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Last updated March 21, 2024

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How to Use the American University Common Data Set

Key Takeaway

The American University Common Data Set can help guide your application process. American University considers a variety of factors, including your GPA, essays, extracurricular activities, and demonstrated interest. The university's acceptance rate is 40.62%, and Early Decision applicants have a higher acceptance rate of 85.94%.

The American University Common Data Set is an important tool for college applications. It gathers lots of helpful data and gives a clear picture of what American University looks for in its students, helping you to build your application.

Let's get started.

How American University Evaluates Applicants — based on CDS data

American University admission officers look at several things when they review your application, including your GPA, standardized test scores, essays, recommendations, and extracurricular activities. These elements together paint a full picture of your potential as a student in their multi-step review process.

The factors marked as 'very important' are how hard your high school classes were, your GPA, and, surprisingly, demonstrated interest. Other important things include your application essay, recommendations, extracurricular activities, your talent or skills, and your character or personal qualities.

Interestingly, American University doesn’t look at class rank or interviews.

  Very important Important Considered Not considered
Rigor of Secondary Record X      
Class rank       X
Academic GPA X      
Standardized test scores     X  
Application Essay   X    
Recommendation(s)   X    
Interview       X
Extracurricular activities   X    
Talent/ability   X    
Character/personal qualities   X    
First generation     X  
Alumni/ae relation     X  
Geographical residence     X  
State residency       X
Religious affiliation/commitment       X
Racial/ethnic status     X  
Volunteer work   X    
Work experience     X  
Demonstrated interest X      

Does American University track demonstrated interest?

Yes, they do. American University really pays attention to how much interest you show, marking it as 'very important.’ As far as Common Data Sets go, it’s very rare to see demonstrated interested listed as ‘very important,’ so you should absolutely do everything you can to show that you’re interested in attending. Engage with emails, attend information sessions, connect with admission counselors, and join in other activities to show that you're excited about the prospect of attending.

Does American University care about standardized test scores?

According to the Common Data Set, American University does consider standardized test scores, but they’re not the most important thing. If you choose to submit your SAT or ACT scores, make sure they show you in your best light academically.

Does American University care about essays?

Absolutely, essays are really important in the American University application process. They let you show off your unique strengths, character, and personal qualities. Admissions officers are excited to see if you're a good match for the University, and your essays can give them a good look at whether or not you are.

What GPA do I need to get into American University?

The American University Common Data Set doesn't give specific GPA info. However, since they put a lot of weight on the difficulty of your high school classes and your GPA when they review applications, a good GPA will certainly make your application stronger.

American University Acceptance Rate

American University got 19,510 applications and accepted 7,926, which means the acceptance rate is 40.62%. This is pretty competitive, but it's not the hardest to get into, so prospective students have a fair shot. Of those accepted, 1,761 students joined as first-year students.

American University Early Decision Acceptance Rate

American University has an Early Decision option that is binding. The numbers show that applying Early Decision could help your chances of getting in: out of the 868 students who applied ED, American University admitted 746, which makes for an impressive acceptance rate of 85.94%.

What's the right application option for you?

Even though the Early Decision acceptance rate is high, you shouldn't see it as a guarantee of acceptance. Keep in mind, applying Early Decision should be a thoughtful decision based on whether you're a good fit for the academic environment and campus culture at American University. If American isn’t your top choice, consider EDing elsewhere.

Most popular majors at American University

The Common Data Set doesn't give specific data on majors, but we can guess the most popular majors from how many degrees are given in each field.

Major Percent of Degrees Conferred
Social sciences 35
Business/marketing 17
Communication/journalism 11
Interdisciplinary studies 6
Visual and performing arts 5
Homeland Security, law enforcement, firefighting, and protective services 4
Health professions and related programs 4
Psychology 3
Natural resources and conservation 2
Law/legal studies 2

If you're interested in less competitive majors like Natural Resources and Conservation or Law/Legal studies, this could be a great chance to stand out, especially if you have significant extracurriculars in these areas.

What should you do with all this information?

With an acceptance rate of 40.62%, you'll need a standout application for American University. Your GPA and the difficulty of your high school classes matter a lot. So do your application essay, recommendations, and extracurricular activities. Showing a genuine interest in the university can also give you an edge. Keep these things in mind while you're building your application strategy.

Use the American University Common Data Set to guide your application process, and show them the best version of you. Remember, it's about highlighting your strengths, ability, and how well you'll fit in at the university. Good advice can really boost your chances, too. Good luck!

For more Common Data Set data and to compare admissions criteria between schools, head over to the Data Room.



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