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The letter arrived at Sophia Andrews’ home in Bear, Delaware, on March 17—a bright spot in the midst of a dark spring.

“I had no words when I found out,” Andrews says of being invited to join the Class of 2024 at AU—her first-choice university. “It was the only school I visited where I stepped on campus and thought, ‘This is where I want to spend the next four years of my life.’ I fell in love.”

Andrews, who plans to focus on nonprofit management and Swahili at AU, is among the record 20,123 students who applied for fall admission. 

Rich in racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and geographic diversity, the incoming freshmen are united by more than their formidable academic prowess and the unprecedented circumstances in which they’re embarking on their college careers. AU is a community of changemakers, says Andrea Felder, assistant vice provost for undergraduate admissions, “and that resonates with our admitted students.”

Andrews’ purpose and passion came into sharp relief at age 14, when she sponsored a Nairobi orphan with her babysitting money. After visiting Happy Life Children’s Home with her local youth group, she established an arts program that grew into Ngoma Kenya—the nonprofit she will continue to lead as an undergraduate. 

Felder says Andrews will be among fine feathered friends when she arrives at AU. 

“I think, in their own way,” all of our new Eagles “want to make a difference.”