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Congratulations! The Office of Residence Life welcomes all incoming first year students!

All first year students are required to live in university residence halls for the entirety of their first academic year at James Madison University (fall and spring semesters). First year students that join JMU in the spring will be housed only for the spring semester. Exceptions to the first year residency requirement may be made for:

    • First year students who commute daily within a 60-mile radius from the permanent home address of their parents or legal guardians as indicated on their application for admission to JMU.
    • First-year students who are 21 years of age or older.
    • Prior active duty military service.
    • Married first year students.

Requests for exceptions must be made in writing to the Housing Office. All requests must be made by the incoming student and must come from their @dukes account.

The One Book is comprised of several steps you need to complete, including signing your First Year Housing Contract, to prepare for your transition to JMU.

New first year students will be able to access the Online Housing System starting on April 1, 2021. Visiting this system, students will be able to sign a housing contract, select a meal plan and form a Roommate Group. Students can access the Online Housing System within 24–48 hours of paying their admissions deposit.

The deadline to sign the First Year Housing Contract is June 1, 2021.  The deadline to select a roommate is July 5, 2021.


Frequently Asked Questions

General Residence Life Questions

 Can you tell me more about residence life in general?

 Are all residence halls co-ed?

  • Yes, all residence halls are coed. Most first year halls are assigned same-gender floors or sections.
  • All bathrooms are designated as female, male or gender inclusive.
  • Gender specific bathrooms may not be used by the opposite gender.
  • Gender inclusive bathrooms are single-occupancy.

 Are first year students guaranteed on-campus housing?

  • All first year students are required to live on-campus
  • Exceptions to this requirement include first year students admitted as commuter students and first year students that receive a residency waiver approval from Residence Life.
  • While returning students are not guaranteed housing subsequent years, there is upperclass housing on campus for sophomores, juniors and seniors.
  • Each year we are able to house approximately 35% of the sophomore class, so you should definitely think about living on campus after your first year!

 Are there all first year student residence halls?

  • Almost all first year students will select rooms in halls that are exclusively first year.
  • Paul Jennings Hall houses both first year and upperclass students. First year students live on floors 1-3 and upperclass students on floors 4-5.
First Year Housing Questions

 What res halls are available to first year students?

We have five residential areas on campus. In those areas, the following halls will be available to first year students:

  • Bluestone: Harper Allen-Lee, Hoffman, Logan and Wayland
  • Hillside: Bell, Hillside, and McGraw-Long
  • Lake: Eagle and Shorts
  • Skyline: Chesapeake, Chandler, Shenandoah and floors 1-3 of Paul Jennings
  • Village: Chappelear, Dingledine, Frederikson, Garber, Hanson, Huffman, Ikenberry, Weaver and White

 What are the important dates and deadlines?

 If I'm interested in living in a Residential Learning Community (RLC), how do I apply?

Incoming first-year students can apply online starting April 1. Applications are due by May 16.

 I don't want a community style bathroom. Can I request a private bathroom?

  • About 95% of our first year halls feature community or suite style bathrooms.
  • If you have a medical condition that requires special accommodations, please download the Housing Accommodation Form.

 What is the layout of the residence hall rooms?

  • Rooms vary from hall to hall and sometimes from room to room within each hall.
  • Floor plans and more information about each hall can be found via our Res Hall Descriptions page.

 How often are the residence halls cleaned?

  • Bedrooms are not cleaned by university staff.
  • Common areas and community bathrooms are cleaned regularly. During the Spring semester these areas will be cleaned twice daily Monday through Friday and once in the morning on Saturday and Sunday. This schedule may be amended as the needs for the building may change.
  • Private suite baths are not cleaned by university staff. Remember: if a bathroom is behind a locked door the housekeeper does not clean it.

 Where do students do laundry?

  • Each hall has one or more laundry rooms with JACard (Flex, not dining dollars) operated washers and dryers. All machines also accept quarters.
  • All halls have high efficiency (HE) washers that recommend special HE detergent.

 Are first year halls air-conditioned (AC)?

  • Harper Allen-Lee, Hoffman, Logan, Wayland, Bell, Hillside, McGraw-Long, Chandler, Chesapeake and Shenandoah have AC.
  • All Village hall suite areas and TV lounges have AC.
  • Eagle and Shorts Hall TV lounges have AC.

 I require air-conditioning due to a medical need. Can that be accommodated?

 Are some halls more academically oriented than others?

 What is the possibility of placing first year students in off-campus housing or temporary triples due to overcrowding?

  • We do not yet know whether we will need to utilize these options for the 2021-2022 academic year.

