Washington, DC
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Reviews 1785 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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3 College Freshman

Transportation: Not Too Bad – There isn't actually that much to do in the immediate area so if you want to go out you will pretty much need to take a cab or the metro. I would almost always chose to take the metro because it's easier, cheaper and cab companies are not that reliable. However when it comes to going into Tenleytown the school has a shuttle that runs until 2 in the morning on the weekends and starts really early in the morning. It sometimes takes a while so if you're not opposed to walking it can be easier, but the buses will always be there

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: A Bit of a Hassle – American has a lot of financial aid available. With the acceptance letter, AU includes offers of merit aid, which is usually a significant amount. The process of obtaining additional financial aid was not too difficult. All of the necessary forms were available online on the student portal, and it was easy to check what parts of my financial aid had been processed and awarded by checking the student portal. My only complaints were that the financial aid office misplaced one of my documents and did not inform me, and that it was incredibly difficult to obtain a bill with all of my financial aid subtracted so that I could see exactly how much I had left to pay. However, the financial aid office is easy to get in contact with and is very helpful when you speak to representatives in person. My recommendation in terms of the financial aid process would be to stay on top of the process, check your financial aid periodically to ensure that you are receiving all of the aid that you should be, and don't hesitate to contact the financial aid office with any questions or to clarify aspects of your financial aid package.

3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Looks Are Average – In general, looks are not a main focus at American. Most students are of average attractiveness, and students are usually dressed comfortably, or dressed professionally (i.e. suits, dresses, etc.). AU has a fairly high gay population, and a significant percentage of the student body is in a relationship. Because of this, the population of straight, single students is rather limited.

4 College Freshman

Academics: A Great Choice! Political Science and International Studies are the two most common majors at American University, and as such the programs for both majors have attracted excellent professors and offer a variety of classes to allow for specialization and an impressive breadth and depth of education. The workload varies greatly depending on the specific classes being taken and the professor teaching the class, but generally the workload is not unmanageable and it is possible to take advantage of a variety of extracurricular and employment opportunities while also maintaining a high GPA. In terms of internship and employment opportunities, American University is superior. There are countless opportunities for on-campus employment, and AU also boasts an excellent career center, which helps students to get internships on Capital Hill, or in various NGO's, non-profits, and private companies. In addition to all of these qualities, AU is made up of beautiful white buildings and classic architecture, which makes it an even more enjoyable place to go to school. Although it's expensive, it is undoubtedly worth every penny.

3 College Junior

Overall Experience: Overall Fun – American is a good school for most things, and an excellent school for very few things. If you're interested in international relations, it's a good bet, and if you're not, you should probably look somewhere else.

4 College Junior

Transportation: It's very easy to get around DC; there's a shuttle from AU to the nearby Tenleytown Metro stop, and there are also bus stops along the "N" route of Metrobuses.

2 College Junior

Parking: Getting parking at AU requires an incredibly expensive permit, as does parking in DC in general. More likely than not, it's not worth it to bring a car.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Things to Be Proud – Excellent teachers staff, great location, lot of opportunities to learn and grow

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Happy University Life – Logical policies that warranty a decent behavior in the student community

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Great Cultural Events – D.C. is one of the most cultural cities in this country. The Mall is the best place to visit and get contact with a bunch of free Museums that bring you an excellent opportunity to know about history, science, astrology and many others topics. American University is located in the heart of D.C. allowing their student to visit the mall every single week end.

3 College Junior

Weather: Nothing Out of the Ordinary – Weather in Washington is forever changing. One week it will be freezing, the next it will be sweltering--literally. Thankfully, extreme weather here is pretty rare and it's never too cold or too hot.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: It doesn't dominate the social scene but it does play a big role in terms of parties and stuff. It really is what you make it. Personally, I don't enjoy Greek social life so it's been pretty easy for me to avoid it especially with the nightlife alternatives that Washington, DC has to offer.

