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FAQs for Living on Campus Fall 2020

Residence Halls FAQs (Updated August 4)

Living On Campus

What’s the good news?

The good news is that Boise State is reopening and students will have the opportunity to live on campus in the fall. Research continually shows that students who live on campus have higher GPAs, greater levels of engagement and satisfaction, continue their college journeys at higher numbers, and graduate faster.

Opening housing amidst a global pandemic is full of challenges and opportunities. We believe this is an exciting time to build friendships, examine our values, uncover our ideas of ourselves and society, and build connections as we (re)discover and redesign how we relate to one another.

Our community’s success will depend on each one of us caring for and looking out for one another. We’ll focus on meaningful interactions in small environments and forging deep friendships.

Because this is a very dynamic situation, these plans are based on the most up-to-date information we have at this time and may change depending on many factors that are largely out of our control.

Can I still apply to live on campus?

Yes, we receive applications every day. The demand for living on campus is strong and we’re processing room assignments as quickly as we can. Processing continues all summer so don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear from us right away.

Does Housing and Residence Life plan to reduce occupancy in residence halls?

At this time, we intend on reducing our inventory by a small number of beds to set aside space for use by students who need to self-isolate during the fall term. This won’t reduce our space dramatically but will allow us to ensure that we have rooms available if and when students need to distance themselves from the community.

Do I have to get tested prior to arrival for move-in?

Due to the lack of capacity for testing, asymptomatic testing will not be required of residential students before they move into Boise State residence halls and apartments for the Fall semester.

Will students room together in doubles this year?

Yes. After consultation with medical and public health experts, we’ve decided to continue double and single room occupancy. We’ll be following the recommendations of the CDC to reduce the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19. Each student will also need to follow CDC and university guidelines for community living as detailed in our housing license agreement addendum and community standards.

How can I request to live in a single room?

We collect your preferred room type when you apply for housing at Boise State. While we take those preferences into consideration when making your room assignments, we make those assignments based on the date and time you completed your application. Assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis, and we can’t guarantee that you’ll be assigned to the specific room type you requested.

How do I request a room change?

You may email your request to While we do make note of these requests and do our best to accommodate, the strong demand for on-campus housing severely limits our ability to process room or community changes during the months of June, July, and August.

Will I be able to have guests in my room?

You will not be allowed to have guests in your room, even if they are residents of your community.

What will life be like in on-campus housing this fall?

We provide programming, events and activities, as well as educational and professional opportunities only available to on-campus residents. We’re committed to providing you with a fun and engaging place to call home.

What support staff is available?

Each community has an assigned Resident Director (RD) responsible for the operations and residential health of that community. Reporting to the RD is a team of Resident Assistants (RAs) who live in the communities as embedded resources for our residents. Our maintenance and custodial staff handle the cleaning and support our physical infrastructure. Our desk staff provides extended hour assistance to students who need to pick up packages and mail, submit maintenance requests or ask questions. Our department has on-call staff available 24/7 to support residents if any issues arise outside of normal business hours.

What about food?

The latest guidelines from the CDC are being incorporated into our day-to-day operations. Information about these new protocols can be found on the Dining Services website. Meal plans are mandatory for first-year students. Choose your meal plan through your myHousing portal before September 4. After then, you’ll be automatically enrolled in the Big Blue All Access meal plan.

Will I be able to attend online class sessions from my residence hall?

We’re very confident that, even with increases in students logging into virtual class sessions, we’ll be able to handle the load. You’ll have access to the Help Desk at the Zones, the campus support system with phone, email, and in-person support. Support staff can even conduct remote sessions with you to walk you through processes, install software, and solve any problems you may have with your personal computer.

What are the housing options after most classes go online following fall (Thanksgiving) break, November 23-29?

On-campus housing will remain open and staffed through the end of the semester. Students living in the residence halls who go home for break are asked to stay at home to finish the remaining three weeks of courses. This allows for the campus to reduce the risk of exposure to and spread of COVID-19. If you choose to come back to campus after traveling home for the break you’ll need to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Self-isolation rooms will not be provided in this case. Please talk with your roommate about the impact of travel on one another and make plans accordingly.

Students who elect to stay home after the break will not receive a housing or dining refund.

Students may also choose to remain on campus over fall break. Services on campus will remain open and students can finish out the semester without the need to self-isolate.

My family wants to see my room, can they come into the room?

Non-residents will only be allowed to enter the space on your assigned move-in day if they are assisting you with the moving process. Please see our Fall 2020 Move-in FAQ page for more information on the logistics of move-in day. After move-in day, only residents of your room/suite will be allowed to be present in the space.

We encourage you to explore our outdoor spaces, such as walking the Boise Green Belt, touring outside campus art and buildings, or having dinner at one of our downtown restaurants.

If my roommate says it is okay to have guests and we agree to follow all guidelines, can we still bring in a guest?

At this time, guests will not be allowed in the residence hall or apartment communities, even with permission from roommates/suitemates. The department will continue to assess and update the guest policy throughout the semester.

My friends living in the building can’t visit my suite/apartment?

Correct. We encourage you to hang out outside or in spaces where you can adequately social distance. Look for the virtual programs offered by your RA or Boise State community.

If the university makes the decision to close on-campus housing, will I be refunded for housing fees?

If the university decides to close the residence halls in order to protect the health and safety of the campus, as we did in the spring 2020 semester, we will coordinate decisions on prorated refunds with the State Board of Education. Future decisions like this one will be made with the best information available at that time and with the input of state and local officials.

Room Assignments

When will I receive my assignment?

The earliest room assignments were sent on June 8 to Boise State email addresses and we continue to make assignments on the basis of availability.

