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The food is great.|
People are smart, love to travel, friendly, and very active.
The financial aid is great.
The honors program is incredible. Try to live on an honors floor, if possible (if you get into the program).There are a huge number of clubs, organizations, etc. If there isn't a group for you (which is hard to imagine), make one!
|Sep 14 2006|| Male --
Class 2000 |
| American University has an astounding campus with an incredible amount of things to do on and off campus. The metro is readily accessible and, needless to say, there are unlimited things to do in DC. The student body generally loves to travel, has traveled extensively, does a lot of community service, is laid-back, and is very politically active/opinionated. It is a very friendly school with fantastic programs and atmosphere. The honors program is great, as is the dining room! |
|Sep 05 2006|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2010 |
| Academically, AU is sound, if not particularly stellar, especially its schools of international service and public affairs. It is "quite good for what it is" as the three stars of Fiske's manual might suggest. That being said, it is definitely NOT Georgetown, Columbia, or Yale, as the wishful (and victims of advertising) might be fooled into thinking. While those schools' mores, standards, and traditions are undoubtedly elite at their core, this one's are merely upper-middle-class and déclassé (despite the presence of many nouveaux riche international students).|
The faculty is peppered with bright, demanding professors (including former heads of state), many of whom teach or have taught at any of the above-metioned institutions, yet their stay at AU, unfortunately, is more often that not transitory or of secondary importance on their agenda. This results in a great lack of student participation in extra-curricular academic life (research, publications, faculty projects, etc.), and it says something that the colleges and library seem marginal parts of the overall undergraduate life. Those who might whish to serendipitously slip into the new arts' building to practice their piano for a while, or those who might want to spend some extra time researching in the library might be shocked to find these closed at unreasonable hours during both the school year and the summer.
While off-campus Washington life can be quite rich (museums, international organizations, and the like; not quite New York, but passable), Upper Northwest is quite suburban and monotonous, being nothing more than a gloomy residential area. Both school and public transport in AU's surrounding neighborhoods are rather slow, and the overall charm and ideosynchracies of the city of great white monuments and bright blue skies are lost. Therefore, the vast bulk of students spend their weekends (every weekend), drinking and causing riots that are barely quelled by the awful campus police (and being carted off to Sibley Hospital), or pulling fire alarms at 3AM on school nights. I don't really blame them though, for that's what students do when they fall into boredom.
And that brings us to the culprits who are at fault for AU's mediocre and half-hazard ambience - its administrators and staff, who are more concerned in showcasing the university to "prospective students and parents" and leasing it out as a costly leisure resort and hotel, than really making it into an elite center for rigorous learning and study. I have known not a few bright colleagues leave on account of this (and of Student Accounts which doesn't let them register until each past due is paid to the cent, while Housing and Dining kicks them out). The money-grubbing at this school (and use of euphemisms) is the most appallingly frightsome and obsenely vulgar thing I've ever seen, as the staff and administrators from Student Accounts, Housing and Dining, the Admissions Center, Student Life, the "Wellness" Center, etc. will milk thousands of unreasonable dollars out of students, and literally fall at the rich students' (and parents' and donors') feet, scorning the few, plucky, hard-working regular students (of limited means), mistreating them in a Shylock-like way (like illiterate proletarians), and reproaching them for coming to their so-called "elite" institution. Better than Hawaii Pacific University and Eastern Kentucky U.? Of course it is, but nobody ever said those schools were grand...
|Aug 30 2006|| 2nd Year Male --
Class 2006 |