Humboldt State University

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Housing & Residence Life

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Still boggled by all the choices that come with selecting housing? Check out the answers to these Frequently Asked Questions. If, after reading this section, you still have questions, don't hesitate to call the HSU Housing Office at (707) 826-3451.

To start, select a category from the listing:


  • What size are the rooms and what types of rooms are there?
  • The rooms vary in their dimensions depending on the room type. We offer single and double rooms in traditional residence halls as well as in apartment and suite style living. Triple rooms (double rooms converted into triples) are available in the Canyon and the Hill and are offered at a reduced rate. You can view the floor plans of the different areas and see photographs of each type of room on our virtual tour.

  • Are the rooms furnished or do I need to bring my own furniture?
  • The rooms are furnished with a bed, desk, chair, dresser, closet and wastebasket. The beds are extra long twins (34"x78"-80"x6") except for in Creekview and in part of the Campus Apartments where we provide standard twin beds. The apartments and suites are furnished with living room and kitchen furniture. Creekview, Cypress, College Creek and Campus Apartments have refrigerators and stoves in their apartment and suite kitchens. In addition, Creekview and College Creek apartments have microwaves. You can take an online tour of the facilities. Please see the FAQ "I know I need to bring my own linen, but what size should I bring? " in the Moving In section to see a list of Campus Apartment rooms and corresponding bed sizes.


Housing Application Process

  • How do I apply for housing?
  • Our online system at allows any student that is either provisionally admitted, admitted or a continuing HSU student to complete a Housing & Residence Life application. For more detail on how the process works and when the applications are available, please visit our online Housing Application page.
  • If I start the application, am I obligated to live in the residence halls?
  • No. If you start the application but do not complete it, you can cancel it without penalty. Once you complete the application and make your payment, you have entered into an official legal agreement with HSU Housing & Residence Life and the cancellation policy will then apply.
  • What are the application materials?
  • Our online application contains information you need to know about Housing & Residence Life on campus and include the legal document, called the license, that you must complete and sign online in order to be assigned a room. Students under the age of 18 cannot sign the application online and will have a signature page to send in to complete their application process.

    2016-2017 Academic Year: As part of the application process, you must submit the completed application and pay a $200 nonrefundable application fee.

    The application for the academic year will be available at in early March for the fall semester and the end of October for the spring semester. Please visit our Rates and Dates page or your myHousing account for the specific dates the application opens.

    We will send all admitted students an email advising when the online application will become available. All correspondence from Housing will be sent to the personal email address you provided to HSU or your HSU email address if it is active. Please review your myHumboldt account to make sure your email address is current.
  • Are freshmen required to live on campus?
  • Freshmen are not required to live on campus; however, we highly suggest that you do. Living on campus acquaints you with new people from diverse backgrounds pursuing a variety of academic interests. Many of our residents acknowledge they made their best friends while living in the residence halls.

    Living on campus provides an environment for academic success as well as allowing students to develop leadership skills through the various residence hall organizations. It is also very convenient to live on campus where you are in close proximity to the library, faculty, classrooms, and computer labs.
  • Am I guaranteed housing at HSU?
  • We do not guarantee housing to all HSU students. We have space for 2050 students and if demand exceeds our supply, we will offer priority to new freshmen students. We reserved 500 of these spaces for current residents interested in returning to the residence halls for another year and these spaces are allocated via a lottery process. The remaining 1650 spaces are reserved for new freshmen and transfer students.
  • Are single rooms available?
  • We do have a number of single rooms in each living area. However, most of the single rooms are reserved by returning residents who have priority in selecting housing for the next academic year.

    Any singles remaining after current residents have reserved rooms are assigned to new students on a first come, first served basis determined by the date we receive your completed application and nonrefundable application fee. If you are not assigned to a single room, you can request to be placed on a wishlist in the event one becomes available.

    Contact the Housing Office to find out the details of this process as they vary depending on the semester for which you are applying.

  • Can I choose the area in which I want to live?
  • You certainly can and, while we cannot guarantee you will be assigned in your preferred area, we do our best to do so.

    It is important to remember that rooms are assigned on a first come, first served basis that is determined by the date we receive your completed application and nonrefundable application fee. As part of the application process, you will be asked to rank your housing preferences.

    Returning residents returning their completed application by the March deadline and qualify for the lottery will have the opportunity to select their own rooms for the next academic year in our online room selection process.

    We also allow the first 800 new freshman and the first 200 new transfer students to complete their application the opportunity to select their own room online.

