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On-Campus Housing Policy

On-campus Housing Residency

Only Northland College students enrolled in on-campus courses full-time (12+ credits during fall and winter term, ad 3+ credits during spring term) may reside in the residence halls or campus housing. Students less than full time who wish to reside on campus are subject to approval.

  • Students must live on campus for an equivalent to six full semesters.
  • All students living on campus must have a meal plan.

Exceptions to this policy include:

  • students who are married or in a partnership legally recognized by a state
  • 23 years of age or older
  • veterans of the armed forces
  • are the primary caregiver to a child
  • students from the greater Ashland area (40 mile radius from campus) who are living with parents or legal guardians during the academic year for which they are enrolled

Students, who cancel their registration or withdraw, must vacate their room within 48 hours of their cancellation.

On-campus housing eligibility can also be affected if a student has a felony conviction. Students who have been convicted of a felony must report the nature of the offense to the Office of Residential Life at the time of application, or immediately upon conviction, if during the period of contract. Eligibility to live in campus housing for a convicted felon is determined at the discretion of the Office of Residential Life.

Transfer Students

Students attending Northland College as transfer students that have completed six previous full-time semesters or more, 23 years of age or older, are married/legally partnered as recognized by a state, are the primary caretaker of a child, are a military veteran, and those students from the greater Ashland area (40 mile radius from campus) who are living with parents or legal guardians during the academic year for which they are enrolled are not required to live on campus. Exceptions are made at the discretion of the Office of Residential Life.

Non-traditional Students

Non-traditional students (25 years and older and/or already received a degree from another institution) – Non-traditional students who request on-campus housing, will be placed in single spaces. Non-traditional students are not assigned to room with traditional age first- and second-year students. Spaces are assigned to non-traditional students based on availability.

WITC Students Living On-campus

Northland College has an agreement with WITC to house their students that would like to live in an on-campus housing environment. The Office of Residential Life does not to assign WITC students to reside with Northland College students. Often, WITC students begin classes at different dates, have different coursework requirements and often find that connecting with each other is more difficult. Spaces are assigned to WITC students based on availability with the Northland College students having priority on space.

On-campus Housing Consolidation

It is a requirement of all persons paying for a double room to have a roommate. In the event that a student who is paying a double rate does not have a roommate, the student who is left in the room will be required to consolidate with other students in a similar situation.

Within the first two weeks of fall or winter term, all residents who do not have roommates will receive a list of similar students from the Office of Residential Life. This list will include residents who are in the same circumstance, their email address and building location.

Residents are encouraged to find a person who is on the list with whom they wish to reside. The Office of Residential Life will give a one-week grace period for students to complete this process. Following this the Office of Residential Life will assign a roommate for all residents who have not found a roommate by the end of this period. Location of the assigned room will be at the discretion of the Office of Residential Life.

Once an assignment for consolidation is made, the resident is required to complete the move by the deadline indicated in the notice. Failure to complete the move by the deadline constitutes a violation of policy and a fine will be assessed for each day the move is not completed. Residents who are on the consolidation list should not assume that they have the option for a single room. Single rooms are awarded based on availability and the prioritized singles waiting list.

If a roommate leaves:

  1. After consolidation: The remaining roommate will be required to consolidate if there are any eligible roommates available.
  2. After midsession: The remaining roommate will not be required to consolidate. They would be eligible to receive a roommate at the beginning of the following term.
  3. Residents of the McLean Environmental Living and Learning Center apartments, College-owned houses, and townhouse apartments should refer to their contracts for their consolidation requirements. Residents of these units are responsible for maintaining full occupancy for the academic year or be billed a low occupancy fee. Exceptions to this policy can be granted at the discretion of the Office of Residential Life.

