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

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4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Lots of Things to Do – There are lots of clubs and hopefully frat parties if that is your thing. there are tons of shows, places to eat and things to see. running through the monuments at night is awesome

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Great Academic Programs – programs for your major are great. the gen ed program sucks though

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: I'd say we're a pretty diverse community. While we have a large number of upper middle class white students, we've got plenty of diversity that's continuing to grow here

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Facilities: It's in a great location, and there are so many opportunities for internships, etc.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Parking: It is AWFUL. They charge $1,000 a year!!!! We already pay enough money to go to that school, parking is OUTRAGEOUS and my least favorite part about American University.

5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: There are a lot of great restaurants and places to eat off campus and in Washington D.C. it just depends how far you want to go. Friendship Heights and Bethesda have some really great, and some of my favorite restaurants in the area.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Limited Variety, but Pretty Good. While many students hate on TDR (Terrance Dining Room), but I think that its good for college food. Tons of vegetarian options for sure, which I like even as a meat eater. Cons: Tavern is greasy besides the pizza and only two places on campus take meal swipes.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: DC Is a Great College City – DC is amazing, its the reason most of us chose American. There's always something to do. The mall is a fun place to go, but other great spots are the zoo, friendship heights (good shopping), metro center (which is downtown), and dupont circle, to name a few.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: AU first semester is often very quiet and shy. This turns off many new students who are outgoing and vibrant like myself. Spring semester gets 100000000 times better I PROMISED. I also joined Greek like which at a state school I would never have done but at AU it is a great way to meet more people and make lots of friends and party connections.

5 College Freshman

Weather: D.C gets amazing summers, chilly winters and beautiful fall and springs. It is the perfect average of all types of weather.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Parking: After 5pm on Fridays until Monday mornings there is free parking behind the dorms and in many other places. Never heard of anyone getting ticketed during the week, though I'm sure it happens.

2 College Freshman

Weather: Gets cold, but it stays warm for a while. Got all the typical weather stuff

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: In a City – Their are a handful of places near campus, but they are kind of far from main and the campus is in the city so everything is pretty accessable

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drinking Trumps It by Far – While there are some places and scenes where drugs are really important, most kids prefer to drink.

2 College Sophomore

Athletics: No School Spirit – Although the teams themselves are fantastic, there is no school spirit. Nothing to get kids excited for the games, no anticipation for a win or a loss.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: The food is ok sometimes, but other times it is really difficult to find something that is both healthy and tastes good.

5 College Junior

Facilities: At AU, you can be constantly plugged in to what's actually happening in the world, through your classes and outside of them. Students just actually want to do things with their time - Student Government, internships, club sports, theme parties. We send one of the highest percentages of our students to the Peace Corps compared to other schools. We have crazy high numbers of Boren Scholarship recipients (paid by the State Department to study abroad for a year, and get a guaranteed job on graduation). Our Career Center is phenomenal; they will get you where you want to be, whether in DC or anywhere else. I have had 3 internships in 3 years, and got academic credit for all of them, plus support and guidance from professors in the fields I was exploring. The vast majority of us will study abroad. My professors actually work in the fields they teach, from accounting to diplomacy to budget policy. DC is my classroom. Basically, I feel like we experience and debate the news before the rest of the world has time to refresh the New York Times homepage.

4 College Junior

Computers: Bring a Laptop, but Not a Printer – I know there are computer labs in the Library (several, including a Media lab), SIS, Anderson Hall, Hurst (stocked with math/stats/science software and tutors on standby), Kogod (business/finance/stats software), Tenley Campus/Federal Hall, and Katzen Arts Center (design/film/art software), and one other that I can't remember. There are also a dozen public computers scattered through the other buildings, including MGC (the student center). All the main labs have printers available. The library printers, especially on the ground floor, are crazy busy during the break between classes, so don't wait until the last minute to print your assignment.

Having a laptop definitely helps, unless you want to camp out at one of the labs for all your homework. If you live in one of the dorms with their own labs (Anderson/Letts/Centennial, Federal), it might be easier for those who don't want to buy one. Most are 24-hours a day during the workweek, if you do want to go that route. The library also rents out laptops, but never for more than a day. Also available for rent are DVD players, software, headphones, film equipment, etc. EagleNet, the campus wireless, is very secure, but occasionally slow - especially when everyone is streaming something at once, like the SuperBowl or the health care vote in the House. PC users sometimes have to wait a while for Cisco to let them log in, when they are booting up and connecting; Mac users never do. PCs and Macs can get repairs and service from staff in the Anderson lab, and if your machine is too broken to be saved, BestBuy is right across from the AU Shuttle stop in Tenleytown.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: There are many different fraternities/sororities to join at AU. If you do not join, however, it is not a school where Greek life students do not associate themselves with non-Greek students. Greek housing is located off campus in nearby Tenleytown. There are also a few professional fraternities. I am in the process of joining a professional fraternity, and I feel they are extremely beneficial to enhance social and academic life.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I arrived at AU in a very non-traditional way, but I am extremely happy I ended up here. The size of AU is perfect with roughly 6,000 undergraduates. Some classes are larger than others, but all of my professors are very accommodating and always available for help. Academically speaking, AU is definitely an up-and-coming school. It is becoming much more difficult to get into AU each year. The campus is really pretty, with all the academic building around a common green. The location is fabulous. Downtown DC is a quick metro ride away, and Chevy Chase, MD is within walking distance or one metro stop up and has great restaurants and shopping.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: The school cost so much it's difficult to get a great deal of diversity. There are a lot of International students.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: DC is a blast, but this is a school for serious students, parties and nightlife are secondary.

College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Availability, convenience,cost,landlords,parking,safety is very fine

4 College Junior

Academics: Health Promotion Program – Small program, about 35 undergrads & 40 grad students. Option of 5 year combined bachelor & masters program with a choice of 5 focus areas including: Health Communication, Health Policy etc. Program is very diverse, as is field. Overall anyone interested in preventative health from behavior change to exercise physiology, highly recommended.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: Should Be More Opportunities and Assistance – Office of Merit Award and Financial Aid has a useless website. There needs to be more outreach to students to apply for aid and the proper channels available to do so. Award listings would be helpful. Limited scholarships available from the school, which is not great because of the amount it costs to attend there.

1 person found this useful Report

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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Jesse MacDonald
Law & Society
View all previous student authors

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.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

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