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.
Education at AAU Universities
AAU universities make up only 2% of all 4-year universities, yet award nearly 40% of all degrees. Students at AAU universities have an 82% graduation rate over 6 years, and half of students graduate debt free.
Economic Impact of AAU Universities
AAU universities create jobs, produce innovative technologies, and boost local economies. In 2015 alone, AAU paid $75.6 billion in salaries to 716,223 employees, produced 4,200 patents, and fostered the creation of 2,882 start-ups. 40 AAU universities are in the top 50 for producing venture capital-backed entrepreneurs, and 456 start-up companies were generated in the university's home state in 2015.
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; 3%, compared to 7% and 14% for non-profit and for-profit universities respectively.
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. $22.6 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 $18.4 billion in university research to improve the lives of Americans.