Residence Life FAQs
- Applying for HousingNew & incoming students who have not applied to the College should visit the Undergraduate Admissions Application page. There, you will be able view the instructions on how to complete Columbia's online application.
Only after you've confirmed your attendance to the college can you complete a housing application. A $500 online prepayment is due at the time of application. The prepayment and application must be submitted in order to receive a housing assignment. Housing is then assigned to confirmed students on a first-come first-served basis. Applicants will be notified, via email, when a housing contract is available to sign as early as May 1st. Please be sure to regularly check your email account. Housing assignments and other important information will be sent via email.
Currently confirmed or enrolled students seeking on-campus housing can complete the online Housing Application at http://www.colum.edu/housingapp. A $500 prepayment will be required to submit this application for housing. It is recommended that you do this as soon as possible, as housing is assigned to students on a first-come first-served basis.
Spring 2020 Opens at the beginning of October 2019.
Academic Year 2019-2020 Open now. Click here to apply!
Current students and residents of Columbia College, seeking on-campus housing for the next academic year, can to visit the Residence Life Office during our annual Contract Campaign, which will begin in March.
For more information, visit our Contract Campaign FAQ page.
- Housing Contract Types
For students entering in the Fall, Residence Life offers Academic Year contracts, which allows students to stay on campus from the beginning of the Fall semester to the end of the Spring semester.
For students entering in the Spring, we have Spring Only contracts.
The college does not offer summer housing.
- Housing PrepaymentA $500.00 online housing prepayment is required to submit an application for housing. It is applied towards your first semesters' housing costs. This prepayment is an out-of-pocket expense, and 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.
Refunds on the $500 housing prepayment are only available to Fall applicants and only until May 1st, 2018. Requests must be written and emailed to email@example.com 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.
If you miss the May 1st refund deadline, but no longer plan to attend the college, you may be released from any further financial obligations of your housing contract; however, you will not receive a refund on your $500.00 prepayment.
If you are a returning student and secured your housing during Contract Campaign, please refer to your housing contract terms.
- ON-CAMPUS RESIDENCE HALLSColumbia College Residence Life consists of 4 buildings:
- Housing Tours
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. View our campus map!
Because there is constant occupancy in all of the Residence Life buildings, getting a tour of the living spaces can be tricky. We highly recommend attending Columbia College's Fall Open House. 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.
If you cannot make it to our Open House event, you can attend Admitted Student Days and Preview Days in the Spring. Columbia's Admissions Office offers student led walking tours of our campus as well. Housing can be viewed, but it is limited. These tours are available Mondays through Friday, and select Saturdays, throughout the year. Reservations are required. Sign up for a Campus Tour online or by calling the Admissions Office at 312-369-7130.
- Room Types & Pricing
Approximately two thirds of our housing spaces are apartment-style, and the remaining one third of spaces are traditional semi-suite units w/ mandatory meal plans.
Your room type preferences and roommate requests are taken into consideration at the time a housing contract is issued.
Housing contracts are issued by room-type preferences, and NOT specific buildings.
Traditional Shared Semi-Suite w/ Meal Plan — consists of a traditional two-person room at the University Center residence hall. Students share a bathroom with 1 to 3 other students. A 15-meal per week plan is mandatory and included in the cost of the room. In addition to the meal plan, students have access to a kitchenette and community lounge on each floor.
Average semester costs: $7,000.
Shared Bedroom in a Shared Apartment — consists of a two-person bedroom in a 1 to 3 bedroom apartment. Residence Halls that include this room type are: 30 East Balbo, The Dwight & The Arc. The apartment, depending on the number of bedrooms, may house 2 to 6 students and will include one or more bathrooms, a living/dining area, and full kitchen.
Average semester costs: $5,500.
Private Bedroom in a Shared Apartment — consists of a one-person bedroom in a 4 to 5 bedroom apartment. Residence Halls that include this room type are: 30 East Balbo, University Center, The Dwight & The Arc. The apartment, depending on the number of bedrooms, will house 4 to 5 students.
Average semester costs: $7,100.
For specific prices per room, please refer to the Residence Hall Rates.