Spring Term Housing

The following are requirements for campus residents during the month of May (spring term):

  1. Residents must be enrolled in a spring term class.
  2. Residents who leave campus for a spring trip must return to the campus to check out of their room by the May checkout deadline or they must check out prior to the April checkout deadline.
  3. Residents who attend trips off campus and leave their belongings in their rooms are responsible for their belongings. Residents who fail to remove their belongings by the May checkout date will be charged by the College for improper checkout, forfeit their housing deposits, and fees for boxing and removal of their belongings will be assessed. Northland College and its employees are not responsible for the conditions of a resident’s belongings at any time.
  4. Residents who do not fulfill their academic requirement (i.e. attend classes) by the beginning of the second week of the spring term will be asked to move off campus.

Spring Break Housing

There is no charge for residents to stay in their campus-housing placement during the week of spring break. However, residents must sign up for housing during this week so the College is aware of campus residents during this week.

There is no food service during spring break. Due to staffing and safety, residents may be assigned to a specific room and building as advised by the Office of Residence Life. Information regarding Spring Break housing is available in February. More information may be requested by aa RA or HRA.

Checking Into a Room

Students are responsible for checking into an on-campus housing facility with the assistance of a Residential Life staff member. At that time, students are expected to carefully inspect the room’s condition against their check-in forms and to make corrections if any of the information is incorrect or incomplete.Any individual room damages that are noticed when the resident checks out of the room are checked against the check-in form and the resident is billed for damages.

After residents and RAs complete the check-in forms, residents should be familiar with everything in their room and the condition that it is in. Residents will not be charged for normal maintenance; however, residents will be billed for damages that are not deemed to be normal wear and tear on the room at the time they check out of the space.

Checking Out of a Room

Each resident is responsible for proper checkout at the end of the semester. Proper checkout encompasses the following:
  • Contact of a residential life staff member at least twenty-four hours prior to departure
  • Removal of all personal belongings from the room
  • Return of keys for room and/or group housing unit
  • Furniture in original configuration
  • Room thoroughly cleaned

Failure to complete the above procedure will result in the assessment of additional charges. Residents are recommended to review the checkout document carefully as changes in condition are used as a tool to determine individual billing for damages.

The Residential Life and Facilities staff will complete final assessments after rooms are vacated. Residents who receive damage charges can appeal them by completing the Room Damage Appeal Form.

Unusual Event and Relocation Policy

Effect of Certain Events

Northland College will make every effort to ensure the safety of students, guests, and others at its on-campus residences (“Northland Residences”). As part of that process, it may be necessary for Northland College to close Northland Residences in certain unusual circumstances, such as the closure that was mandated in Spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northland College has adopted the following policy with respect to closing Northland Residences:

Northland College will not be liable for delay or failure to fulfill any of its obligations to students due to causes beyond Northland College’s reasonable control, whether foreseeable or unforeseeable, including but not limited to strikes or labor difficulties, lockouts, acts or omissions of any governmental authority, fires, floods, storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, acts of God, explosions, accidents, electrical surges or failures, gas or water leaks, theft, virus outbreaks, pandemics (including the COVID-19 outbreak or subsequent outbreaks), quarantine restrictions, war, riot, embargoes, inability to obtain labor, parts, fuel, or material from usual sources or to access use of the Northland Residences, or any other events or circumstances not within the reasonable control of Northland College, whether similar or dissimilar to any of the foregoing.

For purposes of this policy, any event referred to in the previous sentence is an “Unusual Event.”

Upon the occurrence of an Unusual Event, Northland College will have sole discretionary rights to close Northland Residences and enjoin students living in Northland Residences to relocate. This relocation could be to another space on campus, but may also mean a relocation to students’ permanent residences or a venue of choice that is not College property. Northland College will use reasonable efforts to accommodate students seeking alternative housing, but will not recognize liability to any such students dislocated by cause.

Northland College understands that it may be a hardship for students to relocate, and Northland College will provide a refund of room and board (including the meal plan based on usage) based upon the length of the relocation. The refund will be as follows:

Relocation Duration
Refund Percentage
0 to 5 days No refund
6 to 15 days 10%
16 to 30 days 20%
31 to 45 days 30%
46 to 60 days 40%
61 to 75 days 50%
76 to 90 days 60%
91 to 105 days 70%
over 106 days 80%

A day is defined as any day during the period that residents are permitted to be in on-campus housing facilities in the fall and winter academic terms.

