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Returning Student Room Selection

Returning Student Room Selection (RSRS) at American University is an online process that provides eligible returning undergraduate residents the opportunity to select their housing for the next academic year. For the 2019-2020 academic year, the process begins January 14, 2019 at 12 p.m. and runs through March 26, 2019.

Students who miss a required step of the process will only be eligible to submit a waitlist application. The waitlist process is not a guarantee of on-campus housing. The waitlist will be available through the AU Housing Portal on February 15th at 5PM after the Step 1 deadline. Students are notified by e-mail between April and August if a space can be offered.

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Process Overview and Timeline

There are three steps for the 2019-2020 process. To live on campus, applicants must complete all three steps by their respective deadlines.

Extensive information about the process is available throughout this page. Please review the provided information before contacting the Housing office.

Step 1: Apply (due February 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. EST)

Complete the online housing application and Housing License Agreement through the AU Housing Portal between January 14 at 12PM and February 15 at 5PM. The deadline is Friday, February 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. EST, no exceptions will be made.

Step 2: Group (due February 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. EST)

Students must create or join a group. This step is required for everyone, including individual students (groups of one) and groups of two or more. The deadline for groups of 1-2 students is Friday, February 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. EST. The deadline for groups of 3 or more students is Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 5p.m. EST. No exceptions will be made.

Step 3: Select (randomly assigned time)

Specific dates and times for selection will be assigned and communicated to each students.

Rising sophomore and mixed classification groups will select between March 5-7, 2019.

Upperclass students will select Tuesday, March 26, 2019.

Housing Options

Refer to the Residence Halls page for detailed information on each building and consider the associated housing costs (2019-2020 Housing and Meal Plan rates will be updated soon).

Housing options for returning students
Building Rising Sophomores Rising Juniors/Seniors Room Types

Students who elect to live in semi-private living units with private baths (Cassell, Congressional, Constitution, McDowell suites, Federal) are responsible for cleaning their in-unit bathrooms.

Only true triple rooms in Hughes and McDowell halls (originally designed as a triple room) will be offered for the 2019-2020 academic year. No double rooms will be converted to temporary triple rooms for the 2019-2020 academic year. Groups of three are not guaranteed placement in a triple occupancy bedroom.




Suite style




Double with private bath




Double with private bath




Double with private bath




Traditional room




Traditional room




Apartment style

Off-Campus Building



Shared studio and 1-BR

Frequently Asked Questions

Returning Student Room Selection Process

Your participation in the room selection process is your agreement to live in AU-affiliated housing for fall 2019 and spring 2020. You are contractually committing to live on campus for the full academic year; cancellation fees will apply should you decide to move off campus at any point during the year. Students leaving the residence halls for an approved reason (study abroad, permanent withdrawal, or transfer) may not be subject to cancellation fees with proper documentation.

Yes, you will have the opportunity to declare a roommate group during Step 2: Group. Roommate/living unit groups will be able to select together if there are vacant living units still available at their time of selection. Groups can be made up of students without regard to sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression. Groups can also be made up of students with both sophomore and upperclass residential classifications, but groups made up of both classifications will be limited to selection in Hughes or Cassell halls.

See the chart above for the buildings available according to your residential classification.

If you do not have an intended roommate, you will participate in all steps of the process for yourself:

  • During Step 2: Group, individual students are required to declare a group of one to designate themselves as the group leader for selection.
  • During Step 3: Select, individual students will be able to select a single room (very limited) or open bed space (more likely) in a double or triple room. Students selecting as individuals will select during the last room selection time block. If there are no spaces available, staff will use the preferences individual students submit during their online housing application to make administrative housing assignments between April and August.

Students who have already been accepted and paid the deposit to study abroad in fall should not participate in the room selection process. If you are unsure about your plans to study abroad in the fall, you should participate in the room selection process and secure a space. Students who participate in an approved study abroad program during the fall semester will be exempt from the housing cancellation fee. If you do select a housing assignment, complete a the cancellation applicaiton in the AU Housing Portal as soon as possible so your space can be assigned to another student from the waitlist.

Your decision to study abroad will result in a vacancy in your room or unit. Due to a high demand for campus housing, your vacant space will be reassigned, and we will not be able to accommodate roommate requests or room changes for that space.

For students studying abroad in the fall, housing is guaranteed upon your return provided that you meet all spring housing application deadlines. Information will be sent to you via email in October for the spring application process. Hall or roommate preferences are not guaranteed for students returning in the spring, but efforts will be made to meet those requests.

