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Early Arrival Requests

Undergraduate Early Arrival Request Policy

Official Housing Move-In dates

The official housing move-in date for new first-year and transfer students is Tuesday, September 17, 2024. Returning students can move in any time after Saturday, September 21, 2024, at 8:00 a.m. 

Early Arrival Program

In some cases, it may be necessary for students to move on campus prior to the official move in dates. The Early Arrival program is only available to students who have a 2024-2025 academic year housing contract and have a demonstrated need to return to campus prior to the approved move in dates and no earlier than 8:00 a.m. on September 11, 2024.  Students in Pre-Fall Arrival programs living in FSL houses or living off-campus are not eligible to stay in the residence halls or residential colleges past 12:00 p.m. (noon) on September 10, 2024. 

Early Arrival Request

Requests to move on campus as early as 8:00 a.m. on September 11, 2024, are considered based on the needs of the resident, space availability, and appropriate staffing to support students living on campus prior to move in. If approved to move on campus early, residents may be placed in temporary housing. There is a charge for Early Arrival housing. Any student who desires Early Arrival housing must apply by completing an online form in the Housing Portal that will be available between Monday, August 12 and Friday, August 23, 2024.  


Those who are approved will be charged $50 per night until the start of their academic year housing contract - Tuesday, September 17, 2024 for new students and Saturday, September 21, 2024 for returning students. Students who arrive early without prior approval will be charged $100 per night. Eligible students can seek a fee waiver via One Form

Request Deadline

Any student who desires Early Arrival housing must apply by completing an online form in the Housing Portal. Requests will be accepted beginning August 12, 2024, and the deadline to apply for Early Arrival housing is August 23, 2024. All early arrival requests must be submitted to Residential Services and be approved before any student can move on campus. Please do not make plans to arrive early unless you have been approved by Residential Services staff. Only Residential Services staff may approval early arrival housing. 

Early Arrival Move-in Date

Students with approval may move in beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 11, 2024. 

Intersession Housing

Residential students who have completed the 2024 summer session and desire to remain on campus through when academic year housing is available (Tuesday, September 10, 2024) may sign up for Intersession Housing through the Summer Housing Application on the Housing Portal. This program allows current residential students to remain on campus at a rate of $50/night. Students participating in this program may be relocated to a temporary assignment during the intersession period.

Early Arrival Dining Options

Food options for residential students participating in the Early Arrival program will be listed on the Northwestern Dining website. The meal plan program is not available during the Early Arrival program. Any food options during the Early Arrival program will be on a cash basis in the retail outlets on campus. Students are strongly encouraged to use Cat Cash when buying food on campus. If you are part of a Special Interest Group, please refer to your program’s leadership about food options. 

Meal Plan Usage

New first year and transfer residential students will have their meal plan begin at lunch on Tuesday, September 17, 2024. The meal plan program for the remainder of residential students will begin at lunch on Saturday, September 21, 2024. 

International Student Arrival

Students who will be arriving for International Student Orientation should be sure to notify and register with the International Office. The International Office will supply a list of those students who are pre-approved for early arrival. Students are still responsible for the early arrival housing charges based on the date they move in.  

International students arriving early will need to check in at their Area Desks. 
International students with questions about arriving prior to September 11, 2024, should email us at

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am participating in a university sanctioned event and have to arrive early, am I able to store my items in my room even if I am not staying in the room?

If you meet the criteria to participate in the Early Arrival Program (you have a fall contract, and you were approved by your advisor) and your fall room is available when you arrive, you are permitted to store your items. The cost for storage is the same as if you were staying in your room. Rooms are not available prior to the dates listed for new and returning students. 

What happens if I show up early without any prior permission?

We recognize that on occasion some students will arrive before their approved check-in date and time. If a student arrives without any previous approval, staff will attempt to assign them to their fall room if possible. If not, staff will attempt to assign them to a temporary space. The cost to stay on campus is 2x the published early arrival rate. For example if the published rate for early arrival is $50/night, the rate for a student who does not have prior permission would be $100/night ($50/night x 2) for as many nights before the posted regular arrival dates (September 17, 2024, for new students and September 21, 2024, for returning students).