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Incoming Residents

First-Year Students

First-Year students are defined as those who have been directly admitted to an undergraduate degree program at American University and have not attended another postsecondary institution (not including dual-enrollment credits completed during high school tenure). The housing status will be parallel to how the Office of Admissions has classified an incoming student. Apply through the First-Year application process.

  • Application opens for 2021-2022: Thursday, April 1, 2021.
  • Priority deadline: Monday, June 7, 2021 at noon.

Transfer Students

Transfer students are defined as those who have been directly admitted to an undergraduate degree program at American University and have previously attended another postsecondary institution. The housing status will be parallel to how the Office of Admissions has classified an incoming student. Apply through the transfer application process.

  • Application opens for 2021-2022: April 30, 2021 at noon.
  • Priority deadline: July 7, 2021 at noon.

Abroad at AU Students

Students participating in the Abroad at AU program will receive an email from Housing and Residence Life sharing the application process and available residence halls.

  • Application opens for 2021-2022: Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at noon.
  • Priority deadline: Friday, May 14, 2021 at noon.

Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

No. There is no residential requirement to live on-campus as a first-year student. However, almost all first-year students chose to live with us their first year to ensure their transition to AU is successful and they can connect with the larger AU community.

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 is offered through our off-campus housing page.

All first- and second-year resident students are required to enroll in a meal plan.

Visit One Card & Dining Services for more information.

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. Interested residents will complete a Winter Break application and will pay a separate fee for housing over the break.


See the first-year and transfer pages for more details on which residence halls are available to you.

Single rooms are not available to incoming students. We believe that sharing a room is an important part of the residential experience and have trained staff available to assist roommates in having a successful experience together.

Students who are seeking a single room as a medical accommodation should reach out to the Academic Support and Access Center.

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 6, 2020 (this date is tentative and may change).

The Black Affinity Housing, located in Roper Hall, provides an intentional residential community dedicated to celebrating, exploring, and affirming black student experiences at AU and beyond. The live-in experience encourages dialogue and community building that is mindful of the diverse social, cultural, and academic needs of Black and multicultural students. Black Affinity Housing will enrich all of campus life by promoting solidarity among students of all backgrounds and identities.

Incoming students will be able to indicate their interest in joining the Black Affinity Housing community through the housing application. They will the receive further information in an email.


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 not 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 (RA) can be a great resource to help you in this endeavor.

20 Open-Ended Questions to Help You Break the Ice:

  • What are three things that you are really good at?
  • What is a food that you would never want to eat?
  • What would you do if you suddenly won $100,000?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • How can people tell when you are annoyed?
  • What is a cause that you are incredibly passionate about?
  • What is one of your favorite things about your hometown?
  • How do you like to spend your free time?
  • What is your favorite snack?
  • How would your friends at home describe you?
  • Where is your favorite place in the world?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • What do you need when you are stressed?
  • If you could meet anyone from any time or place, who would it be?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What kinds of things make you angry?
  • How would you describe your family?
  • What is your proudest moment?
  • What kind of music to you like?
  • What kinds of things make you really happy?

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 available over the summer and through the start of the semester to help students navigate building connections with their assigned roommate(s).
  • 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 incoming students seeking a room change for any reason must meet with their Community Director (CD)prior to a change being approved.

Move-In and Living

Incoming students will move in Fall 2021. More information will be shared by the end of June.

Due to summer operations and fall preparations, early move in is not currently available. Certain student groups who are required to be on campus early will receive direct correspondence from their sponsoring campus partner.

Visit our packing list for information on what to bring and what to leave at home.

2021 mail and package information will be shared by July. Items should not be shipped until this information is provided.

Please visit our Personalize Your Room to learn about a variety of vendor product and services provided to you.