Decision Thread- CO 2027 American University

Accepted with the presidential scholarship - $20,000 a year! I also got accepted to the PPL scholars program. Stats 4.8w/3.92uw. 10 Aps and 1520 sat. I also visited campus and demonstrated a ton of interest.

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those 2 sound like they fit you better. you have to realize that the same way that applicants look at schools, schools look at applicants. just because you have certain hard stats, doesn’t mean you’re an automatic yes into their school. AU especially gives applications a holistic review. Those other acceptances are incredible. If you really wanted to go to AU it would have been evident to AU through your application and interest. Schools that use a holistic review really yield protect.

So if no merit based scholarship listed in mailed packet, my son should be expect any?

Merit aid is listed in the online letter that can be found on the Future Eagle Portal. If there’s no mention of a scholarship on there, then there’s no merit aid. For need-based aid, it is listed in the MyAU portal that students can sign up for once accepted.

is it ok to negotiate for more merit aid if i received none or should i just negotiate for more financial aid? also, who do i negotiate it with?

AU does not negotiate merit aid since it’s based on un-changeable things like your SAT/ACT scores and freshman-junior GPA. Your best bet would be to negotiate need-based aid, which can be done with your financial aid advisor: Contact Financial Aid | American University, Washington, DC

Accepted but no merit. American was one of the top choices, but not sure if it’s worth full pay vs a similar school with generous merit and honors college

Just wanted to remind you that many of us live far from DC and didn’t have the time and/or money for a flight and trip all the way to AU. It seems like the interest AU values the most is visits, as it clearly has some effect on the results in this thread alone. While I understand where you are coming from when explaining American’s admission process, please remember that there are probably plenty of kids and parents who read your comment who did really want to go to AU but couldn’t visit. Just some food for thought, especially since AU isn’t the only school that functions like this.

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To everyone touting the scholarship that your student received, remember, it’s not about the amount of the scholarship but what the cost of attendance will be after applying the scholarship and other free money (e.g., grants) to the total COA (including books, travel, personal expenses). A $20,000 scholarship to a school that costs $80k all in likely will be less impactful than the $10,000 scholarship from the school that costs $60k all in.

When you negotiate aid, forget the categories of merit aid versus need based aid. It’s all about the numbers and colleges (including this one) that might be inclined to increase an award can decide how to categorize it.

I’m not sure anyone is “touting” the scholarships and we are all aware of the costs associated with AU and other schools. Maybe I’m reading in too much tone into your post, but it seems pretty off to me. Students and parents are just excited and expressing their admission outcomes.


Not for AU. AU doesn’t negotiate merit aid (unless you have extraordinary academic circumstances), but they do negotiate need-based aid. For the question I was answering, they didn’t get any merit aid in the first place, so AU’s not going to give them any if they negotiate.

AU was comparing applicants to spots, not applicants to offers. All colleges give out way more offers than spots because not everyone is going to accept their offer. The info AU gave in the letter is technically correct (19k applicants for 1780 spots) but doesn’t account for yield. With the exception of the COVID year, acceptance rates for AU lately have been around 35-45% I believe. (Although I’ve never actually crunched the numbers, I suspect the acceptance rate is somewhat lower for RD applicants since AU accepts a very high percentage of its ED applicants.)