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Reviews 1742 total reviews with an average rating of 3.5

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4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The dorms were convenient because they're all on the edge of the campus. They are clean, as you get older your choices get even better. But even the freshman dorms were not that bad. Especially for freshman, it was a great social atmosphere and I met some of my best friends on my floor from just hanging out in the lounge.

3 College Freshman

Majors: International Relations is the main major. Kind of hard. You have to study and read a lot.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Majors: Most people here pursue something in either communication or politics. AU is known for these concentrations, although they have other programs. IR is a difficult and demanding program, though, so you should be prepared if that is your interest,

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Diversity: AU is one of the most diverse schools ever, statistically. But personality-wise, everyone is pretty much the same, with the same goals, so it's very competitive. But you'll find people of all kinds of sexuality, gender, race, religion, and political beliefs. But students tend to all lean towards either academics or partying, with not a lot of artists or athletes in the mix.

3 College Freshman

Academics: Be prepared for a hard workload. Each professor expects you to do all the reading always.

3 College Freshman

Academics: I think the academics are okay. I'm in IR, which is a popular major. All of the professors I've had have had a "teach yourself" attitude, which is really frustrating when I'm paying so much money to go to this school. I haven't really liked or had a strong connection to any of my professors, even after visiting them in office hours. The work load seems really disproportionate to what is taught in class. For each class I get assigned 4 hours of reading a week, minimum. I'm really passionate about this topic, but I hate having to teach myself all the material.

2 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Completely honestly, I think the campus is pretty lack luster. Campus is small, at least, so there's not much to do if you're not studying or eating. The library is pretty cool, and all the architecture is okay, but nothing is all that memorable. I truly hate the dorms, though! They're terribly designed and super boring. As far as I know there aren't any "hang out" spots on campus except the library, in dorms, dining hall, and occasionally the quad. If everyone "hung out" on campus there would be 0 room. The campus is seriously so small. We don't really have any points of interest I guess other than the gym.

5 College Freshman

Local Area: DC is one of the greatest cities in the US, and the world. It is truly unique. There is ALWAYS something to do or some new neighborhood to explore. There are lots of downsides, though. DC is really expensive, and can be unsafe. Transportation in DC exemplifies both of these things. Never go anywhere alone, even if you know the area, it's not worth the risk. Since DC is expensive, it can also be kind of lonely and isolating, like any big city, for people without a lot of money to spare. But there are lots of free activities, as long as you can afford transportation. The Smithsonians never get old and there are lots of parks and even forests you can visit. Plus, you can always window shop. Having said that, locals aren't well known for being friendly. It can be hard to make friends in the city, as DC is a very career-oriented spot. The same can be said for dating. The biggest facet of nightlife is drinking, although pot being decriminalized might change that soon. People in DC also tend to be attractive, or at least try to take care of themselves! There's always someone interesting around, that much is for sure.

1 College Freshman

Overall Experience: If I could do it all over again, there's no way I would go to AU. The environment is so un-friendly and smothering. It's somewhat cliche and very sad, but true: everyone is incredibly fake and while yes, really driven, they are completely focused on themselves and would push anyone under the bus to get what they want. The administration is cruel and totally unhelpful. The classes are equivalent to what I took in highschool, but with many more students, and much more reading. All of this, plus one of the most expensive rates of tuition in the world. Utterly not worth the effort. I seriously urge you to not make my mistake. I am deep in debt and have nothing but bad memories to show for it. I wasted a year of my life at this school and I hope nobody else has to: really take everything into account, good and all the bad, before you decide to go here. There are lots of other schools in DC with better programs, and all over the country.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Freshman

Overall Experience: I did not find AU with the cost or effort. All of the professors were fine, but no better, more interesting, or more inspiring than my high school teachers. The experience was exactly like attending a public high school, with the cost of going to a baby ivy. The only thing I liked about AU at all is that it is near DC. If you want to study in DC, I really suggest you chose another school. (If you like being treated fairly and respectfully by others). DC is a great city with so much to offer, including OTHER SCHOOLS!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Overall Experience: AU has a good job placement record. However, George Washington and Georgetown will most likely come out on top of AU, and occasionally a UDC or Howard student with more experience/connections. There will always be tons of competition for jobs in DC, including from other AU alums/students. It comes with the territory.

2 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: The marketing AU has done really makes AU seem like a place for motivated, passionate students, but in actuality, one semester into going to school here turns almost everyone into alcoholic cut-throat jerks. Lots of people like this kind of atmosphere, but it is very hard to find anyone down-to-earth. Students are VERY unfriendly. Good luck trying to strike up a conversation outside of forced group projects. Your friends will most likely be mostly your dorm mates unless you are in greek life, so it is really the luck of the draw. In general, AU is not known for having an attractive student body. If you are looking to date on campus you will be disappointed. Girls outnumber boys so you will probably share a hook up with somebody you know at some point (if that's your thing) and it can get INCREDIBLY awkward. My advice is to avoid dating on-campus at all.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Not great where it counts. I was a disabled student at AU and the lack of health services was a real struggle for me. The health center is very small and not convenient at all. I was lucky enough to have a friend who would drive me to a hospital as needed, but I am sure there are others with serious health issues like me who are not as lucky, and AU really needs to work harder to address these concerns. My friends with mental health issues really struggled too. In general my medical issues were not taken seriously and I was forced to fend for myself. But outside of my own particular problems, if you can manage to make and keep an appointment at the health center, they can give you shots to help with the flu or cold. If your problem is more serious you will have to go off campus.