The Office of Residential Life at Northland College will maintain full and absolute discretion to determine if an Unusual Event has occurred, and whether any students need to be removed from the Northland residences as well as the amount of refunded funds remitted back to students in the wake of a relocation directive.

Understanding of Risk

I understand that I am at risk of contracting a communicable or infectious disease while using Northland College’s residence halls, facilities, and campus premises (“Northland Residences”) from other residents at Northland Residences, other users of Northland Residences, or other sources.

By choosing to stay in the Northland Residences for the period designated herein, I assume the risk of contracting a communicable or infectious disease from other residents at Northland Residences, other users of the Northland Residences, or other sources.

I agree to waive any claims or demands I, my heirs, or my assignees may have against Northland College and its agents, employees, or servants, for damages, arising from me contracting a communicable or infectious disease while residing at the Northland Residences or arising from the spread of a communicable or infectious disease within the Northland Residences, even claims arising from Northland College’s and its agents’, employees’, or servants’ own negligence.

Health & Safety Checks, Maintenance, Reporting

General cleanliness, safety, and Northland College policies are important issues when living in a residence hall with other students. For this reason, the Residential Life staff performs health and safety walk-through routinely each term.

Notice of health and safety walk-through are posted in common areas 48 hours beforehand and/or via email to each resident’s Northland College email account. Rooms are also checked during interim periods when the residence halls are closed (i.e. winter break). Residents are held accountable if other policy violations are noticed during these health and safety inspections. All areas of each room are checked.

If something is not functioning properly, it is important that residents let a RA know immediately so that a maintenance request can be submitted. Be sure to let the RA know the progress of the repairs. If the repairs haven’t been completed within a few days, inform the RA so that a follow-up can be done. Maintenance staff members may enter any room to complete maintenance requests and for emergency repairs. Maintenance staff will generally not enter a room before 10 a.m. to complete any requests.

If residents witness people damaging common areas, they should ask the students to stop and let the Residential Life staff know so that the damage is billed to responsible parties. All unclaimed damages will be assessed to all students who reside in the residence hall.

Roommate Bill of Rights

Each resident has a responsibility toward his/her roommate. Resident’s enjoyment of life in the residence hall will depend, to a large extent, on the thoughtful consideration that each resident demonstrates toward each other.

Basic rights of a roommate include:

  • The right to read and study free from undue interference in one’s own room. Unreasonable noise and other distractions inhibit the exercise of this right.
  • The right to sleep without undue disturbance from noise, guests of roommate, etc.
  • The right to expect that a roommate will respect one’s personal belongings.
  • The right to a clean environment in which to live.
  • The right to free access of one’s room and facilities without pressure from a roommate.
  • The right to privacy.
  • The right to host guests with the expectation that guests are to respect the rights of the host’s roommate and other hall residents.
  • The right to conflict mediation. Residence hall staff members are available for assistance in settling conflicts.
  • The right to be free from fear of intimidation, physical and/or emotional harm.
  • The right to expect reasonable cooperation in the use of room-shared appliances (telephones, cable hook-up, internet connection, etc.).
  • The right to be free from pressure or ridicule regarding lifestyle choice.

Room & Roommate Changes

Room changes occur only as a last resort and happen rarely. Changes are made usually within the first two weeks of the fall and winter terms provided that the resident has received approval in writing from the Office of Residential Life. All room changes are based on availability and at the discretion of the Office of Residential Life.

In order to make a room change, a room change form must be completed. These forms are available from the Office of Residential Life. Residents moving without the written permission from Residential Life may be required to reverse the move and/or lose their housing deposit. In cases of conflict between roommates, residents are encouraged to seek the assistance of an RA/HRA to help mediate the dispute.

Single Room Assignments

Single rooms are assigned to students at the discretion of the Office of Residential Life.

Pre-Designed Singles
Pre-designed single rooms are rooms, due to size and furniture, designed to house only one occupant. There are very few pre-designed singles throughout campus.

