Equity-Based Funds

Change Can’t Wait: The Campaign for American University creates a more equitable, affordable, and empowering AU education that demonstrates the university’s commitment to an environment of inclusive excellence. The following funds offer opportunities for you to become involved and directly impact areas of critical need.

Click on the name of the fund to be taken to the donation page. Funds are listed in alphabetical order. Please contact [email protected] with any questions.

Alumni Association Student Experience Fund

Provides support for students who have financial need and may not be able to take advantage of all the opportunities an AU education offers. Fund-supported examples include, but are not limited to: financial assistance for students experiencing an unforeseen economic hardship that impacts their ability to finance their education; financial assistance for students who intend to participate in experiential learning opportunities (e.g., study abroad, internships, professional/academic conferences, speaking opportunities, etc.) which have unforeseen costs; and directing funds to efforts that support wellness among the university community. 

AU Fund for Student Support

Provides AU the greatest flexibility to address the current needs of our students.

The Antiracist Research & Policy Center (ARPC)

ARPC builds multidisciplinary initiatives for fostering racial justice, decolonial politics, and intersectional liberation by forging relationships across AU and with external changemakers in the DC region and beyond. Gifts support ARPC’s mission to seek the enactment of antiracist policies at the local, state, and national levels and provide free and accessible events to the AU community.

Asian And Pacific Islander (APIAN) Book Award

Provides book awards each year to high-achieving students who demonstrate strong connections to Asian and Pacific Islander-heritage communities through student leadership, community service, or strong academic performance.

Black Alumni Alliance (BAA) Book Award

Provides book awards each year to high-achieving students who demonstrate strong connections to Black, African-heritage, and Caribbean communities through leadership, service, or strong academic performance.

Campus Life Fund

The Campus Life Fund supplements key services and support around life at AU, including Black Affinity Housing and the STEP program that provides first-year students with the resources needed to succeed.

The Center For Diversity and Inclusion (CDI)

CDI works to advance AU’s commitment to respecting and valuing diversity by serving as a resource and liaison for students, staff, and faculty on issues of equity through education, outreach, and advocacy. As part of its mission, the center is dedicated to enhancing LGBTQ, multicultural, first-generation, and women's experiences on campus. 

The Counseling Center 

The center provides various mental health services to the campus community, including short-term psychotherapy, crisis intervention, group counseling, outreach and consultation, and referral resources. The center's staff is committed to creating a welcoming and affirming space where all members of the AU community are valued and celebrated. Its social justice approach includes taking a stand against discrimination and oppression in any form. The center values cultural competence, and: seeks clinicians who share the diversity of AU’s student body; offers group therapy options to address issues specifically relevant to students of color, LGBTQ+ students and others; and engages with wellness partners and others across campus in mental health outreach geared to diverse concerns. 

Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars (FDDS)

This award-winning program prepares AU’s foremost student and alumni leaders for graduate/professional school, career management, and socially responsible leadership. AU annually awards this merit-based scholarship (tuition, housing, meal plan, books, mandatory fees, and public transportation) to five incoming first-year student leaders committed to multidimensional excellence. The FDDS program is one the most prestigious, merit-based scholars programs for honors students in the United States today. 

Frederick Douglass Scholarship (FDS)

The Frederick Douglass Scholars (FDS) award was originally developed in the late 1960s and was a need-based scholarship that was targeted to Washington, DC students. The Frederick Douglass Scholarship (FDS) is now offered as a partial merit-based scholarship for students and is no longer restricted to DC students only. It has been awarded to talented underrepresented minorities and first generation students.

Latino Alumni Alliance (LAA) Book Award

Provides book awards each year to high-achieving students who demonstrate strong connections to Latino and Hispanic-heritage communities through student leadership, community service, or strong academic performance.

The Market 

Students should never go hungry or skip meals because they can’t afford enough to eat. That’s why AU developed The Market, a food pantry for students, run in partnership with students, and located where many students live – at a residence hall, where it can be accessed easily, seven days a week.  

Orientation Travel Scholarship

Traveling to DC can be an expensive cost for students; as a result, some miss Eagle Summit orientation entirely. This travel scholarship helps offset costs for students to attend Eagle Summit and start their first year off strong.

Pride Resource Fund

Ensures that AU students have a consistent and safe place to call home by providing students with the support and resources they need after coming out and/or affirming their gender identity, sexuality, or gender expression. Support from donors allows us to provide critical support such as arranging emergency housing during breaks, semester-long housing, and groceries for these students in a time of need.

Student Career Development Fund

Two distinct parts of the AU experience are education through internships and learning through service. The Student Career Development Fund brings these together to enable students to accept unpaid internships in the public and non-profit sectors. Additionally, philanthropic support through this fund provides opportunities for students with demonstrated financial need, and especially historically underrepresented students (e.g., BIPOC, first-generation), to access professional development and grow the skills that lead to professional success. 

Student Emergency Relief Fund (SERF)

Ensures all AU students have a lifeline in times of crisis, unexpected emergencies, or urgent situations. Support from donors allows us to arrange emergency housing or travel, cover unexpected costs related to family or personal issues, and assist students in remaining at AU during exceptionally difficult times.

The Teacher Pipeline Project

The Teacher Pipeline Project (TPP) is a partnership between American University's School of Education, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), Friendship Charter Schools, and the Office of the State Superintendent in Education (OSSE) to increase and cultivate the diversity of teachers in DCPS. Support will provide free dual enrollment opportunities for DC 12th graders, full scholarships for aspiring teachers (AU Teacher Fellows), and new teacher coaching. Upon graduation from AU, Teaching Fellows are guaranteed a teaching position in DCPS.

Veterans Resource Fund

Provides timely, comprehensive, and vital support to ensure military-affiliated students can thrive at AU. Support from donors helps fund programs and activities for military-affiliated students, including executive coaching, wellness programs, pre-enrollment assistance, maintaining a dedicated space on campus, and personalized career advising.