2 College Freshman

Athletics: I've personally never gone to any sporting events at AU. The sports facilities are okay but some are really not taken care of at all - like the soccer and baseball field (lots of people don't even know we have one because it just looks like a big fenced area of dirt).

2 College Freshman

Greek Life: I kind of have a bias against the greek system at AU, because I find the sorority and fraternity members to be one of the worst things about American in general. The Greek system has a lot more influence than AU lets on. Frats pretty much control the social scene so if you can't make an impression on them during welcome week (or don't really care to) it will be IMPOSSIBLE to party. However, joining a sorority is incredibly easy (don't know about frats, sorry) and if you just show up you will be accepted. I hear that greek life can be pretty demanding but other than what I've observed from my roommates I wouldn't know. Most non-greeks couldn't care less about greeks other than getting into their parties. I don't think that the greek orgs contribute anything else to campus at all. Over all there is a VERY greek vibe on campus, surprising for such a liberal school, and "fitting in" is one of the main concerns among the students. Even if they're not actually greek, they might as well be.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I don't know too much about it, but off-campus housing can be a lot cheeper. However, spots and even apartments start to fill up really quickly, and its a huge hassle to find a place to live right in the thick of school. Any neighborhood in DC or on the lines is going to be higher than the national average anyway, so you will most likely need roommates. Most people staying in Tenley or otherwise nearby are in a pretty safe neighborhood, so that's not really a concern, but there is almost zero parking and few amenities.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Exactly "okay". In Tenley, there's enough around to give you something to do if you're really itching to get off campus for an hour or two. Friendship Heights is also within walking distance, with a movie theater and a few more eating options, so there is enough variety. If you're willing to go deeper into DC, the options are limitless, but of course super expensive. If you're looking for chain restaurants, go to Columbia Heights (with friends), almost anywhere else you'll struggle to find any fast-food. Word of advice: Z-Burger isn't that great... spend your eagle bucks at Cava or the sushi restaurant instead!!

3 College Freshman

Party Scene: American takes after most colleges. That is, we kids have to do SOMETHING to fill up the weekends. There are frat parties thursday through Sunday weekly, although at particular times of the year there are parties every night of the week. The party scene at American is almost entirely frat-based, although there are those who venture into Georgetown, George Washington, Howard, or clubs/bars for nightlife. If you like frat parties, American has a five star party scene, but I really think they get repetitive and kind of skeezy, but that's just me. There are very, very rarely any kick back type parties, usually held by upper classmen off campus that require ubering or any other uber-expensive form of travel DC has. So going out actually requires a lot of effort. The frats themselves have enough variation that if you like to party you'll probably find the right one for you: some stoner frats, athletic frats, rich boy frats, and then the total skeezeballs. However, the party scene at some particular frats, official and not, is notorious for sexual assault, so please be careful if you decide to take part.

1 College Freshman

Administration: The Administration is the number one reason I left this school. It is best put that it feels like every member of the administration is paid to be as rude, unhelpful, and condescending as possible. The Administration ignored and mocked my disability to the point of it being impossible for me to attend class or comfortably stay in the dorms. But even my healthy/abled friends have had extreme frustrations with the administration, for periods of time that are just unacceptable. I've heard of several conspiracies revolving around the administration and the behavior of the RAs and professional staff seem to validate some of these. In short, the administration is motivated by greed and not much else. If you decide to attend American, you will see what I mean. Despite this, the RAs are in my experience thoughtful and helpful, although they do not have as much power as they would like you to believe. Rules in the dorms are really lax which are nice, but in reality kind of stupid. RAs work the front desk and instead of a security guard checking in everyone who walks in the dorms, the RA will just look up from their laptop/homework, meaning ANYONE can walk in if they do so with enough confidence. Kind of scary. I would say whatever you might be caught doing in the dorms will come down to the RAs digression unless it's something more serious like drugs.

2 College Freshman

Scholarships: Administration at AU is terrible in general. You can expect that nothing will ever go through on time, no matter the work on your part. Several of my friends were forced to leave because of administration mess-ups, and I'm no exception. The amount I was actually supposed to receive from AU upon my acceptance to the school was very generous, until it turned out I didn't receive any of it. This school is expensive and there's no getting around it.

3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Campus food is alright. Like on any college campus, there is only so much to choose from, and boredom is inevitable. TDR isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be.... yet can be awful at times. TDR and the tavern, etc can all be super busy in the afternoon and dinner, so finding spots to eat can be tough. Over all what is the worst is that there are so few healthy options, and although there's some gluten-free stuff in TDR, I really feel bad for you if you're vegan, you'll be totally screwed. At AU, it's the freshmen 15, and then some... thanks, Starbucks.

2 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The dorms are terrible. Cramped and gross in nearly every way. The common areas are supposed to be cleaned every night, but you will be lucky if they are cleaned once a week. The cleaning staff and people from other floors use the common facilities all the time, so you will most likely have to wait to use anything. Bugs and rats are extremely common place. The administration is also just terrible at addressing any complaints. If you like noisy and rude neighbors, terrible quality furniture, and fire alarms at three am twice a week, you've found heaven. Otherwise, avoid Anderson and the L/A quad housing in general, though I'm sure the other dorms are probably terrible, too. There are not nearly enough amenities, which is SUPER difficult when it comes down to the showers, too. Everything is just bad- I truly hated lots of stuff about American, but the dorms and the administration are by far the worst things about this school.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Variety of options for off-campus dining in the area.

3 College Sophomore

Administration: I haven't really had any issues with school policies.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Housing off campus is great if you can get it or afford it

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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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