Things to Consider
Not getting to know your roommates before the housing selection process
The strategy that students utilize to select roommates can often be more complex than Einstein's theory of relativity. Students may select future living arrangements based on a variety of characteristics, such as friends from the past, similar social habits & groups, proximity to their academic department, or anxiety of being left out of the lottery. Regardless of the motivation for selecting next year's roommate(s), please encourage your student to get to know their future roommate(s). Ask questions: What time do you go to bed? How much do you socialize? Do you mind if we have guest over? Do you smoke? Taking a few minutes and being thorough now can save us all many hours of disappointment in the future.
Selecting roommates based on who has the earliest housing selection date & time
In an effort to increase one's chance for a premium housing option, some students choose roommates based on the best housing selection date & time. In the short-term, this seems like a great solution for someone with a high lottery number. However, more-often than not, these situations take a turn for the worst and unfortunately feelings get hurt. So again, please take the time to really get to know potential roommates, because you will be spending a lot of time together throughout the next academic year.
Abandoning a good friend, without any notice at the last minute, in order to live elsewhere.
Although this sounds harsh, the reality is that it does happen. Usually, students have it all planned out. "The three of us are going to move into Nebraska Hall and everything will be great." Then minutes before the first student's selection number comes up, it happens."Well…Ah….What had happened was we didn't think the Berkshire would still be available. And you know only two people can sign into those apartments, so… I'm sorry, good luck with your housing selection."
There is no worse feeling for a student during this entire housing selection process than to be abandoned by "friends" at the last second. The student is left feeling alone, with nowhere to live and no one to live with. Please consider others' feelings and emotions when making housing choices. Furthermore, students should be up front and honest with one other; if there are other possible living arrangements, then all parties involved should be made aware of these potential scenarios. Finally, if all else fails and someone has been left out, there may be some other options available.
Attempting to contract, and then trying to get an off-campus apartment.
Some students attempt to get "two bites at the apple." They will contract with American University to secure a space with the intention of moving off campus. Or, after not getting a favorable housing selection date and time or finding out that friends will be moving into a local off-campus apartment, students attempt to withdraw from university housing. However, under the terms of the "Housing License Agreement" this is not allowed, except in extraordinary circumstances. Therefore, parents and students may be left paying hefty cancellation fees. In an effort to prevent this from happening, ensure that living in campus is the best decision for you. Make a list of the pros and cons to living both on-campus and off-campus. ·
Not having a couple of housing options in mind.
As it was previously mentioned, there are pros and cons to living anywhere. However, students may look only at one particular location, because it has single apartments or the most desirable location. The reality of the situation is that students are not guaranteed to get their first choice. Therefore, it is highly encouraged for students to have a couple of options on different floors or in different buildings. There are no guaranteed placements into a specific housing assignment until you have completed the housing selection process.