Doubles as Single Rooms
A double as a single room is a room typically meant for two students that is made available to one student at a single room rate. Doubles as single rooms are not guaranteed singles for an entire year. Residents will be notified if a single will not be available for the following term. Residents who receive this notification will be required to make sure that one side of the room is able to accommodate a roommate. Failure to make this accommodation will constitute a violation of policy and a fine may assessed. An additional fine will be incurred if personal belongings need to be moved to accommodate the roommate. Doubles as single rooms must retain all room furniture to accommodate two students.

Specific Housing for Special Accommodation
Some students seek a single occupancy room or other specific housing need because they have a short- or long-term need for a special accommodation. To make such a request, students must have their health care provider submit a letter to the coordinator of accommodation services outlining the diagnosis and how a single room is an integral part of the on-going treatment protocol. Appropriate professionals at Northland College will also review the health care provider’s letter.

A recommendation to approve (or not) will then be forwarded to the Office of Residential Life. Individuals provided with a specific accommodation housing space are responsible for the additional charge for a single room if that is what he/she has requested. While all attempts are made to honor approved requests for specific accommodation housing spaces, they are subject to space availability.

Group Living Occupancy

If a resident of the group living unit moves out during the academic year, all residents of the unit will be responsible for a low occupancy charge of $400 per resident including the individual leaving the unit. Each resident’s bill will be adjusted to cover this cost while the space is empty and until the space is filled.


Each resident will be issued key(s) to access assigned residential rooms, as well as a Northland College ID card to open outside entrances of assigned residential facilities. Townhouse residents will be issued ID card access only. College-owned houses are issued keys to their exterior house door only. All outside entrances of residence halls are always locked.

Residents are strongly encouraged to lock their room door and/or house exterior door when they are not present. Also, when entering a building, residents should not let non-residents into the building (unless it is plain to see who he/she is visiting) or strangers into the building as it compromises security.

The following policies apply to all residential key holders:

  1. Keys are for use ONLY by the person to whom they are issued. Residents should not let another person possess or use their keys.
  2. Keys may not be used to gain entrance to buildings during times when the college is officially closed.
  3. Keys must be turned into a residential life staff member at the end of the academic year, and/or at the time a resident permanently vacates the room/residence hall.
  4. If keys are lost or stolen, it must be reported to the Office of Residential Life immediately. Lost, stolen, or misplaced keys will be replaced for residents for a fee ($75-room).

After reading the rules as stated above, the resident will initial a key section of the check-in form allowing for the issuance of a room key. By virtue of initialing the key information section of the check-in form, the resident confirms having read and understood these rules. The resident should also realize the misuse of the key privilege will be considered grounds for disciplinary action and/or possible revocation of key privileges. All keys found should be returned to Residential Life so that they may be returned to the appropriate person(s).

Pets & Animals in Residence Halls

Due to the cleanliness and safety of all persons, the only pets/animals permitted in the residence halls and residential units are aquarium fish. All other pets/animals are not permitted in on-campus housing facilities unless they are licensed service animals and approved through the Office of Accessibility Resources and the Office of Residential Life.

Exceptions in the residence halls are determined by the Office of Residential Life and/or the vice president of student life. This includes any guest who may bring a pet/animal with him/her. Residents will be held responsible for the actions of their guests so hosts should encourage guests to leave pets/animals at home or keep them outside of the building. Several kennels are located in the area, which offer both daytime and overnight kenneling services.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action that could include a monetary fine, as well as the immediate removal of the pet/animal. If a resident does not immediately remove the pet/animal, local animal welfare officials will be contacted to remove it.

Northland College wants all who live, study, work, and visit the College to have a safe and clean campus. Owners of pets/animals are not allowed to bring these animals inside residential units nor tie them up and leave them unattended at any time.

Bathrooms, Sinks & Water Fountains

All bathroom units, such as toilets, showers, and tubs, are designated for single use only. Bathrooms are labeled for their intended gender usage as designed by the Office of Residential Life.

