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New Student FAQ's


1. Do most new students live on-campus?

They do. While living on campus isn't a requirement for students, the vast majority of students (particularly first-year students) do because of the opportunity to meet new people, the convenience of attending classes and participating in activities, as well as accessing campus resources.

2. How big will my room be?

Most rooms are approximately 12'x12', with an 8' high ceiling. However, there are many variations from hall to hall and sometimes within the same hall. You can view your specific room's layout and dimensions on your online contract.

3. What's provided in my room?

  • 2 lofts, mattresses and mattress pads
  • Wastebasket
  • Recycle bin
  • Drapes or mini-blinds
  • 2 desks with chairs
  • 2 closets or wardrobes
  • Dresser space
  • In-room sinks (with the exception of Rider Hall)
  • Mirror
  • Cable TV access to more than 50 channels
  • 1 Ethernet (Internet) jack per person

4. What can I bring?

  • Linens and Blankets
  • Computer
  • Microwave
  • TV
  • Fan
  • Radio
  • Carpet/Rug (Bender, Campbell and Dancer are carpeted)
  • Other items to make you feel at home in the residence halls

5. Who runs the building I'll be living in?

A full-time, live-in Residence Life Coordinator is responsible for each hall. Also, a student staff member, called an RA (Resident Assistant), lives with about 50 residents in each community ("house") within each hall.

6. Does each student need a computer for their room?

No, each hall has a computer lab with printer. Students who wish to bring a personal device can enjoy the convenience of having internet connectivity through ResNet as well as wireless access in their room. Technical requirements for ResNet connection are listed in Department of Residence publications and at the ResNet website.

7. How safe and secure will I be on campus?

The concern for the safety and security of our residents is shared by all segments of the university. Residence halls are locked 24/7 and residents gain access to their respective building through electronic access using their UNI ID card. The university also has a full-time professional police department.

8. How do I contract for housing?

As soon as you are notified that you have been admitted to UNI and paid the $320 admissions acceptance fee, we urge you to contract online for housing. Contract early. The sooner you submit a contract, the more likely you will be to get into the hall of your choice.

9. How much does it cost to live in the residence halls?

Housing and dining rates for the University of Northern Iowa are among the lowest in Iowa, which includes over two dozen four-year colleges and universities. Click here to view the current rates.

10. Is a meal plan required?

A meal plan is required for those students living in our traditional residence halls. Our meal plans gives students freedom from grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up and provides good daily nutrition. Our dining centers serve as an extension of students' living space.

11. Is there an application fee or a required deposit?

Yes, the residence hall application fee and deposit is covered as part of the University Admissions acceptance fee as an advance payment. $95 of the fee comes to the Department of Residence to cover the $25 housing application fee and the $70 housing prepayment.

12. Is gender-inclusive housing available?

To learn more about the accommodations available, contact Erica Eischen, Assistant Director of Residence Life.

13. When will I get my room and roommate assignment?

Students select their own room and roommate. Room selection for new students occurs in April. At that time students will log in to their contract to select the hall and room of their choice. Roommates are selected through Panther Picks.

14. How are housing assignments made?

Room assignments are made according to the date you complete your housing & dining contract and pay the admissions acceptance fee - the earlier you contract, the better! Room selection is optional, DOR can make your assignment for you if you prefer. We can only use the information you provide us, so be sure to complete your Panther Profile. Returning students select their rooms before assignments are made for new students.

For further information, please browse through our website or contact the Department of Residence.