Washington, DC
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Reviews 1657 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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3 College Junior

Athletics: Sports Are Secondary – The sports at American University are very well organized and important to the community, however academics are much more important here. Intramural sports are not the top thing to either but help the community.

3 College Senior

Facilities: Better Than Average – Nothing state of the art that I've seen but extremely up to date an well kept.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Ok I Guess – If you are willing to look you can find housing in dc.

3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Pretty Average – From my experiece it is neither better or worse than other campuses.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Expensive and Crowded – The dorms are nice, as long as you're in a newly renovated building, but the price tag was definitely not worth it. The housing lottery is competitive and it is difficult to get in the building you want after freshman year. Centennial is the best (but extremely difficult to get), Anderson, McDowell, and Hughes are all roughly the same. Letts is a freshman residence hall building which should be avoided until it is renovated.

4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drug Usage Is Low, but Still Occurs – American is a dry campus, although on campus drinking still does occur. However, there is never any pressure to drink or smoke. There are a lot of people who choose not to drink at all, and the University is constantly trying to come up with ways to decrease alcohol consumption and drug usage.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Excellent School, Hefty Price Tag – I love American and all the resources that are offered to me. The professors are amazing and I love being in the heart of DC. However, tuition is incredibly high and goes higher every year. It's a struggle for my family and I to afford my higher education, even with the very generous dean's scholarship I received.

2 College Junior

Weather: Its winters are no Boston but it can get uncomfortable

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: There is a free shuttle bus that runs every 15 to 30 minutes available to all American University students, staff, and faculty that travels between the main campus, the law school, and the Metro. Between the Metro and the Metrobus, one can get around pretty much anywhere in DC for two to five dollars. Being in a city, there are always taxi cabs available if you are willing to pay the high cab prices; however the taxi cabs tend to stay away from AU.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: DC Is Pretty Great – You definitely need to go out into DC as an AU student. Don't waste time on campus!! There is so much to do and see!

1 College Sophomore

Scholarships: American University is not at all generous or helpful with financial aid. The personnel at AU Central are rude and incompetent. AU raises tuition and fees a lot each year and reduces its aid packages to students each year. As a freshman you may get a good award, but they will take it away for sophomore year. I would look for outside scholarships rather than counting on money from American.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Parking: Do not bring a car to AU. Parking costs at least $1000 for a pass, and you aren't even guaranteed a space. Parking and owning a car in DC is incredibly expensive. Use public transportation instead!

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Metro Is the Way to Go – American's campus shuttle is a great enabler for students who want to venture off campus. It provides transportation to a metro stop that is literally a fifteen minute walk from campus. From that metro stop, students are able to travel anywhere within the city that metro will go. Metro fares range from $1-4 one way depending on how far you travel. DC's metro system is very easy to get used to.

