Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience: Office of Student Life

Housing FAQs

November 10, 2020

Information as of November 10, 2020. Please check back regularly for updates as information is subject to change.

Previous University Housing Updates

Student Life FAQs

What will the Move-Out process look like?

Ohio State’s residence halls and apartment communities will close for winter break on Wednesday, November 25, at 6 p.m. The last week of autumn semester classes and finals will be held virtually. To facilitate a physically distanced move-out process, students must schedule a move-out date and time, starting on Tuesday, November 3. 

The Office of Student Life is committed to protecting our entire community, and we ask that you carefully follow the steps below:

  • Schedule your departure day and time between Thursday, November 19 – Wednesday, November 25. This will limit the number of people on campus at any one time while allowing you to collect your belongings. Please access the StarRez Check-Out Scheduler.
  • It is important to adhere to your chosen schedule. Families are asked to not enter the building and, instead, pick up their students at the scheduled time. We also ask that your move out be completed within 30 minutes of your scheduled time in order to accommodate your fellow Buckeyes. 
  • You will be permitted to leave items in your room during winter break, however, you are strongly encouraged to take your valuable items with you.
  • You are required to continue to participate in regular weekly surveillance testing to determine positivity status prior to going home for winter break. Quarantine and isolation housing will remain available as needed.  
  • You will need to check-out at the front desk prior to leaving campus for winter break.

Do parents/family members need to submit health checks prior to Move-Out? 

Those who are helping move students out of their residence halls are asked to monitor their health but do not need to submit a self-assessment. We ask that if you begin to experience COVID-related symptoms you do not report to campus and have another family member help your student.

Can I stay on-campus over Winter Break?

Please contact for special accommodations.

Why is my building, which is academic year housing, closing for the break? 

Due to the longer break period, fewer students are requesting to remain on campus.  As a result, students requesting to stay are having their housing consolidated into one of the few buildings which will remain open during the break period.

Will there be a reduction in costs for housing and meal plans since courses will be virtual after Thanksgiving and there is less time on campus this year?

University housing (excluding graduate/professional/family housing) and dining operations on all campuses will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, November 25, after which time classes will be completed in a virtual format. There will be an exception process to offer housing to students with an ongoing, qualified need. Associated housing and dining charges have been adjusted to reflect the abbreviated on-campus schedule for Autumn 2020.

Note: Changes in housing assignments and/or dining plans may impact your Statement of Account.

What will the Move-In process look like for the spring semester?  

The student Move-In process will occur over a period of 8 days leading up to the first day of the spring semester. Residence hall openings will be staggered over this period. Students will schedule a move-in date and time to ensure a limited number of students move onto each floor of each building at a time (a maximum of eight per building per one-hour period), with the goal of facilitating physical distancing throughout the entire Move-In process. We will also limit move-in times for buildings in close proximity to each other to facilitate physical distancing and better manage traffic flow. Student move-in for spring semester is currently scheduled for January 18. We will continue to update you with details. 

Can I loft my bed?

The bed loft request portal is now closed. If you wish to have your bed adjusted, please wait until you move into your residence hall and submit a work order request via Please note that not all options are available in every building. Bed loft requests may take at least a week to complete.

What about packages during break?

Students should let family and friends know to redirect packages to their home addresses beginning November 16.  Packages received after November 25 will be held in the Housing Office until students return.

What happens if a student becomes ill during the semester and leaves the residence hall to come home due to COVID?

If a student has to leave campus for medical purposes please contact

What happens if residence halls are ordered to close again per COVID state or university mandate?

In the event that the university needs to change the mode of instruction during the semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic or other factors, Ohio State will not provide refunds of tuition and fees. Students who satisfactorily fulfill course requirements this semester will receive full academic credit. The university may provide partial refunds of housing and dining costs in the event the university requires students to move out of the residence halls earlier than the official move-out date for the semester. BuckID funds and Dining Dollars would be rolled over.

Will students from other residence halls be permitted into my residence hall after move-in? 

