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AU Scholars | FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for AU Scholars

How do I apply for the AU Scholars program?

There is no application for the program. Currently, students are invited to apply for the AU Scholars program based on the strength of their university application. The AU Scholars program draws heavily from the pool of applicants for the Honors Program. Once invited, you will need to visit the How to Enroll page to rank your seminar choices and write a statement of interest in order to officially join the program.  

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Will participation in AU Scholars count toward my degree?

Yes. The fall seminars in the AU Scholars program are General Education courses that count toward fulfilling your General Education requirements toward your degree. The program was designed so that all invited students could participate regardless of their intended major, as any seminar they choose will ultimately fulfill a degree requirement.

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What are the advantages of participating in the AU Scholars Program?

AU Scholars provides early exposure to the importance and value of research in its first semester and prepares students to pursue future research or scholarly activities throughout their college career. Students participating in academic living-learning communities report that the lasting bonds that they formed with their fellow classmates and faculty proved to be invaluable in their sustained academic achievement. In the AU Scholars program, your academic experience will be greatly enhanced by the small class-size and the focus on preparing for substantive academic pursuits whether they are in research, internships, creative projects, national fellowships, or professional endeavors.

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How do I enroll in my AU Scholars course for Fall 2016?

You will be asked to fill out the AU Scholars Course Reservation form and will choose your top three preferences for your seminar. We will do our best to accommodate your first choice. However, depending on demand we may assign you to another seminar, but you are guaranteed a spot in the AU Scholars program. Once you have received confirmation of your course, you will be automatically registered and the course will appear on your Schedule of Classes.

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What is the difference between Year 1 and Year 2 of AU Scholars?

In Year 1, AU Scholars students will take three required courses: A General Education seminar and a Research Lab in the Fall, and a Spring Research course. Several of the Spring Research Courses include an international trip. Students will be required to live in Letts Hall as part of the living learning community. Year 1 of AU Scholars includes a Peer Mentor program. Students also participate in community building activities and professional development trainings. 

In Year 2, AU Scholars will participate in a Sophomore Seminar in the Fall and the Wicked Problem Challenge Competition in the Spring. The Wicked Problem Challenge groups students into interdisciplinary research teams to independently develop an approach to solving a wicked problem. This is a non-credit bearing activity (unless you choose to do an independent study), and it will be accompanied by additional research and professional development trainings. Students will also have the option to live in a residential research community in Hughes Hall.

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Do AU Scholars students take all of their courses together?

No. In the first year, each AU Scholar student will take one General Education course and a Research Lab with 19 other students who will live and learn together. In the Spring of the first year, students will be assigned a research course with another 19 students. These courses are only offered to students in the AU Scholars program. Students will also have the opportunity to participate together in a range of professional development workshops.

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Is the residence hall that houses AU Scholars only for AU Scholars students?  

No. While there are designated Scholars floors in Letts Hall, residents on other floors will not necessarily be enrolled in the AU Scholars program. All AU Scholars enrolled in the same seminar will live on the same floor of Letts Hall.

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Do I have to live on campus to participate in AU Scholars?

Not necessarily. While residence hall programming is an integral part of the AU Scholars experience, you may accept the invitation to join AU Scholars if you intend to be a commuter student and live in a local residence off campus. In that case, you will be expected to attend all curricular and co-curricular activities required by the AU Scholars program. If you join AU Scholars and intend to live on campus you must live in Letts Hall with the other AU Scholars students. Some exceptions are made for student athletes.

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How is the AU Scholars program different from other living learning communities?

While the other academic living learning communities work closely together on building scholarship among its students, the AU Scholars program places a strong emphasis on developing research skills and building a research identity right from the start of their academic career. The AU Scholars program provides highly motivated students early exposure to research and other scholarly activities that will help to prepare them to pursue independent research and scholarship opportunities in the future. All the academic living learning communities will collaborate to help build a larger community across the programs.

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If I decide not to participate in AU Scholars do I still get to keep my merit scholarship?

Only students who receive a merit scholarship are invited to participate in the AU Scholars program. If you decide not to participate, this will not affect your merit scholarship. Please note that the requirements for maintaining the merit scholarship are separate from the AU Scholars program. Please review your financial aid package for more information.

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Are there any costs associated with participating in the AU Scholars Program?

Some of the Spring Research Courses may involve international travel during the spring break.  These courses will not be automatically assigned to students, and will only be for students who elect to participate.  Students who choose to register for these courses would be required a pay a course fee to cover the cost of the trip. 

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Does my roommate have to be in the same AU Scholars Fall Seminar?

Your roommate does need to be an AU Scholar; however, they do not need to be in the same AU Scholars fall seminar.  Seminars are assigned to specific floors in Letts Hall, and your roommate will need to be in one of the seminars on your same floor.