Internships lure freshmen to American

Everyone comes here with a story.

"I met Kid Rock," claims Jacqueline Levine, a freshman in the School of International Service. "No, really, I have pictures," she assures.

Having enrolled such a large class from across the country and world, there are even more stories to tell among the freshmen class this year. The projected enrollment was around 1,240 incoming students for the fall of 2000, according to Sharon Alston, director of Admissions. Actual enrollment, however, exceeded that estimate with the final count resting at 1,335 new students.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 80 percent of high school grads attended college in their home state. American drew only 20 percent of its freshmanpopulation from the Washington metro area, according to Alston.

What caused the boom in AU interest for the graduated class of 2000?

"Students are excited about internship opportunities, which is a feature that sets American apart from other colleges and universities," Alston said.

"Internships provide a unique opportunity to get involved," Katie Daily, a freshman in SIS said.

Daily was drawn to AU in large part to work with the ambassador of Costa Rica. In her hometown of St. Paul, Minn. Daily worked with the Mentor Connection program which allowed her to spend half of her school time working in the Honorary Council of Costa Rica to Minnesota. She worked in the program from October through May, and then volunteered time in the summer. Through her involvement she even traveled to Costa Rica.

Daily chose AU because of the availability of internships.

"I can definitely see myself in diplomacy and because of that, AU is the place for me," she said.

The College of Arts and Sciences was one school that attracted a larger freshman enrollment this year.

"CAS is a great point of entry," Alston said.

CAS allows students who have not yet declared a major to still reap the benefits AU has to offer, she said.

Tara Nicotra a CAS freshman describes her major as "undecided, very undecided."

Nicotra likes AU for the campus in a city.

"I wasn't planning on living in a city but, I can be in the city as much or as little as I like," she said

The breakdown of the freshman class in terms of males to females is, "consistent with previous years," said Alston, "which is slightly more women than men."

Among all the colleges and universities in the District of Columbia, 55.9 percent of the 72,397 students are women, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Having an imbalance of genders has its positive aspects as Andrew Federico, a freshman in SIS from New York points out.

"Obviously it is a good thing from a guy's point of view."

But a female majority has drawbacks too.

"It can be harder to make friends because girls stick with girls and guys with guys." Federico said.

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