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New Residents Frequently Asked Questions

We know, you have lots of questions. Don't worry, we have answers. College preparation can be overwhelming. Below you'll find answers to our most frequently asked questions to help ease the process and your mind.

Are freshmen and transfers required to live on campus?

All first-year students are required to live in certified housing by the University of Illinois Student Code. A first-year's status is determined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Learn more about the almost 40 halls you can choose from within certified housing.

Transfer students who have less than 30 credit hours will typically be required to live in certified housing. For more information, please read the student code regarding housing policies.

First-year transfers may choose to live in any of the residence halls or select the Transfer Community in Scott Hall. (Ikenberry South).

First-time transfer students who are sophomores and above may also be interested in the Transfer Community in Scott Hall or Bousfield Hall (Ikenberry South), the graduate upper-division halls, or Ashton Woods apartments.

We guarantee housing for all first-year students.

What are the main steps of room selection?

Residence hall room selection for new students is a two-step process.


Step 1: Complete a University Housing contract online by the priority deadline, 11:59 p.m. CST on May 22, optionally list a roommate and pay the advance payment and application fee.

  • If you complete your contract by this priority deadline, you will be assigned a random entry time to choose your room, roommate and meal plan by the end of May.

Step 2: When your self-selection entry time arrives, log back in to your contract and choose a space from available rooms across campus.

  • Roommates are not automatically assigned when you select your space. You will assign them or they will assign themselves to the adjacent space in the same room.
  • You will also choose a meal plan at this stage.
  • You can return to the online system and make changes from the beginning of your entry time until the process closes after the first fill week of June.

If you miss the May 22 priority deadline, University Housing will pick a room, roommate and meal plan for you based on the available location preferences you provide in the online contract system.

How are entry times scheduled?

Entry times for self-selection are randomly assigned to those students who have completed a contract prior to the May 22 priority deadline.

We schedule entry times from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. CST and extend business hours so we are available to answer questions.


Why does the contract ask for location preferences?

The Housing Contract asks you to list your housing preferences. We try our best to accommodate students preferences, but it is important to note that the housing preferences are not guaranteed.

Selecting locations allow you to preference Living-Learning Communities (LLC) and complete the application essay for any of the communities you apply for. It will also allow you to locate and preference Special Living Options. If you are interested in one of our LLCs or Special Living Options, be sure to preference it and submit your contract by the May 22 priority deadline.

If you miss the May 22 priority deadline, we will assign you to a space based on the preferences you provide and the spaces remaining in the inventory.

How do I select an individual hall?

Only students who complete the contract by the May 22 priority deadline can select a specific hall and room.


  • Once you submit your contract, you will be given an randomized entry time to log in to the system and choose your hall and room.
  • Our contract asks that you preference neighborhood locations to give us flexibility if we have to assign your space should you not meet the May 22 priority deadline or you do not participate in the self-selection process.

Can I preference a single room?

We have a very limited number of singles in our inventory, so we don't include the ability to preference a single room within the contract. Once you are in self-selection, you can look for available single rooms and place yourself in that space if one is visible.

If you believe you require a single room due to a documented disability-related condition, you will need to apply for services with Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) in addition to submitting your housing contract. Please make sure to note your request within the online housing contract in the Accommodations and Assignment Considerations section of the Personal Contacts and Details Section along with submitting the DRES Letter of Accommodation Request

How does roommate selection work?

You will be able to tell us your roommate preferences prior to the May 22 deadline.


Know your roommate already?

Both roommates need to complete the housing contract by the priority deadline, search by UIN or netid to select each other as roommates and prioritize roommate or type of room for assignment. Indicate your roommate preference on the contract before May 22 and you'll be assigned the same randomized entry time to pick your respective spaces in the same room.

Don't have a roommate yet?

You can search for a compatible roommate within the contract system. If you find a roommate, both of you need to complete the housing contract by May 22, select each other as roommates and prioritize roommate or type of room for assignment. If you would like to search for a roommate, the best time to search is late March and during April. More applicants will be in the system at that time.

You don’t need a roommate to choose a space in University Housing. Simply select a single space in an occupied double or a vacant double where others can choose the adjacent space. You can review lifestyle preference answers for any assigned occupant of the space before placing yourself in the room with them.

If you and your mutually requested roommate want to live together in a Living-Learning Community, both of you must list the LLC among your preferences by May 22 to be considered for approval by the LLC staff.

If you miss the priority deadline, you can still preference your roommate and we will do our best to fulfill your request if space is available.

Which halls have air conditioning?


  • Busey-Evans
  • Allen Hall 
  • Townsend (Illinois Street Residence Halls (ISR))
  • Wardall (Illinois Street Residence Halls (ISR))
  • Blaisdell at Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls (PAR)
  • Babcock at Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls (PAR)
  • Carr at Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls (PAR)
  • Saunders at Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls (PAR)
  • Trelease at Florida Avenue Residence Halls (FAR)
  • Oglesby at Florida Avenue Residence Halls (FAR)
  • Bousfield at Ikenberry Commons South
  • Hopkins at Ikenberry Commons North
  • Nugent at Ikenberry Commons North
  • Scott at Ikenberry Commons South
  • Snyder at Ikenberry Commons South
  • Wassaja at Ikenberry Commons North
  • Weston Hall at Ikenberry Commons North
  • Sherman Hall – Graduate Upper-Division
  • Daniels Hall – Graduate Upper-Division

You can search for this and other amenities on our Compare Options page.

