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New Student Housing Assignment Process Overview

Welcome First-Year & Transfer Students!

New Student Housing Assignment Process

Residential Services is excited to welcome you to the first step in choosing your campus residence for the next academic year. To acquaint yourself with the process, we prepared two helpful brochures:

Residential Services will assign you a building and room based on the preferences you share in the housing contract.  While every effort will be made to fulfill your preferences, assignments to specific buildings, rooms, or roommates cannot be guaranteed. Last year, over a third of all new students were assigned to their top building preference and approximately 77% received an assignment within their top five building choices. A small percentage of students were assigned to a building outside of their preferences. 

Important Housing Process Dates

Room Assignment Dates
Important Date  Process
March 1 – May 31, 2024 Contract open to new students
June 3 – July 31, 2024 Room assignments processed and verified
Early August 2024 Assignment notification sent via email

Residency Requirement

Northwestern has a two-year residency requirement for all incoming first-year undergraduate students. All incoming transfer students are required to live on campus for their first year. For more information about the residency requirement, including the process for requesting housing and/or meal plan accommodations, visit our residency requirement page.

Housing Options

Residential Services offers two housing models: residence halls and residential colleges. Each provides a unique opportunity for engagement and growth. Regardless of housing model, all students share in a universal residential experience by living in a residential area that includes common services, amenities, programming, staff, and Faculty-in-Residence. 

All Gender Housing

All Gender Housing allows students, regardless of sex, gender, or gender identity, to share a room or suite. You will be able to select All Gender Housing as a preference in the housing assignments process.

Roommate Selection

You have two options for completing the roommate section of the housing contract: 

  1. If you already have a roommate in mind, you will need their name and NetID. You will select roommates in your group for your room assignment. You will use this to request roommates or respond to a pending roommate request. Roommate groups work like a 'friend request'; preferred roommate(s) must accept the request. Invitations/updates will be sent to everyone listed after you make changes and submit this form. Please note, you may only be in one group at a time. After you submit your contract, you can always make changes to your roommate groups via the “update preferences” option. 
  2. If you do not have a specific roommate in mind, Residential Services will randomly match you with a roommate based on the building and roommate preference information you provide on the housing contract.

Meal Plans

Students living in campus residences are required to have a meal plan as a condition of the housing contract. All incoming students will be assigned the Open Access meal plan. For more information about meal plans and dining on campus, please visit the Northwestern Dining website.

Housing Room Rates

Please visit our Room Rates page to view the current academic year's rates. This page will be updated when rates for the next academic year are released.

Housing Cancellation

First- and second-year students may not cancel their housing contract due to the two-year residency requirement. Rising third- and fourth-year students may cancel their contract but should take note of the cancellation fee schedule. Students will only be released from housing for the following reasons:

  • (a) academic dismissal
  • (b) disciplinary exclusion from the University
  • (c) marriage (a copy of the marriage certificate must be filed)
  • (d) induction into military service
  • (e) graduation,
  • or (f) health, upon written recommendation of the University Health Service.

Get Started!

To get started with room selection, access the Housing Portal. The First Year and Transfer application will open on March 1, 2024.