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STEP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

About STEP

The Summer Transition Enrichment Program is a eight-week residential academy for select multicultural and first-generation incoming freshmen. While the entire campus is involved with STEP, the Center for Diversity & Inclusion manages the program. STEP introduces students to the AU community and helps them transition into college life.

Participation in STEP is determined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The admissions staff recommends students for STEP based on the indications within a student's application that they can succeed at AU. They require that these students undergo supplemental instruction that to prepare them for the transition to college.

 STEP enrolls 40-50 students each year.

Complete the STEP registration form and scan/email it to or complete it online (link can be found on main STEP page).

We strongly suggest students not to work during STEP. The program is academic in nature and demands much attention. Taking on more commitments would present a challenge for students. Over the course of the program students will be connected to potential on-campus employers for the school year.

Schedule & Activities

Eagle Summit is AU's new student orientation designed to welcome new students and their families to AU. In addition to meeting with your adviser and finalizing your course schedule, you will become familiar with the campus, learn more about the programs offered, and build friendships with other incoming AU students.

Students will complete two courses during the summer program. Many students take a mathematics course, depending on availability and placement scores. Students who do not place into Finite Math will take a non-credit tutorial to prepare them to succeed in Finite Math or higher in the fall. Students will work with their academic adviser to register for courses. Textbooks will be distributed after all students have registered for their summer coursework.

College Writing Seminar. In addition to the math (or other) course, depending on your academic advising appointment, STEP students will also take a mandatory college writing seminar. This class is a crucial bridge between high school and college-level writing. It is a supplement to the two-course College Writing sequence that all incoming freshmen students at AU must take in order to meet the university writing requirements. Past STEP participants say that this seminar was "eye-opening;" it helped them to learn about writing expectations in college.

STEP students will also participate in 2-hour workshops and seminars. These sessions will connect students to resources at AU, build a stronger community among the STEP cohort, and help students to develop strategies for their academic, personal, and career development.

Community Building and Service. STEP students participate in a community service project and a variety of activities, some of which they develop and implement themselves. Past cohorts have staged talent showcases, visited DC landmarks (such as the Newseum and Capitol Hill), hosted a community dinner, and more. There will be occasional weekend and evening programs. We hope that the students will take advantage of these opportunities as they help to build a strong and supportive community that lasts well beyond the eight-week program.

Housing, Dining, & Transportation

Students are required to live in university residence halls during STEP (weekend visits home are allowed). Undergraduate STEP Assistants also live in the halls to assist students in their transition to AU and to create a living and learning environment comparable to what students will encounter during the academic year.

Double rooms are equipped with two standard twin sized beds, two desks with chairs, two bookcases, two Ethernet hookups, and built-in storage cabinets and closets. Triple rooms are equipped with three of the aforementioned items, but have 2 built-in units. Rooms are equipped with telephone connections for on-campus service, cable television, and internet access (both wired and wireless). Most residence halls have kitchens on each floor.

Roommates are paired based on interests, hobbies, sleeping habits, and extracurricular activities, which students share on the STEP Registration Form. Because this is a prime opportunity to meet new people, we do not pair siblings or friends together. You will receive your roommate assignment by early June, along with your room assignment and other important check-in information.

Students should bring personal items, such as an alarm clock, a desk lamp, hangers, an iron, linens, pillows, a radio, toiletries, towels, and shower shoes.

Students will be provided with meals in the Terrace Dining Room (TDR) and EagleBucks for the seven weeks of the program. TDR is the main student dining facility on campus, and meal swipes can be used only there. EagleBucks is credit on the student's ID card, which can be used at various on-campus dining facilities, as well as at several off-campus dining vendors. Visit Housing and Dining Programs for more information on campus dining options.

The AU shuttle offers free, easy access to Metro (the Washington Metropolitan area subway system) and nearby grocery stores and restaurants.

Arrival & Departure

All requests must be submitted to the Center for Diversity & Inclusion via e-mail or phone (202-885-3651) by mid-May. 

All health insurance and immunization forms should be submitted to the Student Health Center prior to arriving to campus for STEP. You must have health insurance in order to participate in STEP.

You must have health insurance in order to participate in STEP. You may either enroll in the AU Student Health Insurance Plan or use a plan of your choice. Students with non-AU insurance should bring a copy of their insurance card. Click here to learn more about the student insurance requirements and contact us at with any questions or concerns.

Cost of Program

Each STEP student receives financial support to cover most costs during the eight weeks of the program. Covered costs include:

  • tuition for summer classes (up to three credits after meeting with your academic adviser)
  • books
  • housing (on-campus housing is mandatory for all participants, visit the Housing, Dining, & Transportation section to learn more)
  • meal plan (meal swipes and EagleBucks)
  • registration fee for Eagle Summit Session III (parents and guests who wish to join must pay a fee to participate in Eagle Summit; visit Orientation, Transition and Retention for more information)
  • the Pre-College Writing Seminar (mandatory for all participants, regardless of AP credit)
  • on-campus tutoring and access to other campus academic support services
  • workshops and university-sponsored extracurricular activities
  • use of AU's academic, athletic, and recreational facilities

Students will be responsible for some meals, transportation, and personal expenses while attending STEP.

Students are encouraged to resolve any outstanding issues with a financial aid counselor before arriving at AU for STEP. STEP students will have time to connect with the Financial Aid Office to discuss their financial aid packages for the year, if necessary. E-mail with any questions that you may have about that process.

More Questions?

Feel free to reach out to the Center for Diversity & Inclusion at: or (202)885-3651

More Questions?

Feel free to reach out to the Center for Diversity & Inclusion at: or (202)885-3651