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

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College Freshman

Parking: The college uses economics to stay green-a parking permit is somewhere around $800.

College Freshman

Computers: Please bring your own computer. The computers in the library sometimes break down. On the bright side, if you bring your own, you will enjoy the wonders of an entirely wireless campus, and yes, that includes the outdoor areas. The network runs great. They rarely have to perform maintenance on it, and it's almost always up and running.

College Freshman

Greek Life: Frats are not allowed to live on campus, but they still play a role. Greek parties are frequent. However, there are still enough non-affiliated students.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: The restaurants off campus are great. There are plenty of selections in nearby Tenleytown, and a myriad of ethnic food options inside of DC.

College Freshman

Drug Safety: The drug scene is noticeable but avoidable.

College Freshman

Overall Experience: My overall experience of American University is mostly positive. I would probably come here again if given the choice. The main factors that would make me less certain than I was at the time I chose AU are the finances and the distance from home-the latter being something I really wish I had considered more strongly in the selection process.

College Freshman

Campus Housing: The dorms are fine, but thin walls make conversations almost impossible to carry out without anyone nearby hearing. This is especially disheartening at night when you are trying to get to sleep and the people next door are talking-even if they are not being particularly loud.

College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Washington, DC is a truly extraordinary city. There are so many cultural opportunities that I scarcely know where to begin. As far as other students, DC has a lot of colleges, and the Metro makes visiting people from other schools pretty easy.

College Freshman

Guys & Girls: I would say you find all types in the way of physical appearance. One thing that does characterize AU students, however, is that the majority are very outspoken. AU is not a great school to attend if you are not an opinionated person.

College Freshman

Diversity: Diversity is stressed at AU. There is much in the way of ethnic diversity. However, in terms of other types of diversity, I find it a bit limited. Politically, the school is very liberal. While there are conservatives, they are mostly seen and not heard. In terms of religion, there is a strong atheist contingent and not very much else in the way of diversity. The problem is worse in terms of economic diversity, though. The cost of getting a top-notch education in an already expensive city like DC is prohibitive for most folks. You wind up with a group of relatively wealthy and intelligent elites, which does not lend itself easily to a lot of real life experience, in terms of meeting people of different backgrounds.

College Freshman

Academics: The professors at American University are, for the most part, great. Most of the classes are not oversized, so there is a lot of discussion, which is helpful. Most importantly, they are incredibly knowledgeable about their subjects. You are learning from true experts. I am a political science major, and the political science program at American University is top-notch.

College Freshman

Facilities: I enjoy the library at American University, although there are certainly nicer ones I saw when taking campus visits in the college selection process. But, it serves its purpose. The nice thing is that AU is part of the DC consortium, so if you want a book that another school in the DC area has and AU does not, you can request the book and get it (usually) within a couple days.

College Freshman

Athletics: Varsity sports are pretty much a joke. American University (infamously) does not have a football team. The Division I men's basketball team is fun to watch and made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in its history. But in addition to football, there is no varsity team for hockey, baseball, and men's lacrosse.

College Freshman

Campus Strictness: The campus police do not catch the vast majority of drinkers and drug users. When they are caught, the consequences can be relatively painful. Also, I should mention that American University is a dry campus, so even those over 21 can be held responsible for drinking or knowingly being in the presence of another drinker.

College Freshman

Campus Dining: The food on campus is decent. The Terrace Dining Room is the only dining hall, and it's good most of the time, although one does tire of eating pizza every time that something questionable is the main meal. Also, there is a Subway, a McDonald's, and an Einstein Bros. Bagels. Most of the interesting food, though, is really in the city or in nearby Tenleytown, which is a short, free shuttle ride away.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: It is about the same cost. There are apartments near campus that are walkable to school. AU tries to have apartments for upperclassmen to save them money, but it all works out the same in the end.

College Freshman

Overall Experience: I would be here if I had to do it all over again. AU is a perfect school for me. It is in the city but has a campus. The people here are nice and fun. The balance of schoolwork and play is awesome.

College Freshman

Drug Safety: It exists, but it isn't too noticeable. Like alcohol, if you want to find it, you will.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Tenleytown and the surrounding area have a good selection of places to eat. Pizza Boli's is great for pizza that isn't expensive. There is take-out Chinese, Thai, Italian, Subway, Chipotle, and a deli. Outside of Tenleytown, there are tons of places to eat in DC. Georgetown, Dupont, and Adams Morgan are all great places to eat.

College Freshman

Campus Housing: All of the dorms seem to be great. Letts and Anderson are on south side, which is known as the party side. Hughes, McDowell, and Leonard are on north side, known for being more study oriented. Either side you go to, you will have a good time. I am on south side, and I have friends that are on north side.

College Freshman

Computers: Labs are not crowded. Everyone has a laptop-it's great to have one. I recommend it.

College Freshman

Campus Dining: TDR, the main dining hall, is not worth an A. Well, I mean, if you get there 3 minutes after the gates open, it's good because there is actually food there. The dining hall is not made to accomodate the entire school population. They typically run out of food around 7 in the evening or it is so crowded, you have to wait an eternity (especially if it's grilled cheese night. People love grilled cheese). The workers are angry people.

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High School Student

Athletics: A lot of the varsity teams are really good and fun to follow through their respective seasons, but the majority of students ignore varsity sports. The field hockey team has been Patriot League champion for six straight years and has gone on to the NCAA tournament. The women's volleyball team has been Patriot League champion for seven straight years. The men's basketball team was Patriot League champion in 2008 and went on to the NCAA tournament for the first time. Often, these accomplishments are ignored by the student body, which is a shame. Club sports struggle for funding, but they're a lot of fun and very team-oriented. Intramural sports can be extremely competitive if your team gets into it.

College Student

Campus Housing: The dorms are very small, and they are all the same (minus the "suites" in Centennial). Air conditioning and heating exist, but they only have on/off settings---meaning you will either be freezing or burning.

High School Student

Campus Dining: TDR is disgusting, and the workers are horrible. Tavern is incredibly slow and often bad. You learn to avoid both at all costs.


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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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