  • Speaking of roommates, can I select my own?
  • Yes, you can! The application has a section where you can request a specific roommate. In order for the process to work, you both need to have completed your application. You can go back to your application at any time to add or change a requested roommate. You can now also browse a list of students that have a strong profile match to you, or look for students that have an exact match to your answer to a specific profile question or two. Then you can message them directly through myHousing and start a conversation. If it is a good match, you two can sign up to be roommates

  • If I don't have a preferred roommate and I don't want to find my own, what factors will be used in selecting a roommate for me?
  • When no preferred roommate's name is given, roommates are assigned according to information supplied in the Housing Profile portion of the application materials.

    These questions address issues of lifestyle and other preferences that will help us best match you with a roommate. It is very important that each student completing the questionnaire answer the questions as honestly as possible as this will ensure the best match possible is made for you.

    However, if you return your documents late in the assignment process or if your original roommate cancels, it may be more difficult to find the best match as options may be limited.

  • Will I know who my roommate is before I move into my room?
  • Yes, we supply you with your roommate's name and email address in your myHousing account on the Application Status page. It can be helpful to contact your roommate to get acquainted prior to moving in.

  • What if my roommate cancels before we move in?
  • If this happens, we assign you another roommate as quickly as possible.

  • What if my roommate and I do not get along?
  • Going away to college and living in a residence hall can be a wonderful growing experience. However, it can also be interspersed with homesickness, unexpected changes in lifestyle, and exposure to new thoughts, people and ideas. It may also be the first time you have had to share a bedroom with anyone much less a complete stranger!

    Therefore, it is important for you and your roommate to try to get to know each other as individuals. Time is usually needed for this to happen and we find that even newly assigned roommates usually get along fine.

    We do not allow room moves for the first two weeks of each semester. Students can contact the Housing Office beginning the first day of classes to be placed on a wishlist to move to another area.

    If you need help during the transition process of getting acquainted with your roommate, Residence Life Staff is available to provide assistance in improving roommate relationships. If all else fails, room moves can be made during specific times of the semester as vacant rooms become available.

Rates and Payment Information

  • How much is the application fee?
  • You will need to pay a $200 nonrefundable application fee.
  • How do I pay the application fee?
  • You will make the payment online as part of the online application process. American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard are accepted with a 2.75% service fee. Electronic checks are accepted with no service fee. The Housing Cashier can be reached by telephone at 707-826-5510. The Housing Cashier's Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • What does it cost to live in the residence halls?
  • This varies depending on the type of room you select. You can also view our room rates for the academic year.

  • How do I pay for my housing costs?
  • You are given several payment options. You can pay annually, by semester or monthly.

    If you are on financial aid, you will be charged by the semester. You are personally responsible for any balance due if your financial aid does not cover your entire housing costs. You can request the Financial Aid Plus payment plan with our Housing Cashier to break any remaining amount due into payments, as long as you make this request by the day your financial aid payment is due.

    If you have a meal plan, it is added to the cost of your room so that your payments cover both room and meals.

  • Are payment plans available?
  • Payment amounts and due dates for each type of payment plan are available in pdf on our Rates and Dates page, below the rates table. It is important you refer to this payment plan or the information in myHumboldt because we do not send out invoices notifying you when payment is due. It is your responsibility to refer to the payment plan for that information. Your myHumboldt financial matters section will show each payment due and the due date after your fees are posted.

  • When is my first payment due?
  • As mentioned previously, payment is due with the return of your application. Your next payment is due August 10 for the fall semester. If you plan on attending for spring semester only, your first payment is due January 10. Financial aid payments aren't due until the end of second week of classes to allow time for the aid to disburse.

  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • 2016-2017 Academic Year: Students wishing to cancel their request to live on campus for 2016-2017 must notify the Housing Office in writing, by fax or by e-mail of this decision by July 16, 2015. Notifying any other university office does not satisfy your obligation to notify the Housing Office in writing. Such requests which are postmarked or received by July 16 will be honored, all cancellations will forfeit the nonrefundable application fee of $200. Requests postmarked or received between July 17 - August 15, 2015, will be honored; however, these requests will forfeit the $200 nonrefundable application fee plus be charged a prorated daily penalty fee for each day of notice which is less than the required 30 days. Beginning August 16, 2015, cancellations are no longer valid and students will be held financially responsible for their academic year room and board fees per the license agreement. The only time the fees are waived is if we are unable to offer or guarantee you a space by August 16, 2015 and you then cancel your request to live on-campus. If you remain on the wait list after August 16 and we offer or guarantee you a room and you decline it, you will be held financially responsible for the entire academic year room and board fees, per the license agreement.



