American University: Access and Opportunity for All
At American University (AU), poised just a few miles from the hub of our nation’s government in Washington, DC, students can expect to have access to a world of opportunities in politics, business, education as well as culture and religion. AU’s personality is driven by political and social awareness and activism which draws students interested in politics, journalism and communications, international relations and global social issues.
AU is made up of fewer than 13,000 total students with undergraduates making up about 7,200 enrollees. It is a private, liberal arts, co-ed institution and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Despite its proximity to the heart of DC, the campus sits in a safe neighborhood, Tenleytown. Getting around DC is not difficult with the fantastic transit options. The best part: the transit pass is free with AU tuition.
As with many small to medium sized private schools, AU can off small class sizes and a faculty to student ration of 1:12. All classes are taught by professors; not teaching assistants. This is a tremendous plus for students looking for that direct interaction with professors at every stage of their education. AU is also hoping to boost student interaction and ease freshman students into college with their new AU Core curriculum and American University Experience, courses designed to address the challenges of young adulthood and recognize the historical and current challenges of identity (racial, social, gender, etc.) in today’s society.
The university is divided into 8 colleges including The School of International Service, Kogod School of Business and the School of Communications. The School of International Service is the largest international relations school in the United States and attracts the most AU students.
AU-Ritsumeikan University Sakura Scholars is a one-of-a-kind Global International Relations (GIR) Joint Degree Program between AU and Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto, Japan). Students spend two years at each campus and graduate with a diploma accredited by both a U.S. and Japanese Institution providing global career networking opportunities.
Many students select AU because of its communication and journalism programs and internship opportunities in the School of Communication (SOC). If you want to be a serious journalist, learning how to cover current events in the seat of US government is a great place to do it. AU offers five undergraduate degree options in the SOC, including film and media arts. But, college isn’t all about classes.
Prospective students will be happy to learn that the housing at AU has improved in the last year or so with the new East Campus development including the new sophomore residence halls opened in 2017. In 2018, the new “first year experience” will include freshman housing complete with first year advising offices on site. Each freshman will be assigned an advisor who is responsible for just 80 students, so personal guidance, interaction and support will only be steps away.
Socially, Greek life is present (25% of students participate), but it is not a cornerstone of life on campus. Students often choose to participate in one of the 250 student organizations on campus.
AU is considered a very selective school, with just 26% of the approximately 19,000 applicants admitted. However, if AU is your first choice, and you can stomach the $63,000 cost of attendance price tag including room & board, fees, etc. (note: the average student financial aid award is $36,320 and students are not required to live on campus), 85% of Early Decision applicants are accepted. AU looks very favorably on “genuine” demonstrated interest including campus visits, interviews, etc.
For students that want in on the action in Washington and have an interest in social and political issues of our time, American has a world of opportunities waiting to be discovered. For more about AU, visit their website at www.american.edu.
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