Skip to main content

Housing & Dining Programs

First-Year Student Housing

Related pages: Residence Hall Profiles| What to Bring | Living in the Halls | Housing Rates | Orientation Information | Washington Mentorship Program | Room Rentals

Welcome to American University! We know you have important decisions ahead and we want to make living on campus as smooth as possible.

On-campus housing is in high demand, so it is important that students submit their housing enrollment deposits to the Office of Admissions as soon as possible to secure a space. If you have any questions regarding the deposit, please contact the Office of Admissions.

The Need to Know of Living On Campus at AU: 2017-2018

How do I apply for on-campus housing?

The online application will open at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 3 for students who have already submitted a housing deposit with AU Admissions.

Students who deposit:

  • Before April 3: will receive an invitation to apply via their AU email address on Monday, April 3. 
  • After April 3: will receive an invitation to apply via their AU email address within 3-5 business days of their deposit. 

The housing application deadline for first-year students is 5 p.m. on Friday, May 5.

How are housing assignments processed?

Living learning community designation, housing deposit date, room type preference, and roommate profile questions are utilized, in that order, to generate our first-year housing assignments. First-year housing assignment processes and placements are structured to complement the academic path a student has chosen. Residential first-year students will either participate in a Living Learning Community that is directly connected to an academic course or program, a common interest, or will be a member of a general population first-year residential community.

How are roommates assigned?

For the 2017-2018 academic year application, first year students will not be able to submit a roommate request within the application, but after Living Learning Community (LLC) designations have been released, students who have confirmed membership in the same academic or interest based community who would like to live together will be provided an avenue between May 17 and 31 to submit requests. Not living in an LLC? You will be able to submit a roommate request during the same two-week period. Due to the exciting growth in small-cohort living learning communities and the timeline of Living Living Community designations, an online search tool within the application will not be available for students to search among other members of their cohort. For students who do not submit a mutual, valid roommate request, roommate assignments will utilize LLC designation, room type preference, and roommate profile preferences submitted within the application to match roommates.

When will I know where I am living?

First-year housing assignments (location, room number and room type, as well as roommate(s) information) will be released via a student's AU email account and available within the AU Housing Portal in late June.

First-Year Housing Guide

This online guide includes information and important dates on the room selection process, a quick look at the residences available for students, and example scenarios that students may experience.

PDF version of the guide is available to download.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Do I have to live on campus?
AU does not require any student to live on campus.

What buildings do first-year students live in?
First-year students will be housed in Anderson, Letts, Clark, Roper, or Centennial Halls. No Living Learning Communities will be housed in Centennial Hall for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Am I guaranteed on-campus housing for all 4 years?
First and second year students who meet the housing application deadlines are guaranteed housing. Third and fourth year students are provided the opportunity to apply for on-campus housing but are not guaranteed. We do not provide housing for graduate students. Off-campus housing support if offered through our office.

Are on-campus residents required to have a meal plan?
All first- and second-year resident students are required to enroll in a meal plan. For the first two semesters living on campus, students are required to enroll in a meal plan at or above the 175 Block Plan. Third- and fourth-semester campus residents are required to enroll in a meal plan at or above the 100 Block Plan. If a resident student, during the first four semesters living on campus, does not select a meal plan, the student understands and agrees to be assigned the minimum plan required, as described.

Are the residence halls open over University breaks?
All first-year residence halls are open over Thanksgiving and Spring Breaks, but will close for the Winter Break period. Only one residence hall will be open over Winter Break and will require an additional application for stay at an additional cost.

Application

Do I have to complete the online application to receive a housing assignment?
The housing deposit is the only requirement to receive an assignment, but it is HIGHLY recommend that a student complete the online application to ensure the best possible roommate match.

What if I missed the May 5 priority application deadline?
The priority deadline ensures that a student will receive their housing assignment in mid-June. Students, who miss this deadline but still submitted a housing deposit, will receive an assignment as late as the second week of August.

