Howard University Freshman Info

THIS PAGE IS DEDICATED TO ALL OF THE POST ABOUT HOWARD UNIVERSITY!!!! Just scroll down for the previous post in order that they were posted!


Congratulations to all of the individuals who received a scholarship but everybody knows that those usually come a dime a dozen at HU. Loans, outside scholarships, and personal finances are how most people go.

Outside Scholarships:

If the check is handed to you before you get to school but made out to Howard University. You have to turn it into Howard. I know it seems like common sense but sometimes common sense isn’t so common. When you arrive on campus, all of financial aid will be located in the upper ballroom of the Blackburn Building. It is located across the yard from Douglass Hall and next to Locke Hall. Walk in and walk up the stairs. Make sure you have some form of identification and MEMORIZE your Howard identification number with the @ symbol in front. If you have forgotten it, it is on your acceptance letter. 

If they are sending directly to the school, make sure that they have the right address! Howard will notify you via BisonWeb when the payment has been received.

If they require you to submit enrollment verification, please click here. 

Personal Finances:  

Again, you can also pay when you arrive at school in the Blackburn Ballroom. No checks accepted but the best bet is to pay by credit/debit card or a money order. However, anytime you are doing a money order, please make sure that you make it out to the correct party. Call prior to doing so to make sure. Also you can refer to one of my older post if you want to pay by credit/debit card via online. You will get used to stuff not working so always have a backup plan. If the credit card link on BisonWeb does not work, you may use the credit card authorization form; I have also provided that link in an earlier post. 


**** Please keep in mind to always have identification and your Howard ID number when dealing with administration. It helps facilitate the process so you can get in and get out! When you receive a receipt, make sure that you make a copy of it and keep one copy with you in your binder that I mentioned in a previous post and one copy for your parents. Again, (because I know people will take this as a joke) make copies of EVERYTHING. One for you and one for your binder. 

What you need to make sure you have with you when you arrive for the fall :

  • Your acceptance Letter (Hell, I brought the whole acceptance packet)
  • Copies of your medical forms
  • Social Security Card- Do not keep this in your wallet at all times, Use it and then put it somewhere secure when you are done. 
  • Any email correspondence
  • Identification with a picture
  • Any pertinent receipts
  • Copy of your Student Aid Report (from your FAFSA
  • Copy of your SAT, ACT, SAT II, AP, etc test scores
  • Transcripts
  • Make sure your parents have their info too

** Yall aren’t little kids anymore and your parents shouldn’t have to be responsible for all your paperwork. It may seem like overkill to bring all of this with you, but it will only make it easier on you in case something is lost or there is a discrepancy. If you are on top of your stuff, you can easily check someone who isn’t on theirs. Check (verb)-  African American vernacular meaning to induce responsibility on a party that otherwise should be doing their vocation/duty but hasn’t and then must be subject to either humiliation or extreme grief for their actions. A.K.A -Getting in that ass.


It was always funny to me that your “personalized” financial aid package always seemed to look like everybody else. A 20,000 parent loan and a 3,500 student loan with some having a work study. 

You should have already filled out your FAFSA and received your Financial Aid package via Bison Web. If your aid package is not viewable: you may have been chosen for financial verification, there was a glitch in the system, or something was missing from your paperwork. If you have “unsatisfied requirements”, you may view this on Bison Web to rectify the situation. If there is nothing wrong but you still can’t find your package, contact the Financial Aid office as soon as possible. 

Financial Verification is a random selection program that by the Federal government to make sure that you are providing accurate information on your FAFSA. In most cases you will need to either fill out aDependent Verification form (if you are a dependent under your parents/guardian) or the Independent Verification form as well as submitting a signed tax return for the past aid year (2007) for your parents and either a signed W2 or signed tax return for yourself if you worked. If you did NOT file taxes, you will need to submit a signed copy of your W2 if you worked the past year. If you are an independent, your 2007 signed tax return will probably be all that is requested. Most people will say this is a bad thing or start inciting fear in your heart but just turn in the information and you will get your Aid package. No biggie! Just don’t lie on the forms. (MAKE COPIES OF EVERYTHING YOU SUBMIT) You will NOT receive your Aid package until all information has been received. 