 How long are the beds and how high can they be raised?

  • All beds measure 36” wide by 80” long, commonly called Twin XL.
  • If you are over 6’8” and are interested in a longer bed, please contact us at
  • How high a bed can be raised and/or lofted depends on the hall. You can check your res hall's bed type and details can be found on the Move-In Page or in your res hall's full description.
Roommate Questions

 What is the roommate assignment procedure?

New incoming first year students are able to search for and select their own roommate in the Online Housing System beginning on April 1, 2021.

Students are encouraged to, but not required to, select a roommate. If you do not select a roommate, you will go through First Year Online Room Selection (ORS) as an individual and another student will select the other space in your room.

The deadline to select a roommate is July 5, 2021.

 How many students are assigned to a room?

  • Room capacities vary within halls and from hall to hall.
  • Most rooms are doubles and house two students. A very small number of specific rooms are designated as singles and some are designated as triples.
  • Room rates are the same for all residence hall rooms.

 How are problems with roommates handled?

  • During the first week in the semester, roommates are required to complete a roommate agreement for and are given tips and strategies for getting along. Roommates discuss typical living issues such as cleanliness, studying and borrowing items and complete the roommate agreement stating their decisions.
  • Hall staff encourages residents to initially address concerns directly with roommates. If personal communications fail, Resident Advisers (RAs) and Hall Directors (HDs) intervene and help mediate a roommate agreement for peaceful coexistence. Students are encouraged to resolve conflicts.
  • Although room changes are not encouraged, a change can be made (if space is available) by submitting a Room Change Request Form and the approval of the Housing Office three weeks after the beginning of the semester.
Live on Again! Contract for 2022-2023 Questions

 What is the Live On Again! Contract

  • Starting on May 1, incoming students have the option to sign a Live On Again! Contract for on campus housing for 2022-2023.
  • This contract guarantees them a space in one of our upperclass residence halls for their second year at JMU.
  • Students may sign this contract through the same Online Housing System that they used to sign their 2021-2022 first year housing contract.

 How are rooms selected after the first year?

 How many students live off-campus as upperclass students in nearby apartments?

  • Approximately 6,700 of JMU’s 22,000 full-time undergraduate students are housed in University-sponsored residence halls. The remaining students live at home or in nearby apartments.
Move-in Questions

 When will I find out my move in time for the Spring 2021 Semester?

Students will be able to move in to their residence hall room as soon as their testing is done and they have been cleared by the staff in the Convocation Center. 

Due to pending inclement weather, there have been important Entry Testing updates.

 Is early check-in allowed?

  • First year students are expected to check in on their assigned move-in day.
  • Only students coming with an approved organization, such as the Honors program, marching band, a fall sport, or international students will be allowed early check in.
  • If you are a member of one of those groups, their group leader will contact you with those details.

 Are carts available on Move-In Day?

  • No, they are not.
  • Hand carts are an excellent item to bring with you on Move-in Day!

 Do all halls have elevators?

  • Harper Allen-Lee, Hoffman, Wayland, Eagle, Shorts, Chandler, Chesapeake, Paul Jennings and Shenandoah have elevators.
Things to Bring Questions

 What is provided in residence hall rooms?

  • A bed, desk, desk chair, dresser and wardrobe/closet area are provided for each student.
  • Each room also has overhead lighting, data jacks, roller shades/mini-blinds and cable hook-up (not including cable cords) are provided.
  • Room Contents Key

 What are the essentials that should be purchased for residence hall rooms?

  • Basic purchases include bed linens, towels, school supplies and storage bins.
  • Please visit our Move-In page for a complete list of what to bring and what NOT to bring.

 Are loft beds permitted? When and where can a loft bed be purchased?

  • Lofts can be purchased or built.
  • All lofts must comply with Residence Life specifications, which can be found on our Hall Policies page under “Loft Beds”).

 What is the availability and price estimates on room accessory/amenity rentals, etc?

  • Residence Life currently partners with College Savers.
  • Students interested in purchasing desk hutches can visit College Savers website for ordering information.
    • Orders will be sent via Fed-Ex to the central mail room.
  • Residence Life does not currently partner with any refrigerator, loft, carpet/rug or linen rental companies. 

 What is the best adhesive to use on residence hall room walls?

  • Wall types differ hall to hall. Wall type for each hall can be found via our hall descriptions.
    • For cinderblock: use poster putty (the white, NOT blue kind) or hooks with non-damaging adhesive (i.e. Command Hooks)
    • For drywall: use thumb tacks/push pins.
  • DO NOT use duct tape on any walls, doors or furniture.
  • Failure to use the appropriate adhesives on walls can result in fines at move-out at the end of the year.

