Washington, DC
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Reviews 1782 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Housing: Only Been There for One Year – The dorms are nice overall, but too cramped when they're being used for triples. McDowell also has some problems with mold on some floors. The cost is a bit high, but the campus is beautiful and there's a lot to do in the city. The food is only so-so, and sometimes makes people sick.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Cheaper Than on Campus – Housing is expensive but it's cheaper than staying on campus

4 College Junior

Academics: Any Major – Au promotes that if they don't offer your major you can always create one. This is rarely done but it has been done. You will need to work closely with professors and an advisor to create your program.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Friendly College Town – There is plenty to do in the area being in DC. However there is not much immediately next to AU. It's to be set in the suburbs. It makes you feel like you are at home.

5 College Junior

Facilities: Though AU rarely markets itself this way, the activism at our school is phenomenal. Everyone has their cause, and everyone is working to save the world in one way or another. There are clubs for everything, and there´s an impossibly active branch of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed community service fraternity, on campus.

College Junior

Greek Life: Greek life at AU may seem like it´s everywhere, but it´s really only about 17 to 20 percent of the student body. Parties are fun when you first get to school and want to meet lots of people, but most upperclassmen do apartment/house parties and bars and clubs much more than frat parties. Greek life is also pretty involved in philanthropy, so any event you plan will get a boost from inviting fraternities and sororities.

4 College Junior

Facilities: Campus Aesthetics – Campus is tiny but beautiful. There´s no more than a ten minute walk to any class, but the quad is a beautiful green space and there are always, always flowers.

5 College Junior

Facilities: Internships Rule All – I transferred to AU because I had a panic attack sophomore year about not being able to find a job post-graduation. Everyone I've talked to has a serious preference towards AU grads because they tend to be less entitled and work harder than the other schools in DC. I've had four internships since I transferred here, and I know that it'll be the difference between me and kids at my old school who only babysat for four years.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Parking: Well...It's DC – Permits cost nearly 1,000$, and there is no getting away with not having one. However, because there is a shuttle to metro, most kids do not find a need to have their cars on campus. I know many people with cars just sitting in their driveways at home because they refuse to bring them.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Great for Underclassmen – Dorms tend to be on the larger side (compared to other schools), clean and centrally located to classes. Centennial and Anderson Halls are regarded as the most widely desired. Especially with the Perch on the first floor of Anderson.

However, housing in DC is expensive and Room and Board cost reflects that. Room selection is awful, and Housing and Dining are completely unresponsive to civil requests. Plus, housing is no longer guarunteed for upperclassmen.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Everyone Fits in – I can't be happier with my decision to attend American. There's a place for everyone here. Everyone seems to find their own niche, and the student body is overall pretty friendly.

3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: There are locked closets in dorm rooms which RAs are not supposed to search. That's where people stash liquor. Everyone living on a given floor shares cost of vandalism.

2 College Freshman

Athletics: Sports Not Huge Factor – Sports are not a major part of the scene at American, though the men's basketball team and women's volleyball team have, at times, done well. But if you want to play just for fun, the variety of club and intramural sports is decent. The joke is that politics is the biggest sport on campus.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Common Sense = Pretty Safe – You can take a cab back to campus and get a voucher that pays for it. You can call for an escort at any time.

3 College Junior

Weather: Very Hot and Very Cold – In summer, it sometimes very hot, like 80°s, but it is not bad. Students can lay down on the grass on campus and enjoy the beautiful weather. In winter, it usually does not have much snow, but in February 2010, it snowed a lot and the school had to cancel for a week. The weather is sometimes unstable but it is sunny most of the time.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Appartments Are Okay – There are a lot of off-campus housing near American University. However, it is expensive to live by oneself. The high cost is understandable because there are located in Washington DC. Therefore, many students share a room with friends. It is convenient because it only takes 5 to 10 minutes to go to the university on foot.

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Students at American University can taste diverse ethnic tastes in Washington DC. To illustrate, there are Japanese, Thai, Korean, Mexican, and Italian restaurants near campus. These restaurants are good and students often enjoy eating out. There is always new taste that students can find in Washington DC.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: Everyone Is Welcome – There is every type of nationality here that you can think of.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: DC Is the Place to Be! There are always a ton of cultural, music, film, and other types of festivals going on in the DC area, not to mention all of the monuments and museums. The student/young adult population is a very active and important demographic in DC, and everything you could possibly need is within walking distance of a metro or bus station!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Serious Academics, Cultural Diversity – Academic programs are really great, especially for international studies majors. Most people on campus, even the party animals, are really into what they're studying. The location is definitely important--even if you don't get off-campus very often, being in DC gives lots of opportunities.
Racial diversity isn't great, but cultural and experiential diversity is huge.

3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Over-dressed for class most of the time (says mid-westerner). Most people are upper-middle class and thus rather arrogant, but you get used to it. SO MANY GAY/QUEER/ALLY/FEMINIST ACTIVISTS!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Many but Expensive – I am looking for apartments right now. Around campus things are pretty pricey, and I have seen a lot of rip-offs like "a move-in fee that's only $400!". Otherwise though, there are a lot of complexes in the area.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Shuttle, Metro, Buses. Shuttle takes you to metro, which is the best option to getting around DC. The walk isn't bad either. There are, however, frequently delays on the red line. Easy to get to airports. Shared ride programs available through the AU community, too.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: School spirit kicks in for the bigger basketball games.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: The dining at AU itself is average. However, the meal plan is terrible. At least a 150 block plan for freshman and those 150 meal plans can only go to three locations. The cash with our meal plans (Eaglebucks) can be used on campus and at local businesses; definitely a plus.


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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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