Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Financial Questions

COVID-19 Specific Questions

How do I sign up to live on campus?

The housing application to live in one of the five University Housing buildings (Cafaro, Kilcawley, Lyden, Wick, and Weller) can be found online at There is a $35 application fee, which must be paid by credit card at the beginning of the application. This fee covers the cost of a background check, which is required of all students (and staff) who live and work in the residence halls.  If you have issues accessing the application, please reach out to us at

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When can I move in for the semester?

New students starting in the fall are typically asked to move in on the Thursday before the start of classes. Friday and Saturday are typically dedicated to activities for new students, to help them prepare for classes, get to know other students, and learn their way around the campus. The day before classes begin- a Sunday- is when returning students will typically move-in.

For spring semester, all students (both new and returning) move in on the same day, which is typically the day before classes begin (a Sunday).

Specific dates for each year and semester are listed in the housing contract.

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What is provided in the rooms for the each student?

  • A twin XL bed
  • A wardrobe and dresser (or combination unit)
  • A desk and chair or table and chair
  • Blinds, either built in or over the window
  • A “microfridge” unit, which is a combination mini-fridge, freezer, and microwave specifically designed for residence halls (to be shared with roommates)
  • Air conditioning and heat, including an in-room control unit
  • Internet access, including both wifi and an Ethernet portal
  • Trashcan

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What should I bring with me?

  • Bedding for a twin XL bed
  • Towels & washcloths
  • Personal toiletry items (shampoo, deodorant)
  • A small bucket/caddy to carry toiletry items to and from the bathroom
  • Power strips with surge protectors
  • A laundry basket, laundry soap, and dryer sheets

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What items are not allowed in the residence halls?

  • Candles, incense, wax warmer, plug-in room fresheners, or similar items
  • Pets (including fish)
  • Refrigerator, microwave, crockpot, air fryer, rice cooker, toaster, or any other cooking items with an open hot surface
  • Air conditioners or heating units, including heated blankets
  • Alcohol for consumption
  • Extension cords
  • Lofts, loft kits, or bed raisers
  • Any lamp with a plastic shade (many have caused fires), neon lights, or halogen lamps
  • Weapons of any sort, including guns, knives (other than pocket knives), airsoft guns, martial arts equipment, bows, etc.
  • Chemicals of any sort, fireworks, or any other dangerous items

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What amenities are available in the residence halls?

  • Exercise equipment (varies by building)
  • Vending machines
  • Soundproof practice rooms (varies by building)
  • Computer labs with printing capabilities
  • Pool tables, ping pong tables, and other games
  • TV lounge
  • Kitchen with stove, oven, microwave, and refrigerator
  • Access to board games, vacuums, pool sticks, staplers, and cooking and baking equipment at the residence hall front desk 

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Am I required to have a meal plan?

Students who live in the residence halls (including Cafaro, Lyden, Kilcawley, and Wick) are required to have a meal plan. There are nine options for residence hall meal plans, with each include a combination of meal swipes (to be used at Christman Dining Commons) and alternate funds, which can be used at both on and off-campus dining locations.

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What is my mailing address?

In order to ensure that mail will be delivered to you, please include your name and room number as well as the street address below:

  • Cafaro House
  •   205 Madison Ave
  •   Youngstown, OH 44504-1611
  • Kilcawley House
  •   117 University Plaza
  •   Youngstown, OH 44502-1208
  • Lyden House
  •   251 Madison Ave.
  •   Youngstown, OH 44504-1611
  • Weller House
  •   658 Wick Ave.
  •   Youngstown, OH 44502-1215
  • Wick House
  •   656 Wick Ave.
  •   Youngstown, OH 44502-1215 

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Do I need a parking pass?

All YSU parking lots require a parking permit through University Parking Services. Housing residents will receive a swipe card, which allows access to the resident-only lots. There is one-resident only lot near each hall, however, there are not enough spaces for all residents. Therefore, we encourage students and their families to discuss the necessity of having a car on campus before purchasing a parking pass. 

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Can I have visitors? 

Yes. Guests must be 16 years old or older and must present a valid state or federal photo I.D. at the front desk of the hall upon their arrival. This includes a license, driving permit, state ID, passport, military ID, or similar. This may not include a copy of an ID, a library card, or high school ID. 

Guests must check-in at the residence hall front desk upon arrival, and their host must meet them to verify that they are allowed in the building. Our staff will not allow any guest into the building without authorization from a resident of the building in order to ensure the safety of all building residents. The guest must be accompanied by their host at all times. Residents may not leave their guest in the room while they go to class or to work.

Guests are also generally limited to staying in the residence hall for 3 nights within any 7-day period. Students should be respectful of their roommates and the impact their guests may have on them; for instance, guests in the room may impact a roommates’ ability to study, sleep, change their clothing, or have their own guests over.

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Who works in the residence halls?

