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(Frequently Asked Questions)

If you don't find the answers you're looking for....

Please contact the Department of Residence if you have questions about dining and housing options. The telephone number is (319) 273-2333 or 866-207-9411 (toll free).

The dining services e-mail address is
The housing e-mail address is

1. Do most new students live on-campus?

Yes! Living on-campus isn't a requirement for new students, but the vast majority of new students do because it's so convenient for meeting people, attending classes, participating in activities and accessing campus resources.

2. How big will my room be?

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

3. What's provided in my room?

  • 2 Beds with mattresses and mattress pads
  • Wastebasket
  • Recycle bin
  • Drapes or mini-blinds
  • 2 Desks with chairs
  • 2 Closets or wardrobes
  • Dresser space
  • In-room sinks (except in Rider)
  • Mirror
  • Cable TV access to more than 50 channels
  • 1 Ethernet (Internet) jack per person

4. What can I bring?

  • Materials to "loft" your bed (except in Campbell, Hagemann, Shull and Lawther, where loftable beds are provided)
  • Linens and Blankets
  • Computer
  • Microwave
  • TV
  • Fan
  • Clock Radio
  • Carpet (Bender 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 residence hall.

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

No. Students enjoy the convenience of having a computer connected to ResNet in the residence hall room, but computers are plentiful in labs in halls across campus.

UNI hall rooms have one ResNet port per resident as well as wireless Internet access. Students who have computers use them daily to check e-mail from family and friends, communicate with professors and do online research to meet class requirements.

Technical requirements for ResNet connection are listed in Department of Residence publications and at the ResNet website.

7. How is safety and security on campus?

The concern for the safety and security of our residents is shared by all segments of the university. Residence halls are locked each night at 9 p.m. Residents gain access with their outside door keys. Guests in the halls after that time should be escorted by a hall resident. The university also has a full-time professional police department.


1. How do I contract for housing?

As soon as you are notified that you have been admitted to UNI, we urge you to contract on-line for housing. Contract early. The sooner you submit a contract, the more likely you will be to get the preferences you indicate.

2. What is my residence hall and dining contract?

The residence hall and dining contract describes that commitment you made to the university and that we make to you regarding your on-campus housing and dining arrangements for the full academic year. The 2-Year Advantage Plan with the rate freeze covers two academic years. Besides choices of residence hall and meal plan, you may also indicate preferences related to various Community Living Options.

3. 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. The Financial Aid Office estimates that the average cost of living on campus at UNI is approximately $800 LESS per academic year than living off campus. Students who select the 2-Year Advantage Plan reserve access to first year rates for two academic years. Click here to view the current rates.

4. Is a meal plan required?

A meal plan is part of the housing and dining contract at the University of Northern Iowa. The meal plan gives students freedom from grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up and provides good daily nutrition.

Social interaction in the dining centers is also a reason to have a meal plan. Special events help celebrate the seasons of the year and bring something new to students' routines.

5. Is a deposit required?

No, but we require a prepayment. This means that you send us the first $200 of your annual room and meal contract rate, so we know you definitely want a space reserved. That amount is subtracted from the total amount of your housing and meal contract. Refer to contract Terms & Conditions for the refund schedule

6. What is the application fee?

The residence application fee is $25. This is a one-time fee that covers the entire time you live in the residence halls. The contract prepayment of $200 is a separate commitment.

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

Room assignments are mailed in June. The assignment letter will also include tips for moving in and your roommate's name and address.

8. How are housing assignments made?

Room assignments are made according to the date you submit your housing contract, prepayment and application fee; the earlier the better! We make assignments based on the options you request on the housing preference section of your contract application. We can only use the information you provide us, so be sure to indicate your preferences such as smoking, community living options, etc.  Returning students select their rooms before assignments are made for new students.  New students who have a housing and dining contract may select their rooms during April/May.