Residence Life FAQs

GETTING STARTED: Applying for Housing

New, unenrolled incoming students that have not applied for admission should visit theUndergraduate Admissions - Apply page. There, you will be able view the instructions on how to complete Columbia's online application.
It is recommended that you do this as soon as possible if you are trying to gain housing, as it is assigned to students on a first-come first-served basis. Please be sure to regularly check the email account you provide in the online application. Housing Offers and other important information will be sent via email. 

Currently enrolled students at Columbia College that would like to apply for on-campus housing can visit the Housing Application page and complete the form online.
It is recommended that you do this as soon as possible, as housing is assigned to students on a first-come first-served basis. 

Current residents at Columbia College who would like on-campus housing for the next academic year need to visit the Residence Life Office during Contract Campaign, which takes place in March. 
For more information, visit our Contract Campaign FAQ page.

GETTING STARTED: Housing Contracts - Academic, Annual, & Summer

An Academic Year Contract allows students to stay in Residence Life for the Fall and/or Spring terms for the academic year. 

Annual Contracts are available for returning students only, and allows those students to stay in Residence Life for the Summer and for the Fall & Spring terms of the academic year. If you want to live on campus this summer, and are planning on living on campus for the academic year, you should sign this contract. Currently, Annual Contract housing is only available in The University Center. 

Summer-Session Contracts are for 10-week and 12-week housing at the University Center.


Because there is constant occupancy in all of the Residence Life buildings, getting a tour of the living spaces can be tricky.

Columbia's Admissions Office offers student led walking tours of our campus. These are available Mondays — Saturdays throughout the year and reservations are required.
You can RSVP for a Campus Tour online, or by calling the Admissions Office at 312-369-7130. Housing can be viewed on these tours, but it is limited.

For this reason, we highly recommend attending Columbia College's Open House (which happens twice a year). Columbia's Open House is a full day event that takes place across our entire campus, including the on-campus housing facilities. Housing tours are conducted by current residents and Resident Assistants, giving a personal perspective of what it’s like to live on-campus.
**Learn more about our Open House, here.

GETTING STARTED: Students with Disabilities

If you require special room accommodations due to an ADA recognized disability, please contactThe Services for Student’s with Disabilities Office (SSD).

These disabilities may include (but are not limited to):
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Communication Disorders
  • Psychological Disabilities
  • Deafness/Hard-of-Hearing
  • Blindness/Visual Impairment
  • Other Health or Physical Impairment

GETTING STARTED: Residence Life Office

Get to know the Residence Life Staff!

Residence Life Office
731 South Plymouth Court, 1st Floor
Chicago, IL 60605-1996

Office Hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday through Friday

Phone: (312) 369-7803
Fax: (312) 369-8074

HOUSING OFFERS: Room Assignments

Housing is assigned to admitted students on a first-come, first-served basis according to the date a housing application is received. Although the college will try to accommodate your housing requests, we cannot guarantee housing preferences or roommate requests.
Current returning students of Columbia College have the opportunity to secure their room assignments prior to new incoming residents. For this reason, it is a strong possibility that new freshman and transfer students will not be assigned their first housing preference in their first year.

The room-type assigned to you will be the best available match to your stated housing preference & roommate preferences at the time we receive your application.
*PLEASE NOTE: Housing offers are based on room preferences, NOT building preferences. 

If you are unable to return the $500 prepayment and/or housing contract by your assigned deadline, please refer to the information in the Housing Offer Deadline section. 

If you have made the $500 prepayment and signed the contract, but are now wanting a different type of space, please refer to our Space Change information.

HOUSING OFFERS: Roomate Assignments

Roommates are assigned based on your housing preference, as well as the roommate preferences you select on your housing application:
  • Do you prefer a non-smoker?
  • Do you like to keep your living space clean?
  • What time do you usually go to bed?
  • What is your preferred study environment?

For Fall students, roommate assignments will be sent via email, starting in July. 
For Spring students, roommate assignments will be sent via email, mid-January. 

