Washington, DC
American University


231 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Rachel
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Our community is the most unique thing about American University. No matter where I go on campus, student, faculty and staff ...

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Our community is the most unique thing about American University. No matter where I go on campus, student, faculty and staff are always friendly. I feel like every time I attend a event on campus I am with my extended family. It was great to living in a welcoming community that was also a university.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I could talk to myself when I was a high school senior, I would tell myself not to worry about the unkown and enjoy the journey of life. Although I knew I was going to American Univeristy in December (I applied early decision), I was worried about the future. Would I have the same friends from high school? Did I make the wromg choice? I am too far from home? Will I like the professors and will they like me? I obessed over these questions and I now realize that I should have known that there will be ups and downs, but that in the end I made the right decision. I would tell myself to enjoy the adventure of college life.

What's unique about your campus?

Making connections with your professor is really important. Not only do they help you do well in your classes, but can also help you get internships or graduate school.

Heather
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Overall, I have a very positive opinion of AU. The best thing about the school is how much it prepares you to be in the real ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Overall, I have a very positive opinion of AU. The best thing about the school is how much it prepares you to be in the real world and how much the other students around you push you to be ambitious and get out of the classroom and into the city. I believe the school size is just right, however, recently AU has been accepting more and more students, so I believe that in the near future it could become a little too big. Another amazing aspect of AU is its location in Washington, D.C. As the nations capital, there are so many wonderful opportunities for internships and other experiences outside the classroom that will make your resume more appealing than another students. Washington is also a great college town that is thriving with young people who are also driven for success. AU's campus is in a great location because it is very close to downtown but still has a wonderful campus to sit and relax. The quad in the center of campus is one of my favorite places to hang out. However, I would have to say the one aspect that makes me dislike the school a bit is the administration. AU is very expensive, and the financial aid office can sometimes be less than helpful. There have been quite a few controversies involving the President and his salary compared with what he has actually done for the school. Yet each controversy at AU is a unique experience because the students are very involved and not passive at all. As a side note, the dining hall really sucks too, but there are other options nearby to get food that are great.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I would say the most popular student groups include political ones, environmental ones, and then Greek life (both social fraternities/sororities, and professional fraternities). Greek life at AU is something that is big, but also totally avoidable if you don't have any friends involved in Greek life; basically, it is there if you want it but you don't have to be consumed with it if you don't. I am involved in Phi Sigma Pi National Co-Ed Honors Fraternity, which is an amazing organization. Athletic events are overall not very popular, however, guest speakers populate AU all the time. The theatre puts on multiple shows each semester, yet is about a 15 minute walk from main campus. The dating scene can be a bit tricky, as AU's male population is about 30%, and of that 30% a lot of men are gay. However, DC is a college town so if dating at AU is not working out, there are plenty of other schools to check out. In general, I feel that people have a great mix between partying and studying. Since AU is a dry campus, none of the partying is actually done on campus, making it easier to get work done if you need to. DC is a very 18+ friendly city, so students can often be found at clubs, and once 21, bars. On a Saturday night that doesn't involve drinking, many times there is a concert or event on campus sponsored by a student group, and there is also The Perch, which is a hang out/coffee shop with games. I think it is very easy to meet people at AU.

What are the academics like at your school?

The academics at AU are the perfect mix of challenging and fun. Once you get past those few lecture hall intro classes (macroeconomics, biology, psychology, etc) the professors truly take the time to get to know you and usually have names down within the first couple of classes. AU has a great mix of fun classes and classes that are needed to survive in the real world. My favorite class at AU was "Personal Finance", and I believe that everyone should be required to take it before graduating. I would say that a students work really hard to achieve their grades, and their amount of studying reflects the grades they get. Personally, I work hard to get good grades; they do not come easy. Similarly, class participation is very common and makes the class more fun and go by faster. However, sometimes you get those people that just love to talk about their "unique" experiences, and therefore annoy the entire class. But there are usually only a few bad apples in each class. I truly feel that education at AU is geared toward both getting a job and learning to learn.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

There are both positive and negative stereotypes of students at American University. For positives, we are seen as ambitious, hard-working, internship-grabbing, and very busy students. Many students here have their first internship by sophomore year and many students are involved in multiple campus activities. We are also seen as a very politically active school, and that stereotype is 100% true. As for negative stereotypes, AU students can be seen as "rich white kids from New York and New Jersey" and people who take themselves way too seriously. While there are a lot of people from upper-class NY and NJ, that certainly does not mean everyone is from there (there is a surprising amount of student diversity and international students). Also, while people do take themselves seriously at AU, many people do not do it in a bad way; instead, they are just proud of their accomplishments. A last negative stereotype is that we don't have a lot of school spirit because we don't have a football team or any athletic team that brings the school together. While it is true that we are not an athletic school, and we are certainly lacking in school spirit compared to many other schools, a lot of students are proud of AU because the students here successfully dabble in both the real world (working/internships) and academic world (classes/student groups).

