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Living On-Campus Makes all the Difference

Students who live on Boise State’s campus have so much more to gain than just a place to sleep and study. Living within walking distance to classes and close proximity to the excitement of downtown Boise adds tremendous value to any Bronco’s first-year experience. It can also be easier for Broncos who live in our close-knit residence hall communities to find friends, take part in unforgettable student life experiences and make use of the on-campus resources that enhance their quality of life and help them succeed academically.

If you’re ready to start your journey to living on campus, on this page you can find tips and tricks from current Bronco students and parents on how to make the most of your first-year housing experience!

Aerial view of on-campus housing


The nine residence halls at Boise State provide a variety of amenities, accommodations, and price points tailored to meet the different needs of first-year students. Students living in first-year residence halls are required to purchase a meal plan, which gives them access to dining options on campus.

Students who get to know our residence halls can make informed decisions about the option that’s the best fit with their needs. Incoming students can explore floor plans online, attend a virtual info session from the comfort of their homes, or visit us for an in-person tour of residence halls!

Chris Lowe and RJ
Chris and RJ Lowe

For out-of-state students like business major RJ Lowe and his father, Chris, getting to see the residence halls in person and speak with on-campus housing staff is what helped seal the deal.

“We attended Bronco Day and I’m glad we did because we came to campus with an idea of our top three choices,“ says Chris, “but having the chance to walk around campus and see the proximity of different halls to RJ’s most-visited buildings and things like dining locations helped us easily narrow things down. I’d highly recommend on-campus visits to other incoming families.”


Once students have determined their preferred housing, Boise State provides an application process that ensures as many students get their preferred assignment as possible. First-year Fall 2023 Housing Applications open on March 15 for those who have submitted their Intent to Enroll.

Learn more about the Housing Application Deadlines and Fees

“Altogether, [the application] was surprisingly easy-to-navigate and user-friendly,” says Chris, “RJ filled it out on his phone and it was a breeze.”

Housing assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis, prioritizing assignments based on application time and date. If you’re interested in intentional living communities, be sure to check out the Living Learning Program (LLP) as an additional housing option. RJ was able to secure his top choice by following one sage piece of advice from counselors: apply immediately when the application opens. With limited availability in residence halls, this is the best way to reduce your chances of falling on a waitlist for your preferred housing option. If you do end up on a waitlist, Housing and Residence Life will send you a weekly email with your updated status.

Housing assignments are mailed to students in April, and for those who have questions about the process, housing staff are available to assist and provide timely reminders along each step of the way.

“There are lots of checklists that I’m used to juggling as a parent, but if I could pass along one tip, it’d be to stay on top of the emails we received from Boise State’s housing team,” says Chris, “They really helped us keep up with hitting all the important deadlines.”


Shannon Laird
Shannon Laird

It’s no secret that choosing where to live can be just as important as the person you choose to live with. So, Boise State allows students to get to know other incoming students and find their best roommate fit through the online StarRez housing service. A matching algorithm helps Broncos explore their options and connect like-minded students with complementary traits.

“When making a profile, it helped to be able to select things like my sleeping pattern, eating habits, hobbies and things like that and get sent matches,” says Shannon Laird, current Marketing and Digital Media student.

Shannon started her first year at Boise State at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an out-of-state student from Utah, Shannon didn’t know many other students in the incoming class and the circumstances surrounding the pandemic made it otherwise difficult to meet people in advance.

“You might think that meeting people like this is a little weird at first, and it kinda is,” says Shannon, “But when you just let the process happen, it’s a pretty good system for finding someone you can live civilly with–whether or not you end up becoming best friends.”

If you’ve already got someone in mind you’d like to room with prior to your application and would like to skip the roommate search, that’s possible too. One of the best things students can do to ensure that they secure a room with a friend is for both students to coordinate in advance, apply to housing early, and ensure that they select the same top choice for a preferred residence hall.


Move-In at Bronco Welcome

Starting college and living away from home for the first time is a significant lifestyle change for many. As Move-In Day approaches, it’s normal for parents and students to feel a blend of nervous excitement as they begin to anticipate what’s in store for them.

“It was kind of a leap of faith as you’re preparing your future students to manage that level of freedom and responsibility,” says Chris.

That’s why Boise State provides a network of helpful resources during this transition and cultivates an open and friendly community that nurtures personal growth. One of the ways that our on-campus housing achieves this is by implementing community standards that ensure Boise State is a place where everyone has the right to feel welcomed and safe.

Within the first week of move-in, Chris was delighted to hear that RJ quickly found a circle of friends through Orientation programming and interactions at his residence hall. And when Parent & Family Weekend came around, the opportunity to visit RJ in his hall, meet his friends, and picnic with their families gave Chris some peace of mind.

“It’s been really good for him. Staff, professors and fellow parents we’ve met have been very supportive,” says Chris, “There’s so many great resources available to the students and the parents, and so we feel connected even when we’re a thousand miles away.”

The secret to getting the most of your first-year housing experience is making it your own. For Shannon, bringing personal items to her dorm room, like a favorite “comfort” blanket of hers, helped make the space feel home. And finding her community took getting involved with on-campus student clubs, sports, and organizations.

“When you get to campus, you realize that there’s so much to do,” says Shannon, “I’m a very big doer and eventually you realize that a lot of what you get out of this experience is what you put into it.”


While we wish every student could get the opportunity to live on campus, it’s not possible for everyone due to limited on-campus housing availability. Boise State’s partnership with College Pads’ off-campus housing marketplace will allow you to review apartments in the area, safely meet potential roommates (access is limited to those who can log in with a Boise State account), and access educational resources. If you do sign a lease elsewhere, it is extremely important that you contact Housing and Residence Life to cancel your application for on-campus housing to avoid cancellation penalties.

We recognize that there is a lot that goes into applying for housing, moving in, and everything in-between. So, our Housing and Residence Life team is always here to help. Have a burning question? Find answers to your FAQ’s, explore self-serve resources, and contact a housing representative by visiting our Help Center.

Visit Housing Help Center

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