#10, overall score 75.5/100

Fun Fact:

The Sierra Club has ranked AU as one of the greenest universities in the country. The entire campus is a designated arboretum.

Why should Jewish students attend AU? American University students are driven and engaged with the world: The university has repeatedly been ranked as the most politically active in the country; students intern at a higher rate than at any other university, and the vast majority of undergraduates study abroad. The beautiful campus is just minutes from Washington’s globally recognized landmarks, museums and more. AU is home to one of the largest Jewish communities of any private university in the nation, and Jewish life on campus has experienced a renaissance in recent years. AU Hillel offers students countless ways to be involved with Jewish life and community, to learn and lead, to travel, and to make an impact on the world. — Jason Benkendorf, executive director, American University Hillel

AU is a very diverse school. Hosting many international students and great academic programs — especially business, international studies and public affairs — AU also displays a strong Jewish presence. In recent years, particularly since Chabad’s establishment in addition to the existing Hillel, AU now boasts a flourishing Jewish life. Additionally, AU’s Center for Israel Studies has positively impacted the Jewish community and helped create a “relatively” safer environment in terms of anti-Israel sentiment. All of the above has contributed toward building up a stronger sense of Jewish identity and pride on campus. — Rabbi Shua Hecht, executive director, Chabad AU

ACADEMICS Score: 25/30

  • Score: 25/30
  • Acceptance rate: 26%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 12:1
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Israel Studies major: Minor


  • Tuition: $44,853
  • Room & board costs: $14,526
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $27,000


  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Region: Mid-Atlantic
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 7,909
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 1,600
  • Jewish population share: 20%
  • Student origin: 18% in-state / 82% out-of-state
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Eagles
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Stall 11, Dirty Ladies

ISRAEL Score: 17.5/20

JEWISH LIFE Score: 29.67/40

  • Score: 29.67/40
  • Hillel: American University Hillel
  • Chabad: Chabad AU
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Meor: No
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ΣAM, ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: AEPhi, SDT
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2016: 1
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Active Hillel clubs: 10
  • Hillel Friday night services: 2
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 50
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 35
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 32 (15 Orthodox, 10 Conservative, 7 Reform)
  • Eruv: No
  • Most famous Jewish alumnus: Judge Judith Sheindlin
  • Where do Jewish students come from? All over the country
  • Kosher food details: Pre-prepared kosher meals are available in the dining hall, and kosher boxed sandwiches, wraps and salads are available in the campus convenience store. Hillel provides kosher Shabbat dinners and holiday meals.

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