You will see prices for private studio apartments and private semi-suites, but they are not an option on the application. There are less than 1% of these spaces on campus, and they are usually all secured by returning residents/students during our annual Contract Campaign.
For financial planning purposes, it is strongly recommended to contact Student Financial Services.
- Paying for Housing
Housing costs are billed by semester and will be included on your student bill in CCCPay. You will not receive a separate bill for housing.
To learn more about payment plan options and financial aid, please visit colum.edu/sfs
If you have charges that are not covered by secured financial aid, you must make arrangements to pay your remaining balance in full or establish a payment plan by the payment deadline for the semester. Columbia’s payment deadlines are August 1 for the Fall semester, December 28 for the Spring semester, and May 13 for the Summer term.
- Students with Disabilities
Within the housing application, you are able to specify if you require a reasonable accommodation for housing needs due to an ADA recognized disability.If you require special room accommodations please contact the Services for Student’s with Disabilities (SSD) office.
These disabilities may include (but are not limited to):
- Learning Disabilities
- Communication Disorders
- Psychological Disabilities
- Hearing Impairments
- Visual Impairments
- Other Health or Physical Impairments
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder
- Gender Inclusive Housing
Columbia College Chicago is committed to providing a safe, accepting and inclusive experience for all students. The College has a nondiscrimination policy that includes gender identity and/or expression. This policy extends to student housing. As such, Residence Life is proud to offer Gender-Inclusive Housing (GIH) options. These living options provide an on-campus residence experience that welcomes students across all gender identities and/or expressions, including transgender, questioning or gender non-conforming students. All residential students, regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation have the option of requesting a gender-inclusive room on the housing application.
The GIH options are available on the 3rd & 4th floor of 30 East Balbo and the 2nd & 3rd floor of the Arc. Please note, the Arc houses students who are 20 years and older. Residence Life does not use gender as a criteria in the assignment process. All students assigned to the GIH community will live with others who have requested this living accommodation.
Students may request a roommate through the application process, however, it is a request and cannot be guaranteed. Residence Life encourages students who may require additional GIH accommodation’s to contact us at 312-369-7803 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GIH requests are accommodated based on availability. All students will know the assigned living community at the time a housing assignment is issued within the Housing Portal. The assigned living community will list as Gender Inclusive Community, Honors Community or Standard Community in the first sentence of your housing contract. Students can request by phone or email to be placed on the GIH waitlist in the event they are not initially assigned to a GIH option. Waitlist requests are only accepted by the Residence Life Office after the student has confirmed their original housing contract assignment. This waitlist will be active during the entire academic year, including the summer months leading to fall move-in. Students on the waitlist will be notified via their LOOP email if a space becomes available with an invitation to accept and modify their current assignment and assigned a deadline to respond. Roommate requests may not be accommodated and/or guaranteed if placed on the waitlist.
- Honors Housing
The Honors Community presents an opportunity for students, who are curious & dedicated to learning, and want to further share their passion and interests with those who are academically like-minded, to live with one another. Honors faculty & staff work with residential students in their living environment and provide additional programming opportunities for students in this community.
The Honors Living Community is available in a combination of shared-bedroom and private-bedroom, shared apartment settings on the 14th floor of 30 East Balbo.
Honors housing requests are accommodated based on availability. All students will know their assigned living community at the time a housing assignment is issued within the Housing Portal. The assigned living community will list as Honors Community, Gender Inclusive Community, or Standard Community in the first sentence of your housing contract. Students can request by phone or email to be placed on the Honors Housing waitlist in the event they are not initially assigned to a GIH option. Waitlist requests are only accepted by the Residence Life Office after the student has confirmed their original housing contract assignment. This waitlist will be active during the entire academic year, including the summer months leading to fall move-in. Students on the waitlist will be notified via their LOOP email if a space becomes available with an invitation to accept and modify their current assignment and assigned a deadline to respond. Roommate requests may not be accommodated and/or guaranteed if placed on the waitlist.
Please feel free to contact the Office of the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences with any questions about the Honors Program, or visit, http://colum.edu/honors.