You also have the option to request a roommate on your housing application. Roommate requests MUST be mutual. Although we will try to accommodate your request, it cannot be guaranteed. However, it is easier for us to consider your request if both you and your intended roommate apply early and submit your housing applications within a week of each other.

NOTE: If you are seeking a space change, you can view more information here.

HOUSING OFFERS: Housing Offer Deadlines

When a student receives a housing offer, they also receive a specific deadline to submit the contract for that offer and make a $500 housing prepayment. Housing is typically an out of pocket expense. We understand Fall applicants usually do not fully commit to colleges until May and some may have not secured funding at the time their online housing contract is sent to them.

If you are unable to meet your specifc housing contract submission deadline and/or make the prepayment, your housing offer and housing application will be terminated. However, you can request to have your application reinstated, which means your application is resubmitted to the end of our applicant pool. You can anticipate that you may receive a new housing contract packet in approximately 2 weeks. Please understand that Residence Life cannot guarantee that a different offer will be made, or that you will secure on-campus housing for the academic year. 

FOR FALL STUDENTS: If a student has accepted a housing offer but now needs to cancel it, they are able to do so prior to May 30th and have their $500 prepayment refunded. Cancellation requests must be sent to If you miss the May 30th refund deadline, you may be released from any further financial obligations of your housing contract, but you will not receive a refund on your $500 prepayment.
FOR SPRING STUDENTS: Once the prepayment is made for your housing contract, it cannot be refunded. You may be released from any further financial obligations of your housing contract, but you will not receive a refund on your $500 prepayment. However, you still must sent a housing contract cancellation request to

HOUSING COSTS: Housing Prepayment

After you have received a Housing Contract, a $500.00 prepayment is required to secure your space and is applied towards your first semesters' housing costs. This prepayment is an out-of-pocket expense. It cannot be covered by financial aid from federal, state, institutional or private sources, including loans, as those funds are not typically disbursed to students until the school year begins. We regret that we are not able to waive or defer the prepayment for any student. If you are unable to make your $500 prepayment by the time your housing contract is due, please read the information under Housing Offer Deadlines

  • The quickest way to make your housing prepayment is online at This payment system accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards, as well as electronic checks. Be sure to print or save the confirmation page, as it will be used to complete your online housing contract.
  • Cash prepayments and Money Orders can be made at the Cashier Desk at 600 S. Michigan, 3rd floor. Please be sure to keep the receipt of this payment, as you will need the confirmation number on it. DO NOT USE CCCPAY TO MAKE THIS PREPAYMENT.


Refunds on the $500 housing prepayment are only available to Fall students and only until May 30th. Requests must be written and emailed to BY OR BEFORE this date.
  • If you have a student account balance, your $500.00 prepayment will be applied towards your overall balance.
  • If you do not have a student account balance, Student Financial Services will issue a refund. Please note that credit card payments are credited back to the credit card.

*Refund requests may take a minimum of 7 - 10 business days to be issued. 

If you miss the May 30th refund deadline, you may be released from any further financial obligations of your housing contract, but you will not receive a refund on your $500.00 prepayment.

HOUSING COSTS: Prices for On-Campus Housing

Housing costs vary according to building, type of room, and location within the building. Even within a single building, there are variations in cost. Because students will not know their actual housing costs until a specific space is offered through a housing contract, students and their families should understand that, for most students, housing will cost roughly $5,000 to $6,500 per semester. Students assigned to apartment style housing may choose to purchase the optional meal plan, which will add to their total costs.

Shared Bedroom in a Traditional-Style Semi-Suite
Price range per student per academic year:
$12,250.00 — $13,420.00
Consists of a traditional two-person room. Students share a bathroom with 1 to 3 other students. A 15-meal per week plan is mandatory and is included in the cost of the room. In addition to the on-campus dining facility, students also have access to kitchenettes and community lounges on each floor. There are also Private Semi-Suites available ($16,250), though they tend to get taken pretty quickly.