Federal Loans :

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan (no interest while in school and before the grace period)
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (has interest)
  • Federal Direct PLUS (for Parents)

Both Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans have a 8.25% interest rate. The PLUS loan has a 9.00% interest rate.

You MUST complete the interest interview via ONLINE here. It is required for all first time borrowers and new students. Do not worry about the exit interview until you have either: 5 credits or under (less than half time status), withdrawing from Howard, transferring from Howard, or have graduated.

You MUST also complete the MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE HERE. You need to use the PIN number from your FAFSA to electronically sign the document. 

Check Bisonweb to make sure that all of your requirements have been satisfied. Once this has happened, the school will disburse your award usually after you have been in school for 30 days. Once disbursed you may view your bill online to see if you are eligible for a refund. 

If you are getting a refund, you may either stand in the Financial Aid office for HOURS to pick up your check or fill out the direct deposit form here

Most people don’t know that they do not have to accept everything offered in their Financial Aid package or the full amount offered. Take some or leave it all. You have the ability to adapt a financial aid package that works best for you.  To adjust any part of the Financial Aid award fill out the Request for Financial Aid Award Adjustment form. 

You must decline what you do not want! It is easy to say, well I just won’t satisfy the requirements needed for that part of the award but always handle it the right way by filling out the Award Declination Form.

What if something happened since I filled out my FAFSA like a parent dying, loss of job, etc. I got you covered yet again my future Bisons. You have the right to report any changes in your income to the school. Fill out the Special Circumstances Appeal if something have changed in your life since you filled out the FAFSA. 

Must have links:

Financial Aid Award Package Policy

Information on Work Programs

Information on Campus Based Loans

Information on Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships

Federal Direct Loans Information

Accepting your Aid Package

Receiving your Aid Package

Maintaining your Eligibility

Award Acceptance Conditions aka the Fine Print (keep a copy for your records)

Student Financials A-Z : Guide on Everything Howard Financial


Students Financial Services

Tel. 202-806-2600/2610

Fax. 202-806-5182

Student Financial Services encompasses the Office of Student Accounts, Student Loans, Direct Loans and the Collection Department. We are located in:

The Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Building
2400 Sixth Street, NW
Suites 115 and 218
Washington, DC 20059

Office Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
8:30 am – 3:00 pm

8:30am – 5:00 pm

Summer Hours:

Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships and Student Employment is located in the Johnson Administration building (Main Campus), Room 205.

Hours of operation:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 8:30 am until 3:00 pm
Wednesday:, Open until 5:00 pm.

Summer hours of operation:
Monday through Friday: 8:30 am until 3:00 pm
No extended hours on Wednesday

We invite you to visit to have your financial aid questions answered, your forms reviewed for accuracy, and to pick up any additional forms or application materials you need. Financial Aid Representatives are available Monday through Friday on a walk-in basis and by appointment.

You may visit, call or write for more financial aid information:

Financial aid information ……………………….202-806-2820
Fax ………………………………………………….202-806-2818

Send correspondence to:
The Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships
and Student Employment
2400 Sixth Street N.W.
Room 205
Washington, DC 20059

e-mail: finaid@howard.eduStudent Records

Enrollment Management
2400 Sixth Street, NW, Suite 105 
Washington, DC 20059

Phone: (202) 806-2700
  (202) 806-6226 FAX 





Freshman Week is bomb! All of the students helping with move-in will be there and the DJ will be out. You will think you were in School Daze/ A Different World for a minute. Keep in mind the students assist you with move-in. They don’t do it for you. So all that junk that you brought, is going to come back to haunt you. Prior to this, make sure you know where to park because space is limited. Set up your room and chill. Meet your floor mates and your RA! Everybody will be nice at this point but true colors will start coming out around Thanksgiving to Christmas break. Its a natural process so don’t be too down on that. 