No. For the health and safety of our university community, visitors (anyone living outside of a student’s specific residential community) will not be permitted after student move-in. Overnight guests are also prohibited. 

Will students no longer have swipe access into every residence hall during the day? 

Students will no longer have swipe access to every residence hall. For the health and safety of our university community, visitors (anyone living outside of a student’s specific residential community) will not be permitted after student move-in. Overnight guests are also prohibited. 

Will family members be allowed into my residence hall if I let them in? 

No. For the health and safety of our university community, visitors (anyone living outside of a student’s specific residential community) will not be permitted after student move-in. Overnight guests are also prohibited. Parents and families can meet and visit with their student outside of the building in one of the outdoor spaces around campus. 

Will students be allowed into the residence hall that is the main hub for their scholar's program even though I will not be living there? 

No. For the health and safety of our university community, visitors (anyone living outside of a student’s specific residential community) will not be permitted after student move-in. It is recommended that scholars programs host events in spaces that can be accessed by all members of their community. Any on-campus events must follow the local, state and federal health and safety guidelines, including wearing masks, physical distancing and washing hands frequently. 

Can students leave campus to visit family or others or are they required to stay on campus throughout the whole semester? 

While students can leave campus, the university recommends they stay the entire term in order to promote the health and safety of our community.  

Will I be notified if someone in my hall/on my floor tests positive for COVID? 

Students will not be notified if someone in their residence hall tests positive for COVID-19, but they may be contacted by the contact tracing team. Providing this information is a violation of a person’s privacy and this information is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other laws. 

Am I allowed to see and be with people from different residence halls who are still on campus in my free time? 

Yes, students can visit with students from other residence halls at open spaces around campus while following health and safety guidelines, including physical distancing and wearing a mask.   

Will quarantine and isolation housing cost extra? 

If a student with a housing contract needs to quarantine or isolate, at this time there would not be an additional cost as we would look to utilize one of the spaces we have identified for this purpose. 

Quarantine and Isolation FAQs

What accommodations are being made to ensure students have study space in addition to their residence hall room? 

Study rooms and lounge spaces will be available in the residence halls. Students will also have access to academic buildings and other university buildings to use as study spaces. Students must follow health and safety guidelines, including wearing masks and physical distancing. 

Can I still have my Service and Assistance Animal in the residence hall?

The university’s policies on Services and Assistance Animals, including Emotional Support Animals and animals-in-training, remain in place. You must update the emergency contact information you provided for your animal with University Housing to Alyssa Maldonado ( The contact must be able to pick up your animal within one day if you are unable to care for it. We recommend that you maintain 2-3 weeks of food in your room since the supply chain may be disrupted or you may need to self-isolate or quarantine. Read more.

Will plexiglass be installed in reception areas in Student Life facilities (residence halls, etc.)?

As part of Ohio State’s return to campus planning, a Safe Campus & Scientific Advisory subgroup developed recommendations for how to keep our students, faculty and staff safe. Part of their research and recommendations did include reviewing the effectiveness of plexiglass. At this time there is no research that indicates plexiglass provides increased effectiveness over equipping employees with reusable face-shields and disinfectant cleaning supplies, but the committee noted they are recommended by federal agencies. Student staff working in positions that require them to work within six feet of others will be provided face-shields for use during their shifts. In addition to these face-shields and disinfectant supplies, there will be markings on the floor to reinforce 6-foot physical distancing in reception areas.

Are masks required to be worn in the residence hall rooms?

The university has strengthened its face masks requirement. Face masks must be worn in indoor settings, including classrooms, residence halls, common areas, such as lobbies, study spaces, laundry facilities, shared office spaces, hallways, busses and shared vehicles on all Ohio State campuses. Face masks are also required if students are gathering or socializing in residence hall rooms. The number of individuals in a residence hall room should be limited to facilitate physical distancing. Masks must also be worn in outdoor spaces on campus, even when individuals can maintain appropriate physical distancing. For more information, visit the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.