Ashleigh Howard is one of the main characters of the series. She is the best friend of Casey Cartwright and has been since they were freshmen. She is a Cyprus-Rhodes University graduate. She was also the president of the CRU chapter of Zeta Beta Zeta. She's very flirtatious and social, and has a great sense of fashion. By the end of series, she is the girlfriend/future wife of Rusty Cartwright.
During high school, Ashleigh had a boyfriend named Travis. Their relationship started when Travis had apparently called Ashleigh by mistake and meant to call a different girl named Kristen. While Ashleigh was accepted to CRU, Travis was accepted to Brown University. They decided to maintain a long-distance relationship. For all of her freshmen and sophomore years, Ashleigh remained faithful to Travis.
During her freshmen year, Ashleigh met her future best friend, Casey Cartwright, in the laundry room of her dorm. They decided to be rush buddies. The two also met Frannie Morgan, a sophomore serving as pledge educator at ZBZ. During the rush tour, she and Ashleigh went to the ZBZ house. When the "doughnut test", as Ashleigh called it, she technically failed because she ate the doughnut.
Later that night, Casey and Ashleigh went to the Kappa Tau Gamma rush party. It's there that she and Casey met Evan Chambers and Cappie. Even though she failed the doughnut test, she pledged ZBZ with Casey and became the little sister of Robin Wylie. According to Casey, she was leaning towards rushing Pi Pi Pi, but Ashleigh learned that her bid was a prank and that Tri-Pi was going to dump her after two weeks. Ashleigh keyed the car belonging to the Tri-Pi member who sent Casey the fake bid.
Ashleigh is excited when Casey tells her that Frannie is planning on handing down the presidency of ZBZ to her. Later, she is surprised to learn that Casey has a younger brother that she never told her about due to the fact that Casey told her that she was an only child when they were freshmen. After everyone has heard that Evan slept with Rebecca Logan, Ashleigh suggested to Casey that they haze Rebecca so much that she would quit rushing ZBZ of her own free will. This ends up failing after Rebecca gets in trouble with CRU faculty after she and Casey gave her a ridiculous scavenger hunt.
Ashleigh would later meet Calvin Owens, who was the only Omega Chi pledge to offer to help her prepare for the ZBZ/Omega Chi mixer. She initially believes that Calvin has a crush on her, not realizing that he is gay. She would soon learn that he was a genuinely nice guy and became close friends with him. Despite being with Travis, she starts becoming attracted to Calvin, even telling Casey that he was "kinda hot".
Later, Travis would come to CRU to visit Ashleigh. Everyone she introduces Travis ends up hating him because of how pompous he is. After Travis insults the entire Greek system at Dobler's, Frannie tells Ashleigh that she has to break up with him. Ashleigh looks for Casey to support, but Casey tells her that when Travis is around, she is not herself and acts like a completely different person. Without Casey to talk to, Ashleigh explains the situation to Calvin. Despite his dislike of Travis, Calvin tells her that if she loves Travis then she should keep her private life and sorority life separate. Ashleigh ends up taking Calvin's advice, she lies to her sorority sisters about breaking up with Travis. Due to Casey supporting Frannie's decision, Casey and Ashleigh's friendship becomes strained. Ashleigh evens up befriending Rebecca, who said she didn't support how their sisters forced her to break up with her boyfriend. After Casey learns that Ashleigh is still with Travis and tells her that she'll keep her secret, the two make up.
With winter break drawing near, Ashleigh with the rest of ZBZ must deal with the consequences of the article exposing secrets within the Greek system written by Jen K. When Tegan Walker, a representative from Nationals, arrives, Frannie urges everyone to lie to her while Casey wants to come clean and tell Tegan the truth. She would later help Casey meet with Tegan secretly so that Casey could tell Tegan the truth. Ashleigh also gets Calvin to help her fix up a disgusting motel room because Travis is coming to visit her. Later, Calvin comes back to room to see how great Ashleigh made it look. She tells Calvin that Travis is not coming because she broke up with him on the phone. She then tells him that he makes her feel special and tries to kiss him. Calvin backs away and tells her that he's gay. She becomes frustrated and accuses Calvin of lying to her the entire time they've known each other and storms out.
After Casey makes her realize that Calvin has most likely not told anyone that he's gay, Ashleigh goes to the Omega Chi house to see him. When one of the Omega Chi brothers tells Ashleigh that he's not here, she asks him to give Calvin a gift to show that they're still friends. He makes a comment to the other brothers about the cute gift from Calvin's girlfriend. Ashleigh tells him that she is not Calvin's girlfriend, to which he says of course not, because Calvin's gay. Not realizing that the frat brother was being sarcastic, she surprisingly asked all the brothers if they knew Calvin was gay too. Seeing the brothers' shocked faces, Ashleigh realizes that she just outed Calvin and leaves. Later, she sees Calvin at Dobler's. After he apologizes to her, Ashleigh tells him that she accidentally outed him to his fraternity brothers. Before she can explain, a frustrated Calvin storms out.