Campus Pals- I know people have their certain opinions on Pals but my mother and I absolutely loved my pal- Anton! He was sweet and actually was there for me. My mom made sure I got his number and made sure that he would watch out for me. Other pals I met were pretty cool too. Just like people, you won’t like everyone so don’t expect the impossible. They are human. I believe that you should receive a letter in the summer but because of the large amount of students and administration..sometimes this isn’t possible! They provide plenty of events for you to attend and mix and mingle. You purchase a Pal Pack in full or you can just pay for the events that you want to attend. They will throw parties and honestly, I am not one to be paying an arm and a leg for a club but some of them were fun. Get there EARLY and you could possibly get in. If thats not your scene, then do you. Remember that a hello goes both ways. 

In the morning you will go to the orientation classes, yes they are early but they do offer good information. At night you will have your events and parties. This is a time for you to mix and mingle. Don’t expect for it to just happen, put yourself out there. If you are shy, then at least look approachable. I am from the South so I am used to speaking to everyone. However, not everyone is so friendly, so don’t think that you will receive a warm welcome from every single person. 

This is your time to have Howard all to your self with your class. Use it to your advantage. I don’t want to go to into detail because you need to shape your own opinion but believe me it is fun. 

Dorm Life-  Make sure you attend your dorm meetings. Your floor is like your family if you like them or not. Communal dorms are not that bad just remember to clean up after yourself. Fights will happen. You put a bunch of different people from different places into close quarters but remember to try and act like an adult. The only person you are responsible for is you. 

Nightlife- Clubs, Parties, House Parties, etc. There is everything to do. Just be careful because people will always be watching you. Use common sense and you will be cool. Use the multiple buddy system at all times. If you get to the club late or don’t have the hookup, expect to pay a pretty penny. 

Relationships- Focus on school. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will find Mr./Mrs. Right as soon as you set foot on campus. It can happen but most doesn’t. It is easy to say that the boys are horrible and disrespectful but then again if you as a female are not respecting yourself or holding the opposite sex accountable, they will continue to act the way they do. Just because you are away from school doesn’t mean you have the right to be a ho. Period. Point. Blank.  I keep it real and thats for the males and females. There is too much at stake for one bad choice. You are all young adults, so act accordingly. People will change and that is to be expected so use your head. You don’t have to be a saint but don’t be ashamed if you tarnish your reputation. 

Drinking- You don’t have to drink but if you want to- be smart. Your mommies and daddies aren’t here to look after you so whatever you do is your responsibility. Alcohol poisoning is NO JOKE.  Know your limits and set them before you leave. If you party with me, you better handle yourself! 🙂 Its not cute to be leaving your dorm room on a stretcher and you can die. Don’t think about the excuse, “but I was sheltered”.  So was I, you are a young adult now. Be responsible. 

Fashion- Just do you. If you look busted then you just look busted. If you can dress then good for you! Yes, Howard is fashion savvy but there is always someone trying out-do you. Howard is comprised of that top notch chick from every school and that dude that every guy wanted to be. You put all of them in a room and hey… you get Howard! Its nothing to stress over. Again, just do you. 

Email- You won’t get that till much much later and stop trippin’. You know the only reason you want to join the Facebook network! LOL. No, but seriously, you can check in the directory online to see if your email address is up but most likely you will have it after you move in. 

Homecoming- What can I say about Homecoming other then…you will just need to see for yourself. People spend lots of money and they still look torn. lol But on a serious note, its a fun time and if you handle yourself, you will have nothing to worry about.

Organizations- Howard is full of organizations. Make sure you join your state club, major club, and organizations that you wanted to know more about. There is everything here and it is also how you get RSVP points. You meet a lot of people this way. I know a bunch were thinking it but were afraid to ask, but no you can’t join a BGLO as a freshman. 

A lot of people will tell you what THEY got out of Howard, but it won’t always be YOUR experience. Just come in August and embrace it. Ask questions and be open minded. This is a learning experience and I can’t even begin to tell you all the fun I have had. I have had my heart broken, been in a lot of trouble, slept through class, ran around the monuments at 3 am, and met some amazing people. I wouldn’t trade MY experience for a damn thing. Now its your turn so make it your kind of fun. 


