American University is a private institution that was founded in 1893. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,901, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 84 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. American University’s ranking in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 69. Its tuition and fees are $46,615 (2017-18).
Students at American University benefit from the school’s location in the political hub of the nation. Washington, D.C., is a playground for the politically and socially oriented with its countless museums, restaurants, clubs and year-round events. The university, located in a suburban pocket of northwest Washington, is close to a stop on the D.C.-area Metrorail transit system. Rides downtown takes about 15 minutes. Students at American have been rated among the most politically active in the nation, and there are more than 200 student clubs and organizations on campus. The school also has a sizeable Greek system, with about 30 fraternities and sororities.
The American University Eagles sports teams compete in the NCAA Division I Patriot League, and the school’s mascot is, accordingly, an eagle. Catching a professional sports contest, such as a Redskins football game or a Nationals baseball game, is a quick trip from campus, too. The university is affiliated with the Methodist church, but its Kay Spiritual Life Center houses about 25 groups of different faiths. The confluence of opportunities on and off campus clearly works for most students: American University boasts a notably high freshmen retention rate of around 90 percent.
American University has seven unique schools, including the well-regarded Washington College of Law. All students can take advantage of the school’s cultural hubs, such as the Katzen Arts Center and Greenberg Theatre. For time away from the nation’s capital, more than half of undergraduates study abroad. American University has the largest school of international affairs in the country. Dozens of politicians are alumni of American University, including U.S. Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Donald Manzullo and former U.S. Reps. Betsy Markey and Bill Shuster. Mike Panetta, the former shadow representative for Washington, D.C., is also an American University graduate.