Robin
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

You don't need to sleep with the first guy who brings you a beer at a toga party. But if you do, don't beat yourself up about it. You don't need to go on a desperate search for a boyfriend just because you're no longer a virgin and yet you've never had a boyfriend. But if you do, just do it in a laid back fashion. When you meet your first true love sophomore year, you don't need to dump him for the blonde ROTC guy. But if you do, don't expect to ever marry your first true love (you might be better off without him anyway.) And about academics, well, just listen carefully in class and read as much as you can of the text. Whatever you do, don't worry too much about the tests and papers. Life will be life, and grades will happen. Just love yourself unconditionally, study what you're passionate about, and live life to the fullest.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

It's in a really cool city, Washington, D.C. So it's fun to take the Metro and go to ethnic restaurants and go shopping. The professors are good too. I enjoyed my literature classes a lot. Some of the other classes were good too, like history and anthropology.

Renee
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I was raised in a very non-traditional family and was not permitted to attend high school. I took it upon myself to acquire a...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I was raised in a very non-traditional family and was not permitted to attend high school. I took it upon myself to acquire a GED with only my sixth grade education, work ethic, and self-motivation. However, I did not understand the need to attend college until I was 24 and pregnant with my second child, waiting tables. If I could go back in time, I would encourage myself to not stop at my GED. Having completed my associate’s degree in biology and starting on a biochemistry degree, I wish I would have just started taking classes right away, even though I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do. The point is to always keep moving forward, even if it's just in baby steps. The purpose of a college education is not just for a degree but for life transformation. Each class you take molds you as a person and contributes to personal growth and self-discovery. Every step you take leads you closer to what you desire and a college education gives you the tools you need to realize your dreams and become, not just personally successful, but a productive member of society.

Lorraine
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

A place for passionate and adventerous people who love learning and finding new opportunities.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

A place for passionate and adventerous people who love learning and finding new opportunities.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

The school overcharges for meal swipes. My meal plan costs $17 a meal swipe, but paying out of pocket for dinner at the dining hall would only cost $13.50.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would advise myself as a high school senior to be confident about following my dreams, and to ignore what others say about how irrational it is. Dreams are for achieving.

Rachael
Describe the students at your school.

Everyone is super accepting to LGBT, racial, religious, and social differences in my experience. Like I said, even though th...

Describe the students at your school.

Everyone is super accepting to LGBT, racial, religious, and social differences in my experience. Like I said, even though there are a lot of white, upper-middle class students, 10% are international, a lot are gay, and I do feel like we have a varied school population, even if we are predominantly female. Kids are generally politically active and liberal, but there is a vocal, though outnumbered, Republican presence on campus. A lot of people wear the Northface-Uggs combination. To class, you can just wear jeans/sweats and a t-shirt. A lot of people wear school clothing. Some of the business school kids dress up everyday in case they meet some CEO or whatever. There's an unofficial dress code for the business school (Kogod). Some kids go through the Greek system, but no one really cares if you do or don't. There are lots of clubs, and they are featured at a big involvement fair twice a year. You can get involved in a variety of ways.

What are the academics like at your school?

All my professors know my name and overall I've had a really positive experience with all my professors. Students study a fair amount; it's like high school, the kids who care study and the kids who don't care don't study much. The library is open 24 hours on weekdays and it's fun to go in and see all the kids who have fallen asleep trying to pull all nighters. Professors have office hours and encourage you to visit them. The university is always improving its academic program; next year gen eds have been updated and adapted, which is really exciting. Well, it is for me anyway because I'm a nerd about choosing classes.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

Stereotype: Everyone here is studying International Relations and wants to save the world. Mostly female, very politically active, liberal leaning. We have the nickname "Gay Jew" (sounds like AU) because we're thought to have a lot of those people. Truth: Yes, we have gay people, Jewish people, and a lot of girls. A lot of kids are in the School of International Service (myself included). However, there are kids studying other things and we have good programs outside of International Relations. It's a balanced campus, very open minded and accepting of all types of people. We are about 10% international as well.