Dining Services

  • What about a meal plan—do I have to have one?
  • If you live in Sunset, Redwood, Cypress or Canyon you must have a full meal plan. If you live in Creekview, you are required to have a minimally, a Mini meal plan. Meal plans are not required in Campus Apartments or College Creek. View the meal plan rates for the academic year.

  • Why do the meal plans have different prices?
  • The meal plans are priced differently because they are different sizes and are designed to fulfill the distinct eating habits of a variety of students.

    Each meal plan includes fixed operating costs that cover the expense for staff wages, benefits, supplies, rent, insurance, utilities, etc., plus an allocation of points for the purchase of food. Students receive half of their points for the fall semester and the other half of their purchased points for the spring semester.

    More information about dining services can also be found on the dining services page, more info about points can be found under meal plans.

  • What are points?
  • Each food item has a specific point value and food is purchased using these points. When you purchase a food item, the dining cashier electronically deducts these points from your meal plan account.

    For example, if you purchase a blueberry waffle the cost is 100 points; a cheeseburger is 135 points; baked potato is 75 points; vegetarian burrito is 65 points; and so forth.

    The dining cashier can tell you how many points you have remaining so that you can keep track of your spending and better budget your allocation of points.

Moving In

  • When can I move into my room?
  • Spring 2016: Check-in begins on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 9am! 

    Fall 2016: Check-in begins on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 7am!

    For more information about check-in, visit "Getting Started in Your New Home."
  • What should I bring?
  • We suggest that you bring all of the special items that will make your new home feel like home . but you can't bring everything!

    Some of the basic items you might want to add to your list are:

    • Blankets
    • Mattress Pad
    • Linens
    • Pillows
    • Towels
    • Posters and pictures
    • Alarm clock (you don't want to be late for class!)
    • Stereo/radio (headphones are helpful!)
    • Telephone (your family wants to hear from you!)
    • Computer
    • Multi-outlet plug in strip
    • Study lamp
    • Flashlight (in case of power outage)
    • Laundry supplies (yes, you have to do laundry!)

    You might also want to bring:

    • Coffee pot
    • Bicycle
    • Minirefrigerator (which you can also rent online at
    • Microwave
    • Dishes, silverware and pots and pans if living in an apartment or suite
    • Storage bins
    • Iron (please note: irons are only allowed to be used in the laundry rooms)
    • Plastic bucket/container for toiletries and any other personal items you may need.

    You can bring a television but, if not, Sunset, Redwood, and Canyon have TV lounges in each building. There are also large screen TV's in the Creekside Lounge, the College Creek Great Room and the Jolly Giant Commons Recreation Room.

  • I know I need to bring my own linen, but what SIZE should I bring?
  • You will need to bring sheets, mattress pad, pillowcases, blankets, bedspread/comforter and a pillow. The beds in every area except Creekview Apartments and some Campus Apartment beds are extra long twin beds (Creekview beds and some Campus Apartment beds are standard twins). The extra long mattresses measure approximately 39" wide by 80" long by 6" thick.

    If you live in the Campus Apartments, all beds are extra long twin beds EXCEPT for the following: double rooms 1-16, 25-32, 40-47 on the A2 or B1 side and double rooms 17-24, 33-39, 48-55 on the A1 or B2 side. All single rooms have extra long twin beds.

  • If I bring a computer will I be able to access the Internet?
  • Yes, our ResNet computer connectivity program allows every resident to have ability to access the internet through wired or wireless connections.

    Wireless is now available in many areas throughout the residence halls and the Jolly Giant Commons. Campus Apartments is an exception, and has wireless internet only throughout the building.

    Visit the ResNet web page for more information.

  • What about cable TV and telephone service?
  • Cable TV is available through Suddenlink Communications in all areas. You can contact Suddenlink Communications at 1-877-443-3127. Please provide your room number and building (eg 5555 Cypress) and tell them if you are activating service in a bedroom or in a living room.

    Telephone service is provided by AT&T. It is your responsibility to contact AT&T for installation. They have established a special telephone number for university students to call to set up service. This number is 1-877-722-6787 (1-877-7CAMPUS).

    In addition, AT&T has a web site where you can request phone service. The web address is Request new service and enter your address as your room number, building name and use the word "Hall" after your building name (for example, 1025 Redwood Hall). Enter Arcata as the city and the zip code is 95521.

    This should work for all areas with the exception of the Campus Apartments. The entry for the Campus Apartments would be your mailing address plus the apartment number (for example, 355 Laurel Dr, #4B).

    It is helpful to contact AT&T before you arrive on campus to arrange to have your phone connected on a particular day. If you wait until you arrive it can be a number of days before your phone is installed.

