Frequently Asked Questions


Fall 2020 Housing

Do I have to live on campus?

In an effort to support your choices about a college experience during unpredictable times, students who feel most comfortable living at home will not be required to live on campus. For those who wish to live on campus, we are providing each student with their own individual room for the 2020-21 academic year and developing options in our residence halls that provide the best layouts for physical distancing and student health. Specific information about room assignments, dining options as well as room and board rates will be sent to you the week of June 22.  

Added 5/19/20

Can or will I have a roommate? New

All rooms are single-occupancy this fall. We will strive to place roommates on the same floor or in the same residence hall, but we cannot guarantee this. If you have a specific concern or accommodation need, please email

Added 6/23/20

Who gets to keep my assigned room?New

Housing and Residential Services will begin the week of June 22 to reassign students who were contracted for double-occupancy rooms into singles. If you planned to be in a double with a specific roommate, whoever signed the contract and submitted it first will stay in the original room selection and the other roommate will be relocated. However, we cannot promise that students can stay in their current buildings during the reassigning process. Because space is limited by COVID-19 physical distancing, some students might need to move to different halls.

Added 6/23/20

What if I see my new room assignment on June 29th and I want to request a change? New

Please know that we will do our best to keep roommates on the same floor or in the same building, but we know in this first round we may not meet your first preference. When you see your new assignment, if you wish to request a change please email, and please put Room Change Request in the subject line.

Provide us with your name, zID, your current hall and room assignment, and tell us where you would prefer to be assigned a room. We will maintain a waiting list for each hall and the priority on the list will be your housing contract date. So the person who submitted the earliest housing contract would be at the top of the wait list until a space opens in the building of their choice. We will do our best to work through these request in to the beginning of August.

Added 6/23/20

How will I select a room? Updated

If you’re contracting for housing for the first time, you need to select from available rooms and select a single room. If you do not receive your first preference, there will be opportunities to look for a room change as spaces open over the summer months.

Updated 6/23/20

What will my residence hall staff do to provide a fun, engaging and inclusive experience this fall? New
Live on campus this fall! Living on campus among your Huskie peers and close to important resources is a vital part of your NIU college experience. We’re working to ensure it will be safe, fun and engaging.
  • With your safety in mind, all students living in residence halls this fall will be in a single-room environment.
  • To engage you in your community, and to have fun, we’re planning things like movie-discussion nights, room-decorating contests, online book clubs, Huskie History events, daily trivia and even virtual open-mic nights where you can share your talents.
  • Housing will continue to maintain its robust leadership program in a virtual capacity.
  • Students will have opportunities to explore and learn more from the individuals on their floor by sharing “About Me” biographies.
  • Professional housing staff will continue to maintain office hours for students and serve as a support to connect students to different areas of campus.
  • Professional staff who work in housing are trained in a variety of areas to refer you to resources on-campus.
Added 6/23/20
Are the Living-Learning communities still an option? New

The Living-Learning Community experience is important to us. We will attempt to keep communities together to the extent possible, however given the need for social distancing, the programming experience within the community will be challenging to replicate. We will be removing the programming fee from these communities, and they will be operating as a Special Interest Community for the current academic year. Students in these communities will get to know other students with common interests in these communities.

Added 5/19/20

How will students be spaced out for physical distancing?

Only one student will be assigned to each living space (bedroom). If a student has chosen to live in a suite or a mini-suite, they will live with one other student, and will share common spaces, but each will have their own bedroom/sleeping area.

Added 5/19/20

Will I have to wear a face covering in the residence halls? Updated

Yes. In line with CDC guidelines, all students are expected to wear face coverings in the common areas of the residence halls and the campus. NIU will provide two (2) face coverings to each student living on campus this fall.

Updated 6/23/20

What will cleaning look like in the residence halls?

The safety and well-being of our residents is a top priority. There will be increased sanitizing and disinfecting of high touch surface areas in the common areas including door knobs, elevators buttons, hand rails, counter tops at all front desks, light switches, entry glass, and door push plates. Restrooms and public spaces will continue to be cleaned and disinfected at least daily, often more frequently. Each hall has hand sanitizer stations, and the disinfectants being used are from an EPA-approved list of cleaners.