Look forward to Homecoming, the Luau, BBQ, Freshman Week, Latex, Haunted Hilltop, Resfest, Bison Ball, Howard Hampton Cabaret, House Parties, All-nighters in UGL ….. 


Lastly- Howard vernacular is a word gumbo of all the regions of the world represented here. You will go home and your friends will try to be like you and emulate your expansive vocabulary that seems so “fresh”. Your white friends will think you are very cultured and your black friends might think that you have gotten a little ” boughy” but nonetheless, you are at Howard. (I kid, i kid)

Student Affairs/Campus Life

New Student Orientation- Howard 101

Coming Soon- The Howard Freshman Focus: Quotes and advice from upperclassmen on how to survive freshman year!


So you are basically so close to moving in its not even funny. You have all your paperwork, payments, and everything else on lock. Your arms has been filled with what seems like a thousand immunizations because Howard keeps asking for more. Your parents are pissing you off to no extent and your friends just don’t know how much their school sucks compared to Howard. This means its time to start packing. LOL

It is imperative that your plan ahead just because of the state of the economy. Its not your fault but its your issue. 

Find out how you are traveling because that coincides with how much you can pack (and how much it will cost you). Plane tickets are cheaper earlier. Check to see if your airline offers a college discount or a cheaper rate for a different time or date. I usually try to work out deals with my luggage all the time because I have a lot of stuff and I can’t just throw it away. However, if it is something that can be bought in Washington D.C, don’t try and pack it. Save some money. 

Some hotels offer a discount to Howard University. Save money, whatever way possible. Join the hotel chain’s discount club because most time they offer free perks, discounts, or room upgrades. Click here for list of hotels offering Howard University discount as well as surrounding hotels.

Reserve your rental car early. Washington D.C is a tourist attraction especially in the summer time. Universities usually let in at the same time and the District is home to many universities such as Catholic U, American U, Georgetown, Gallaudet, University of the District of Columbia, George Washington U, and Maryland as well as George Mason are a short distance away. 

Now you will need to bring: 