2 College Junior

Athletics: Not Very Big – Hardly anyone at American is interested in sports or attending any sort of athletic functions. The majority of students here are either gay or female.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: The shuttle runs to the tenleytown metro stop that has a variety of good places to eat. You can always take the metro to a favorite of your choice, just a few minutes away.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: It Really Depends – If you're an upperclassman, good luck. AU basically houses only 25% of juniors and seniors right now, but they are planing to build a lot more housing, so that will change in a few years. The south side if campus has pretty good dorms, but the north side ones are kind of gross.

4 College Sophomore

Computers: there are a lot of labs to choose from, and the computers range from basic computing (internet, microsoft word) to adobe suite programs, final cut, business school labs, etc. Its not hard to find an empty computer if you need one. Almost everyone does have their own laptop, though.

4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: "Officially" a Dry Campus – American University has a dry campus, but obviously that is impossible to enforce. People drink and smoke in the dorms, but it is pretty concealed. Basically everyone goes off campus to drink, smoke, and whatever. I think drinking and smoking has the same popularity.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: One of the many reasons I chose to attend this school is the diversity. American's Study Abroad program is one of the best in the country with 30+ different places to study. I would highly recommend this school to anyone who wants to travel!

The social scene is also extremely diverse. The Gay & Lesbian community has certainly stepped up their game. 33 percent of the male population is gay. If you are a white-bred person, you are going to be the minority. Most of the students are Middle Eastern, Asian, African American, etc.

Since the campus is really small and closely-knit, you are friends with almost everyone you meet at events, in the cafeteria's and at clubs. The school in itself feels like a family.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Got Bank? There aren't many choices for off-campus housing. Since American University is in the heart of Washington D.C., the prices are fairly steep for what they have to offer. Two of the closer apartments are The Berkshire and Greenbriar. These two just happen to be right next to each other and average at about $4500 per month. Unfortunately, the landlords charge you for every additional person over 3 that stays in the room. The walk to the campus from these two popular apartment complexes is about 3 blocks.

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4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: No Need for the Popo's – I have never felt unsafe on our campus. Campus police are constantly patrolling around which gets annoying sometimes, but then I think about what the big cause if really for. The blue light system is readily available if a problem should arise. The school also offers a R.A.D. System program which has different courses set up for males, females, and staff. I would definitely recommend taking the class because it teaches you self-defense in the case of an emergency.

3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Interesting Mix – The girls are very concerned with appearances for the most part. Most girls, even with an 8:30am class, will come with hair and make up done, skirts and cute tops, and look all nice. A handful, especially the girls on sports teams with early morning practice, come in flip flops and sweats. But it seems like it's only acceptable for those girls to dress like that. There doesn't appear to really be a casual appearance here.
The guys are mostly gay, geeky, WAY into partying, or some combo of that. There is a high number of gay students, so dating isn't really an option. The geeky guys are super nice, but definitely very geeky. And have fun, but be wary, of the partying guys.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Terrace Dining Room – It's the only dining hall on campus. It's...alright. Sometimes, the food is pretty good. There are tons of options from pizza to asian food to cheeseburgers. However, there are a lot of nights that you go and the food is just not as good as other nights. Those nights, you go to the Eagle's Nest and pick up something to make yourself or to snack on.

4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Pretty Good – It's right in DC. The school shuttle will take you to the Metro and from there you can catch the bus or the rail to ANYWHERE in DC (and some spots in Virginia and Maryland). It's a great place to see and to experience what you're learning about in the classroom. There's a place for everyone. Everyone I know has their group. The professors are awesome and helpful and care about their students as more than just a number. It's a kind of unknown college, but worth it in the end.

3 College Freshman

Facilities: Depends on the Building – The facilities at American vary. Most of the classrooms and other student centers have been updated and look pretty nice and feel clean and new, but some, especially the residence halls haven't been updated and you can definitely tell. But even the building that haven't been updated aren't terrible. They just aren't as nice as the other buildings.

1 College Freshman

Parking: I mean, it's not that parking here is bad, it's just that no one really has a car, so parking really isn't needed unless you live off campus or if you are a professor. But parking generally sucks 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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