Ashleigh gets together with Fisher, the Hasher, and pursues a secret romantic relationship with him. Eventually, they both come out to the house as a couple. During a school event, Ashleigh looks down on the guys who paint themselves blue and white, and then she learns Fisher is one and is thrown for a loop. She gets over it, realizing that what she is interested in and what he is interested in don't have to be the exact same thing. At a party, Rebecca kisses Fisher, and a few days later, Rebecca admits it to Casey. Casey swears that she won't tell Ashleigh because it will only hurt her. Rebecca shouts out that she kissed Fisher and Casey knew after she was too worried that Casey would tell Ashleigh. Ashleigh turns against both of them immediately. When the fathers of the house come to ZBZ, they fight over their daughter's feuds. Towards the end of the episode, Ashleigh forgives Casey, but refuses to do the same for Rebecca. Later, Ashleigh decides to forgive Fisher as well, but continues to hold out on Rebecca until they both make a bet at the fundraising gala. If Ashleigh raises the most money, Rebecca will have to be the "Sober Sister" for the rest of the year, and if Rebecca wins, Ashleigh has to forgive her. In the end, by both explaining their end of the story, Ashleigh gets the most donations, but Rebecca makes the most money. Ashleigh declares that she won, but ends up exonerating Rebecca anyways. Ashleigh and Fisher get back together, but he lies to her about how he liked Clueless and she begins to distrust him again. She also sees him hanging out with other girls and being in more active conversations than he ever has been with her. Over Winter Break, Ashleigh accidentally meets his "other girlfriend" and breaks up with him. At the nerd auction, she runs into him with another girl and downs a shot from a test tube. Cappie sets Ashleigh up with Beaver, and while Casey doesn't find it odd, Ash finds it hilarious.
Ashleigh is extremely close with her father. Ashleigh says that she tells her father almost everything about her life. She even told her father about her secret relationship with Fisher before she told Casey and Rebecca. Both Casey and Rebecca agree that Ashleigh's relationship with her father is very strange, such as the fact that they are friends on facebook.
Travis is Ashleigh's high school boyfriend. With Ashleigh going to CRU and Travis going to Brown, they decided to maintain a long-distance relationship.
Ashleigh hired Fisher as the ZBZ hasher. They at first kept their relationship a secret, but they eventually made their relationship public. Fisher and Rebecca kissed at a party and then she broke up with him. Ashleigh gave him a second chance. Ashleigh broke up with him because he then cheated on her again.
Pete is an Omega Chi brother that Ashleigh met when Omega Chi and ZBZ teamed up for the Greek softball tournament. She was suspicious of Pete, after his ex-girlfriend, Natalie, tried to convince her that Pete cheated on her. Ashleigh would realize that Natalie was lying. They broke up for unknown reasons.
Ashleigh was at first hesitant to enter a relationship with Simon due to him being a father and the age difference between them. She broke up with him because he expected her to do as he wanted because he bought things for her.
Ashleigh: "You are going to make some girl very happy, Rusty Cartwright."
Ashleigh: "Nerds make great boyfriends. They are funny. They are smart and loyal. And they can address all your high tech needs. Which includes you, Rusty Cartwright."
Ashleigh at first had no idea that Rusty even existed till he came to CRU due to Casey telling her that she was an only child when they were freshmen. Soon Casey would start having Rusty ask Ashleigh about advice regarding sex because she was too uncomfortable about talking about her brother's sex life. Ashleigh told Rusty that girls can enjoy a purely sexual relationship just as much as men can, when Rusty was Tina's "fun buddy".
Later when Rusty tells Ashleigh that the KT spring formal was canceled and how excited he was for it because he missed his high school prom, she told him to come to the ZBZ spring formal and offered to find him a date. When Ashleigh couldn't find him a date, she took him as her date. She got irritated with him and felt uncomfortable after Rusty kept putting his arm around her to prove that he wasn't on a pity date. She was more understanding after he told her that Evan told him that he was a pity date. Seeing Evan and Frannie laughing at him, Ashleigh kissed Rusty and Rusty dipped her and kissed her again. When Rusty took her home, he jokingly said that it would never work between them since she is Casey's best friend. Ashleigh kissed him on the cheek and told him that whoever he ends up with will be very happy.
Ashleigh and Rusty become even closer when they have the same marketing class together during the second semester of her senior year and his sophomore year. She tried to help him with his love life. She first had a ZBZ nerd auction to help him get a girl in their class. Things didn't end well, when he made a joke about getting two girls, which reminded her of Fisher. She bad mouthed him to all the girls at the auction. She would apologize later. She later helps Rusty decide between being with Dana or Katherine.
After graduating, Rusty gets Ashleigh a taxi whistle since she's going to New York. Calvin saw this as the first sign of Rusty developing romantic feelings for Ashleigh. After Ashleigh returns to CRU and has a fight with Casey, she goes to Rusty's apartment because she had no where to go. She told a very drunk Rusty about how she felt that something was wrong with her because she couldn't get a job and how she was considering being with Simon only because he could take care of her. Rusty told her that she'll do amazing things with her life because she's a human magnet and people are drawn to her. She kisses Rusty, but stops after he yells when she touches his recently pierced nipple, which made her realize who she's kissing. Rusty would blackout and completely forget about the kiss. She considered being in a relationship with him, but Rebecca advised her against it. The two would become roommates because of her fight with Casey. On Calvin's 21st birthday, Rusty figured out that they kissed and confronted her about it, saying he felt that there's something between them. After talking to Casey, who told her that she can't be involved with him unless she's sure of her feelings; Ashleigh tells him that there's nothing between them and she kissed him because she was drunk. In the series finale, after Rusty gave Ashleigh a name plate for her desk, Calvin realized that he still had feelings for her. Calvin then told Ashleigh about Rusty's feelings and she admitted that she still has feelings for him, but wouldn't act on them because of her promise to Casey. Later, after Casey gave her blessing, Ashleigh moved out of Rusty's apartment and admitted her feelings to him. The two kissed and became a couple.
Ashleigh and Casey have been best friends since freshmen year.
Ashleigh and Calvin are close friends.
Although Rebecca and Casey are often at odds, Ashleigh struggles to maintain a sisterly relationship with Rebecca.
Ivy is Ashleigh's little sister in Zeta Beta Zeta. The two exchanged gifts during the big-little gift exchange in "Hell Week."
They are sorority sisters and friends.