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All FAQs on this page apply to the New Student Housing Assignment Process for incoming first-year and transfer students who will begin at Northwestern in fall 2021.

When are you mailing out information regarding first-year housing, and the housing contract?

Residential Services does not mail out housing brochures or contracts. An email will be sent to all incoming first-year students when the online housing contract becomes available on April 1  at 9:00am CDT. All materials necessary to complete the contracting process are available through the Housing Portal.

What if I missed the May 1 housing prepayment deadline?

If you miss the May 1 housing prepayment deadline, it is still possible to make your prepayment online. Students who have made their prepayment by the May 1 deadline will be given first consideration with regard to housing preferences.

When is the housing contract due?

First-year housing contracts need to be completed by June 1 at 5:00pm CDT. First-year students who do not submit the contract by the deadline can still contract for housing online, but the likelihood of being assigned to a listed housing preference is substantially lower.

Are freshman housing assignments made on a 'first come, first served' basis? Do early decision admits get preference in housing assignments?

No, there is no advantage to completing your housing contract on April 1 rather than June 1. All completed housing contracts submitted by June 1 are given equal consideration. You may update your housing contract as needed before 5:00 p.m. on June 1 without affecting your contract submission order. In other words, you will not be penalized for updating or changing any of your preferences. Early Decision and Regular Decision admits have the same deadline, and we do not track these groups when making housing assignments.

You can update your housing or room preferences and/or submit your residential college or special interest housing personal statements via the Housing Portal.

I am an athlete. Do I need to fill out the online housing contract?

Yes. You cannot receive an assignment until you have completed and submitted an online contract. There are no specific buildings, floors, or rooms reserved for athletes. If you want to request a roommate, you must do so by indicating their name and NetID on the housing contract. Please consult the Northwestern Directory to find this information.

How are the answers on my housing contract used to make my housing assignment?

As an admitted first-year student, you are guaranteed a space to live on campus. There are many types of living communities at Northwestern. Your responses to the contract questions will help Residential Services better assign you to a community that offers you a rewarding residential experience.

Residential Services cannot guarantee a specific type of assignment for a roommate, single-occupancy room, or residence hall, even if requested.

How do I apply for a residential college?

The residential college section of the housing contract is clearly marked. Incoming first-year and transfer students may apply for them by listing the residential college or colleges in which they are interested. Those students are prompted to submit a short personal statement as part of their housing contract in a space provided.


If you are admitted to a residential college, you will receive a welcome letter from the Faculty Chair soon after Residential Services sends out specific room assignments in early August.

My friend and I want to be roommates - how can we make this request?

There is a place on the housing contract to indicate your roommate preference. Mutual roommate requests entered by June 1 will be honored.

How can I find out which building are air conditioned/carpeted/co-ed/have suite style rooms/have food service in them?

For an at-a-glance view of popular building features, see this table of campus residences organized by residential area. You are responsible for deciding which amenities are important to you and for examining the building descriptions to find the residence hall or residential college that will best suit your needs.

Can freshman live in a single or triple rooms? What is the likelihood of being able to select a single or a triple room?

Most first-years live in double rooms. There are very few single and triple rooms on campus, most of which are assigned to upperclassmen. In the event that single and/or triple rooms are available, it may be possible to assign you to one of these rooms.

How can I find out which building have single, double, or triple rooms?

Please visit our Room Rates page for an at-a-glance view of room types available by building. For an at-a-glance view of room types alongside popular building features, see this table of campus residences organized by residential area. While many buildings may have a mix of singles, doubles and triples, it does not mean that all room types listed for each building will be available in the pool of existing rooms for incoming first-year and transfer students. Most single rooms in these buildings are already assigned to upperclassmen, unless otherwise noted.