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American Magazine


Student Life

Making the Grade: A 2010 National Survey

By Adrienne Frank

Students walk past azaleas in the amphitheatre

The results of the 2010 National Survey of Student Engagement are in: American University students are scholarly, resourceful, global, curious, passionate, and active. But you knew that.

AU scored significantly higher than the nearly 600 participating colleges and universities across five benchmarks: academic challenge, enriching educational experience, active learning, student-faculty interaction, and supportive campus environment.

Among first-year students:

  • 74% discuss ideas from coursework outside of class
  • 66% write five or more 5-19 page papers
  • 82% say AU places substantial emphasis on academics
  • 83% participate in co-curricular activities

By senior year:

  • 87% have completed an internship
  • 83% frequently ask questions or contribute in class
  • 74% have done community service
  • 69% have taken a foreign language
  • 58% have studied abroad
  • 91% have discussed career plans with a professor or advisor
  • 21% have done research with a faculty member

AU’s results are based on responses from 952 seniors and first-year students.