Each residence hall is run by a Housing Coordinator (HC). Each HC is a professional, with a Master’s degree in education, who also lives in the residence hall with the students. The HCs supervise the RA staff, and ensure that the building residents have everything they need to be successful students at YSU. HCs are available to the building residents for any personal, academic, or other needs they may have. As staff members who are trained on University resources, mental health concerns, academic support, and much more, they are great resources within the residence halls. The HCs also serve in an on-call rotation, meaning that there is always a professional “adult” staff member available 24 hours per day, should there be an emergency in one of our residence halls.

A Resident Assistant, more frequently called an RA, is a full-time student, and part-time employee of Residence Life. Generally, there is an RA on each floor, who is there to help residents become familiar with YSU, get to know each other, and ensure that members of the community respect each other and follow the policies of the University. RAs plan floor activities, work at the front desk, and rotate in an on-call schedule to respond to any emergencies or disturbances in the residence hall. Don’t hesitate to ask an RA any questions you may have about YSU. 

In addition the HCs and RAs, there are student staff members who work at the front desk (Desk Attendants, or DAs), full-time staff members who work at the front desks during the overnight hours (Hall Monitors, or HMs), a small team of maintenance staff, a team of custodial staff, and our Housing Operations Assistants (or HOAs) who assist with bunking and lofting beds. All staff who work in the residence halls complete a background check, and will always wear their nametag when they are on-duty. 

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What do I need to set up my internet access in the residence hall?

Starting in fall 2020, the residence halls will be on the YSU network. Therefore, students will use their YSU ID and password to connect any device in the residence hall to the internet. There are also wired Ethernet ports in every residence hall room, should a student choose not to connect to the wireless network.

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Are there any special requirements for any of the residence halls?

Generally, in order to live in Cafaro House, you must be a member of the University’s Honor College. On some occasions students may be assigned to Cafaro House though they are not part of the Honors College, due to some other need that can only be accommodated by spaces in this building (including medical needs, break housing needs, etc.).

In order to live in Wick House, students must have completed a full year of college at YSU, or at another college if they are a transfer student.

Weller House is limited to graduate students and students with families (partners, spouses, and/or children).

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Do I have to bring all my belongings home over breaks?

Though the residence halls close over winter break, residents are permitted to keep their belongings in their room, so long as they intend to return at the start of spring semester. However, it is important that residents take everything that they will need during the break, because access to the buildings will not be permitted from the time the building closes after fall semester finals to when it re-opens for the start of spring semester.

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What if I have problems with my roommate(s)?

If you are unsure about how to talk with your roommate(s) about concerns you have, ask your RA for some suggestions about how to handle the situation. This is an area where our staff are specifically trained. Although we generally like to have residents address their issues with their roommate(s) on their own, RAs can also help mediate a conversation if you are worried about being able to do so. If a situation is more serious, the RA will refer it to the Housing Coordinator, who is the professional staff member who runs each residence hall. Housing Coordinators can assist in mediations, can address policy violations that may be occurring, and can also work with University Housing to coordinate a room change if the situation appears to be within possibility of reconciliation. 

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Can I stay in my room during breaks?

Yes. All residence halls remain open for fall break and spring break, and all students may stay during these breaks without extra charges. Please note that dining options are limited during these breaks, as few students do remain on campus.

For students who will require housing during winter break, which is the period between the end of fall semester and the beginning of spring semester, they should notify the Housing office as soon as possible about this need. Typically, the University only maintains two buildings during the break, and students needing housing during this break must be assigned (in advance) to one of these two buildings. Otherwise, a student may have to change building assignments in order to be in one of these two buildings (and will likely be unable to return to their previous assignment). There is a charge for winter break housing, which does not include a meal plan, as there will be limited dining options available during this time.

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Are there leadership positions in the residence halls besides being an RA?

Yes. Each residence hall has its own Advisory Hall Council (AHC). Each AHC is a branch of the Residence Hall Association (RHA). Advisory Hall Council plans activities for the residents of each building, in addition to those planned by the Housing Coordinator and RAs. This is a great opportunity to get involved with event planning, budgeting, and organization for your fellow students.

Additionally, each residence hall desk is staffed by Desk Attendants (DAs). The DAs serve as the “face” of each residence hall, greeting residents and their guests when they enter the building, checking in guests, accepting mail and packages for building residents, answering questions, and much more. This is a great opportunity for residents to become more involved in the residence hall community, to learn about campus, and to get a paycheck! 

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What is the Residence Hall Association?

RHA is a group of five student leaders (the Executive Board) who live on campus and create events for all of the residence halls. They also serve as the “voice” of the residence hall students and the rest of campus, bringing forth concerns from their fellow residents to the Housing Coordinator running each building, or the University as a whole. 

AHCs will begin meeting at the beginning of the school year. You will find more information once the semester begins in the fall!

For more information on how to become a member of the RHA Executive Board, you should speak with your Housing Coordinator. Generally, students become involved with the AHC before joining the RHA, so they have a better sense of the purpose of the overall organization and learn the ropes of advocacy and program planning before stepping into a leadership role.

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How do I pay for housing?