- Room Assignments
Fall applicants can expect a housing contract assignment as early as May.
Spring applicants can expect a housing contract assignment as early as January.
Housing is assigned to confirmed students on a first-come, first-served basis according to when the housing application is completed. 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.
Housing offers are based on room preferences, NOT building preferences.
If you are unable to submit the housing contract by your assigned deadline, please refer to the information in the Housing Contract Deadline section.
If you have completed the housing contract, but are now wanting a different type of space, please refer to the Space Change section.
- 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. Students who are assigned temporary housing are those with the latest application date.
- Room Setting Information
Each University Center semi-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
*Please note: 30 East Balbo provides 1 desk & desk chair per bedroom
- 1 bed with twin extra-long mattress (80" x 36"), per student
*Please Note: certain designated private bedrooms in The Dwight have full-size beds. If you do have a full bed, the room-type in your assigned contract will state "Single Rm Full".
- 1 closet w/ shelf and clothing rack, per student
- 1 dresser, per student
- Sofa and coffee table
- Dining room table w/ chairs or kitchen island w/ stools
- Kitchen w/ stove, oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher (no dishwasher in The Dwight)
- Central air and heat
- Microwaves are included in all apartments.
- Flat Screen TVs are available in the living rooms of The Dwight, 30 East Balbo, and The Arc
- Roomate Assignments
Roommates are assigned based on your housing preference, as well as the roommate preferences you select on your housing application.
How can I find/request a roommate? In the housing application, students can indicate their personal preferences, such as room environment, sleep habits, music, etc, as well as complete a personal profile. This information is then viewable to other applicants, as to allow them to search for potential roommates. The application even provides roommate suggestions, based on the information you've entered. If you would like to request a specific person, they must have an active housing application on file before they can become searchable.For Fall students, roommate assignments will be available starting in July.
Roommate groups must be verified BEFORE housing contracts are sent. We also cannot evalute roommate requests for applicants with incomplete applications. Although we will try to accommodate your requests, they cannot be guaranteed. This is simply a request that is taken into consideration at the time you are issued a housing contract. Roommate groups are not evaluated after you've recieved a contract.
For Spring students, roommate assignments will be available mid-January.
- Housing Contract DeadlinesWhen a student receives a housing contract, they also receive a specific deadline to sign and submit the housing contract received. However, some 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 specific housing contract submission deadline, your assigned contract and housing application will be terminated. However, you can submit a new application and request to have the same $500 prepayment applied to it. Submitting a new application will place you at the end of our applicant pool, and you will have to wait for the next round of contracts to be sent.
Please understand Residence Life cannot guarantee a different assignment will be made, or that you will secure on-campus housing for the academic year. Each following round of housing contract assignments will have less and less options available.
FOR FALL APPLICANTS: If a student has accepted a housing contract but now needs to cancel it, they are able to do so prior to May 1st, 2018 and have their $500 prepayment refunded. After May 1st, you may be released from any further financial obligations of your housing contract if you no longer plan to attend the college, but you will not receive a refund on your $500 prepayment. Cancellation requests must be sent to email@example.com.
Returning students that secured housing during Contract Campaign are not given this cancellation option.
FOR SPRING APPLICANTS: Once your housing contract assignment has been submitted, the $500 prepayment cannot be refunded. You may be released from any further financial obligations of your housing contract if you no longer plan to attend the college, but you will not receive a refund on your $500 prepayment. You must send a housing contract cancellation request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Meal Plans
Meal plans can either be mandatory or optional, depending on the type of space a student has been assigned to. Each plan includes a certain amount of meals and Flex dollars. Meals are on a fixed price, all you care to eat basis. Flex money can be used in the retail store within the dining center, where you will find snacks, smoothies, bottled pop and juices, coffee, packaged salads, frozen food, toiletries, and more to-go items.
Residents assigned to Traditional-Style Semi-Suites in the University Center are provided with MANDATORY meal plans, as these units do not include kitchens. This is about $2,024 per semester, included cost of the room. The meal plan offers 15 meals per week during the Fall and Spring semesters. It also includes $720 in Flex dollars ($360 per semester) to spend at the student’s discretion within the dining facility during the regular academic year.
