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FAQ: Contracts & Billing

Do I have to live in the residence halls?

On-campus living provides unique opportunities for student academic and social involvement. All single, new freshman students who will not have reached their 21st birthday by September 1, and who are not residing with their parents or legal guardians, or are not the custodial parent of a dependent child, must live in University residence halls as long as space is available. If students required to live on campus do not sign up for housing, they will be automatically charged for a double room.

Learn more about the university residency requirement.

How do I cancel my housing contract if I will not be attending NIU?

You must notify Housing & Residential Services in writing in order to cancel your residence hall contract. You can download the Contract Release Request from this website. The date your Contract Release Request is received in the Residential Administration office will determine the amount of refund or additional charges as delineated in Section III. E. of the Contract Addendum. Learn more about requesting a contract release

What if I want to cancel my contract but will be attending NIU?

If you have signed a housing contract and no longer desire to reside on campus, you need to be released from your contract. Otherwise, you are responsible for room and board charges. Request for release from a residence hall contract are reviewed on an individual basis and are not automatic. The signing of another housing contract (i.e., apartment lease) is not grounds for release from a contract. Learn more about requesting a contract release.

What are the contract cancellation charges and refunds?

When do Residence Hall charges get added to my bill at MyNIU or Bursars Account?

After the initial billing and statement date for a semester, your charges get added at least once a month to your Bursar's account. Typically charges will post no less than three days prior to a statement date.

Charges become due about three weeks after billing. Please refer to your MyNIU for your specific due dates.

For an upcoming semester, your charges will not be added until about three days prior to your initial billing statement. For the fall semester, this happens mid-July; for spring, early December; and for the summer, early May.

Can I stay during winter break?

The standard housing contract does not cover official University vacation periods (between semesters). The residence halls are closed, meals are not served, and students may not be in residence during University closure periods (such as winter break) unless they live in one of the halls designated for break housing and have separately contracted for these periods. Students will have the opportunity to sign break Contracts for winter break for an additional fee if they want to remain in the residence hall. Students may not remain in the residence halls beyond the specified closing time nor enter the residence halls at any time prior to the scheduled opening during these break periods without a break contract.

Be sure to take all needed personal possessions with you during break periods. All residence hall doors are locked over breaks. Door locks will only be able to be activated by the OneCards of students with break housing contracts. Hall staff members are not available to take residents without contracts to their rooms to get things they may have forgotten. Resident mail is not forwarded over winter break.

Can I stay during spring break?

Yes, all residence halls are open during spring break! You may stay in the residence halls during spring break at no additional charge. However, all dining units are closed.

If I change my major or program of study, what do I need to do?

If you are currently in a Living-Learning Community that has major or program of study requirements, you will typically be allowed to finish the year in that LLC. However, you may not be eligible to return to that LLC next year.

How do I get a room during the summer?

In order to be eligible for summer school housing, new students to the University must be admitted to NIU and be enrolled for the summer term. Currently enrolled students who are applying for summer housing must be enrolled for either the spring semester immediately preceding the summer term or the fall semester immediately following it.

When do I have to leave during finals week?

With the exception of students graduating that semester, residents must vacate the residence halls each semester within 24 hours after their last examination or by 10 a.m. on the day following the last scheduled day of examinations (whichever comes first). If a student needs an extension to stay beyond the 24-hour deadline, they should contact their hall director.

Housing & Residential Services reserves the right to have students leave the residence hall one hour after their final examinations are completed if their conduct has been determined to be disruptive by the Complex Coordinator or his/her designee during or around finals week. Students who repeat disruptive behavior, or who do not promptly stop disruptive behavior when asked to by hall staff or police officers, may be required to immediately vacate the hall and not return for the remainder of exam week.

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