Andrew
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The school is in a good location in D.C. because it is not loud and right in the heart of the city, but if I did want to go t...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The school is in a good location in D.C. because it is not loud and right in the heart of the city, but if I did want to go to the heart of the city, it is only about a half hour away on the AU shuttle and metro. If I could change one thing about the university overall, it would be to add a lot more housing because not all juniors are guaranteed housing, and I do not think that is fair. Upperclassman have a very slim chance of getting housing.

What are the academics like at your school?

Most classes at American are not too big. Most of my professors know me by first name, with the exception of my 80 student psychology class, which is also the only class where the teacher does not take attendance. Accordingly, the biggest classes in that class are on exam day because that is the only day that matters. I have found so far in freshman year I can get by with minimal studying, and the general education classes are easy. My major/department is audio technology. The class sizes are really small so the professors know us all and the equipment is really quality. Overall, the education at American is geared more towards learning for its own sake.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

The stereotype here at American University is that most guys are gay, and that there is a lot of Jewish people, including myself. There is also the stereotype that people at American did not get into Georgetown or George Washington, so they ended up going to American. The main stereotype is that most of the students are rich.

Julia
What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

There is a stereotype that we are all into politics and that we have a high gay population. In reality, there are a bunch of ...

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

There is a stereotype that we are all into politics and that we have a high gay population. In reality, there are a bunch of kids that like to talk politics. On the other hand, if you don't want to talk politics, that's possible too. Nobody will force you to discuss anything you don't want to. And I will say that there is a high gay population at the school. The only issue with that is that girls find it hard to find straight guys.

Elise
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Work hard to get into your dream school and don't take no for an answer. Be realistic about the financial burdens of your cho...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Work hard to get into your dream school and don't take no for an answer. Be realistic about the financial burdens of your chosen school. Some times chosing to go to a different less expensive school can be a wise choice.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

This is one of the most expensive schools in the US and the univeristy is not overly generous with financial aide.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

To study International Relations you muct live in Washington DC. It is all about politics here. The opportunities are endless for internships and jobs during and after school. Nerworking is an art here and we all learn howto do it.

Christine
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Although American University may not be the social, partying mecca of Washington, DC (as some misinformed frat guys seem to t...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Although American University may not be the social, partying mecca of Washington, DC (as some misinformed frat guys seem to think), an AU education is definitely an asset for the future. AU students and professors are extremely motivated and innovative. It is the type of school where you should try to remember everyone (from your finance professor to that quiet girl who sat next to you in World Politics) because everyone is destined for greatness. Chances are that quiet girl will create the next big I-gadget. Comparatively, AU has a small campus and some may complain it feels like high school, but AU's location in Washington, DC definitely supplements the small campus feeling. Washington, DC is a great city and most students get internships around the city, gaining the chance to explore different parts of the city. The most recent controversies on campus have been surrounding the quick-selling tickets to the Founder's Day Ball at the Library of Congress and President Bill Clinton's visit. AU does not have much school pride when it comes to athletics. An AU student could probably name the past three AU student government presidents faster than one of the current AU men's basketball team members.

Describe the students at your school.

AU boasts a highly diverse student body, but I beg to differ. My high school was abnormally diverse, the minority being white students, so I was shocked by the lack of diversity at AU. I will say AU has a lot of international students; my first roommate was from Panama. AU does have a very large LGBT population and is a perfect place for those who are trying to figure out what they want to be in life. AU students are very open to alternate lifestyles. Students' wardrobes vary greatly. Some students will come to class looking like they literally rolled out of bed into their desk, while a Delta Gamma girl will come proudly wearing her letters. Being different is a staple at AU, so most students are comfortable talking to someone who might seem a little strange at first. Students are VERY liberal, but clubs such as the Kennedy Political Union try to stay as bipartisan as possible.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics are a major focus of American University students and professors. The class sizes are usually small, except for general education lectures. Class participation is a BIG deal. Most professors count class participation as more than just attendance. You must be willing to speak up. Students are not too competitive with others for getting the highest grade, but they are competitive within themselves. Students will push themselves to create work much more impressive than what their syllabus required. I am a Political Science major and Business Administration minor. The SPA department is one of the most popular on campus. The SPA advisors are average, but most of my professors have been excellent. The education at AU is definitely geared towards getting a job. Networking with other students, professors, and professionals is highly valued and our Career Center is one of the best in the country.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 7,900
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $44,853
  • Acceptance rate
  • 26%

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