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Residence Hall Handbook

Frequent Questions & Answers - Prospective Students

What is Residence Life?

Residence Life is an agency of the University that provides residential housing for approximately 4,000 students in nine Residence Halls. The nine halls comprise of female, male, and coeducation living arrangements. The Central Office Staff, located in the Office of Residence Life, provides assistance to the Community Director in all administrative capacities pertaining to student housing. If you have questions concerning official housing matters, after consulting the Community Director you may feel free to seek further assistance from central housing staff. The Office of Residence Life’s address is 2401 4th Street NW, Washington, DC 20059 or you may call (202) 806-6131, between the hours of 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

When can I officially move into my residence hall?

The official date to move into the residence hall is posted each academic year on the website and mailed to your home approximately 2 months prior to check-in.

What is the cost of each room type in the residence halls?

See Residence Life Room Rates - 2014-2015AY(PDF).

How are freshman placed in a housing assignment?

Incoming freshman housing placements are made at the discretion of the housing coordinators, and are based primarily on the order in which students express their intentions to officially enroll at Howard University. Students cannot be placed in university housing until the enrollment fee and housing application fee are paid in full.

As a freshman will I reside on the main campus?

Nearly all freshmen are housed in our traditional on campus facilities. However, some students will be placed in off-campus facilities that are accessible by the Howard University shuttle bus service.

How big are the rooms in my residence hall?

Room types vary from hall to hall. Please see the link to your assigned hall to for further room approximate size information.

Are cooking facilities available in the residence halls?

Yes, some halls do have cooking facilities, but not all. See ResHalls@-A-Glance.

How big are the beds in the rooms?

All beds in Howard University residence hall are Extra Long Twin sized beds.

What size are the windows?

Window sizes vary depending on the Residence Hall. We recommend bringing an adjustable tension rod to hang any draperies.

How do I get specific information about my residence hall?

See Residence Hall Contacts information and the ResHalls@-A-Glance page.

Can I pick which hall I want to live in?

No, but you can select a room type preference.

Where can I do my laundry?

Each residence hall is equipped with laundry facilities. A laundry card can be purchased in advance or can be purchased in certain residence hall lobbies. See ResHalls@-A-Glance for further information.

Can I bring my car as a freshman?

Yes, you can bring a car but it is not recommended because freshman students can not participate in the parking lottery therefore, you will have difficulty locating street parking.

If I wanted to room with my friend, what process applies?

You should submit a letter either by fax or by mail to the community director of your assigned hall. This letter should include your ID number as well as the ID number of the person you prefer to room with. Please note, final decisions for roommate placements is determined by your community director of based on space availability.

Is it possible to speak with your roommate before arriving freshman year?

Generally this is not possible due to privacy laws.

Can I bring a microwave?

Microwaves are not allowed in university residence halls. A microfridge which is an approved appliance with a combination a microwave and refrigerator can be rented for the academic year. Please see the maintenance portion of the website for further information regarding microfridges.

Can I bring a refrigerator for my room?

Yes, the size limit on any refrigerator is 3.6 cubic feet. Any refrigerator over that size will not be permitted into the residence hall.

What type identification do I need during the check in process?

You will need to have your Howard ID number as well as a photo ID.

Will my parents be able to spend the night on the day of check in?

No, your parents will be asked to leave by 11:00 pm; however, there are several hotels in the area.

Do the residence halls have internet connection?

Howard University Residence Halls use both Ethernet and Wireless systems.

Should I bring a personal computer?

It’s okay if you desire to do so. However, each Residence Hall is equipped with computer labs which are staffed by students. Computer labs are limited

Who is in charge of residence halls?

Please see the link to the residence hall where you are assigned. Information regarding the Community Director is available.

What are the visitation policies/procedures/guidelines?

In order to promote and maintain a positive, supportive, living and learning environment, the Residence hall staff will enforce limited visitation hours. Visitation hours for the Residence Halls are established by the Office of Residence Life and are intended for academic and healthy socializing. Visitation is not designed for overnight co-habitation. During certain times visitation is suspended, (i.e. Thanksgiving, final examinations, and Spring Break). Normal Residence Hall visitation hours are: 12 noon- 12:00 midnight Sunday through Thursday, 12 noon- 2:00 a.m., Friday and Saturday.

What is the room selection and verification plan RSVP?

The Room Selection and Verification Plan (RSVP) is a system designed to provide eligible students with an opportunity to request their preferred space in one of the University Residence Halls. All undergraduate students seeking accommodation for the upcoming academic year must participate in RSVP and follow all of the procedures as outlined in the RSVP package, which can be found online at the Office of Residence Life website during the fall semester. A $200 non-refundable housing deposit is required to be eligible to participate. (The housing deposit fee is subject to change).

What other options do students have if they are unsuccessful in obtaining housing assignments through the RSVP procedure?

An off-campus housing fair is held during the spring semester for students who were unsuccessful in obtaining housing assignments through the RSVP procedure, and there is also a monthly updated off campus referral listing that is available in the office of residence life and is also available in the office of residence life website.

What is the chain of command in Residence Life?

Concerns should be addressed to community directors and then the Central Office if necessary.

What amenities are available in my residence halls?

Each Residence Hall is equipped with such amenities as high speed internet access, cable, ResNet computer labs, exercise equipment, vending machines, laundry facilities, and lounge areas. See Residence halls at a Glance link.

Can I pay my first months rent and security deposit with scholarship or financial aid via my student account?

This arrangement must be cleared with Student Accounts and then the Office of Residence Life.

What do I need to bring, what am I not allowed to bring?

Freshman students will receive information via mail during the summer on what they need to bring and what is not allowed in the Residence Hall.

What safety precautions are taken in the halls?

The Campus Police hold seminars and advises the student body on various travel precautions to take while on campus and in the city. Statements regarding security are not intended to cause undue alarm. It is known that criminal activity in our society is prevalent. Large cities are especially vulnerable. The suggestions made are only those for which the student would need to exercise as a member of any community.

Residence Halls are equipped with the necessary safety and security hardware, all front doors are kept locked and each student is issued a Howard University Capstone Card which activates the front door in their respective halls. Room door keys are issued to each resident. All residents must present a valid Howard University Capstone Card upon entry to the hall at all times or when asked by a University official.

Are academic support groups available in the Residence Halls?

Yes! Community Directors, Graduate Assistants and the Resident Assistants will be able to provide specific information about resources and provide direction to Professional Campus resources. In addition Professional academic advisors campus resources and campus resource professionals who are invited in the Residence Halls to assist students with their academic interest. Students are encouraged to visit their Division and Academic Advisors for more information.

Related Page: Frequent Q+A - Current Students