You are here: American University Student Affairs Spring Mid-Semester Residential Experience Update

American University Sylvia M. Burwell President

December 16, 2020

Dear AU Undergraduate Students and Families,

One of the key elements of our plan to ramp up activity in the spring 2021 semester is exploring ways to welcome a limited number of students to campus for a residential experience. Following extensive planning and input from the AU community, we are excited to announce that we will open approximately 1,250 housing spaces for a two-month residential program that will occur from March to the end of the spring semester. This mid-semester residential experience (previously referred to as a “mini-mester”) is an important piece of a safe return to in-person, residential operations at American University.

Last month, we surveyed students and families to learn your needs and preferences for potential housing options. We found strong interest, particularly among first-year students, in a half-semester program of safe, physically distanced residential living. We are pleased to announce that we will implement this option. Including students already approved for emergency and critical needs housing, we will be hosting more than 1,500 students on campus during the second half of the semester.

The foundation of this residential opportunity will be a rigorous protocol of COVID-19 testing, adherence to health and safety guidelines, and cooperation across our community. The AU Forward Health and Safety Plan remains in effect, and all students will be required to wear face coverings, practice physical distancing, and follow health and safety measures.

Applications for this residential experience will be open January 5-18, 2021. First-year students will have priority for spaces; sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be placed on a space-available basis. All rooms will be single occupancy. Dining will be provided through the AU Meal Plan, with safety measures incorporated. Participants will move into the residence halls between March 4 and 14, primarily during the assignment-free Wellness Week. A sign-up schedule will be implemented to support health and safety protocols.

This program involves only housing; it will not impact class modalities. Students may apply for the housing program whether or not their classes are online or in-person.

Key Dates

  • January 5-18–Applications Accepted
  • January 29–Room Assignments Emailed to Students
  • March 4-14–Move-In
  • May 5–Final Move-Out

Additional Information and FAQs

Our Spring 2021 Mid-Semester Residential Experience FAQs provides more detail and will be regularly updated as more information is finalized. For our AU families, we are hosting a webinar on the mid-semester residential experience at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21 where we will share more information and answer questions. Look for additional webinars to be announced for January 2021.

We are excited to provide this opportunity to strengthen the communities that students have been forming and building so creatively this year. While American University will continue dynamic virtual engagements in the months ahead, we look forward to this next phase of our return to campus as we ramp up for summer and fall.

Thank you for your support and dedication throughout the pandemic. I’m looking forward to seeing you on safe, physically-distanced walks on the quad in the spring.

Be safe and be well.

Sylvia Burwell