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American Today

On Campus

AU Grows More Selective as Admit Rate Drops to Record Low

By Adrienne Frank

American University’s admit rate is the lowest in history—and the quality of admitted students is the best it’s ever been.

Of the record 18,735 applicants—10 percent more than last year— 41 percent have been admitted for fall 2011. Last year, AU admitted 43 percent of applicants.

And the caliber of admitted students—drawn from all 50 states and 80 countries—is stellar. They boast an average 3.9 GPA: the strongest in AU history. The group posted an average 1300 SAT and 30 ACT, slightly higher than last year’s figures.

“We know who we are as an institution and we have a very exciting story to share. We know the kind of students who will do well at AU and we’re getting better at articulating that,” said Greg Grauman, director of admissions.

In the past, Grauman said, AU admitted students based in large part on their scholastic record. But more and more, the university is attracting students who are not only academically accomplished, but intellectually curious and engaged in their communities.

“That’s the lens through which we’re reviewing an application,” said Grauman. “We want all of that in a student, and we can have it all.”

This year saw a 30 percent increase in international applications, including a large contingent from China. AU also admitted more students from California than ever before. Grauman said the university continues to see strong growth in the western and southern United States.

Students have until May 1—Candidates National Reply Day—to accept AU’s offer of admission.