  • What recreational facilities and social activities are offered in the residence halls?
  • The Jolly Giant Commons has a recreation room with a large screen TV, pool table, video games, and piano. It also has a weight room, hot tub and sauna. The Creekside Lounge has a large screen TV, pool table, and video games. The College Creek Great Room has a fireplace, balcony and large screen TV. There are also a tremendous variety of social activities and programming that occurs in the residence halls.

  • If I need help, are there people in the residence halls I can contact?
  • YES! A student staff member called a CA or Community Advocate is assigned to each floor, wing or building in every residence hall on campus. These students have been hired through a competitive selection process and trained in communication, human resource management and group facilitation.

    The CA Staff is supervised by Residence Life Coordinators who are highly trained professional staff dedicated to providing an atmosphere of mutual caring and respect among students and staff alike.

    The entire Residential Life and Housing and Dining staff is committed to assisting students in any way possible. This includes answering questions about the University and its various departments and helping with roommate, personal, social and/or academic problems.

    They are also involved in organizing group activities and a variety of interesting programs in which everyone can participate. Our staff works hard to build a diverse community within the residence halls and to help you succeed as a student at HSU!

  • Are the residence halls closed during university breaks?
  • No, you are allowed to stay in your room during all university breaks. Services are reduced, however, and for the most part, dining services are not available.

  • Can I bring my car to campus?
  • We discourage students from bringing their cars. Parking is highly impacted in the residence hall areas. If you bring your car you may have to park in lots that are not in close proximity to your residence.

    We highly encourage new Humboldt students, especially freshmen, not to bring a car to HSU for their first year. Zipcar for Universities is now at HSU! For more information visit

    Parking permits currently cost $157.50 per semester (2016-2017 school year) and do not guarantee that you will have a place to park. The Jack Pass allows students to ride local bus systems for free and downtown Arcata is a pleasant 10-15 minute walk from the university.

  • Can I bring a pet?
  • Warm-blooded, feathered and poisonous pets are prohibited in the residence halls at all times.

    Fish, reptiles and amphibians are allowed provided they are adequately contained in an aquarium/container no larger than 10 gallons. Each resident is allowed one aquarium with the exception being in a triple room where only a total of two aquariums/containers would be allowed. The fish/reptile/amphibian must adequately fit in the aquarium/container as prescribed by a professional able to determine such matters (pet store owner, scientist, etc.).

    You must consult with your roommate prior to bringing the pet to address any concerns your roommate might express.

  • Are there laundry facilities in the residence halls?
  • Yes, each area has laundry facilities for the residents' use. The cost to wash is $1.50 per load and drying is $1.50 per hour. The laundry facilities are operated by WASH Services, a nationally known university laundry service. Before you haul all your laundry to the laundry room, visit Laundry Alert to see if there are any washers or dryers available.

  • Are microwaves provided in the residence halls?
  • Yes! Microwaves are available in these residence halls:

    Sunset and Redwood: in the 1st floor kitchen.

    Cypress suite: 4150, 4140, 4120, 4110, 4240, 4230, 4210, 4310, 4410, 4810, 4820, 4910, and 4920. The remaining suites will include a microwave once they have been remodeled.

    Campus Apartments: 1st level lounge.

    Canyon: on the 1st level.

    Creekview: in each apartment.

    College Creek: in each apartment.

  • What other kitchen appliances are available for use in my residence hall?
  • Sunset and Redwood: a refrigerator and stove on the 1st floor.

    Cypress: a refrigerator and stove. Dishwashers are located in remodeled apartments, 4110, 4210, 4310, 4320, 4410, 4420,4510, 4520, 4810, 4820, 4910, and 4920. The remaining suites will include a dishwasher once they have been remodeled.

    Canyon: a refrigerator and stove on the 1st level.

    Campus Apartments: a refrigerator and stove in the shared kitchen.

    Creekview: a refrigerator and stove in each apartment.

    College Creek: a dishwasher, refrigerator and stove in each apartment.

  • Is smoking allowed in the residence halls?
  • Smoking is not permitted inside any residence hall facility at any time.

    In fact, in an attempt to promote healthy choices, the University has adopted a new smoking policy that allows for smoking only in 18 designated areas on campus. Seven of these designated areas are in the vicinity of the residence halls.

    Please refer to the University Smoking Policy for more details.

  • What are some of the other policies and guidelines I need to observe?
  • We want our facilities to be a place where residents can live in an environment where they are respected and valued. There are policies and guidelines that have been created to protect the rights of students and encourage their responsibility in creating a safe and healthy living environment. For more info read and download the Reslife Handbook.

Additional Questions