Bathrooms that are common to all residents are cleaned on a regular basis by the contracted cleaning staff. When these staff members are cleaning a common bathroom, the bathrooms, including showers, should not be entered for any reason; residents should use another bathroom. The cleaning staff needs to have the space cleared so work can be completed and so residents do not come into contact with cleaning products.

Items should not be left in the bathroom for safety and cleanliness reasons. Items left in the bathroom after 24 hours may be discarded without notice.

Bathroom sinks and water fountains are not designed to drain or strain any foods or liquids other than water. Residents should use the provided kitchen sinks and the proper strainers to drain any items. Individual(s) misusing these areas will be held responsible for damages and additional cleaning costs for these areas.

Candles, Oil Lamps & Incense

All candles, oil lamps, incense, and other items that produce an open flame—whether lit or unlit—are not permitted in any residential housing building including townhouses, apartments, and college-owned houses. Candle warming devices are allowed if they come equipped with an automatic on/off switch.

Electrical Appliances

Cooking in residence hall rooms is discouraged, as the residence hall rooms are not designed for this purpose. Popcorn poppers, hot pots, and similar devices (i.e., with no open burner/coil and limited wattage) are acceptable. Compact refrigerators are also permitted in the residence hall rooms.

Devices such as hot plates, Fry Daddies, electric frying pans, fondue pots, or other similar appliances which require grease and/or open flame for cooking, are not permitted.

Each hall provides kitchenettes for extensive cooking. Possessing or using hazardous electrical appliances such as those with exposed heating elements is not permitted in residence hall rooms.

Microwave ovens are also provided in each kitchenette, and those that require 800 watts or less are allowed in the residence hall rooms. Any appliance used in the residence halls must be UL listed and be in good condition with no broken parts or damaged cords.

Electrical clocks, radios, stereos, televisions, blankets, razors, microwaves, George Foreman grills, personal computers, and small refrigerators may be used in resident rooms. The only cooking appliances permitted are coffee makers, microwaves, and appliances with self-contained heating units.

The Office of Residential Life may be contacted for clarification or to review items in question.

Northland College recommends the use of surge protectors for all electrical equipment. Residents may not alter the electrical systems or equipment in their rooms, apartment, townhouse ,or house on campus. Residents of the MELLC apartments, townhouses, and College-owned houses should speak with the Office of Residential Life to request to use any special appliances in their unit.

Garbage & Recycling Rooms

Each residential housing unit has garbage and recycling spaces available for use. Do not leave any garbage or recyclables in the hallways, common areas, or exterior spaces of the building.

Game-Cleaning Room

McMillan Hall has a dedicated space where those who hunt and fish can clean their catch. A limited amount of freezer space is also available in this building. Guidelines have been developed to ensure cleanliness of the rooms and to foster appropriate use of natural resources. Tanning or drying of hides is not permitted in any campus housing facility.

Hunters that intend to hunt for large game, such as bear or deer, must secure a place to store meat prior to hunting. The freezers in the residence halls are not large enough to accommodate large game. For dressing large game, a “deer pole” is located by the maintenance building. Hunters must make sure all by-products created by dressing an animal are properly disposed.

Individuals may not use any residential housing facilities to clean bones or skulls. Natural resources management faculty members on campus should be contacted to be connected with facilities, processes, and individuals that can help do this activity safely. Additionally, animals may not be frozen in residential housing facilities that are not properly prepared/dressed. All items placed in the freezer must be properly wrapped and labeled.

Roofs, Attics, Basements & Porches

Students are contracted for the rooms and common spaces within each building. Students may not place furniture and other items in the basements, porches, hallways, attic, or greenhouses. The porch space may house furniture designed for this space that is removable to allow clear access to the house in case of fire or an emergency.

No person should be on the roof of any residential unit. Residents must grill a safe distance from each college-owned unit. Residents are not permitted to grill on porches. Residents should not add or leave anything in the lawn or outside areas of residential facilities. These items will be removed and the residents of the unit will be charged for removal.