Shared Bedroom in a Shared Apartment
Price range per student per academic year:
$7,870.00 — $10,585.00
Consists of a two-person bedroom within a 1 to 3 bedroom apartment. The apartment, depending on number of bedrooms, may house from 2 to 6 students and will include 1 to 3 bedrooms, one or more bathroom(s), a living/dining area and a kitchen. Students will prepare meals for themselves and may opt to purchase a supplementary meal plan, for an additional cost, through our on-campus dining facility. 

Private Bedroom in a Shared Apartment
Price range per student per academic year: 
$12,530.00 — $13,520.00
Consists of a one-person bedroom within an apartment. The apartment will house 4 to 6 students and will include one or more bathroom(s), a living/dining area and a kitchen. Students will prepare meals for themselves and may opt to purchase a supplementary meal plan, for an additional cost, through our on-campus dining facility.

For specific prices per room, please refer to the Student Financial Services list of 2014 - 2015 Residence Hall Rates.

HOUSING COSTS: Paying for Housing

Housing costs are billed by semester, and will be included in your tuition and fees statement. You will not receive a separate bill for housing.

The housing rates listed here are for the 2014-2015 Academic Year.

To read about the payment plans available to pay the total cost of your housing, tuition and fees statement, go to
In general, payment either full or partial, is due on the first day of class each semester. If your anticipated financial aid covers the total amount of housing, tuition and fees due, you do not need to sign up for a payment plan. If anticipated financial aid covers only a partial amount of your total due, you may sign up for a payment plan for the remaining amount due. If you do not sign up for a payment plan for the remaining amount due, you must make all the necessary financial arrangements to ensure that the remaining amount is paid to the College. Inquiries regarding the relationship between housing costs and student’s financial aid package can be answered only byStudent Financial Services.


Residents assigned to Traditional-Style Semi-Suites in the University Center are provided with MANDATORY meal plans, as these units do not include kitchens. The meal plan offers 15 meals per week during the Fall and Spring semesters. It also includes $690 in "flex" dollars to spend at the student’s discretion within the dining facility during the regular academic year. The cost of the meal plan is included in the price of the room.

Residents assigned to apartments may elect to have an optional supplementary meal plan. 
For Fall students in apartments, we have the 150 Meal Plan for $1,696. The plan includes 150 meals for the academic year (Fall and Spring semesters), plus $346 in "flex" dollars to spend at the student's discretion within the dining facility.
For Spring students in apartments, we have the 75 Meal Plan for $875. This includes 75 meals for the Spring semester, plus $140 of "flex" dollars.
Please understand that these plans are strictly supplementary as it allows an average of five meals per week. Several hundred plans are available for purchase each year and are made available on a first-come first served basis until all are sold. You will have the opportunity to select the meal plan when completing your online housing contract.
However, apartment units do have full kitchens that include a full-sized refrigerator, oven, range, and dishwasher. Residents without meal plans cook for themselves, and often share cooking duties with their roommates.
Two major grocery stores are within walking distance of our residence centers, or students may order groceries on-line through a commercial provider (such as Peapod™). Meal preparation is an important part of the independent living experience available to our students. 
If you are a current resident and would like to sign up for a Meal Plan, please stop by the Residence Life Office (731 S. Plymouth Court). 


For University Center Residents
Monday - Friday
Breakfast, 7am - 9:30am
Continental, 9:30am - 11am
Lunch, 11:00am - 3:00pm
Dinner, 4:30pm - 9:00pm
Late Night (Flex Only), 9pm - Midnight
      Saturday & Sunday
Brunch, 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner, 4:30pm - 7:00pm
Late Night (Flex Only), 9pm - Midnight 

For Non-University Center Residents
Monday - Friday
Lunch, 11:00am - 3:00pm
Dinner, 4:30pm - 9:00pm
Late Night (Flex Only), 9pm - 10pm
      Saturday & Sunday
Brunch, 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner, 4:30pm - 7:00pm

ON-CAMPUS HOUSING: 731 South Plymouth

Columbia’s premier residence center, Plymouth Court, houses the main offices of Residence Life and approximately 350 Columbia College Chicago students.
Students who live in 731 S. Plymouth reside in 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 4-person apartments (@1,200 sq. ft.). Each apartment has a full kitchen and full bath, plus a spacious living and dining area. High ceilings and immense windows with views of the surrounding cityscape combine to create the "loft" feel of these appealingly urban living spaces.

