Chapman vs. AU

Should I go to Chapman University or American University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Chapman or AU is the better college for you.

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Chapman University vs. American University comparison
Chapman University American University College 3 College 4
Chapman University American University
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Location Orange, CA Washington, DC
Setting Midsize City Large City
Students 9,608 14,311
Type Private 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) United Methodist - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $54,540 $49,070
Tuition (Out of State) $54,540 $49,070
Room & Board $15,518 $16,096
Avg Net Price $43,767 $40,469
Avg Grant Aid $28,341 $25,603
% Receiving Grant Aid 85% 59%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 55.7% 36.1%
Avg High School GPA 3.68 3.7
Admissions Standards Very High Very High
Applicant Competition Low High
ACT Range 25/31 27/31
SAT Range 1190/1380 1210/1390
Application Deadline Jan 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020


Graduation Rate 72% 77%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $54,100 $64,800
Making Student Loan Payments 65% 80%
Median Student Loan Debt $20,938 $24,250
Median Loan Payment $216 $250
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Comparable Facts

  • Chapman University is larger than than AU based on total student enrollment (9,608 students vs. 14,311 students)

Chapman vs. AU Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Chapman or AU?

  • Chapman University is 11.1% more expensive to attend than AU for in-state tuition ($54,540.00 vs. $49,070.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 11.1% higher at Chapman than American University ($54,540.00 vs. $49,070.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at American University than Chapman ($40,469 vs. $43,767)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Chapman University are 3.7% lower than costs at American University ($15,518 vs. $16,096)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Chapman University than American University (85% vs. 59%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Chapman University students is 10.7% larger than aid received American University ($28,341 vs. $25,603)

Chapman vs. AU Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Chapman or AU? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between AU or Chapman .

  • The average SAT score at American University (1252) is 35 points higher than at Chapman (1217)
  • Incoming Chapman students have at the same average ACT score (28) as students at AU (28)
  • Chapman has a higher acceptance rate (55.7%) than AU (36.1%)

Chapman vs. AU Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Chapman or AU? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between AU and Chapman.

  • The graduation rate at AU is higher that Chapman University (77% vs. 72%)
  • Graduates from American University earn on average $10,700 more per year than Chapman graduates after ten years. ($64,800 vs. $54,100)
  • Chapman University students graduate with a $3,312 lower median federal student loan debt than AU graduates. ($20,938 vs. $24,250)
  • Chapman graduates are paying $34 less per month on federal student loans than AU graduates. ($216 vs. $250)
  • More AU graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Chapman students, three years after graduation. (80% vs. 65%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education IPEDS and College Scorecard