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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 2018-2019 academic year, the process begins January 16, 2018 at 12 p.m. and runs through March 9, 2018.

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 January 31 after the Step 1 deadline. Students are notified by email between April and August if a space can be offered.

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Process Overview and Timeline

There are three steps for the 2018-2019 process. To live on campus, applicants must complete all three steps by their respective deadlines.

Extensive additional information about the process is available through the 2018-2019 Returning Student Room Selection Guide.

Step 1: Apply (due January 26, 2018 at 5 p.m. EST)

Complete the online housing application and Housing License Agreement through the AU Housing Portal. The deadline is Friday, January 26, 2018 at 5 p.m. EST, no exceptions.

Step 2: Group (due February 14, 2018 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 is Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 5 p.m. EST, no exceptions.

Step 3: Select and Verify (February 27-March 8, randomly assigned time)

Select your space or verify the space selected by the group leader between February 27-March 1 and March 6-8, 2018. Specific dates and times for selection will be assigned and communicated to students.

If you are required to verify your space because it was selected by your group leader, you must do so by March 23, 2018. This verification information is sent to your AU email account.

View FAQ for Step 3: Select and Verify.

Watch the webinar:

  • 03:10 Selection/Notice Dates, What does "___" mean? 
  • 12:41 Who Can Live Where 
  • 17:40 Who Selects When, What, and Conditions 
  • 22:57 Myths & Tips 
  • 29:05 What's the probability of_? How can I live in_? What if_? 
  • 39:49 Demo of Step 3: Select (online selection)

Stay in the Know

Informational opportunities
Date Description

Additional opportunities are shared on social media @HomeAtAU.

Jan 18 at 8:30 p.m.

Information session in MGC 200 and on Facebook Live

Jan 22 from 7-9 p.m.

Tabling in Anderson Hall

Jan 25 from 7-9 p.m.

Tabling in Letts Hall

Feb 1 from 12-2 p.m.

Twitter chat with @HomeAtAU using #AUselectionchat

Feb 22 at 8 p.m.

Watch the webinar:

Mar 1 from 12-2 p.m.

Twitter chat with @HomeAtAU using #AUselectionchat

Housing Options

Refer to your Returning Student Room Selection Guide for detailed information on each building and consider the associated housing costs.

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 2018-2019 academic year. No double rooms will be converted to temporary triple rooms for the 2018-2019 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

Berkshire Apt.



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 2018 and spring 2019. 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 2018-2019 Returning Student Room Selection Guide 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 Housing Termination Form 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 2019 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 2, 2018. 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.

Any student currently living in AU-affiliated housing must participate in the room selection process to stay in AU-affiliated housing. If you want to sign an agreement with the Berkshire Apartments on your own and separate from AU-affiliated housing, you do not need to participate in the room selection process. You will be required to move out of your current apartment at the end of the spring semester.

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.

Once you move off campus, you are not eligible to participate in the Returning Student Room Selection process. You will be able to apply through the waitlist process. Historically, all students who apply through the waitlist are offered an on-campus housing space by August.


General Housing


AU is enrolling first year and transfer students with greater success, as well as retaining more continuing students students in the residence halls as a result of their satisfaction with the residential experience. The University's current housing inventory, however, is not sufficient to keep pace with this increasing demand. Additional student housing is a top priority in the University's Campus Plan, currently under development. Once additional housing is developed, we expect to house any undergraduate student requesting to live on campus, including juniors and seniors. New housing takes at least two to five years to develop.

No, on-campus housing is not guaranteed for four years. We continuously offer on-campus housing spaces to all students who want to live on as spaces become available.

Undergraduate students currently living on campus, as well as 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. Students who do not secure a space may be offered a space later in the spring or summer.

Current first year students (rising sophomores) are guaranteed a space on campus for the 2018-2019 academic year if they meet all deadlines, as well as select and verify a space.

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. With an abundance of local apartments and a convenient transportation system near AU, we believe that juniors and seniors are better equipped to move off campus and continue to be academically successful.

Refer to the Academic Year Rates page for housing costs. 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. For more information about summer storage, visit the UPS Store AU Storage website.


Select and Verify


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 Week 2 (March 6-8) and will be able to split into smaller groups as all individual group members will be able to select for themselves.

If you are assigned housing and it is confirmed via the email confirmation notice, you have until 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 25 to email a cancellation to in order to avoid the cancellation fee as outlined in your 2018-2019 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.