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Frequently Asked Questions - Columbus State University

Residence Life

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I'm a First Year student. Do I have to live on campus?
All entering first year students must reside in on-campus housing operated by the university for two semesters (summer term does not apply).

For the full policy, please visit our First Year Housing Requirement webpage.

 2. How many hours do I have to be enrolled in to reside in on-campus housing?
Students must be enrolled in at least one class per semester to reside on campus.

 3. When is the application deadline?
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. First-year students who are required to live on campus are guaranteed housing, but we strongly recommend applying as early as possible to get your first choice of housing or a special roommate request.

 4. Do I have to pay any fees when I apply for housing?
Students pay a one time $200 non-refundable application fee and the Residence Life Activity Fee ($50) at the time of the application. Students are then eligible to participate in online room selection, during the appropriate time.

 5. How can I cancel my housing?
Students that wish to cancel their housing assignment can do so using the Housing Cancellation Form, located on the My Housing Portal.

 6. What if I'm not accepted to CSU?
We strongly encourage students NOT to apply for housing until they are fully accepted to CSU. Students that are not accepted are still bound to the housing contract and associated cancellation penalties.

 7. When can I move in?
Students will be contacted via email by the Residence Life Office in regards to move-in dates. For freshman, the date is typically the Tuesday and Thursday before the first day of classes. This day is called "Move in Day."

 8. What is included in the housing fee?
The Residence Life fee includes rent, all utilities, extended basic cable, basic furnishings, unlimited self laundry and internet/e-mail access.

 9. Do I have to have a meal plan?
Yes, CSU policy requires students to have a meal plan when residing in Residence Life. Students sign up for a meal plan when they complete the online housing room selection process. Please visit the My Housing Portal for updates on rates and fees.

 10. What is "Cougar Cash"?
This is a portion of some meal plans that offers flexibility and variety through a declining balance on your student ID card. The Cougar Cash can be used at any on-campus food establishment throughout the semester.

 11. How does residence life conduct room placement ?
All students will have the opportunity to participate in online room selection. During this process, students will be able to enter the room selection system and choose their own exact room assignment as well as pull in roommates based on the rooms that are available. For first-year and new upperclassman students this will take place in April, May, June,and July for the Fall Semester, and in December for the Spring Semester. To be eligible to participate you must have completed a housing application. Room Selection will be on a first come-first served basis, so we encourage students to apply early to have the best chance of your first room type and roommates.

 12. Will I be able to live with a friend?
Since all of the residents will choose their own room assignments, this is based on whether the students are able to choose the same apartment. It is highly encouraged that students that want to live together apply early and take part in the first room selection to have the best chance of living together.

 13. Are the apartments co-ed?
No, all apartments are gender specific.

 14. Can I have overnight guests?
Overnight guests, including other residents, must be registered 24 hours in advance. The form for this is located in the Student Housing Portal. In addition, they must be approved to stay overnight by the Residence Life staff and the other residents of the apartment. If this form is not completed, all non-residents must leave when visiting hours are over at midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

 15. Are there designated housing areas for first year students?
Traditional-aged freshmen (18-19 years old) are housed in Clearview Hall on Main Campus or Broadway Crossing on the RiverPark campus.

 16. Can first year students have cars on campus?
Yes, each resident is allowed to have one car which can be parked in the Residential parking lots on main campus or in the CSU parking deck, floors 3-5, on the RiverPark Campus. Students must pay the $45 Annual Parking Fee to Park on Campus. See the Parking Office for details.

In addition, Columbus State University has contracted with Zipcar to provide two automobiles available for rent by anyone, 18 or older, who becomes a Zipcar member. You may have already noticed two new, eco-friendly Zipcars parked in front of University Hall: a Honda Insight Hybrid and a Scion xB. To become a member, enroll at

 17. Can I have pets?
Due to health, safety, and sanitation problems, no pets are allowed in the apartments or on the grounds. Small aquariums (10 gallons or less) with fish may be used in an apartment, provided it is kept clean and free of leaks. Students that require an Emotional Support or Service Animal on campus should contact the Center for Accessibility and Access for approval before bringing an ESA to campus.

 18. Should I request to live on the RiverPark Campus or Main Campus?
Students may request to live on either campus regardless of their major. However, most students chose to live on the campus where a majority of their courses take place.

Shuttle Service between the two campuses is readily available for students who live on one campus and attend classes on another.

 19. How can I become a Resident Assistant (RA)?
The RA is a vital part of a team devoted to achieving the objectives of the Residence Life program at Columbus State University. The duties of the RA are many and varied, requiring about 40 hours a month of his/her time. Residence Life holds several interest sessions beginning in November of the fall semester and continuing until RA interviews which are held in February of each spring semester. Applicants are encouraged to attend all selection workshops.

 20. How soon should I complete the online housing application?
As soon as possible! The room selection process is completed several times throughout the summer. Each time the process is completed, all students with a completed application are eligible to choose a room. As we get closer to the Fall Semester, the student is less likely to receive their first housing preference or roommate.

 21. When will I find out what room I am assigned?
Because students now choose their own rooms, as soon as the online selection process is complete, you have locked in your room assignment. Room Assignments and Roommate Information are posted on the My Housing Portal at all times and is updated in real time.

 22. When can I move in?
Students will be contacted via email by the Residence Life Office in regards to move-in dates. For freshman, the date is typically the Tuesday and Thursday before the first day of classes. This day is called "Move in Day."

 23. What can I bring with me?
You can bring basic living items (bedding, toiletries, towels, and kitchenware), as well as a few personal items (television, gaming system, computer, posters, pictures, etc.) We only ask that you do not put nails (small tacks are ok) in the walls or bring your own furniture. For a full list, please check out our What to Bring webpage.

 24. What amenities are provided?
Besides the basics (water, gas, electricity, heating, air, trash), we also provide basic cable, wired and wireless internet, free laundry, and common areas where students can hang out. Additional amenities vary between housing areas. For a full list, check the Main Campus Housing and RiverPark Housing pages.

 25. Who can I contact if I have questions?
Feel free to call the Residence Life Office at (706) 507-8710 or email at Be sure to check your Columbus State email regularly for more information.

 26. How can I request special housing accommodations?
Students with documented disabilities must contact the Center for Accommodations and Access (706-507-8755) in order to request residential accommodations. Once the Center of Accommodations and Access grants the request they will contact the Residence Life Office with the proper accommodations. You can review the Residential Accommodations here.

 27. What size bed sheets do I need?
All students are encourage to purchase twin extra long sheets which will fit of the beds in first-year housing areas at CSU. Students that live in Maryland Circle and Fontaine** will have a double bed.

**Fontaine is a mix of double and twin beds. For exact rooms, visit our Fontaine webpage or contact the Residence Life Office for more details.

 28. Where do I obtain a Campus Mailbox?

Students living on Main Campus can visit the CSU Mail Center, located between University Hall and the Parking Deck, to receive a campus mailbox.

Students living on the RiverPark Campus can visit the RiverPark Residence Life Office to request a campus mailbox.

For more information, please visit our Postal Information webpage.

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