Heat, air-conditioning, electric, water, internet and basic cable are all included in the cost of the room.
Please visit the 731 S. Plymouth residence hall page to view floor plans and specific building details.

ON-CAMPUS HOUSING: The University Center, 525 S State

Since the Fall of 2004, the University Center (UC) has created a home away from home for approximately 1,700 college students from Columbia College Chicago and nearby DePaul & Roosevelt Universities. The UC has established a one-of-a-kind community in downtown Chicago by combining living, learning and a collegial spirit in a way never done before.

Housing Options with a Meal Plan (included in cost):
  • 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom, private semi-suite
  • 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom, premium private semi-suite
  • 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 4-person semi-suite
  • 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 4-person premium semi-suite
  • 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 2-person semi-suite
  • 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 2-person premium semi-suite

Housing Options without an included Meal Plan:
  • 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 4-person apartment
  • 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 4-person premium apartment
  • 4-bedroom, 2 bathroom, 4-person apartment; single occupancy bedroom
  • 4-bedroom, 2 bathroom, 4-person apartment; single occupancy premium bedroom

Local phone, basic cable, internet access (T-1 lines), heat, air-conditioning, electric and water are all included in the cost of all rooms.
Please visit the University Center residence hall page to view floor plans and specific building details.

ON-CAMPUS HOUSING: The Dwight, 642 S Clark

The Dwight is our newest addition to on-campus housing! This building was originally built in 1911 as the headquarters of the Dwight Brothers Paper Company. The Dwight has been fully renovated, but still stays true to its heritage as a place of aesthetics and creativity. 

The Dwight offers the following housing styles:
  • 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 4-person apartment
  • 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 4-person apartment
  • 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 5-person apartment
  • 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 6-person apartment

Please visit the Dwight residence hall page to view floor plans and specific building details

ON-CAMPUS HOUSING: 2 East 8th Street

2 East 8th, located in historic Printers Row, offers comfortable & afordable housing in the heart of Columbia College's campus. All apartments come with full kitchens and bathrooms, spacious living areas, as well as floor to ceiling windows, many with spectacular views of the city.

2 East 8th offers the following housing configurations:
  • Convertible Apartment (Small Double Occupancy or Single Occupancy)
  • 1-bedroom, 2-person apartment
  • 2-bedroom, 4-person apartment

Heat, air-conditioning, electric and water are all included in the cost of the room, in additon to many other building amenities.
Please visit the 2 East 8th residence hall page to view floor plans and specific building details.

ON-CAMPUS HOUSING: The Flats, 829 S Wabash

The Flats (829 South Wabash) is a brand new residence hall, which opened their doors in the Fall of 2013. Students will occupy fully furnished apartments from the 8th to 12th floor.

This residence hall offers the following housing configurations:
  • 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 4-person apartment
  • 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 6-person apartment

All utilities are all included in the cost of the room, in additon to free laundry facilites and wireless internet.
Please visit the The Flats residence hall page to view floor plans and specific building details.

ON-CAMPUS HOUSING: Room Information

Each University Center suite comes with:

  • 1 desk & desk chair, per student
  • 1 closet organizer, per student
  • 1 bed with twin extra-long mattress (80" x 36"), per student
    *Please Note: students living in a Private Room Semi-Suite have a double bed
  • Book Shelf
  • Suite Style bathroom, shared with suite mates

Each apartment comes with:

