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

AU accepts 29 percent of applicants for the class of 2021

2017 saw the second lowest acceptance rate in the University’s history

AU accepts 29 percent of applicants for the class of 2021

AU's Welcome Center, where prospective students begin their tour of campus. 

AU admitted 29 percent of applicants this year, the second lowest acceptance rate in the university’s history. This is up from last year’s acceptance rate of 26 percent.

There were 18,692 applications this year, down from 19,333 in 2016, Jeremy Lowe, associate director of admissions in the Office of Enrollment, said in an email. Applicants came from 120 countries and all 50 states. 

Students who applied regular decision received acceptance letters March 23. Early Decision 1 applicants received them before Dec. 31, and Early Decision 2 before Feb. 15.

“It still feels unreal,” said Joshua Dantzler, an incoming freshman from Rock Hill, North Carolina who plans to study political science. “I didn’t think I would get the opportunity to come to American because it was so competitive this year.”

Katie Blair, an incoming freshman from southern New Jersey planning to study law and society, also visited George Washington University and felt like it was too urban. She has always been interested in politics and applied regular decision to the school in part because of its politically active campus. 

“I found that the more I went through filling out the application, I ended up liking it more,” she said. “I would do more research for essays and became more excited that I’d get in.”

Dantzler also appreciated that AU is a test-optional school, meaning SAT and ACT scores aren’t required to apply.

“As someone involved in politics and activism, some people just don’t have time to study for the SATs and ACTs,” he said. “I like that they recognize that you’re an individual beyond your test scores.”

Mya Zemlock, an incoming freshman from Homer City, Pennsylvania, planning to study International Studies, realized AU was her first choice last summer during a summer camp the University held on international diplomacy. She said she’s found her niche here and applied Early Decision 1.

“After I was on campus, it was amazing. It felt like home to me,” she said. “It’s a place that I want to be for the next four years and the rest of my life.”

dmudry@theeagleonline.com