When will I receive/sign the addendum to the housing license agreement?

You’ll get the license agreement addendum when you receive your room assignment on June 8. You’ll sign it electronically, through your myHousing portal (the same way you completed your original housing application). July 31 is the deadline to cancel your housing application and receive a refund of your down payment.

What do I do if I applied for housing but no longer want to live on-campus?

You can cancel your application for housing through your myHousing Portal. If you need help with that, you can contact our main office. Important dates for your calendar:

July 31: last day to cancel your application and avoid a buyout fee of $500.

Health Guidelines

What will be expected of students living in on-campus housing?

Student behavior is one of the most impactful factors to protect our campus from the spread of COVID-19. Students will need to sign an addendum to the housing license agreement. This addendum commits you to a number of practices that are vitally important, which may include wearing a face covering, ongoing testing, observing physical distancing practices while in public spaces, reporting to our staff and agreeing to self-isolate if you exhibit symptoms, and not traveling out of the area unless critically necessary. All of these requirements are based on the current guidance from the CDC. If you have underlying health issues that you believe put you at a higher risk to COVID-19, living on campus in a dense community environment may not be the best choice at this time.

What if I don't want to observe the CDC and university guidelines?

The safety of our students is our highest priority. Therefore, we take COVID-19 guidelines seriously. Violation of these standards may be treated as formal conduct violations and repeated offenses will constitute a formal violation of your housing license agreement, which could result in removal from on-campus housing. We want to be up-front with students about these expectations so that they can make individual decisions about committing to living on-campus this year.

Will the university provide me with cleaning supplies and sanitization products during my time living on campus?

If you have a shared “suite-style” bathroom (shared with several rooms) you’ll clean your own bathroom. Cleaning supplies are not provided. We encourage you to bring a supply of cleaning and sanitizing products with you to campus.

We are ensuring that our custodial and maintenance teams will have ample cleaning supplies on hand to clean community bathrooms and common spaces in accordance with current CDC guidelines.

What will cleaning practices look like in the residence halls and housing offices?

Community bathrooms and common spaces in our buildings will be cleaned and disinfected as often as physically possible while covering the entirety of our on-campus facilities. Cleaning crews have the necessary and approved chemicals in healthy supply, to ensure the effectiveness of these cleanings. Please note that some common areas may have restricted access or be shut down entirely as deemed necessary to limit physical contact or exposure in those spaces.

Will I be expected to clean my own bathroom?

Yes, unless you live in a residence hall with community bathrooms. Most bathrooms in residence halls are located within the private suites of residents and our custodial staff does not enter those spaces to clean them. You’ll need to coordinate the cleaning of your suite’s bathroom and common area to ensure that it remains clean and sanitary. Community and public bathrooms throughout our residence halls will be cleaned by our staff.

Will I need to wear a mask while on campus?

Yes, you and your guests will need to wear face coverings while moving around campus, especially in spaces where physical distancing cannot be accomplished. Visit the CDC website for guidance on the use of face coverings. Facial coverings will be provided to faculty, staff and students (2 facial coverings/person), and made available throughout campus (e.g. at the Bronco Shop, etc.) for sale at cost. Instructions regarding proper use, storage and cleaning will be provided.

What happens if a resident exhibits symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19?

We’ve set aside beds in strategically selected communities to serve as spaces for students who need to be isolated. When it’s determined that a student needs to be moved to one of these spaces, we’ll facilitate that move and arrange for meal deliveries to the new room. They’ll be able to attend their courses remotely during the isolation period. At the end of the isolation period and/or after symptoms have fully subsided, the student will complete an evaluation with a medical provider to ensure that they’re ready to reenter the community.

Moving in this Fall

When is Move-In Day?

Move-In Day is scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, August 18, 19 and 20.

Spreading the move-in experience out over multiple days allows us to move incoming residents in at a more gradual, controlled pace that facilitates physical distancing. Move-In Day is being completely redesigned to be as safe and efficient as possible.

What should I expect on Move-In Day?

Here’s what we know now. Planning for your arrival will continue all summer.

  • Check-in will be facilitated at various points around campus (depending on your assigned community)
  • You’ll wait in your vehicle and be greeted by our staff to get information about where to go next and proceed when it’s time to start unloading.
  • You’ll unload and move in your personal belongings, after which you’ll move your vehicle to a designated long-term parking zone.
  • While we will have volunteers to help you check in, find your way and answer questions, they won’t be able to help you lift and haul your items (unless you have mobility challenges).
  • We know it’s a tough ask, but please bring only one or two helpers with you to Move-In Day.

What do I do if I need to move in earlier than August 18?

You can submit this request through our Early Arrival Request Form. We don’t guarantee that we’ll be able to accommodate every request. In the lead-up to each new academic year, we’re doing important renovation work on our buildings which can limit our ability to bring students in early. We’ll do everything we can to work with you to make your arrival on campus as smooth as possible. This form closes on August 1.

Can I still bring all of the personal belongings I was planning on bringing to Move-In Day?

While we do not intend to expressly set limits on the sizes or number of items you bring, we strongly encourage you to be conservative in choosing what to bring with you this year. Our website has great information about what to bring and what to leave home. We would encourage you to consider ordering linens straight to your room and renting a MicroFridge® rather than buying and bringing those items. Read more information about those additional services on our website.

We’ll begin receiving packages two weeks prior to Move-In Day but we ask that you limit the number of items you have shipped. Items received more than two weeks in advance of Move-In Day will be returned to the sender.

*This guidance is based on current information and current guidance of public health authorities. This is subject to change, based on change in circumstance, updates to guidance, or otherwise at the discretion of the University.