low number. It's an annoying process and on-campus housing is expensive. You can get much better stuff off campus in the area. Apartments/sublets/living with families are common housing setups.”
Exploring Washington, D.C.
“The location, Washington, D.C., is so perfect. The city is full of amazing opportunities, but when you're on campus you don't feel like you're trapped in the hustle and bustle of the city. It truly has the best of both worlds.”
“It was in the perfect location for my major: international relations. It seemed like it was the perfect size, and it had people I could relate too interests wise.”
“Great location, good reputation, and generous in scholarships.”
“I really like the feel of the campus. The students are nerdy, international, and laid back. I also liked that there was a campus but you still has city aspects of public transportation.”
HC's Complete College Guide: American University
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