Dorms at Howard University all depend on where you want, or better yet are able to stay. Most Freshman males stay in Drew Hall, which is not very physically attractive, but a great freshman experience. The does not have air conditioning, and just like many of Howards buildings it is not in the best condition. The freshman girls typically stay in “The Quad” which has four different sections, some sections more favorable than others. Some of the rooms are very clean and spatial, while others hold three girls in one room that seems to be only fit for one person. Cook Hall and the East Towers are the best dorms Howard University has to offer. Cook Hall is in the best location, the only dorm that is legitimately located on campus (I stayed there freshman year, and literally woke up each morning about 15 minutes before class and still able to make it on time.), this dorm has pretty big rooms and each room has its own bathroom to share with one person. The East Towers are not in the best condition but are great because they are in suite style, (two or three rooms with a full kitchen and bathroom) and the dorm has 24 hour visitation (yes other dorms at Howard have visitation rules), but the East Towers are reserved for students in the honors program. West Towers are just like the East only they may not have 24hour visitation, depending on if the residents follow the rules. Howard also has three dorms that are off campus Carver, Slowe, and Meridian. Carver is located in a pretty bad area, and the condition of the building is pretty bad even for Howard. Slowe is down the street from Carver, but yet it is not in that bad of an area (well not bad for NorthWest, DC), the rooms in Slowe are all singles which is a plus, but the rooms are not that appealing when it comes to looks, and you have to shower in “shower closets”, which are merely closets with showers in them, and they are quite disturbing when it comes to cleanliness. Meridian is the last dorm and it is in a really nice area of DC called Columbia Heights, the only problem is that it is about 15 minutes away from campus and students usually take shuttles to get to campus, and you never know if the shuttles will be on time or too crowded. Meridian is said to have pretty nice rooms, and it is conveniently close to many food places in Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Harris Teeter grocery store, and the Target most Howard students shop at. None of the dorms are very safe for Howard students to leave their doors open, and I do not know many bold enough to do so.
So I'm being honest, Howard has enough housing for about 35% of the campus. Housing is not guaranteed to anyone, not even freshman. If your GPA is right, and your involved in campus, you will get enough RSVP points so you can battle with the rest of the university to get in one of the dorms, but living off campus after freshman year is not a bad thing. Freshman year, yes, you HAVE to live on campus because its all about getting to know people and getting into the swing of things. I'm a Quad girl till the day I die, T2 and We-3 (Truth Hall and Wheatly Hall), and one thing I would never EVER change is my freshman experience. The dorms aren't the prettiest, and sometimes it can get annoying dealing with the physical buildings, but its so worth it. Its only one year.
There are 9 official dorms: Tubman Quadrangle, Bethune Annex, Drew Hall, Slowe Hall, Cook Hall, Carver Hall, Meridian Hill Hall, Plaza Towers (East and West), and Mays Hall. Freshmen are usually sorted into 6 of them (Quad, Annex, Drew, Carver, Cook, and Meridian). The Plaza Towers are for upperclassmen and graduate students. Mays Hall is for Divinity students. Both Mays and Meridian Halls are effectively off campus, the others are relatively close. The Quad, Drew Hall, Slowe Hall, and Carver Hall are traditional style (community) dorms. Cook Hall, Bethune Annex, and Plaza Towers are suite-style. The best dorms to live in depend on your preference. The most convenient dorms are the Bethune Annex, Cook Hall, and Plaza Towers.
A look at the Annex - a freshman dorm.