University Housing Blog

Everything you need to know about self-selection and roommates

Incoming students begin selecting their residence hall room this week. While it’s an exciting time for many, there can be lots of questions about how to find the best person and what to do in the contract system to make sure you get what you want.

Here’s some tips for success!

WHAT’S AN ENTRY TIME?

Students who completed their Housing Contract by May 15 received an email with their assigned entry time. Students can select a room any time from the start of their assigned time through June 8. Students who were approved for a living-learning community (LLC) received a special entry time frame with a beginning and end time that allowed them opportunity to choose a room in that LLC. 

KNOW YOUR ROOMMATE ALREADY?

Some people find comfort in choosing a roommate that they already have some sort of connection to. Maybe you know the person from your high school, or maybe you have a few mutual friends. 

If you and your potential roommate completed your contract before May 15 and accepted each other as mutually accepted roommates, you were both assigned the same random entry time so that you can choose your room at the same time. Both roommates need to select the same room during the same entry time. 

For those with a mutually accepted roommate selected by May 15, take these steps to choose your room (you can follow the same process for a double or triple room).

  • Roommate 1 logs into the Housing Contract system and looks for an available room. For a double, look for a room that says 2/2 which means two available spaces in a two-person room. Select your room.
  • Select the preferred bed/side of the room – A or B. Note: This is for selection purposes only. Once you move in to the room in August, you can decide which side you prefer and how to place your beds.
  • Place Roommate 2 in the remaining room space and click save and continue at the bottom of the page.  Note: If roommate 1 places roommate 2, roommate 1 will not be able to change or move roommate 2. 
  • Roommate 1 will then be asked to finalize their contract by selecting a meal plan.
  • Roommate 2 will log into the Housing Contract system and see the room space they have been assigned by their roommate. Roommate 2 then confirms the room and the bed/side of the room by clicking save and continue. 
  • Roommate 2 will then be asked to finalize their contract by selecting a meal plan.
  • Both roommates will receive a notice to confirm their selections in late June.

STILL LOOKING FOR A ROOMMATE?

Other people like to branch out and find a new person who may have similar interests to be a roommate. Although it's better to have a roommate selected before May 15, you still have some options to find a roommate. One way to do this is to look at the profile in the Housing Contract. Or meet people at events such as Summer Registration. There is also an unofficial Illinois Class of 2022 Facebook page where students look for potential roommates. 

For those still looking for a roommate, here’s some things to consider:

  • If you are assigned an entry time and have a roommate in mind, then you will both need to manually coordinate your room selection. It’s easiest to do this around the person who has the latest entry time (because that’s when both people can access the system) or to wait until the open change period which starts Friday, May 25 after 5 p.m. CST. 
  • Remember that only one person can select space in a room at a time. Roommate 1 should make their selection and Roommate 2 should select the adjacent bed/side of the room directly after roommate 1 clicks save and continue. Try being on the phone, messaging, Facetime, etc. with your roommate for good communication while making selections. For popular locations, a long delay between the two selections could result in another student choosing the remaining space in the room. 
  • If one roommate submitted a Housing Contract by May 15 and the other roommate has not submitted a Contract, it is very difficult for students to be assigned together. Students need to decide which is more important, living in a particular location or living with a particular roommate. If the roommate who contracted before May 15 doesn’t pick a space during their assigned entry time, the Housing Information Office can make an assignment for the two students desiring to live together if two spaces are available together after June 8.

NO PREFERRENCE

Some students are okay being paired up randomly with a roommate. When your assigned entry time comes, take these steps to select a room:

  • Place yourself in a double room that already occupied (look for 1/2 which indicates there is one available space in a two-person room.) You can click on the magnifying glass next to the 1/2, then click on “View Profile” on the next page to review the person's profile information. 
  • You can also place yourself in a double room (look for 2/2 which indicates there are two available spaces in a two-person room.)  An unknown roommate will come and select the other available space.

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR NEW ROOMMATE

In June, you will get a confirmation of your room selection and the contact information for your new roommate. Talking to someone for the first time is undoubtedly awkward and can even feel a bit like speed dating sometimes. Each conversation and person is different, but here are some important subjects to mention when speaking to your roommate for the first time.

1. Study habits. Does your potential roommate like to study in his or her room? If so, does it need to be silent? This may pose a problem if you plan on blasting music in the room at all times.

2. Visitors. If your friends from high school want to visit and stay in your dorm, will your roommate be upset? It would definitely be a better idea to answer this question now, rather than later.

3. Sleeping habits. You definitely don’t want to be up and about in the room at 3 in the morning if your roommate goes to bed at 11 or 12 each night.

4. Sharing personal or general belongings. Everyone has a different level of comfort with sharing. You may be ok with sharing a TV but not food or clothes. Set ground rules for sharing items.

5. Common interests. You’re going to be living with this person for at least a year, so you want to make sure that you share some interests! This could be anything from going to the gym together, music, or watching a TV show together every week.

Good luck on choosing your room and finding your perfect roomie! If you have any problems or concerns about your room selection, don’t hesitate to contact the Housing Information Office at housing@illinois.edu.