American University Alumni Relations Events and Resources for New Eagle Families
Orientation 2023

Greetings Eagle Families!

By the end of this month, your Eagle leaves your nest for ours. And whether this is your first college send-off or if you’re an old pro, it can be an emotional time for the whole family. Our advice? Reserve time for unhurried moments together instead of stressing about “dorm décor”. Really, the only thing your student can’t get here in DC is…you.

Our team has wrapped up most of our online summer orientation programs for your student, but Orientation Leaders are still available and eager to help answer your student’s questions as they get ready for move-in. Once your student moves in, they’ll join us for our highly interactive in-person Eagle Summit. Don’t worry, we’ll give them all the details they need in the coming weeks. For now, you and your Eagle can focus on savoring the last days of summer and getting excited about the opportunities ahead.

Here are some questions you asked, and how we answered them:

Q: Is there a waiver/document that grants me access to all student records?
A: No, there is no single waiver that grants all access. Students control what information is shared and with whom. They may grant or withdraw permission at any time. In addition, American University does not serve as a custodian of medical directives, healthcare proxy, or power of attorney. To grant permissions, they’ll need to speak with the specific office for each service. Talk with your student about the extent to which they want to disclose information with you, and what kind.

Want to learn more about the privacy of student records? Check out our module on Canvas!

Q: What does transportation look like on campus?
A:There are many modes of transportation to get students to and from campus! Students receive a U-Pass to take the metro anywhere in DC. As a reminder, first-year residents are not permitted to have a car on campus. Check out our transportation programs website, which features additional easy and attractive transportation options for the AU community!

Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle!
The New Student and Family Programs Team

Family Resources

Did you know we have a website with curated content just for our AU parents and families? You'll find quick links to campus services and offices, a planning calendar with key dates and deadlines, travel tips and a listing of our favorite hotels, a collection of our recorded webinars and so much more! Visit us at


New Student Checklist: Dates and Deadlines

AU gate
You can help your student keep track of deadlines and tasks like these:

  • Important: If your student has not yet submitted their One Card photo make sure they do so as soon as possible to avoid long lines at check-in.
  • Student bills were due August 1, they get finalized in early July as your student registers for a full-time courseload. Reach out to AU Central if you have questions.
  • We can accept student packages in the mailroom starting August 17.
  • Pack your student with their I-9 acceptable documents. If your student hopes to get a paid job on (or off campus), they'll need them!
  • Start reading this year's Writer as Witness selection: Isaac J. Bailey's Why Didn't We Riot? A Black Man in Trumpland available at a discounted rate through the Campus Store.
  • Textbooks can be ordered through the Campus Store. Don't worry if an instructor hasn't posted them yet! Many students wait until they review the syllabus (in Canvas or in class) before purchasing materials.
  • Consider whether tuition insurance is right for your family, the deadline is September 11.
  • Start thinking about finding local ATMs, banks, pharmacies and specialized medical providers as needed. Use the "20016" zip code to search the internet for services close to campus.
  • Save the date: Family Weekend is October 13-15.

Last minute financial aid questions? Every AU student has an assigned financial aid counselor available to assist!

Flock Talk: Advice from Current Eagle Familes to New Eagle Families

Flock Talk is a new section where our current Eagle Families share advice just for you! Check out this week's advice:

"Tell your student to advocate for themselves." - Sandy Boyer, P ‘26

Did you know 54% of our incoming parents and families have concerns about their student’s ability to ask for help? One of your greatest coaching opportunities is to help normalize the importance of asking questions. College students (particularly first-years) are uniquely positioned to be in a learning environment. Tell them to take advantage of that early and often! People will be excited to help them grow. If an answer is unclear, it’s also important for students to communicate that, and ask clarifying questions until they understand the appropriate course of action. As a parent or a family member, get in the habit of asking questions like: Are you calling for help or to vent? What have you tried so far? Since I am not able to fix this for you, how can I support you in getting a resolution? Eagles should remember that asking for help is a sign of strength and will allow them to take flight!

Fall Move-In webinar 8/10 

Cars in front of a residence hall with staff unloading them
Wondering what to expect at move-in? Join us for our Move-In Webinar, August 10, 8 – 9 p.m. EST through the button below. Most families will help their students to do just a little unpacking and explore the hall and campus before some last-minute shopping and a snack or meal before saying goodbye. Students arriving on 8/22 or 8/23 will have activities in the evening. While we will not be offering formal programming for families during move-in, we will welcome you to meet with office representatives at the resource fair and join us for coffee and conversation.

Thinking of mailing items to campus? We can accept packages after August 17. Learn about how to address mail, size restrictions and more on the mail services website.

AU Sponsored Health Insurance: Waive or Enroll

An eagle plush getting a shot from the nurse.
If your student chooses to participate in the AU sponsored health insurance plan, the charge will remain on your student's account. The next step is to create an account with Aetna at Academic HeatlhPlans. Once your student has created their account, they will have access to their insurance cards within 1-2 business days. The Aetna plan covers August 1, 2023 – July 31, 2024.

If you are requesting to waive the AU sponsored health insurance and have the charge removed from your student’s account, please help your student to follow the instructions online before the deadline of September 11, 2023.

New Eagle Essentials Videos

Thumbnail for New Eagle Essentials Playlist. Features the words celebrate and breathe. Photo of Clawed Z Eagle mascot.
New Eagle Essentials videos are now available so you can visit content from key campus partners - any time! These offer very brief introductions to our campus offices and services. We highly recommend you visit our family website for a curated list of web links to help you find the information you need, when you need it.

All-American Welcome

All-American Welcome 2023
All-American Welcome is a time for your student to meet new friends, build community, explore involvement opportunities, and enjoy events and activities as we welcome our new and returning students to campus. With more than 70 events and activities each fall, there’s a great variety of fun in-person events to help our Eagles meet each other, learn their way around campus and explore DC.

We do not offer formal programming for families and friends during welcome, but we will encourage you to visit us in the Mary Graydon Center to explore our resource fair on August 22 and 23. Then join us near check-in for tea, coffee and tissues with administrators.

Is Tuition Insurance Right for Your Family?

Students in a classroom with the GradGuard logo in the corner
American University has partnered with GradGuard(TM) by Allianz Global Assistance to provide Tuition Insurance for students. Allianz Global Assistance is a private insurance program offering tuition insurance that acts as an extension to American University's published refund policy. Tuition Insurance helps minimize financial losses should a student suffer serious illness or an accident that results in withdrawal from the university before the end of the semester. Enroll by September 11 for fall semester coverage.



This is the contact information we have on file for you.
If any information is incorrect, please update it online by clicking the button.

  Follow us on facebook Follow us on twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on instagram Follow us on youtube   American University Website  
American University
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016