Admissions and Application

The online application is available here. For any questions, please contact

After submitting your application, AU will email you a link to a recommendation form which you should forward to your teacher or counselor. Once your teacher submits your recommendation through this link, we will begin to review your application. 

Once all application materials are received, students will be informed within two weeks if they are accepted into the program.

Community of Scholars is designed for individuals who have a strong interest in international affairs, a clearly articulated statement of purpose, a strong academic background (minimum GPA of 3.0), and a supportive letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor.

We welcome international students who have demonstrated adequate English proficiency. Students must obtain a minimum score of at least 80 on the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL-IBT).

No. A photocopy of your transcript is sufficient.

Upon being admitted to the program, you will need to pay a $300 nonrefundable deposit within two weeks to secure your spot in the program. Your admittance letter will provide information on how to pay your deposit.  

Rising junior and senior high school students (current sophomores and juniors) with a minimum GPA of 3.0 are eligible to apply. Rising sophomores may be eligible for the online program on a case-by-case basis. Please contact for more information. 

Tuition and Fees

Please see the Program Details page for information on tuition and fees.

The tuition includes 3 college credits, afternoon workshops and guest speakers, transportation to off-campus visits to government agencies, classroom materials, and access to AU's Bender library and other campus amenities.  

(Please note that AU will process a 1098-T tax document which reflects the financial aid received by students.)

Financial aid is only available for students enrolled in DC public or charter schools, subject to the availability of funds. For more information, email Students are encouraged to seek out and apply independently for private scholarships that may be awarded by local organizations such as businesses, religious organizations, foundations, and civic groups.

The balance of the tuition is due by June 1, 2023.

Upon written notification of cancellation received by Community of Scholars at least 30 days prior to the start of the program, all funds, except the deposit, will be returned. If an application is rejected or space is not available, all payments, including the deposit, will be refunded.

Program Information

Class size in previous years has ranged from 15 to 25 students.

Classes in the on-campus program will meet every day, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, followed by lunch and an afternoon activity, such as a workshop, guest speaker, or visits to government organizations, including the State Department and embassies. 

Yes. Students in the on-campus program will attend several briefings at U.S. government and international agencies, embassies, and other organizations. (Note: Due to the pandemic, we cannot guarantee that all agencies and embassies will be available for visiting in person.) In addition, students will visit the Smithsonian museums on the weekend and explore the monuments while on a chartered evening monument trolley tour. 


After arriving home, students in the third week will remain engaged with their professor and peers for additional self-paced instruction and completion of a final paper or project. For more information, see Program Details

Yes, however we encourage students with long commutes to live on campus.  With few exceptions, commuting students are allowed to attend afternoon, evening, and weekend activities.

Free time is scheduled each day for students to relax and enjoy campus life; however, students are responsible for using their time wisely so that reading and other assignments are completed on time. It's important to note that students do have an additional week once they return home to submit a final paper or project.

On Campus

Residential students will be housed in doubles or triples in a centrally-located, air-conditioned campus dormitory. All linens—sheets, blankets, and a towel—will be provided. However, if you have room in your luggage you may prefer to pack your own towel and linen sets. The front desk of the dormitory is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The front doors of the dormitory are kept locked at all times; students swipe their AU IDs every time they enter.

Yes. Students, whether residential or commuter, will have access to AU's fitness center and pool, Bender Library, the Katzen Arts Center, the track, and the volley ball and tennis courts. To use the fitness center, a form needs to be signed by parents of minors and submitted ahead of time. This form will be made available once a student is admitted. Access to the fitness center is limited to when program staff are available to chaperone.

Experienced resident assistants (RAs) live in the dorms with students and serve as chaperones. Additionally, there is a resident director assigned to the dormitory.  Additional chaperones attend off-campus activities.

Residential students will be enrolled in a meal plan at AU's Tenley Dining Room (TDR), which is located in the Mary Graydon Center. TDR's hours are the following: Breakfast (7 to 9 a.m.), Lunch (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and Dinner (5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) Students will be given an access card with meal swipes. In addition, a few catered meals will be arranged for students. These include the Sunday evening opening picnic, the first day lunch with professors, "International Night," and the closing lunch.


Program Alumni

Successfully completing the Community of Scholars program will allow you to demonstrate that you have stretched yourself and taken initiative beyond what is normally expected from high school students. On your college applications, you will be able to list your course and "check off" that you took a college course for credit.

Once all work is completed and graded, students can order an official transcript documenting their credits. The AU Registrar now uses an outside firm to assist with transcripts. Follow the directions for "New User" through the online ordering system.  Note: This process will involve creating an account and submitting a few pieces of information, such as your birth date, so that your record can be located.  If you have questions, please or call 202-885-2022. 

Yes. The Common Application, an undergraduate college admissions application used by nearly 500 colleges and universities in the United States, includes a section for students to list any college credit classes (other than AP and IB) that they have taken. The application will ask for American University’s CEEB code (5007) as well as the name of the course.