Residents assigned to apartments may select an optional meal plan.
• For Fall students in apartments, we have the 150 Meal Plan for $1,900. The plan includes 150 meals for the academic year (Fall and Spring semesters), plus $376 in Flex dollars to spend at the student's discretion within the dining facility retail store.
• For Spring students in apartments, we have the 75 Meal Plan for $950. This includes 75 meals for the Spring semester, plus $188 of Flex dollars to spend at the student's discretion within the dining facility retail store.
Please understand these optional plans are strictly supplementary and allow students to have about 3 - 4 meals per week. Students in apartment units cook for themselves and use the this meal plan on occasion; perhaps only for lunch or dinner during the weekdays, in between classes. Several hundred plans are available for purchase each year and are made available on a first-come first served basis until all are sold. If you have been assigned to an apartment, you will have the opportunity to select the meal plan when completing your online housing contract.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).
DINING CENTER HOURS OF OPERATIONFor University Center Residents
Monday - Friday
Breakfast, 7am - 9:00am
Continental, 9:00am - 11am
Lunch, 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Late Night (Flex Only), 9pm - 10:00pm
Saturday & Sunday
Brunch, 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Late Night (Flex Only), 9pm - 10:00pm
Monday - Friday
Lunch, 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Late Night (Flex Only), 9pm - 10pm
Saturday & Sunday
Brunch, 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
However, apartment units do have full kitchens that include a refrigerator and oven. We expect residents without meal plans to cook for themselves, and roommates often share cooking duties. Two major grocery stores are within walking distance of our residence halls, or students may order groceries on-line through a commercial provider (such as Peapod™ or Amazon Prime Pantry). Meal preparation is an important part of the independent living experience available to our students.
- The Residence Life HandbookHave 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 will be notified of move-in information starting in July.
SPRING students TBA.We will notify you via email when your move-in information is available in the housing portal, and will consist of the following:
- Move-in date and time
- Apartment/Room number
- Roommate name(s), contact information and personal profile
- GPA RequirementStudents 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 housing contract may be terminated.
- Space ChangesBeginning at the third week of each semester, students have the option to request a Space Change via the housing portal if they are unsatisfied with their current space.
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, 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 RequestsIf you have a maintenance request for your room/apartment, please notify the management in your building with the information provided below:
731 SOUTH PLYMOUTH - During weekdays, 9am - 5pm, send requests to email@example.com or contact your RA. After 5pm, over the weekend, and during breaks, contact your RA or notify the front-desk security.
UNIVERSITY CENTER - https://sec.360facility.net/universitycenter/360LoginScreen
- Purchasing & Renting Amenities
- Health Services
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.
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 AssistantsResident 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.
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.
- Off-Campus StorageColumbia College Chicago does not offer any storage for residents' belongings. However, there are many storage facilities in the surrounding area. Here are a few:
- U-STOR-IT 615 S. Wabash - 312-662-1946
- 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
- Off-Campus Housing ResourcesColumbia College Chicago does not offer students assistance with finding off-campus housing or roommates, but there are a wide range of online resources to help students with their search.
If you're a first time renter, here are some helpful tips:
And if you aren't familiar with Chicago neighborhoods, this is a good place to start:
Here are some sites we've found to be helpful in apartment searching:
- DOMU specifically targets Chicagoland renters. You can search by neighborhood, apartment criteria, or near Columbia College. These custom-built maps show available apartments nearby and in the surrounding Chicago area.
- You can also check out Zumper. Sort listings by price, number of bedrooms, cat friendly, dog friendly, pet friendly, and time posted. You can also search for results near Columbia College. Available on iOS & Android!
- RentHop is also a good apartment-finding tool, which ranks apartment listings by quality, so only the best rise to the top.
NOTE: We do not recommend these housing options or online-tools over ones that are not listed. We also neither endorse nor have any special arrangement or relationship with the businesses listed. All dealings with these businesses occur strictly between the apartment/business/service and the individual.
- Residence Life Office