  • 1 desk & desk chair, per student
  • 1 bed with twin extra-long mattress (80" x 36"), per student
    *Please Note: certain designated bedrooms in The Dwight have Full-Size beds.
  • 1 closet w/ shelf and clothing rack, per student
  • 1 dresser, per student
  • Sofa, two chairs, and coffee table
  • Dining room table w/ chairs or kitchen island w/ stools (except The Flats)
  • Kitchen w/ stove, oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher (no dishwasher in The Dwight or The Flats)
  • Bathroom(s)
  • Common area storage closet w/ shelf
  • Central air and heat
  • Microwaves are included in the University Center, The Dwight, and 2 East 8th

ON-CAMPUS HOUSING: Temporary Housing

What is Temporary Housing?
Temporary housing allows Residence Life to maximize its use of housing spaces to place as many students into housing at the beginning of the year. Since the demand for housing usually exceeds the amount of spaces available, Columbia College Chicago has identified different spaces on campus to accommodate more students in need of housing.

Why is there Temporary Housing?
We have temporary spaces on campus in order to provide as many students as possible an opportunity to live on campus and enjoy the residential experience. Typically students will be assigned to a permanent space within six (6) weeks maximum.

General Information
Your housing contract offer letter indicates whether you are a temporary resident or temporary impacted resident. For further explanation of temporary housing, please refer to Section VIII in your housing contract.

Temporary Residents
Students who are placed temporarily in a unit are considered "temporary residents." As soon as a permanent space becomes available, these students will be reassigned to a new space.

Temporarily Impacted Residents
Students assigned an additional roommate are considered "temporarily impacted residents." As soon as a permanent space becomes available, the additional roommate will be reassigned to a new space, and the additional furniture will be removed as quickly as possible.

Temporary Housing Credit
Both the temporary resident and the temporary impacted resident receive a 20% credit on their housing charges for the time which they are assigned to a temporary space or share a room with an additional temporary roommate.

When a temporary resident is moved to a permanent assignment, he/she will be charged the full, pro-rated amount for the new space. The temporary impacted residents’ credit will cease once their temporary roommate is assigned a new space.

This credit is not applied to any of the student’s accounts until after the temporary resident moves out.

*This credit does not include the meal plan.


Located in the Columbia Arts District in the heart of Chicago's South Loop, Columbia College is just steps away from Chicago's museum campus, and a short bus or train ride from hundreds of theater and music venues, independent film festivals, and galleries.

CLICK HERE to view Columbia’s full campus map.

The Residence Life Handbook

Have questions about visitation policies? Or what to do if you lose your room key? You can find these answers and much more in The Residence Life Handbook.

Residents and their guests are expected to follow the policies & procedures and accepted community standards described in this handbook. You are joining a community in which respect for others is expected. We hope that you will be an active participant in a cooperative effort by residents and staff to accomplish this goal.

Move-In Process & Information

FALL students can expect to recieve a move-in date & time 3 - 4 business days after their housing contract deadline. Then, starting in July, new students will be emailed move-in information, which will include your specific room number, roommate name(s) and contact information, and a list of suggested items to bring with you to campus. If assigned an apartment, you and your roommate(s) will need to provide cooking utensils and dishes.

SPRING students are slated to move in on a single scheduled day, which is provided to all housing applicants.

GPA Requirement

Students who live in Residence Life are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students that do not maintain a 2.0 or higher will not be allowed to live in Residence Life, and their Academic/Annual housing contract may be terminated.

Space Changes

Beginning at the third week of each semester, students have the option to request a Space Change if they are unsatisfied with their current space. The Space Change Request form will be available in the Residence Life Office at this time.
At this time, you may select your preferred building, room type, and request a roommate.

Some things to know:
  • Space Changes are subject to availability. Please note that there will be no space changes UNTIL the beginning of the third week of classes, during the Fall and Spring semesters. Space Changes must take place within one week of approval. If you are not properly checked out of your current space within one week, your space change will be denied.
  • If you wish to live with another resident, or have a Roommate Request, you MUST have your friend sign the request form. We cannot accommodate any Roommate Requests if they are not mutual. We will try our best to accommodate your request; however we cannot guarantee that it will be granted.
  • While there is no charge to space change, you will be expected to pay the difference in cost between your current and new assignment (if applicable). Any cleaning, damage, or replacement charges from your current space will also be charged to your student account.

