These schools are similar to American University in key aspects like size, setting, and academics.
75% of students
Great professors and opportunities.
Dorms on campus could be better.
American University is a great school for those interested in policy, politics, and more. I am a STEM major and absolutely adore their new Hall of Science, which was just completed in 2021. Their food and dorms may not be the best, but the social experience of being in the city and with diverse groups of people is excellent. The party scene is essentially not existent, but the clubbing scene is top tier. The transportation available on campus is generally accessible and takes students to and from the nearest metro in Tenleytown. There are many academic and professional opportunities at AU, and the sense of community amongst the student body is generally good. We are a smaller school (about 14,000 TOTAL enrollment) so people tend to know people.
The food, costs, and dorms are not very good. The food is often bad-tasting, contains weird things, or is simply the wrong order. The dorms are pretty good, but there are about 2-3 dorm halls on campus with mold and many other issues due to how old they are. The costs are especially bad as the school is incredibly expensive, but if you get good aid then you're fine. Also, everybody thinks they are going to be the next president and people are sometimes TOO politically involved. The campus is extremely liberal, so I do not recommend if you are very right-leaning.
Going to school at American University is such a special experience because you are provided with so many opportunities with being in the nation' Capital. AU has a rigorous curriculum that motivates students to learn and improve. There is such a positive social environment fostered here with so much kindness.
Some things to be aware of here at AU are the costs of tuition and city life, and the challenging level of classes.
The vast majority of students at American University are exceptionally passionate about education and developing a holistic understanding of politics and international relations. The school's culture is definitely characterized by academics instead of social life. There is a weak social scene, although the school is not particularly cliquey and it is easy to make friends.
The school is not really as close to downtown DC as one may initially think. One of the school's main selling points is proximity to the city but it's is actually around 30 minutes from the downtown area by public transportation.
I really enjoyed my undergraduate experience at American University. Great things about AU: -Access to internship and job opportunities in D.C. is fantastic if you have an interest in politics/non-profit/international relations -D.C. is a fun college city with lots of events, free activities, public transportation, and other college students (from AU, GW, Georgetown, Howard, UDC, and Galludet) -I loved the AU campus and how it feels separate from the bustling part of the city -I feel like the International Studies program is one of the best in the nation and the professors were great
Things to think about: -The dining hall food is not stellar, but there are other food choices around, including an on-campus Subway -It is an extremely politically active campus, with a strong lean to the left (could be a positive or negative depending on your interests!) -There are safety concerns with the city and the campus being open but the campus itself is in a very safe part of D.C.
It is close to many respectable DC buildings!