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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 2021-2022 academic year, applications will be accepted beginning February 11 at noon and will close March 15 at 5 p.m. 

Questions? Read about the process below and check out Frequently Asked Questions. 

Process Overview and Timeline

There are three steps for the 2021-2022 process. To live on campus, applicants must follow all three steps and 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 (required)

Complete the online housing application and Housing License Agreement through the AU Housing Portal between February 11 and March 15, 2021. The deadline is Monday, March 15, 2021 at 5 p.m. EST, no exceptions will be made.

New sophomore Living Learning Communities (LLC) are also available in the application for students to connect and engage in unique experiences. Learn more here.

Step 2: Group (optional)

Students may create or join a group of 2-6 students. Students can begin to create groups as each student completes the housing application. Students may make changes to their group configuration through selection. Based on limited living units that can house groups of 3-6, groups will need to regroup into smaller sizes if those living units are unavailable during selection.

Step 3: Select or Confirm (required)

Specific dates and times for selection will be assigned and communicated the week before the housing selection which will take place between March 23-25, 2021.

During step 3 students will be able to view and select a housing assignment. Any member of a group can select for their group on or after their selection time begins. Students that are assigned housing by another group member must confirm their assignment by 8 a.m. the following day. Students who do not confirm their housing assignment within the designated timeframe will lose their assignment and be removed from their roommate group.

Housing Options

The 2021-2022 housing rates can be found on Academic Year Rates webpage.

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 McDowell halls (originally designed as a triple room) will be offered for the 2021-2022 academic year. No double rooms will be converted to temporary triple rooms for the 2021-2022 academic year. Groups of three are not guaranteed placement in a triple occupancy bedroom.




Suite style




Double with private bath




Double with private bath




Traditional room




Traditional room




Apartment style




Shared studio, 1 BR, and 2 BR

Key Questions for Fall 2021

What safety measures will be in place in the residence halls? 

We will continue to uphold safety measures, including regular testing for all residents and isolation housing for on-campus students who test positive for COVID-19. Details will be forthcoming and will reflect circumstances and District of Columbia requirements.  

How many students will be assigned to a given bedroom? 

The majority of AU’s housing options are in shared rooms. Rooms designed as doubles will house two students in Fall 2021, with a small number of other options (singles and triples) also available for selection.  No doubles will be used as triples.

Can I select to live by myself? 

Limited single rooms will be available.

I’m a sophomore but wasn’t on campus in 2020-21 and don’t really know anyone to live with yet. How do I find a roommate? 

On the AU Housing Portal, you have the opportunity to create a roommate profile and search for other students looking for a roommate.  You can then connect with students to decide if you’d like to select a space together and can then form a roommate group. 

Will there be a refund if housing closes due to a pandemic spike and we need to leave, as in March 2020? 

We hope there will be no unexpected closures, but can’t anticipate at the moment what arrangements might be made under those circumstances.

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Returning Student Room Selection Process

There are NO exceptions to continue through the returning student room selection process if you miss the March 15 deadline. If you are a sophomore classification, you are only guaranteed housing if you apply by the March 15 deadline. 

Your participation in the room selection process is your agreement to live in AU-affiliated housing for fall 2021 and spring 2022. You are contractually committed 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 create 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 Leonard or Cassell halls.

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

No problem. If you do not have an intended roommate, you will simply participate in RSRS as an individual. As such, you will not need to create a group in Step 2 and will select from an available space during Step 3: Select. Participating in RSRS as an individual does not guarantee a single room assignment. Single rooms are very limited and students should expect to select a double occupancy space or lager.

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 application in the AU Housing Portal as soon as possible so your space can be assigned to another student from the waitlist.

If you select a space and then cancel to participate in a study abroad, your vacant space will be reassigned based on high demand for campus housing and we will not be able to accomondate roommate requests to fill the 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 by 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 returning student room selection process. Students who participate in an approved study abroad program during spring 2022 will be exempt from the cancellation fee as stated in the Housing License Agreement.

If you wish to request disability-related housing accommodations, you must have completed the housing accommodation request process through the Academic Support & Access Center (ASAC) by March 8, 2021 at 5 p.m. Please note, housing accommodation requests typically take at least three weeks to process, so students should start the ASAC process well before March 8, 2021. Students can initiate this process through the ASAC Disability Related Housing Accommodations Process page. If you have questions, please contact ASAC at 202-885-3360 in advance of the room selection process.

Students applying to be a Resident Assistant (RA)should review the questions and answers below to guide them through the Returning Student Room Selection (RSRS) process:

  • Q: I’m planning to apply to be a 2021-2022 RA, should I apply for the Returning Student Room Selection? 
    • A: Yes, all RA applicants should complete a RSRS application. 
  • Q: What happens if I'm hired as an RA? Should I select a space through RSRS? 
    • A If you are hired as a RA you will be assigned a staff space on-campus and do not need to select a space in room selection. 
  • Q: What happens if I’m not hired as an RA and I still prefer to live on-campus? 
    • A You will be notified if you are hired as an RA before room selection and can simply participate in room selection to choose a space. 
  • Q: What happens if I’m not hired as an RA and I prefer to not live on-campus? 
    • A: Students who are not hired as a RA and who prefer not to live on-campus can cancel their housing application at no cost before they select a room assignment.

Students who need housing considerations due to gender should complete the Gender-Based Housing Consideration Form. Considerations may include access to affirming bathrooms, roommates, and room type. If you would like to request a Gender-Based Consideration, you must complete the Center for Diversity & Inclusion’s process by March 8, 2021 at 5 p.m. Please note, the Gender-Based Consideration process takes at least 3 weeks to complete and should be initiated well before the deadline.

Students interested in opting into All-Gender Housing and living with differently gendered roommates do not need to fill out the Gender-Based Housing Considerations form. Students can select the All-Gender Housing option through the AU Housing Portal’s regular online application. The Gender-Based Housing Consideration form is only for students who have considerations for their housing based on their gender identity.

The Black Affinity Housing located in Roper Hall provides an intentional residential community dedicated to celebrating, exploring, and affirming black student experiences at AU and beyond. The live-in experience encourages dialogue and community building that is mindful of the diverse social, cultural, and academic needs of Black and multicultural students. Black Affinity Housing will enrich all of campus life by promoting solidarity among students of all backgrounds and identities.

Sophomore and upper-class students will be able to choose available spaces during the information sessions or during the Returning Student Room Selection process. First-Year students will be placed in the community during their placement in June 2021.


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Living Off Campus

HRL provides several off-campus resources and services, including a video guide to moving off campus and an off-campus posting tool.

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.

Yes, all current AU students are encouraged to participate in the Returning Student Room Selection, including those currently living off-campus. Please review this page in full for the current room selection process.


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General Housing

Current first year students (rising sophomores) are guaranteed a space on campus for the 2021-2022 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. Students who do not secure a space through RSRS can continue to seek on-campus housing through the waitlist selections, which will be available beginning in the spring semester.

Residential classification refers to your eligibility for certain housing locations, as well as whether you are guaranteed on-campus housing. Typically, it reflects how many semesters you've lived on campus (not including summer) or were abroad. During 2021-2022, if you're classified as someone who would have lived on campus as a first-year student in 2020-2021, you will be classified as a sophomore and guaranteed housing if you meet all deadlines.

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.

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.

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. 


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

In both cases, students can participate in the Waitlist selection processes beginning during the spring semester. As cancellation fees go into effect immediately after a student selects or confirms a housing assignment, students are not encouraged to select a space they do want to live in, but rather to later participate in the Waitlist process.