Frequently Asked Questions

Please note all information provided aligns with our planning for fall 2021 and is not indicative of policies and protocols in place for the current term.

Fall 2021 Frequently Asked Questions

Moving In

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.

When is fall 2021 move-in to the residence halls?New

Currently, we are planning for fall move-in to take place over several days between August 18th and August 22nd. More information will be shared later this summer as plans are finalized.

Added 3/8/21

Do I have to be tested for COVID-19 prior to moving onto campus? Updated

We anticipate having a testing process in place for all students moving into the residence halls and Northern View Community apartments. Regardless of a person’s vaccination status, we anticipate requiring a negative test result prior to moving into campus housing.

Updated 3/8/21

Room Selection

Will I have a roommate next year?New

We are planning for double room accommodations in most of our residence halls, which will allow for roommates. We will follow the most current state and local health guidelines, but we are planning for more face-to-face classes, activities and students to have roommates in double room accommodations.

Added 3/8/21

What if I have a roommate preference? New

That’s okay. Most new students to NIU do not have a roommate preference and they receive a random roommate and have a great experience. But if you do know someone and want to be roommates you log in to, and select Roommates. There you can create a Group for you and your roommate choice, and the group leader may select the room for both students. Multiple group leaders can coordinate and try to select certain suites (New Hall and Stevenson) so that groups of roommates can select the same suite together. If you have any difficulties with your group, email us at

Added 3/8/21

Will first-year freshmen be required to live in the residence halls in fall 2021?New

On-campus living provides unique opportunities for student academic and social involvement. The University Residency Requirement stipulates that all single students classified as freshmen (fewer than 24 hours of NIU accepted college credit, and enrolling directly after graduation from high school) and has not reached their 21st birthday by September 1, and not residing with their parents or legal guardians (within 50 miles of the DeKalb campus), must live in a Northern Illinois University residence hall for a full academic year (August-May) or the following full academic year if admitted in spring semester.

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.

Added 3/8/21

Guests and Visiting Other Rooms

What is the guest policy for residence halls?New

We are planning for residence hall students to be able to visit each other, but guests from off-campus will not be permitted to visit residential students in their room or apartments until state and local health guidance indicates it is safe to do so. Permitted guests will be required to register at the front reception desk and all parties will need to wear face masks, practice physical distancing and follow other safety guidelines.

Added 3/8/21

Health and Safety

Will I have to wear a face covering in the residence halls and on campus?New

Yes. In line with CDC guidelines and state guidance, we anticipate that face coverings will still be required in all public spaces. This means all students are expected to wear face coverings in the common areas of the residence halls and the campus. This would be true for persons who have been vaccinated as well.

Added 3/8/21

Will I have to get tested for the virus after I move in?New

NIU is beginning to develop plans for required surveillance testing for residential students and students with face-to-face classes for fall 2021. Specifics about those expectations will be developed over the summer and communicated out to student before fall classes begin.

Added 3/8/21

What if someone on my floor is sick with the virus? Updated

Housing and Residential Services has an established process for working with students who may need to quarantine due to the virus. We will directly work with Student Health Services, and the DeKalb County Health Department to determine the next steps when a student case emerges.

Updated 3/8/21

What will cleaning look like in the residence halls? Updated

The safety and well-being of our residents is a top priority. NIU will continue with our increased sanitizing and disinfecting of high touch surface areas in the common areas including doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, countertops 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.

Updated 3/8/21

General Questions

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 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?

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
Neptune East 101

Additional Contact Info

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