You should participate in the room selection process. Students who participate in an approved study abroad program during spring 2020 will be exempt from the cancellation fee as stated in the Housing License Agreement.

If you would like to request special housing accommodations based on a disability, you must meet the Academic Support & Access Center's (ASAC) deadline of February 13, 2019 at 5p.m. Students should initiate this process through the ASAC Disability Related Housing Accommodations Process page. Because there are many locations on campus that provide reduced-distraction study space, single rooms are not generally provided for students who have learning or attention disorders. If you have questions, please contact ASAC at 202-885-3360 in advance of the room selection process.

You should participate in the room selection process. Position decisions will be communicated prior to the final step of selecting housing. If joining a group of two or more, make sure to communicate with your group members that you may be removed from your group if selected for the position.

Upperclass students are not guaranteed on-campus housing. If all spaces are taken at the time of their selection, any student who met all deadlines are placed on a priority pending assignment list. Pending list students are offered housing prior to any student who applied through the waitlist. Pending priority status does not guarantee an on-campus assignment, but pending students have historically received an offer by August.

All rising sophomore students will be guaranteed housing if they complete all three steps of the room selection process. A specific type of space, however, is not guaranteed.


Living Off Campus


HRL provides several off-campus resources and services, including a guide to moving off campus, postings site, and individual consultations.

Moving off-campus does not affect a student's eligibility for financial aid. The Financial Aid Office approximates living expense for all students to the cost of a double room on-campus. If you would like to discuss your particular scholarship or loan arrangements related to moving off-campus, get in touch with the Financial Aid Office.

All current AU students are encouraged to participate in the Returning Student Room Selection process based on the details provided on this page.


General Housing


Current first year students (rising sophomores) are guaranteed a space on campus for the 2019-2020 academic year if they meet all deadlines, as well as select a space. On-campus housing is not guaranteed beyond the rising sophomore population. However, all students interested in living on-campus are encouraged to apply.

Undergraduate students, including students who are abroad or on a leave of absence, are eligible to participate in the returning student room selection process. Because there are approximately 400 spaces available for rising juniors and seniors, not all who apply will secure a space. We will work with students who do not secure a space through room selection during the spring and summer based on space availability.




Residential classification is the labeling system used to define a student's guarantee of housing and their eligibility for certain housing locations. It is determined by the number of semesters a student has lived in on-campus housing at AU (not including summer) or were abroad. It has NO relationship to any academic program, standing, or count of credit hours.

Ideally, we would like to provide housing for all undergraduate students who desire to live on campus. A top priority in the University's Campus Plan is building housing on campus to accommodate juniors and seniors in future years. Current trends show that most AU students move off-campus between their sophomore and junior years; only 25% of the junior class has historically lived on campus, as compared to 85% of the sophomore class.

Refer to the Academic Year Rates page for housing costs. 2019-2020 Housing and Meal Plan rates will be updated on our website soon. For questions specific to your meal plan, EagleBucks, or Dining Dollars, contact One Card & Dining Services.

Summer storage is a popular option for students looking for a way to store their belongings while they are at home or abroad during the summer. The UPS Store provides safe and convenient storage for all AU students. Located on campus, the UPS Store provides in-room delivery when students return in August. Stored items are placed in the student's assigned room before they return to school for the fall semester. The UPS Store has been serving AU students since 1987; for more information about summer storage, visit the AU Storage website.




Selection time slots are assigned on a completely random basis. Classification (number of semesters on campus) only impacts what locations you can select from, not what times lot you were assigned.

Your group will be reassigned a room selection timeslot for Phase 2 (March 5-7) and will be able to split into smaller groups of 1-2 students.

If you are assigned housing and it is confirmed via the email confirmation notice, you have until 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, March 22, 2019 to submit a housing cancellation through the AU Housing Portal to avoid the cancellation fee as outlined in the 2019-2020 Housing & Residence Life License Agreement. The agreement terms for cancellation as outlined in section 10 (Appendix A) are applicable after this date and time.

Housing assignments are final and room changes are not offered during the room selection process. Students will have an opportunity to request a room change during Open Room Change, which occurs two weeks into the fall semester.

No. There will not be waitlist for other buildings or room types. Once the process has ended, any vacancies available will be offered to students on the waitlist on a first come, first served basis.