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Admitted Student Questions: Housing

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Moving to college to live on campus is a great decision. It connects you to your university, encourages involvement and helps support your academic success (not to mention being affordable and convenient!) But for many, this will be the first time living away from home. It’s a big step and it can be intimidating. We know you have a lot of questions and we’re here to help.

How do you apply for housing? 

It’s an easy online application.  This page will walk you through the steps.

Do you have to be enrolled at PSU in order to live in campus housing, or does a dual enrollment qualify me for staying in PSU housing?

Undergraduate students must be enrolled in 8 credits at PSU each term they live on campus.  Read more about academic eligibility.

When is the Housing Deposit due by?

Housing Contract fees for 2020-21 consist of a $50 non-refundable application fee and a $140 Spring Prepayment.  When a student completes a contract online, they can opt to pay for the $190 Housing Contract fees in full with a credit card. Some students can choose to defer their contract fees. The fees will then be deferred to the bill for the term for which they've applied for housing.  Instead of being refunded in spring, your Spring Housing charges will be reduced by $140, thus returning the prepayment to you. The Spring Prepayment is refundable on cancellations through our Priority Deadline, which we have extended to June 1st, 2020.  

Are freshmen required to live on campus?

First year students who live on campus perform better in the classroom.  They have higher GPAs, are more likely to stay in school, and graduate faster than peers who live in apartments off campus. Our First Year Experience (FYE) program helps first-year students transition from high school to an urban campus, find academic support, and create a home at Portland State University. The community is supported by student staff and professionals who understand the needs of first-year students and create communities that help foster social connections and community engagement.  We encourage freshmen to live on campus for its proximity to classes, competitive rates, access to resources and opportunities to make friends, but it is not required.  Approximately half of PSU freshmen live on campus.  

When do housing assignments go out?

Housing assignments for First Year Experience students will begin April 30th. Transfer assignments are going on now.  Assignments are made in the order contracts are received, so it’s always a good idea to submit your housing contract as soon as you can.  Read more about Assignments.  

How many people living on campus have a roommate? 

Most freshmen have a roommate, though you may indicate a single preference when submitting your housing contract.  Transfer students can submit a housing contract with a single-only preference, meaning that you would only accept a single unit.  

If we are going to be living at home, do we have to decline housing or anything like that?

For housing, no. You only need to take action if you plan to live on campus and you would start by filling out a contract.

If I’m a science major, do I have to live in the STEM First Year Experience community?

No. You get to choose your community. You can see the First Year Communities that are available.  The STEM community is open to students of all majors.

If I want to be in the honor’s college housing but I have a roommate request who isn’t in the program, can she still live in the honor college dorms with me?

Unfortunately, no, but you can live together in any of the non-honors communities.  We would recommend the Viking or STEM communities for honors students electing not to live in the honors community, as they do not have an associated Freshman Inquiry course.  Honors students will not take Freshman Inquiry, as they will instead be taking Honors curriculum that fulfills their general education requirement.  

Do students living on campus have access to student parking?

Students living on campus may buy a parking pass and have access to residential spaces, but we ask you to consider if you will actually need one. Students can ride the streetcar and can ride Biketown bikes for free. Portland is also known for terrific public transportation. Students can save a lot of money by not having a car with them on campus.

Is housing all year long including holiday break? I’m a second home student and have nowhere to stay for next year.

Yes! Portland State is one of the few universities that allow (and encourage!) students to live on campus all year long. In fact, we have student celebrations for many holidays. One of the most popular is our student Thanksgiving feast, which we call Turkey Thursday.  

Do we have to pay extra to live in the dorms during break times?

No, you do not need to pay extra to remain on campus during breaks.  Summer term is a separate contract, so if you plan to stay on campus through summer, you should submit a summer contract. 

If I don't sign up for housing my freshman year, can I apply for housing for my sophomore year?

You sure can. We are always here for students that want to live on campus including any year, whether undergraduate or graduate students.  We would recommend our Second Year Experience community for second year students.  

Do any freshman dorms have ovens (not just stovetops)?

Currently, the Honors community in Stephen Epler is the only freshman housing option with an oven. 

Is there student housing where I can live with my significant other or spouse?

We do have a limited number of unfurnished one bedroom apartments for families.  We allow spouses or domestic partners in these units.  You will need to complete our Family Member and Domestic Partner Form along with some supporting documentation.  

I have a long-term girlfriend. Is there an option where we could live together if she isn't a student at PSU?

We currently allow only family and domestic partners to live on campus.  

How is second year housing compared to regular dorm style living?

We have a wide variety of options for second year students, ranging from traditional dorm-style living to a one bedroom apartment all to yourself.  We encourage you to review your options and select the one that works best for your needs.  

Is the option of being an RA only open to sophomores and above? How do I apply to become an RA?

We post applications at the end of November for the following academic year’s placements.  If you are starting at PSU this fall, we encourage you to apply to become a student leader in your second year!

Should I apply for housing even if I am unsure if I will be living on campus?

I would recommend checking out our housing options for freshmen and transfer students.  We have a really broad range of options, including many that are apartment-style.  

I’m an older transfer student. Are options available for single apartments near campus for students like myself?

We have apartments right on campus!  The furnished one-bedroom apartments in Blumel are our most popular option for transfer students.  Read more about our transfer student housing options.  

Is there any way to avoid the required food program with housing?

Meal plans are only required for first year residents.  We have found that for these students, the meal plan eases the transition from living at home to living independently.  It also helps simplify your life while you are becoming a college student.  Transfer and second year residents are not required to have a meal plan, though optional meal plans are available.  

I already paid my $190 Housing fee but I have recently decided not to live on campus. Is it possible to get a refund and how do I request one?

The $50 application fee is non-refundable.  The $140 spring prepayment is refundable on cancellations before June 1.  Please contact us at housing@pdx.edu if you would like to cancel your housing contract.  

How much is housing for only one year? Does PSU offer low-income housing?

We have a wide range of housing options at a wide variety of price points.  Check out our rates to find the best option for you.  

For housing, can you pay monthly or does it need to be per term?

We bill by the term, but PSU has a monthly payment plan so that you can break your term charges into three monthly payments.  You will need to enroll in the payment plan each term.  

If we request a specific roommate and they request me as well are we guaranteed to be with them?

Yes!  You will receive your roommate notice in August confirming this information.  

How tall are the beds? I’m 6’7 and was hoping to take off the footboard.

I would recommend selecting a unit in Broadway or Ondine, all of which have extra-long twin beds.  The quads in Blackstone and all units in St. Helens also have extra-long twin beds.  

If COVID-19 keeps the college closed for fall term, will housing assignments continue for fall and would students have the opportunity at that point to terminate their housing contract?

We are monitoring the developments related to COVID-19 very closely.  We can promise you that we will be flexible — much more flexible than off-campus landlords!  When it was announced that all spring classes would be offered remotely, our residents were given the opportunity to move out and cancel their housing contract for a full refund of all spring term housing charges.  It’s also really important to us to continue to provide on-campus housing for students who do not have a home away from campus.  We still have about 650 students living with us in the residence halls during this time and we have taken extra precautions to ensure their safety, including moving all residents to a single room without charging a higher rate. 

Can’t find an answer to your question? Contact us to get more information.

Future Students, On Campus Housing, Downtown Portland, Portland State