The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on February 24, 1893 as “The American University,” when the bill was approved by President Benjamin Harrison.
AU was named the most politically active school in the nation in The Princeton Review’s annual survey of college students in 2008, 2010, and 2012. The university has six schools, including the School of International Service (SIS), currently ranked 8th in the world for its graduate programs and 9th in the world for its undergraduate program in International Affairs by Foreign Policy, and the Washington College of Law. As of 2016, roughly 7,710 undergraduate students and 5,230 graduate students are currently enrolled. The school has grown increasingly competitive in recent years, with a 35.1% acceptance rate for the Class of 2019 which itself was 11% lower than the year previous. The overall acceptance rate for the class of 2020 was 25%.