Once room and board charges have been added to your YSU student account you pay them the same way you would pay for your tuition and fees. You can make payments online through your YSU Portal or at the payment windows at Student Accounts in Meshel Hall. Financial Aid may help pay for the cost of room and board, but please be aware that Financial Aid is applied to your tuition and fees first, and then if any aid remains, it will be applied to other charges. If you plan on using Financial Aid to help pay for your room and board, please be sure that you have enough aid to cover tuition, fees, and room and board before complete the Housing application.

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How do I pay for my meal plan?

The meal plan is billed as part of your room and board costs. Therefore, if you select any of the three “bronze” meal plans available to residential students, the cost is already included in your room and board rate. For instance, if your room and board rate is $4,850 per semester, this includes any of the three bronze meal plans for which you are eligible, as well as your rent and utilities, all in one cost.

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How do I see my bill for housing?

Room and board charges are billed by semester and are charged to your YSU student account. The total is billed as “room and board” with “room” meaning rent and utilities and “board” meaning your meal plan. Because students living in the residence halls are required to have a meal plan, we combine the charges for ease of billing. You can check the balance on your student account at any time by logging on to your YSU Portal.

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Is there a payment plan?

Although there is no payment plan specific to your room and board charges, you can enroll in the University Payment Plan through the Office of Student Accounts and University Receivables to pay the balance on your Student Account. There is a nominal fee to participate in the payment plan. Payments not made by the established due dates will result in late fees being applied to your student account. Log into the student portal and select “View Bill and Enroll in Payment Plan” to select this option, or for more information.

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Do I need to do the FAFSA in order to live on-campus?

Yes- unless you can demonstrate how you will be paying your room and board charges without the use of financial aid, you should have your FAFSA complete before signing up for University Housing.

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What happens if I cannot pay my bill?

If the University determines that your fees are not being paid, we will contact you to discuss the issue and see if there is any way we can help you. If we cannot help you and we have exhausted all methods of payment, you will be asked to move out of the residence halls.

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Where can I apply for the housing grant?

The application for the housing grant is available on the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website. Applicants must have a completed FAFSA.

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How much does it cost to do laundry?

There is a laundry room in each residence hall basement, which includes washers, dryers, a utility sink, and a folding table. There is no cost to residents to use these facilities.

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What is the University doing to make sure the residence halls are safe for students this fall?

Administrators at YSU are having many ongoing conversations about the best ways to keep our students and residence hall staff safe amidst the current concerns about COVID-19. We are looking at a variety of options, based on guidelines provided by the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC. This includes:

  • the possibility of decreasing how many people we assign to each residence hall room or floor. 
  • minimizing the number or frequency of visitors allowed in the residence halls.
  • increasing the frequency of cleaning in high-touch areas of the residence halls.
  • plans to have students and staff wear face coverings in public spaces within the residence halls.
  • ways that we can uphold recommendations for social distancing throughout spaces in the residence halls.

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Will I be required to wear a face-covering or mask when I am in the residence hall?

We do anticipate that the University will require all students, staff, faculty, and visitors to wear face coverings while in any public space on YSU’s campus. While “public spaces” have not yet been clearly defined, this will likely include lobby areas, hallways, and other lounges in the residence halls.

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Will there be any changes to how meals are provided on campus this fall?

Our contracted dining company, Chartwells, is working with their parent company to determine the best way to proceed in providing a variety of dining options to residential students, while also maintaining the safety of their staff and the students.

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What happens if I am diagnosed with COVID-19 while I am living in the residence hall?

Our staff are working with many other departments on and around campus to determine the best way to support students who live in any group housing situation this coming year (including both University housing residence halls and nearby apartment buildings). Should a student living in one of these areas suspect that they have COVID-19, or should they be diagnosed with COVID-19, there will be a system for them to self-report to the University. The University will then work with the student to support their ability to self-quarantine safely, either by returning to their home (if they are able to travel) or possibly by moving to an alternate space on or near campus specifically designated to support self-quarantine.

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Are there any other precautions I can take to be safer in the residence halls this fall?

Our ability as a University to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 will depend largely on how well every member of our community works together to support the safety measures that we put in place. We encourage you to identify steps you can take personally, including supporting social distancing in the residence halls and around campus, wearing a face covering when possible, minimizing unnecessary interactions with others, and washing your hands frequently. If we all take these steps, then we will all be doing our part to create a safe, healthy campus community.

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I hear that other schools are only assigning one person to a room or limiting how many people can live in a building. When will we know more about any changes to housing assignments at YSU?

We will provide an update to all students who have completed a housing contract by July 1. This update will include any alterations we can anticipate to our assignments process, based on the then-current guidance from the Ohio Department of Health and CDC.

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What will move-in day look like this year?

Until we have a better understanding of possible changes to our housing assignments, we cannot yet plan move-in day for fall 2020. We do know that the process we will spread our move-in time slots over a longer period of days or weeks, rather than attempting to move everyone into the halls in just two days. We are looking at all ways to decrease interactions, including not requiring students to physically sign any documents, creating one-way patterns for traffic flow, and limiting the number of guests who assist each student with their move-in process. We hope to have more information about this process ready for students and their families after July 1.

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