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AAU By the Numbers


Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities comprises 62 distinguished research universities across the United States that continually advance society through education, research, and discovery. Our universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for academic research and are educating tomorrow’s visionary leaders and global citizens.

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Education at AAU Universities

Students at AAU universities have an 83% graduation rate over 6 years, and half of students graduate debt free. AAU universities award 42% of all research doctoral degrees, yet make up only 8% of all 4-year PhD granting universities.


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Employees at AAU Universities

Economic Impact of AAU Universities

AAU universities create jobs, produce innovative technologies, and boost local economies. In 2016 alone, AAU paid $77 billion in salaries to 725,265 employees, produced 4,407 patents, and fostered the creation of 635 start-ups. 38 AAU universities are in the top 50 for producing venture capital-backed entrepreneurs, and 443 start-up companies were generated in the university's home state in 2016.

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Institutional Grant Aid AAU Universities

Value of AAU Universities

AAU universities provide excellent value to their students. Students from AAU universities receive 46% more financial aid from their institutions than from the federal government, and default at lower rates; 2.8%, compared to 7.4% and 14.6% for non-profit and for-profit universities respectively.

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Honors and Awards Delivered to AAU University Faculty

AAU Universities Conduct Critical Research

Federal agencies rely on universities to perform critical research in the national interest - AAU universities perform the majority of that research. $23.3 billion in federally funded basic research, or 60% of the total amount funded, is performed by faculty at AAU universities. Agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services (including NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Defense (DoD) alone funded $19.2 billion in university research to improve the lives of Americans.

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