I filled out the application, but why it is still showing as "incomplete"?
Your application may continue to read "incomplete" on the Term Selection page throughout the housing process up until you receive your room assignment and have selected your meal plan. You will receive a confirmation e-mail once you have submitted your application and another in mid-June once housing assignments have been completed.

Assignment/Rooms

What type of housing is available?
First-year students select housing from double, permanent triple, or temporary triple room types. First-year residence halls have traditional rooms and on-hall community bathrooms or suite-style rooms where a bathroom is shared between two double bedrooms (style not available to living learning community members). All buildings have shared lounges, kitchens, laundry rooms, and study areas.

What is a temporary triple (converted double)?
Temporary triple rooms are traditional double rooms with a third set of furniture added to accommodate three students. Students who reside in a temporary triple room at the start of the semester will be billed the rate of a triple room. Assignment to a triple room will be impacted by room type preference, housing deposit date, and participation in a community that is larger than the standard occupancy.

Can I live in a single bedroom as a first-year student?
We do not first-year students the opportunity to preference a single room room type within their housing application due to the incredible scarcity of the room type. Students who are seeking a single room as a need accommodation should reach out to the Academic Support and Access Center.

What do I do if I anticipate needing a specific type of housing due a disability?
Students with questions or requests on disability-related housing accommodations should visit the Academic Support & Access Center (ASAC) website for information and submit a request. Requests must be received by ASAC by May 5, 2017.

Roommates

Why does AU not allow first-year students to request roommates within their housing application?
Due to the exciting growth in small-cohort living learning communities and the timeline of Living Living Community designations, an online search tool is not offered for students to "shop" for a roommate. Housing (including roommates) are assigned to compliment a student's academic path and therefore, the process has been established to encourage students to select a community option as opposed to a roommate first. We believe that students benefit from living with roommates who are in some ways different from themselves.

What should I do to get to know my roommate?
We encourage you to talk with your roommate, avoid using social media as the only means to get to know him or her. Create time to interact with your roommate over the phone, Facetime, or Skype. Do no just text! Find common interests or take the opportunity to learn about something new to you that your roommate enjoys and can teach you about. Do not forget that your Resident Assistant can be a great resource to help you in this endeavor.

What if I do not get along with my roommate(s)?
You and your roommate(s) will share a unique relationship during your time together. You may not always get along with each other, care to spend a lot of time together, or become good friends, but you will share part of your lives with each other. Our philosophy is to encourage roommates to work through initial concerns and perceptions of each other rather than expecting a roommate switch.

  • Before Move-In: Due to high occupancy on campus, there will not be vacancies to change around students after the initial assignment. The Residence Life and Housing staff is specially available over the summer and through the start of the semester to help students navigate building connections with their assigned roommate. 
  • After Move-In: A room change freeze is active the first three weeks of the semester as housing confirms arrivals and assignments. An open room change process (emailed to students and available online) will allow students to request room changes within their assignment living community. Please note some communities will remain at high occupancy and room changes may not be an option and staff will assist students in identifying possible room swap opportunities. All first-year students seeking a room change for any reason must meet with their Community Director prior to a change being approved.

Move-In and Living

When is first year student move in?
For fall 2017, first year students will move in on Saturday, August 19. Additional information about move-in will be released in July and emailed directly to residential students in preparation for August.

Can first-year students move in early?
Due to summer operations and fall preparations, early move in is discouraged. Student and families should make arrangements for August 19th arrival. Certain student groups who are required to be on campus early will receive direct correspondence from their sponsoring campus partner.

What items should I bring with me to campus?
Visit our What to Bring and What Not to Bring page for more information.

How are mail and packages delivered on campus?
Visit Mail Services for information on mail and package service for American University. We will not accept packages for the Fall 2017 semester until Monday, August 14, 2017. Any delivery attempts prior to this date will be refused.

Does AU offer MicroFridge rentals?
Yes, please see additional information on our room rental options page.