  • Clothes/Shoes/Accesories for Summer/Fall- Winter clothes are usually bulky and you should bring these back with you when you go home for Thanksgiving or Winter. Trust me, you will be buying clothes here so don’t think you won’t have anything. I barely packed any clothes and ended up with a closet full by Thanksgiving. I learned about Winter clothes from people who are from the area. I am from the South so I knew nothing about a good Winter coat. Save your money on luggage fees!
  • Pictures/ must have items but not your whole room. 
  • Make sure that you have at least one basic business suit!
What you can get here:
 Don’t act like home is the only place with a shopping mall or stores that you are used to. Washington D.C is a very diverse city and has a lot of the national chains that you are used to in a close vicinity. Also this gives you an opportunity to get all of the deals the stores are offering for close-outs. You will also have the opportunity to see your room layout for what your actually need. 
  • Toiletries – this should be self explanatory but don’t try to be Bath and Body Works. One of my rules is that I do not share my toiletries so bring your own. 
  • Bedding:Pillows,  Twin XL sheets and Comforter will usually do the trick. Don’t try to outdo the bank for some exquisite bedding ensemble because most likely you won’t use it every year. 
  • Hangers- They are your friend
  • Towels
  • Lamps- Floor lamps usually take up a space and you won’t have that much space to offer. I had a desk lamp and a clip lamp for my bed. 
  • Storage boxes- these are your friend especially for food. You want to put any food in an airtight container so it won’t attract bugs. 
  • A fan- If you are in a dorm without AC a box fan will be your best friend. Its not that bad once you get that fan in the window. 
  • Shower shoes- If you are living in a communal bathroom, you do NOT want your bare feet in the shower. Not everybody is as clean as you are.
  • Shower caddy- Even if you share a bathroom, you should not have all your bath supplies just strewn everywhere. The shower caddy is quick and simple. 
  • Cleaning Supplies- I am a neat freak so my room was deep-cleaned every Friday but you do want to take time to clean up your bare room before you put your stuff in there. 
  • Laundry Supplies- Washing Detergent and Shout should suffice. You will also need to buy a laundry card to work the machines.
  • School Supplies- This is a given but sometimes common sense is not that common. You will need the usual- paper, pens, stapler, tape, etc. Your desk is your little office. 
  • Wastebasket- Some are provided but if you don’t have one, you will need one. 
  • Surge Protectors- Extension cords are NOT allowed and sometimes plugs are not readily available especially in the Quad. You only have a two pronged outlet. Not only do surge protectors give you extra outlets, but they also protect your equipment during power outages.
  • Alarm Clock- Make sure it gets loud if you can’t wake your butt up! 
  • Landline phone- You have your own phone number and you can make local calls. This saves on cell phone minutes. The front desk can also use this number to contact you. 
For those with their own bathroom:
You need to work out something with your roommates/suitemates about Bathroom items such as rugs and shower curtain. 
Stuff that makes life easier but if not mandatory:
  • Refrigerator- You have the option of bringing your own but it must be no larger than 3.6 cu ft. I got a really nicel one from Target for under a 100 bucks. However, these go really fast.
  • Renting a micro-fridge- Each semester you will be charged $140.00 for the rental and will have to return it by the end of the year. There are microwaves in most dorm lounges though. 
  • Computer : Desktops take up a lot of space but if you have to go this route, be my guest. Laptops are very convenient but if you don’t have the funds to get one as of yet- there are plenty of computer labs for you to use. A simple processing unit with a word processor and internet access is all you basically need. I however have a Macbook because I love it! Make sure that you do have your own cables and invest in some type of protection software. 
  • Printer- This will come in handy when you are up all night working on a paper but again, if you don’t have the means..don’t sweat it. (This also means printer paper, ink, etc).
  • Television
  • Stereo
  • Gaming Console
  • DVD

***Keep in mind that if someone steals your stuff, you will just be SOL. Don’t bring irreplaceable items. 

Residence Hall Handbook -For your questions about your dorm, visitation, maintenance, etc.
Options for getting your stuff:
If you find a good deal at home, by all means go ahead and get it. Call Residence Life and see if you can ship your stuff early. 
Call your hotel to see if you can get stuff shipped there. (I however am not too keen on other people handling my stuff)
If the store is a national chain, see if the have the same item at the Washington D.C Store. Ask if it may be put on hold. 
Buy online and use the ship to store option
Take time to think about what is your daily routine. These are the items that you need and make sure you don’t confuse wants with necessities. 
Keep in mind:
  • Space is limited. Bring your whole room if you want to but you will be packing that up by yourself when you go home!
  • Elevators do go out. So get ready to do some heavy lifting. 
  • Don’t flaunt your belonging, everybody isn’t your friend. 

3 responses

29 07 2009

this was REALLY helpful.. thank you

29 11 2009
Ashia Abdullah

Hey, thank for the post-ups I read this one. I’m 17 in Charlotte, NC and I’m coming closer to leaving highschool. It’s only my junior year but my mother said that we’re talking college now, I got my eye on Howard. I’ve heard about this school from 4 adults I know, and I research the school. My mother doesn’t really agree with me going out of state but I got dreams of travel and I want to go into the journalism/fashion field. I’m suppoze to be visiting the college during spring break but I have questions for right now. My 1st question is if I turn around my mediocore grades now could I make it? I currently have a 2.8, C+ average, and I’m in 3 clubs. My 2nd question is until graduation what will I need to do to make my chances greater of making it. My 3rd question is how was is for you coming from the south and moving north. My birthplace is philly and I do visits twice a year to learn my way and get familliar but I have never OFFICIALLY lived in the city. The scariest thing I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO DC.

28 03 2010

I wish I saw this before I came to Howard! I had so many questions when I got here and this pretty much answers everything. I don’t even know how I found this web page but it is great. Keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: