You are here: American University Campus Life Housing & Residence Life FAQ Mid-Semester Residential Experience

Mid-Semester Residential Experience

We are excited to welcome many Eagles to campus for a short-term residential experience, running from March through May! 

About This Program

What is the short-term residential experience?

It is an opportunity for undergraduates to live on campus during Spring semester 2021, from mid-semester (early March) to the end of the semester (May 5). There will be no change in the way classes are delivered. Students will live in single rooms with shared bathrooms and utilize the meal plan. The residential experience has also been referred to as a “mini-mester.”

When is Move-Out?

Residents must move out of their space no later than noon on Wednesday May 5.   

Where will I store my belongings after Move-Out, so I can have access to them for Fall Semester?

The campus UPS store offers a summer storage plan, to assist students with storage through fall semester. 

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How and where will students be housed?

Students will have single bedrooms and share community bathrooms. Rooms being used are typically doubles, but in Spring 2021 will be used as singles for health and safety protocols.

Anderson & Letts will house all 2020-2021 incoming residents. 

Hughes Hall will house returning students and transfer students with 30 or more earned credits.

How were housing assignments made?

MSRE assignments have been made based on the order of considerations below:

  1. Living Learning Community (LLC) membership: Each LLC was assigned to a floor in either Anderson or Letts based on the number of LLC members who applied for the MSRE. 
  2. Hall-Mate requests: Each mutual hall-mate request was utilized when assigning students. Most pairs of students were assigned on the same floor or same building unless the pair were in separate LLCs residing in separate buildings (i.e. Anderson & Letts). If this was the case, you will be able to visit your hall-mate pair through the hallways that connect Anderson and Letts. 

Will there be activities to welcome and orient students to campus?

Yes, there will! Watch for more information on Navigating Your Nest, a series of programs and events, both virtual and (if possible) in-person, that will kick off your Mid-Semester Residential Experience and help you acclimate to AU and DC. The details will be sharedvia your AU email.  If you have questions about Navigating Your Nest, reach out to

Will there also be other students will be living on campus during Spring 2021?

In addition to participants in MSRE, AU is also housing students with critical housing needs. These students occupy separate residence halls from MSRE students. AU has been providing Emergency Housing for students with critical housing needs since the university transitioned to a virtual environment as part of its response to COVID-19. 

Can a student bring a car to campus?

First-year students cannot have a car on campus; others may have a car.

Will the AU Shuttle be operating?

Yes, it will be operating and taking students (free) to shopping and the Metro.

Please note, though, that after DC-area universities went largely online due to the pandemic, the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) suspended the U-Pass program for area university students — which typically makes public transportation free for students — so that program is not available at the moment.

Dining on Campus

When do MSRE meal plans begin?

The $400 in EagleBucks will be available for use at local restaurants starting Thursday, March 4, 2021. On-campus Dining will operate from Sunday, March 7, 2021- Saturday, March 13, 2021 with TDR to-go. The remaining food locations will open on Sunday, March 14.

How will meals be provided?

AU Dining will provide meals to go, for pick up. In addition, there will be several other food outlets open on campus.

Will I need to be on the meal plan?

Yes. All students attending the short-term residential program will be required to be on a meal plan. 

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Health Testing & Protocols

Do I need a COVID-19 test before arrival?

Yes. Students will be expected to get a COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours prior to coming to DC. Test results should be emailed to

What is the earliest day that I can receive a Covid-19 test before moving onto campus?

You must show results of a negative Covid-19 test take 72 hours before your scheduled move in day. The chart below will help you determine the earliest day you can get tested before move-in. 


Your scheduled move-in day is      You should get your test on or after
Monday Friday
Tuesday Saturday
Wednesday Sunday
Thursday Monday
Friday Tuesday
Saturday Wednesday


Are there health protocols I need to follow after arrival?

  • Students living in on-campus housing or university leased properties will be required to be tested twice per week.  
  • Per DC Health Guidelines, students will be expected to limit their daily activities. After 3-5 days in DC, students will then take a COVID-19 PCR test and continue to limit daily activities until receiving their test result. If the test is negative, they can return to full (masked activities). 
    • Limiting daily activites means:  
      • leaving your room only when necessary 
      • avoiding public gatherings (of any size) 
      • social distancing from others and wearing face coverings at all times while tending to basic needs (e.g., acquiring food, seeking medical treatment) 
  • Students will be required to follow AU and DC Health Guidelines, regardless of whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccination.  
  • Questions about testing can be directed to the Student Health Center.  
    • If you have received notification that you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, you will need to provide proof of the positive diagnosis to the Student Health Center by emailing You will not be required to participate in the twice weekly COVID testing for 90 days after your diagnosis. 

What if I am already vaccinated for COVID-19?

Students will be required to follow DC protocols regardless of whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccination.

How often will I be tested for COVID-19 while living on campus?

Twice a week. There is no charge for this test. This also applies to students in university-leased housing off campus, such as the Frequency Apartments.

Failure to comply with the testing requirements will result in a referral to the Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution Services (SCCRS). 

What if a student tests positive for COVID-19 while living on campus?

If any on-campus student has a confirmed case of COVID-19, there are protocols for moving the student to isolation housing. Over 160 spaces, in separate housing facilities, are being set aside for this purpose. Meals will be provided through no-contact delivery and students are monitored by the Student Health Center.


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Health Insurance

What are the health insurance requirements?

AU requires all students living in university-sponsored housing to carry comprehensive health insurance valid in Washington, D.C. For more details, please see "About Student Health Insurance."

What is the cost?

$1139 is the cost of health insurance for Spring semester. It covers students from January 1 through July 31.

How do I waive AU health insurance if I already have insurance that meets university requirements?

Please see this page on the Spring 2021 waiver process.

What if I was approved for a waiver at the start of the academic year?

If you received a waiver exception in the Fall that no longer applies, you will be charged automatically for the Student Health Insurance plan. (For instance, if your insurance does not provide in-network coverage in Washington, DC but you weren't in Washington, DC during the Fall, and received a waiver exception on that basis, it would no longer apply and you will be charged.)

All other waivers still apply.

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How do I apply for disability-related housing/dining accommodations?

The deadline for requesting accommodations was January 13. For questions, please contact Academic Support and Access Center

Will my short-term housing/dining accommodation transfer over to Fall 2021?

No; all returning ASAC students need to complete request forms for Fall 2021. Please talk with your Disability Access Advisor for details. (Those requests are due by February 14, 2021, so please keep that in mind.)

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Cost & Billing

What is the cost for MSRE housing?

Rooms  are $2478. Students arriving between March 4 and March 9 will be charged an additional $300.  

What is the cost for the meal plan?

$1588 for a 100-block meal plan. This provides around 12 meals a week, as well as $400 worth of EagleBucks, which can be used (via your OneCard student ID) for purchases at on-campus and some off-campus food and retail vendors.

Can I use my financial aid?

Yes. Spring 2021 financial aid awards include the full anticipated cost of attendance — including housing and dining. This can be used for the short-term housing experience.

However, because of the circumstances of 2021, many students will receive a refund in January (before applications to this program are processed). If you plan to participate in the short-term housing experience, please save your refund so that you can apply it to this charge. 

How do I make a payment?

Payment for charges related to the short-term housing experience will be due immediately on the day they are posted. (They will be posted and due the first week of February.) Payments can be made by Eagle Service via the Student Accounts Online Payments link

For students on a monthly payment plan, the housing/dining charges will automatically be factored into the rest of your payments.  Students who are not signed up for a monthly payment plan may sign up for the 3-month plan by February 15 via the Student Payment Plan link.

When should I expect my account to be billed?

Students will be billed in the first week of February. 

What is the cancellation policy?

Students no longer interested in the short-term housing experience are expected to cancel their housing assignment within 48 hours of receiving a placement e-mail. Students who do not cancel their housing assignment before March 4 are responsible for the full amount of the housing fees. 

Meal plan costs are non-refundable.

Can you list the anticipated costs in one place?

Sure. Here are the basic costs:

  • Housing: $2478 for Anderson, Letts, Hughes, Leonard or McDowell; plus $300 for those arriving between March 4-9
  • Dining: $1588 (for a 100-block plan with $400 in EagleBucks). The meal plan is required.
  • Health insurance: $1139, for Spring semester through July 31, unless you receive a waiver. (Insurance is required but you may request a waiver if you have comprehensive insurance that covers you in Washington, DC.)

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List of Key Requirements

What are the key requirements for participating?

Here are the core requirements for participating:

  • Be a full-time undergraduate for Spring 2021.
  • Apply by January 19.
  • Participate in the meal plan.
  • Cancel, if necessary, within 48 hours of receiving your room assignment, which is anticipated on January 29. (There is no need to confirm formally; once you receive your room assignment,you are automatically confirmed.)
  • Have comprehensive health insurance valid in Washington, DC. (You will be automatically enrolled in the AU Student Health Insurance plan unless you waive for Spring 2021)
  • Have a COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours prior to coming to DC and then follow additional protocols.
  • Show proof of a 2020-2021 influenza vaccination before moving to campus.
  • Be tested for COVID-19 twice per week at the Student Health Center.
  • Follow health and safety protocols while on campus.

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More Information

Where can I get more information about MSRE?

On February 16, 2021, AU hosted a webinar focused on the MSRE. The recording, with closed captions, can be found on the AU Campus Life YouTube channel. Presenters were David Reitman (Medical Director, Student Health Center), Schuyler Asman (Associate Director, Housing & Residence Life), Misty Denham-Barrett (Associate Director, Housing & Residence Life), and Ann Marie Powell (Director, Dining and Auxiliary Services)

Where can I find more about services available on campus in Spring 2021 — such as the fitness center, library, and support services?

Check out the section "For Students in the Washington, DC Area" in the Student's Guide to This Year at AU. The Guide describes how services are being delivered this academic year (including quick contact links), and the section for students in the DC area provides specifics for students living in the region, including what is available on campus and how to access it.

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Key Dates

Applications open: January 5

Accommodation requests due: January 13

Priority Applications Due: January 19

Room assignments announced: January 29

Move-In: by schedule, March 4-14

Move-Out: by noon, May 5


Applications are closed. 

Spring 2021 Housing License Agreement (HLA)

MSRE Emails

Here are copies of each email sent to MSRE residents. Each student should check their AU email to confirm specific information sent to them.

Questions? Here's Where to Contact


Meal plan:

Health/COVID testing:

Accounts and billing:

Financial aid: (or contact your counselor)

Accommodations: (for disability-related accommodations)