AU Freshman Merit Awards & Scholarships


For Prospective Students:
Phone: 202-885-6500
Fax: 202-885-1025

For Current or Continuing Students:
Phone: 202-885-8000

Contact Information

All admitted students, regardless of nationality, are considered for academic/merit scholarships for which they are eligible. In general, admitted students awarded scholarships have excellent academic credentials and exhibit exceptional leadership skills.

Most merit-based scholarships do not require an application for financial aid. However, we strongly encourage merit award candidates to complete the forms required for need-based aid, if they believe that they may need financial aid in addition to their merit award. Merit award recipients who have applied for need-based financial aid will be considered for any need-based aid for which they qualify beyond the amount of the merit award.

Freshman Merit Awards

The Admissions Committee makes all merit-based scholarship decisions and notifies students at the time they are admitted or shortly thereafter. Your admissions application is your application for a merit scholarship. No separate scholarship application is required except for the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholarship, AU United Methodist Scholarship and Tuition Exchange Scholarship.

  • AU Presidential Scholarship

  • AU Deans' Scholarship

  • AU Leadership Scholarship

  • Frederick Douglass Scholarship
  • National Achievement and National Merit Scholarships

    Eligibility: Freshman applicants who were named National Achievement and National Merit finalists who designate AU as their first choice college with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation by the second week of February of their senior year.

Freshman Scholarships

  • Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program

    Eligibility: Please visit the program's Web page for detailed information.

  • United Methodist Scholarship

    Eligibility: Children of an active, ordained Methodist minister. Applicants must submit a letter identifying themselves as the children of a Methodist minister. Contact Christine Gettings, Kay Spiritual Life Center Operations Administrator at or at 202-885-3321.

  • Athletic Scholarships

    Eligibility: Outstanding freshman and transfer athletes. Contact Athletics at 202-885-3000.

  • Tuition Exchange Scholarships

    Eligibility: Students whose parents are employed by one of over 160 colleges participating in the Tuition Exchange Program are eligible to apply for a Tuition Exchange Scholarship. Here are a few things you should know about Tuition Exchange at American University:

    1. To apply, you must first contact your home university liaison and fill out the application. Freshman applicants and current AU students must submit their Tuition Exchange application by January 15. Transfer students must submit their Tuition Exchange application by March 1.
    2. Tuition Exchange is a competitive scholarship based on academics. Not all admitted students who apply for Tuition Exchange will receive the scholarship.
    3. The scholarship for the academic year of 2012-2013 is a set amount of $31,000 and is not a full tuition scholarship.
    4. Students are able to renew their scholarship each year provided the student takes at least 15 credits every semester, maintains a 3.2 or higher GPA, maintains eligibility at their home institution and submits the recertification application by January 15 of each academic year.

    For more information about Tuition Exchange please refer to the Tuition Exchange Web site or contact our Tuition Exchange Liaison, Alex Trempus, at

  • Restricted/Endowed Awards

    AU is fortunate to have a number of annual and endowed scholarships that are funded by generous donors. Scholarships vary by school and may be based on merit, academic program, need or other factors as designated by the donor.

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