Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, June 22, 2017

AU receives $52.6 million in donations, adds scholarships

New funds to improve campus

AU raised $7.6 million above its AnewAU campaign goal for endowments, allowing the university to increase the number of scholarship awards for the incoming freshmen class.

The AnewAU campaign has raised more than $52.6 million in endowment funds for scholarship support since October 2003 — exceeding the goal to raise $45 million.

This increase in endowments allowed AU to give out 77 new scholarships, which generated more than $5.2 million in scholarship awards, President Neil Kerwin said in his spring update memo.

AU’s finances increased during the recession, and the university is accepting a greater number of freshmen for this fall.

Class of 2014 Profile

Fall applicants: 16,949

Acceptance rate: 43%

Class of 2014 Early Decision acceptances: 400

Class of 2013 Early Decision acceptances: 300

Average high school GPA: 3.87

Average SAT score: 1300/1600

Average ACT score: 30

Male to female ratio: 39% male, 61% female

Students receiving merit scholarships: 19%

Minimum merit scholarship: $6,000

Information according to Kristen Schlicker, Associate Director of Admissions

AU had 16,949 applicants for the fall semester — the highest number in the school’s history. Of these, 43 percent were accepted. About 400 early decision students were accepted this year, an increase from last year’s 300, said Kristen Schlicker, associate director of Admissions, in an e-mail.

Dr. Thomas Minar, vice president of Development and Alumni Relations, said AU’s success during the recession has increased its financial support from donors.

“We are in many ways among the strongest in higher education in America right now in terms of how we’re weathering the economic downturn,” he said. “And it’s just a great moment.”

AU raised more than $15,725,000 in fiscal year 2009, according to a report by the Council for Aid to Education. Out of D.C. schools Georgetown University and the George Washington University raised more, earning about $181,180,000 and $84,645,000 respectively.

Minar credits AU’s financial success to the excellence of the institution, he said.

“We’re on a high as an institution, achieving great things,” Minar said. “... Our donors and our external constituents see how well we’re doing and they want to be a part of that. People want to be a part of a success.”

AU is using these money to construct more buildings and pay faculty and staff.

“[The funds] are going everywhere,” Minar said. “You see the impact in scholarship aid. You see the impact in the programs. You see faculty who are paid from endowed funds. You see physical improvements, like the [School of International Service] building and the Katzen Arts Center. You see an incredibly wide range of support for the university, as well as general budget support that helps the university keep the doors open.”

You can reach this staff writer at nglass@theeagleonline.com.