Which halls have loftable furniture?


  • Allen
  • Busey-Evans
  • Florida Avenue Residence Halls (FAR)
  • Illinois Street Residence Halls (ISR)
  • Lincoln Avenue Residence Halls(LAR)
  • Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls (PAR)
  • Bousfield
  • Hopkins
  • Nugent
  • Scott
  • Snyder
  • Wassaja
  • Weston Hall
  • Daniels Hall - GUD

You can search for this and other amenities on our Compare Options page.

Is it important to live in a location near my major?

As a first-year student, you will be in classrooms all over the campus as you complete your General Education requirements. All of our halls are located within walking distance of the class room buildings. We encourage you to focus more on community and amenities when selecting your hall rather than location. Use the Compare Options tool to find halls with the amenities that are important to you. Make sure to consider the Living-Learning Communities and Special Living Options, too. Don't forget, bus stops are located just steps from each of the halls, and students ride the MTD buses for free.

How do I select a Special Living Option?

If you are interested in one of our Special Living Options, be sure to choose it as one of your location preferences by May 22.

Special Living Options include:

If you wish to live in one of the special options listed above, it is important that you choose it as a preference in the contract. If you do not list one of these options as a preference at the time of completing your contract, you will not be able to choose available rooms in these locations during room selection.

How do I select a Living-Learning Community (LLC)?

If you wish to live in one of our Living-Learning Communities, your first step is to complete your housing contract and select the LLC in your location preferences. You also need to complete an essay for the LLC(s). If you selected more than one LLC, the essay should address your interest in all locations selected. The LLC staff will review each essay and make a decision regarding acceptance into the community. Please note: completing these steps does not guarantee a spot in the LLC.

If you preferenced a Living-Learning Community, completed the necessary steps and are approved to be part of a community, you will be assigned an early entry time in late May to select a room within the LLC community(s) listed in your entry time email. If you wish to select a room in a Living-Learning Community, it is essential that you do so within the first 24 hours of your LLC entry time. If you miss this window, it is possible that you may not get a room in the LLC.

If you miss the LLC special entry days, you will be given the opportunity to choose a space from the rest of our available rooms, including any remaining LLC spaces via a second, non-llc randomized entry time.

If you choose a room in an LLC during this time, it does not mean you are "locked in." You may still browse for other available rooms and may choose to move to another open room if you wish once your second entry time has arrived.

How do I sign up for the Honors Living-Learning Community?

You must be a James Scholar or part of the Campus Honors Program AND receive acceptance into the Honors Living-Learning Community to see available spaces for the Honors LLC. If you are a James Scholar or in the Campus Honors Program, please follow the LLC application instructions as listed in the question above to be considered for the Honors LLC. Both roommates must have the honors designations and their own respective LLC approvals for this community.

Are gender-inclusive options available?

Live in an in-room coed environment that acknowledges, respects and appreciates students of all gender identities and expressions. Gender-inclusive spaces allow for individuals with different biological sexes, sex assigned at birth and/or gender identity to reside in the same room.

What if I need special accommodations?

We offer several accessible rooms with community, semi-private, or private bathrooms in many of our residence halls and a select few apartments. If you believe you require housing accommodations due to a documented disability-related condition, you will need to apply for services with the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) in addition to submitting your housing application. DRES is responsible for providing services to students with disabilities and is available to consult with other areas of campus regarding ADA accommodations. For further information on how to apply for services with DRES, visit or call 217-333-4603 or 217-689-0564 Video Relay System (VRS).

More information can be found on the Accommodations and Assignment Considerations page.

How do I choose a Meal Plan?

Students living in the undergraduate residence halls are required to choose one of four different Meal Plan options Each meal plan allows you to eat at any of our dining locations across campus. Learn more about how meal plans work to help you decide on the right plan for you. (You will choose your meal plan when you choose your room during self-selection week.) Don't worry — you can change your Meal Plan any time through the first four weeks of school in the fall, so you can be sure to find the plan that works for you.

When do I move in?

Please visit the Move-In page (coming soon) for more information and specific Move-In dates.

What if I am under 18 years old?

If you are under 18 at the time of starting a residence hall contract, you will be prompted to provide a parent/guardian’s contact information (further instructions will be sent to the parent/guardian). The parent/guardian must complete the required steps for you to be able to continue. Students under 18 cannot complete the room selection process without this approval.

Where do I receive my bill?

Your housing charges will be billed to your student account and will appear with tuition and fees at the beginning of each semester. Room changes and other miscellaneous charges could appear as they are billed each month. It is important to check your student account for monthly charges.

How do I add an authorized contact?

If you wish, you may provide the name of an authorized contact who has permission to speak with the Housing Information Office staff about your assignment, contract and Housing-related financial charges. If you are interested, please check the appropriate box in your online contract and fill out the required information.

How does the reciprocal agreement work?

In some cases you may be able to cancel your contract with a private certified housing facility to contract with us or vice versa. The reciprocal form, with associated deadlines, is available on the Forms and Documents page.



Contact the Housing Information Office - we’re happy to help!