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American University: Political Hub of the Nation

American University: Political Hub of the Nation

By Karina Rodriguez

As college deadlines approach, Northside seniors continue to research and meet with school representatives from all over the country. Last month on Sept. 19, students had the opportunity to meet Levi May, assistant director of undergraduate admissions at American University, and learn more about the school.

May began by sharing some background information about the school. American University is a private university located near Washington, D.C., and has an undergraduate student body of 8,123 students. Students have access to over 70 majors and more than 200 clubs. Study abroad opportunities, such as language immersion programs or alternative spring break, are also available, which 70% of students take part in. Class sizes in the United States average around 23 students, and only 5% of classes have more than 40 students. American University has an 11:1 student-faculty ratio and all classes are taught by professors (with some help from teaching assistants). Classes are mainly discussion-based, with very few classes being solely lecture-based. When asked about the admissions process, May said that SAT and ACT scores do not play a big role because, “[testing] is optional and not required.” In addition, American University looks for qualities and experiences such as “leadership and consistency,” in their students

American University also has a diverse student body with many opportunities on and off campus. The university is a Division I school, with women’s and men’s basketball and women’s volleyball as the three most popular sports. The campus borders the Swedish and Japanese embassy, and May added that, “a fun thing for students to do is go trick-or-treating on embassy drive.” In addition, students receive a UPass, which allows them to take public transportation for free to get to know the city.

When it comes to American University’s class requirements, freshman have a considerable amount of freedom in choosing their classes, but are required to take “The 5 Core Areas.” Students are also not required to declare their major until the end of the second year, which leaves sufficient time for students to find their interests. In addition, students typically complete three internships by the time they graduate. Due to the location of Washington, D.C., students are able to greatly benefit from the political hub of the nation, which is why the most popular majors are Public Affairs, otherwise known as policy-making, and Communication and Business.

After graduating college, it can be difficult finding a job. However, American University proves provides ample support for its graduates entering the workforce. The school offers a career center which is staffed by more than 15 professionals. May described it as, “Kind of like a college fair, [but] instead of going to get more information about a school, you show up in a nice tux with your resume in hand,” which is extremely beneficial.

Although average tuition for undergraduate is set at $48,459 (plus other fees), housing is guaranteed for the first two years. In addition, American University offers various methods of financial support and scholarships, with an average scholarship or grant award of $26,625.

Students interested in applying to American University can apply to the school throughout the Common Application or Coalition Application by January 15, 2019. Early decision applications must be submitted by November 15, 2018. For more information, visit

  • Private

  • 8,123

  • 38% male and 62% female

  • 11:1 teacher to student ratio

  • Average of $48, 459

  • 53% of full-time undergraduates receive some type of financial aid

    • Average scholarship or grand award is $26,625

  • $622 million

  • Suburban environment located near Washington, DC

  • 35% acceptance rate

  • 82% graduation rate  

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