1 College Freshman

Facilities: I graduated HS with a 4.5 GPA and taking all the honors and AP classes I could. American didn't even offer me enough aid to cover a semester of tuition, and were not very accommodating when I asked for an appeal (I come from a very low income family so I thought they could help). I think they're very over priced, especially with a 40%+ acceptance rate... its not like they're an Ivy. I really liked them though because their academics seem to be good, their location is great and the atmosphere seems wonderful. But if you're on a budget don't expect help even if you are a good student.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: The University itself is small and you can walk pretty much everywhere. We do have shuttles that circle the main campus, go to the Law School and to Tenleytown (and also Tenley Campus). They are pretty repliable and come about every 15 minutes. During rush hour those busses do get packed so just be aware of that. They run pretty late too. On school nights they only run till 12 at night. on weekends they run till 3am. and they are, of course, free.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Lots of Choices – Nearby is Tenley town which has a few choices such as a new Panera! A few places there also accept eagle bucks. There's also a CVS and Wholefoods that take them. Subway's eagle buck card reader has been "broken" for awhile.
Nearby is also the metro stop which can take you to plenty of other options. D.C. is a diverse city so there are lots of different things to try. I was surprised to find so many Pho restaurants! (and by many, I mean 3, but still) I still want to try Ethiopian food. If you look around, it's not to hard to find a some affordable places to eat off campus. You may have to take the metro to get to some of them, but it's well worth it.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Depends on the Crime – The school is stricter on punishing plagiarism instead of drinking on campus.
That being said, they care more about your safety than anything else. For example, drunk students are allowed back in the dorms, as long as you don't bring back any alcohol with you. The campus is a dry campus, so you will get in trouble if you're caught drinking in the dorms. I believe you get a series of warnings and chances before you get in serious trouble or kicked out. it's not that many though.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Good Food, Sometimes Repetitive (Bad at Making Asian Food) – Maybe it depends on how you ate before you came here or something, but I don't think the food is horrible. Some people complain about it but guys...we get french toast in the mornings! we can make waffles! One night was free pancake night!
There are plenty of options to choose from. Occasionally, it will suck, because you won't like anything there and you have to eat Pizza or make yourself a sandwich. but there are enough things there that you can throw a little something together. there's a whole sandwich bar.
There are also vegetarian options which i think are pretty good, because sometimes i take stuff from there even though i still love meat.
Sometimes, it gets a little repetitive. Just know how to mix it up.
Occasionally, there are bad days when the food is gross. As in doughy pizza. or something that is under cooked.
But overall, I think the Cafe is not that bad.
Unless it is Asian food. Then don't even bother, it's so bad. Dumplings with carrots? I don't think so.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Facilities: New and Old – The new SIS building is SUPER nice. Nice to look at, sit in, study, etc. it's also green, with solar panels and it even captures rain water for reuse! even the old buildings are nice. They have this kind of old, DC style look to them. the old down side is some of them don't have elevators. But stairs help you avoid the freshmen 15. And it's really not that horrible of a walk.
The library is also great. it has this cool cafe/study&eat place called the mudbox located downstairs. even has a media center where you can rent movies.
Only downsides are that some buildings are old and not every place is state of the art. and yes, classrooms still use chalk boards, but at least you aren't sitting in desks from the 1800s.

2 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Frats Make School Look Bad – The university does not allow frats to have official houses, so they rent houses and throw wild parties which causes problems with the residents in the generally afluent neighborhood. If you arent a hot girl or a member of a frat, dont expect to be allowed into any of their parties. If youre not a jock, or extremely wealthy, don't expect to get into a frat. Also, there is a pseudo-frat that isint recognised by either the university or any national fraternity, which is known for excessive drug use and is believed to be more of a crime syndicate than a frat. If youre female, watch out as there have been several sexual assaults at frat parties in recent years.

3 people found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Parking: Expensive and Unreasonable – Parking is available for sophomores and above. Freshman are not permitted to have cars. A parking permit costs around $1500 per semester, so If you don't really need a car, don't bring it. Parking Control tickets any car that doesen't have a permit every day, and tickets can be up to $500.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: Wireless Internet Sucks – the school has some computer labs, but most students just use the free wifi-however the wifi is prone to crashing or is very slow.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Not Politically Accepting – The school and staff are mostly liberal and are generally intolerant of anyone who is moderate or conservative. There have been several instances where conservative political figures have been protested, interrupted or heckled by protesters. Overall the school is tolerant, but only if you agree with their ideology.

College Junior

Parking: I Dont Have a Car – I cant really speak to this my friends who have cars say that it sucks?

3 College Junior

Diversity: Pretty Diverse – American has a large diversity in student population. I contribute this mainly to the fact that they are located in DC.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Jesse MacDonald
Law & Society
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Many students agree that there is something for everyone at AU, and they are rarely ever bored. Though the school’s population is relatively small and has fewer parties compared to state schools, many claim that it is worth it to be in D.C. and the surrounding area. 

Upon arrival at AU, the adjustment period can be tough for people not accustomed to an urban setting. However, making friends is quite easy, and even the shyest students will be able to integrate themselves into the small, tight-knit AU community. For the most part, students have no problem expressing themselves socially or academically. It seems that a “work hard, play hard” philosophy best suits the students at American University.

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