Roommate and the Matching Process

Students have the opportunity to indicate a preferred roommate on their housing contract. Students who mutually select one another will automatically be housed together as roommates. For students who do not indicate a preferred roommate, the Residential Life Professional Staff hand match them with students who respond similarly to the lifestyle preference questions on the online housing contract.

We take pride in our hand-matching process. While sorting through over 500 contracts and matching individuals with one another based on lifestyle preferences is a time-consuming process, we believe that our individualized treatment is worthwhile. Since we began matching roommates this way, our staff reports a dramatic decline in the number of roommate conflicts and moves that occur in the first semester that students live in the residence halls. This is not to suggest that we can predict and eliminate every potential conflict that students will have with one another, but our goal is to place students with others who share their interests and/or preferences.

Once students are paired with a compatible roommate, roommate pairs are placed in halls by the date the student contracted with the University through Admissions. Students who contracted earlier (December and January) are more likely to be placed in their preferred hall than students who contracted later (March and April). Once a hall is filled, we place roommate pairs on floors based on shared interests (such as music or volunteerism) as indicated on the housing contract.

Once you receive your roommate's name, address and phone number in the mail, we encourage you to make a contact before you arrive on campus. You may want to find out a little bit about the person with whom you'll be sharing your first year at IWU. You can also discuss what each of you plans to bring to the room so that you won't double up on larger space-stealing items like TVs, refrigerators or microwaves.

Finally, if possible, you may want to compare notes on when you plan to arrive on campus. Coordinating your move-in time will provide the chance for you to establish immediate joint-ownership of your space and avoid the downtime one of you might face waiting for the other to arrive so that you can arrange the room together. Some roommates have even preferred to meet at an area restaurant for an energizing breakfast and a chance to connect before heading over to campus to move-in.


ORL Seal mark Our mission is facilitating enjoyable, sustainable and inclusive communities that support and enhance students' academic achievement and personal development.