American University accepts 38 percent of applicants for the class of 2024

This year had the most applicants in AU history

American University accepts 38 percent of applicants for the class of 2024

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

American University admitted about 38 percent of applicants for the undergraduate class of 2024, an increase from last summer and fall’s 36 percent acceptance rate

This marks the fourth consecutive increase in the acceptance rate, after 29 percent of students were admitted for the summer and fall in 2017 and 32 percent were admitted in 2018. The acceptance rate dropped to a record low of 26 percent in 2016

“We have noticed that a lot of students have resonated with the theme of changemakers,” said Andrea Felder, AU’s assistant vice provost for undergraduate admissions. “They want to come to AU to learn how they can make a difference in their local community and, in some cases, nationally or globally.”

At 20,072 applicants, this was the highest applicant pool in University history. The previous record was set in 2016, when 19,325 students applied for the summer and fall, according to AU’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

Felder said the large applicant pool might be due to working with community-based organizations and high schools to recruit underrepresented students and eliminating an optional supplemental essay in the University’s application.

Of the 7,526 students accepted this year, the admitted class includes 39 percent of students belonging to a “minority racial or ethnic group,” according to an AU Media Relations article. Felder did not provide The Eagle with specific racial or gender demographics of the admitted class, saying the numbers collected after the enrollment deadline will better reflect the incoming class.

Felder said the process of reviewing applications and mailing acceptance letters was not impacted by the stay-at-home order issued by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at the end of March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The deadline for students to deposit for enrollment is May 1, and the University anticipates a class of 1,800 students.

Every year since 2016, the number of students admitted has increased, according to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

Felder said the University decided to expand student enrollment, in part, to increase revenue from tuition.

Marilyn Quacoe, a Maryland student admitted to AU for the fall, said that while she wanted to attend a college close to home after her father passed away, she is looking forward to leaving home and meeting new people.

“I really hope that we are able to start in the fall on campus,” Quacoe said. 

AU extended online classes for the rest of the spring semester in March and announced the cancellation of in-person summer classes earlier this month.  

Quacoe, who is planning to major in biology, said the grant money the University offered her made it the most affordable option. 

New Jersey student Connor Reed was admitted through Early Decision in December. He said he is planning to study data sciences for political science through an SPA and CAS joint program.

As a result of the pandemic, Quacoe and Reed are completing their semesters with online courses and have had senior events canceled, including Quacoe’s prom and Reed’s class trip.

However, Reed also remains optimistic that he will be on campus in the fall and hopes his time at AU will allow him to make connections and gain internship experience to succeed after graduation.

“My goal is to venture into politics,” Reed said. “I was enthralled with all the opportunities present.” 

saustin@theeagleonline.com

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