 Are microwaves and refrigerators allowed in rooms?

  • One 5 cubic foot total capacity, or smaller, refrigerator per room is permitted.
  • No microwaves are permitted in residence hall rooms, but they are available in hall lounges or kitchens.
  • Microfridges (refrigerator/microwave combo) are prohibited.

 Are extension cords allowed?

  • Traditional extension cords are prohibited.
  • Please use a UL approved power strip/circuit breaker for additional electrical outlets.
  • These must be plugged directly into the wall. Lamps with an outlet in the base and bed risers with electrical outlets are prohibited.

 Are vacuums available for students to use?

  • Yes, each hall office has at least one vacuum that students may check out during office hours.
  • Mini-vacuums and hand vacuums are great to bring with you.
Policy Questions

 What are the visitation policies in residence halls?

Decisions will be made later in the summer regarding guests/visitors in residence halls in the fall.

 Are family members allowed to sleep over in the residence hall when they visit during the school year?

  • Decisions will be made later in the summer regarding guests/visitors in residence halls in the fall.

 Are there curfews in the halls?

  • No, however, there are quiet hours and courtesy hours.

 What are the residence hall rules and regulations?

  • There are numerous policies and regulations which govern community living in the residence halls, including rules related to alcohol, illegal drugs, pets, cooking, etc.
  • A full list of polices with explanations is available on our website under Hall Policies.

 What measures have been taken to ensure that the halls are alcohol and drug free?

  • Although we know students come to college with ideas and expectations about alcohol and drug use, we have policies that are enforced in the residence halls.
  • We neither condone nor ignore violations of university policies.
  • Our staff members are trained to respond to a variety of behavioral incidents and conduct duty tours of their respective buildings several times each evening.
  • In order to be effective, we encourage residents to report where and when violations occur.

 Are halls closed during breaks?

  • All halls close for Winter Break.
  • Students needing to remain at JMU for Thanksgiving and/or Spring break should select a room in Chandler, Chesapeake, Shenandoah, Paul Jennings, or Eagle Hall. These halls remain open for those two breaks.
    • You may leave your belongings locked in your room for all breaks until the end of the spring semester.
    • Check the JMU academic calendar with dates for all breaks.
Computer and Telephone Questions

 Are there computer hookups in the residence hall rooms?

  • Yes, residential students have access to MyResNet wifi throughout their residence hall, including their bedroom. MyResNet access has already been included in your student fees.
  • All residential student are also provided with a wired MyResNet connection in their bedroom.This enables your computer to access the internet and the campus network from your room. MyResNet access has already been included in your student fees.
  • You can access more information about computing at JMU on our Wireless Internet & TV page or with JMU IT.
  • Please note: Wireless routers are prohibited in residence halls. Wireless printers are also discouraged.

 Are phones available for student use?

  • Yes, courtesy phones are located in each residence hall for students to place on campus, local and toll-free calls. Students can use calling card with 1-800 numbers at these phones as well.
  • Residents may request an individual residence hall room phone by working with JMU Telecom and submitting a Student Telephone Installation Form found on their website.
  • Parents with concerns about their student can call the 24-hour campus emergency number. Campus police will respond to calls with appropriate counseling, medical or law enforcement assistance.
Miscellaneous Questions

 How do I change my meal plan?

  • Students can change their meal plan through the Student Center in MyMadison.
    • Under the finances section, select “other financials” from the drop-down menu.
    • If a student tries to make a change to their meal plan and it tells them to see Card Services, this means changes are not allowed to be made at that time.
  • If students cannot change their meal plan in MyMadison, they will need to go to Card Services in Student Success Center once school starts to make changes. There is a time frame for students to do this that can be found on their website.
  • Terms and conditions of all meal plan options, including payment/credits for changing options, may be obtained from JMU Dining Services.

 Are there programs designed to help first year students with the transition from high school to college?

 What has been done to reduce the number of fire alarms in the halls?

  • There are three planned fire drills in each hall per semester. These are an important part of our safety program.
  • False fire alarms are a concern to staff and residents alike. Much effort is put into communicating the importance of community respect for property and other residents.

 When will I check out at the end of the year?

  • All residence halls close on the last day of exams in May for non-graduating students.
  • Students should plan to check out of their hall within 24 hours of their last exam.
  • At the end of the year, be sure to check out our Check Out & Move Out page for more information.

 Can I leave my belongings here over the summer?

  • The Office of Residence Life is not able to store students’ items over the summer.
  • There are private companies you can use to store items near campus.

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