Added 5/19/20

What is the benefit of living on-campus?

Housing and Residential Services encourages students to continue living on-campus. Students will have access to on-campus resources, high speed internet and dining options. Further, Community Advisors will be present in all communities and will plan fun and interactive programming, abiding by social distancing protocols. Residents will be provided an engaging learning environment to complement their classroom experience.

Added 5/19/20

Should I sign up for housing now or wait?

We recommend that you sign the contract once you have made a decision on where you will live in the fall. We will work to ensure that any students who are interested in living on-campus receive a housing assignment.

Added 5/19/20

How long do I have to cancel my housing contract?

Students who are planning on cancelling their housing contract should notify Housing and Residential Services as soon as possible once they have made the decision. In order to ensure an equitable assignment process for our Fall students, any contract cancelled after Aug, 10 may forfeit the housing deposit and incur a late cancellation fine. We understand that there may be extenuating circumstances and will evaluate this charge on a case-by-case basis.

Added 5/19/20

Top Questions

How do I change my room?

Before moving in in August: Log in to MyHousing and choose a new room from the spaces available. If the room you want to sign up for is not available right now, try checking back later. Room availability changes throughout the late spring and early summer.

After you've already moved in: Talk to your community advisor and tell them you are interested in moving into a different space.

Changing rooms between fall and spring semesters: If you are scheduled to make a room change between semesters, make an appointment with your community advisor to check out of your room within 24 hours of your last final, and remove all of your belongings from your room before the appointment. Your hall's office support staff will work with you to determine your move-in date in January. Failure to remove all belongings and check out of your old room at the end of the fall semester will result in cancellation of your room change. If you have questions about your move out or move in dates, contact your hall's office support staff.

Can I choose my roommate even though I've already signed up for a room?
If you have already signed up for a room, you can no longer pull in a roommate to live in your room. However, if the person you want to be roommates with has not signed up for housing yet, they are eligible to live in your room, and there is a bed available in your room, they may sign up to live with you. If both of you have already signed up for separate rooms, you can both make a room change at a special time during room sign up. See the room sign up schedule.
Where do residents eat?

Residence hall students use their NIU OneCard to enter the dining areas and may eat in any of the residential dining locations on campus. Meals are served cafeteria style on an All You Care To Eat basis in New Hall, Neptune Hall and Gilbert Hall. In Gilbert's East Side Café, Stevenson's Retail Dining Center, and Stevenson's Dog Pound C-store, food items are served on an à la carte basis and are purchased with Dining Dollars, Huskie Bucks, a meal exchange (Stevenson Retail Dining Center only) and most major credit or debit cards.

For more information, see Where to Eat and Meal Plans.

What's the difference between Dining Dollars and Huskie Bucks?

Dining Dollars can be used at any residential All You Care To Eat locations, residential Residential À la Carte Locations, and non-residential Residential À la Carte locations. The funds are allocated once per semester and rollover from week to week. Dollars not used by the end of the semester will be forfeited.

Huskie Bucks are separate from your dining meal plan. Your Huskie Bucks account is a pre-paid debit account that can be used anywhere on campus to purchase meals as well as various services like laundry and copying/printing. Huskie Bucks can also be used at many local restaurants.

For more information, see Meal Plans and Huskie Bucks.

Contracts and 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 and 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.
When do residence hall charges get added to my bill on MyNIU?

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 halls. 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.

Learn more about winter break housing.

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.
How do I get a room during the summer?
In order to be eligible for summer 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.

Room Sign Up

Choosing a Room

Are the floors co-ed?
All of our residence halls offer co-ed floors. Some halls also have single-gender floors.
What rooms are available right now?Updated

Our website shows the availability of types of rooms in different halls, but some of the rooms included in the number displayed on our website may not be available to you during online room selection based on your academic status, gender or other requirements. The number of rooms available might also change by the time you go to select a room. The best way to know what's available to you right now is to log in at after you've signed a contract and go to Rooms and Meal Plans when online room selection is open.

Updated 6/23/20

Contact Us

Housing and Residential Services
During the shelter-in-place order the most consistent form of communication is via email,

See NIU coronavirus updates page for more information.

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