Maintenance Requests

If you have a maintenance request for your room/apartment, please notify the management in your building with the information provided below:

731 SOUTH PLYMOUTH residents, click here.
*For Plymouth Residents ONLY -- User Name: rlstudent    Password: columbia

UNIVERSITY CENTER residents, click here.

DWIGHT residents, click here.

2 EAST 8TH STREET Residents must submit service requests in person at the management office on the main floor of the building.
Business hours for the 2 East 8th Management Office:
Mon-Fri, 9am to 6pm
Saturday, 10am to 5pm
Sunday, 12pm to 5pm

Health Services

Health Center

Columbia’s Health Center, located in the 731 S. Plymouth Court building, provides clinic-type medical services to students. A physician or nurse practitioner is available to provide outpatient clinical evaluation, treatment of minor illnesses, injuries, and also, evaluation and triage/referral of more serious illnesses or injuries. Health Center Services are very affordable. A semesterly fee, which is included in your tuition and fees, covers the costs of all visits. For more information, please visit the Health Center website.

Counseling Services

The office of Counseling Services, also located at 731 S. Plymouth Court, is committed to helping students reach their highest academic and personal potential. Services include individual, couple, and group therapy for students. Therapists are also available for workshops and presentations on a variety of psychological issues. All currently enrolled students are eligible to receive counseling services. This service provides students with up to ten individual counseling services per academic year. More information is available on the Counseling Services website.

Resident Assistants

Resident Assistants (RA's) are Undergraduate and Graduate students who have been selected and trained to provide a variety of services to residents. RA's answer questions about Residence Life and refer students to appropriate campus offices when they need help or services. RA's provide advice to students on personal and academic problems and mediate roommate conflicts. RA's are responsible for building community in Residence Life, enforcing the rules in the Residence Life Handbook and other College rules.

Get to know our 2013 - 2014 Resident Assistants!

Although you will probably interact most often with the RA on your floor, please be aware that any staff member may assist you if you need help. Also, be aware that RA’s have responsibility and authority anywhere in the residential areas regardless of their assigned floors. We expect you to cooperate with any staff member who is carrying out his or her duties, which includes presenting proper identification upon request.

Columbia College Resident Assistants live in each of the Residence Life buildings, except for The University Center. The University Center is under different management than the rest of Columbia College Chicago Residence Life, and as a result, they have separate Resident Assistants.

Purchasing & Renting Amenities

Residence Hall Linens -
Specially-Sized Linens Guaranteed to Fit

National Student Services, Inc. -
The nationwide leader for Student Property Insurance

University Center Amenities & Upgrades -
**Please note that these are available for UNIVERSITY CENTER RESIDENTS ONLY!**

Off-Campus Storage

Columbia College Chicago does not offer any storage for residents' belongings. However, there are many storage facilities in the surrounding area. Here are a few:
  • Public Storage, 947 W. Van Buren - 312-429-6964
  • Extra Space Storage (ESS), 707 W. Harrison - 877-308-3861
  • East Bank Storage, 730 W. Lake - 312-876-2000
  • A-American Self Storage, 901 W. Adams - 312-421-6600
  • Extra Space Storage, 1255 S. Wabash - 312-986-8400

Relocation Guide

While Columbia College Chicago does not offer students assistance with finding off campus housing or roommates, the College has compiled a brief reference, called the "Relocation Guide" to help students with their Chicago apartment search.

All information listed in this guide is as current as possible, but it is subject to change. This information is provided by the Columbia College Residence Life Office, but we neither endorse nor have any special arrangement or relationship with the buildings and businesses listed. All dealings with these businesses occur strictly between the apartment/business/service and the individual.

Another great place to look is This link will direct you to a custom neighborhood map specially tailored to the Columbia College Chicago campus and the surrounding areas. These custom-built maps show available apartments nearby and in the surrounding Chicago area. 

*NOTE: We do not recommend these housing options over ones that are not listed.