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Obtaining A Room On-Campus: The First Year and Beyond

The First Year On-Campus:

Ready for the exciting world of on-campus living! Congratulations on participating in an experience that can change your life. Obtaining a space in the halls need not be an overwhelming process. With a little help, you can get through this process easily.

  • Starting the Process: PayingThe Housing Deposit:
    Obtaining housing in many instances starts with the payment of a housing deposit. Typically, if you do not pay the deposit, the residence life/housing office will not process your application. What the deposit does is confirm that you are committed to the decision to live on-campus. After you have paid the deposit, you should receive housing request documents from the residence life/housing staff.
  • Obtaining and Submitting the Housing Request Document, also known as the Application/Agreement/License/Contract, etc.:
    Although the name of this housing request document changes from institution to institution, it is basically what you fill out to request a space on-campus. This document is typically sent to you from the residence life/housing office.

    This document usually has a place for you to request a roommate. Some schools will ask you a series of questions about yourself, that they will use to attempt to match you with a compatible roommate. Other schools may just assign roommates randomly. If you know someone specifically that you would like to live with, make this request on your housing request document. You may also be asked to rank your housing building preferences for next year.

    Many schools process room requests on a first come first served basis, in regards to building preference. Submit this information as early as you can.

  • Canceling the Housing Assignment:
    It may not always be easy to cancel a housing assignment, and you need to know that right up front. Sometimes you will lose you deposit if you cancel. Always notify the residence life/housing staff if you decide not to live in the residence halls, or you may be held financially responsible for the cost of the room, whether you live there or not. This could also be the case if your request to be released is not approved. Some schools require formalized documentation for the release request to be processed.

    Do not ever sign a lease off-campus after you have signed an on-campus housing agreement, unless you have first discussed this with residence life/housing staff, and been released from your housing.

  • Notification of Room Assignment:
    Freshman and transfer students are typically notified of where they will live for the upcoming year in August prior to the start of the academic year. This mailing usually contains your roommate's name, along with contact information. Specific information on checking into the residence halls will most probably accompany this information.

Beyond the First Year

  • The Returning Room Reservation Process:
    Returning students typically apply for housing in the late winter/early spring months. The residence life/housing staff will notify you of this sign-up process, and you must participate if you plan on returning to campus for the next academic year.
  • Timelines/Deadlines:
    Your schedule may be busy, but you need to pay attention to room selection materials, so you do not miss out on on-campus housing for the following year. If you do not participate and meet established room reservation deadlines, you may not obtain housing, or you may miss out on getting your top preferences for housing met.
  • The Housing Deposit
    If your housing deposit was either refunded or will be applied to your last semester's bill, you may need to pay the deposit, on a yearly basis to secure a room for the following year. Your room reservation procedure information should provide you with guidelines and timelines for paying your deposit.
  • The Housing Request Document as a Binding Agreement
    This is very important! Like a lease with an off-campus apartment provider, you housing assignment is most likely legally binding. What this means, is that if your release request is not approved, you will be financially billed whether you live in your space or not. You should never sign a lease off-campus if you have a current housing assignment, unless you have been approved to be released from that obligation by the residence life/housing staff.
  • Submittal of the Housing Request Document:
    After the payment of a housing deposit, you need to pay attention to the timelines and guidelines for your campus room reservation process. Hand in your housing request document on time, and the ResidenceLife/Housing staff will process it.

    In some instances, you may simply have to drop off your application, and the Residence Life/Housing staff will notify you at a later date as to where you will be living. Other procedures are set up so that you will actually select your room assignment and have it confirmed at the time of submitting your housing request document.