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Elevate Scholarship Initiative

Our commitment to AU changemakers—creating pathways to purpose.
Support AU Students

Each student comes to AU with a dream, a goal, maybe even a plan—to seek new experiences, reach graduation, and go on to live a life of purpose. An important premise of their dream is the ability to fund their education. But unexpected financial stressors such as parental job loss, illness, or death, or other financial developments can disrupt even the most carefully laid plans. Each year, as many as 500 undergraduate students seek additional financial resources from the university after experiencing a change in their financial circumstances. 

Elevate Scholarship Initiative

AU’s Elevate Scholarship Initiative is a philanthropic effort to raise $25 million to support undergraduate students enrolled at AU. The university is matching this investment, doubling donors’ impact. The initiative will ensure more students can continue their AU experience, reach their full potential, and share their contributions as changemakers with the world.  

Join us. Because we know—Change Can’t Wait. 

Make A Gift

More than 1600

donors have contributed to the Elevate Scholarship Initiative

As of 6/30/23

An anonymous alum gave $2M

in unrestricted scholarship support to launch the initiative

We’ve raised more than $5M

towards this initiative so far

As of 6/30/23

Our Community’s Commitment to AU Changemakers 

AU students are bold learners who transform ideas into meaningful actions—changemakers who will make a difference in the world. The AU community knows that an Eagle’s path may change for many reasons—but unexpected financial changes shouldn’t block someone from a full AU experience. 

Ways You Can Join Us

Support the Elevate Scholarship Endowed Fund

An anonymous donor’s endowed gift of $2 million in unrestricted scholarship support kickstarted this initiative. Additional gifts may be contributed to this fund to grow this important endowment.

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Endow Named Elevate Scholarships

Unrestricted endowed scholarship funds that provide the university with the flexibility to accommodate any undergrad demonstrating financial need. 

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Give to the AU Fund for Student Support

Gifts of any size can help augment financial aid resources with flexible funds that are available immediately—when and where they are needed most

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Pursuing Pathways to Purpose

The Elevate Scholarship Initiative—a vital component of the Change Can’t Wait Campaign—helps students remain at AU, alleviates financial stress, and supports their emotional, mental, and physical well-being. As a result, students can thrive on campus and beyond. They can pursue research and career development activities, study abroad, and sought-after internships that are frequently unpaid. 

Read stories of scholarship impact at AU. 

A Return to AU Marks New Beginning

Change Can’t Wait is not just a slogan—it’s a format that is being followed.

A lot can change over nine years. But for Terwase Tor-Agbidye, SIS/BA ’23, the desire to complete her degree from American University remained constant. Energized by a scholarship and a vision for a more equitable world, she is back on campus to fulfill her dream.

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A changemaker since childhood, Lily Larsen, SPA/BA ’23, embraces the power of conversation to bring people together.
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Jadyn Newman, SOC-SPA/BA ’23, channels her passions for research and storytelling through filmmaking at AU and beyond.
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Francesca Gill, SIS/BA ’24, a junior at American University’s School of International Service, finds value in each word of her school’s name. She views public service as uniquely vocational.
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“Opportunity” is a word Meaghan Reilly, SIS-SPA/BA ’21, SPA/MS ’24, often returns to when reflecting on the impact of scholarships. A graduate student in the School of Public Affairs’ (SPA) Justice, Law, and Criminology program, Reilly is a recipient of the Daniel Greeley Memorial Scholarship Fund, part of American University’s new Elevate Scholarship Initiative.   
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The Stewart/Sawyer Family Endowed Scholarship Fund is part of AU’s Elevate Scholarship Initiative.

Hearts, roses, and . . . the circular economy? At first, food sustainability might not seem to have a natural connection to Valentine’s Day. But for Hannah VanWagner, CAS ’23, the February holiday offered a creative chance to promote waste awareness.
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Ishita Jamar is advancing her studies and laying the groundwork for her future through experiences beyond the classroom. She led a commission on sexual assault prevention culminating in a report with recommendations to improve campus culture and cofounded a grassroots organization that raises awareness around racial biases and privilege in her native New Jersey.    
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Kyli received the Gloria A. Likins Scholarship that supports her cancer research project in professor John Bracht’s laboratory. 

While I was growing up, I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. My parents were surprised by my unwavering love for the sciences, since no one in my family was strong in this area of study. Despite my lack of exposure, my passion continued to grow.
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Elevate the Student Experience

Every day, we prepare changemakers to shape our changing world. AU promotes student thriving in a diverse, inclusive environment that supports innovative minds and the purposes they courageously pursue. 

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Tell Us Your Story

How have scholarships impacted your pathway to purpose? Let us know so we can share your story of impact with the AU community.

Share My Story

Learn About Change Can’t Wait

With a $500 million goal, Change Can’t Wait will create transformative educational opportunities for students, advance research with impact, and build stronger communities locally, nationally, and globally.

Why Us?