Campus Housing

Location
Normal, IL
Undergrads
17,140
Tuition (in-state)
$20,016 ($12,726)
Admission Difficulty
Easy
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Reviews

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3 College Junior

Campus Housing: The dorms are not the greatest. The best option would probably be Hewitt/Manchester dorms. The social atmosphere is good, there are a lot of friendly people. The cost is high like many universities, but fun.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Living in the dorms is a great way to get involved in the community, however we would all love to have our own space in an apartment. It's pretty expensive to live in the dorm due to the cost of living plus dining center packages. Definitely cheaper to live in an apartment. The housing process is super easy and convienent though.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The quad is beautiful and the architecture of the buildings are phenomenal

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The campus housing is fine, but could do better at enforcing the rules that they put in place.

4 College Student

Campus Housing: I like living in Watterson because it is close to almost every building I need to go for classes. Since it is also the largest dorm on campus, it is easy to get a group of my friends together at once since we all live in the same building but different floors. I also enjoy the view of the campus at the very top floor in the laundry lounge.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 441st
    Best Dorm Atmosphere
  • 658th
    Shortest Walk to Class
  • 827th
    Most Spacious Dorms
  • 1232nd
    Cleanest Dorms

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Elizabeth Nelligan
Hometown
Lake Zurich, IL
Major
Journalism
View all previous student authors

Dorm life is difficult for most students, but Illinois State University helps ease the transition. There are eight main dorms for students to choose from, all of which include a number of different amenities. Students are required to live in the dorms for two years, so it is not uncommon to see freshmen and sophomores meandering about. Most of the dorms at ISU have been newly remodeled within the past few years and contain new furniture. Many students complain that the rooms are small and that it is difficult to live in such a tight space with someone you do not know. There are ways to get around the space issue, such as lofting your bed to add more floor room. While students may find it difficult to live with another person, each floor has a large lounge for studying, relaxing, or escaping.Overall, all of the dorms are located on campus and are within a 10-minute walk to class, which makes them convenient for students.

Most student athletes live in the Tri-Towers (Wilkins, Haynie, and Wright Halls) because the athletic facilities are within the same vicinity. Watterson Towers, the 28-story, twin-tower complex, is the most popular place to live on campus. However, Watterson can be confusing to get around in because the elevators do not stop on every floor and each wing is called by a different president’s name (example: "Monroe"). Atkin-Colby and Hamilton-Whitten are the only "wet" dorms, which mean people over the age of 21 are allowed to bring in alcohol. However, these dorms are set to be torn down after the summer of 2012.

Facts & Statistics

On-Campus Housing Available?
Yes
Campus Housing Capacity
6,073
Average Housing Costs
$5,002
Types of Housing Offered
  • Apartments for married students
  • Apartments for single students
  • Coed dorms
  • Fraternity/sorority housing
  • Special housing for disabled students
  • Special housing for international students
  • Theme housing
  • Wellness housing
  • Women's dorms
Freshmen Required to Live on Campus?
Yes
Undergrads Living On Campus
33%
Freshmen Living On Campus
97%
Number of Dormitories
8
Number of Campus-Owned Apartments
2
Best Freshman Dorms
  • Hewett Hall
  • Manchester Hall
Best Upperclassman Dorms
  • Watterson Towers
  • Wilkins, Haynie, and Wright Halls (Tri-Towers)
Worst Freshman Dorms
  • Watterson Towers
  • Wilkins, Haynie, and Wright Halls (Tri-Towers)
Worst Upperclassman Dorms
  • Watterson Towers
  • Wilkins, Haynie, and Wright Halls (Tri-Towers)
What You Get
  • Basic cable
  • Bed
  • Closet
  • Desk and chair
  • Dresser
  • Fitness center
  • Internet connection
  • Laundry facilities
  • Lounges
  • Phone (except Wilkins)
  • Recreation areas
  • Study areas
  • Study lamp
  • Window drapes
Also Available
Special interest or academic lifestyle housing is available in Atkin-Colby and Manchester Halls. Lifestyle housing is available in the Tri-Towers and Watterson Towers.
Available for Rent
Mini-fridges, lofts
Did You Know?
  • Watterson Towers is not only the tallest residence hall on campus, but it's also one of the tallest in the world and the highest vantage point between Chicago and St. Louis.
  • The 11th floor of Atkin-Colby (which no longer houses students, but is used for storage) is believed to be haunted.
  • Atkin-Colby and Hamilton-Whitten are the only "wet" dorms on campus, which means alcohol is allowed for residents over the age of 21.

DormitoriesWhat's This?

Atkin-Colby Hall
Floors: 10
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: This hall offers nine-month housing and remains open during University breaks. Most floors are designated for special interest or academic lifestyles.
Hamilton-Whitten Hall
Floors: 10
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen and graduate students
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: This hall offers nine-month housing and remains open during University breaks.
Haynie Hall
Floors: 11
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: In August 2006, renovation was completed on Haynie Hall. It is part of West Campus (or Tri-Towers) along with Wilkins and Wright Halls.
Hewett Hall
Floors: 17
Number of Occupants: 750-999
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Hewett is close to Milner Library and Bone Student Center.
Manchester Hall
Floors: 17
Number of Occupants: 750-999
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Manchester is close to Milner Library and Bone Student Center.
Watterson Towers
Floors: 28
Number of Occupants: 1,000+
Bathrooms: Suite
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Six-room suites (singles, doubles, and triples)
Special Features: Watterson Towers is one of the world's tallest residence halls, and it features a food court that offers a wide variety of items and venues.
Wilkins Hall
Floors: 11
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: In August 2005, renovation was completed on Wilkins Hall. It is part of West Campus (or Tri-Towers) along with Haynie and Wright Halls.
Wright Hall
Floors: 11
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: In August 2007, renovation was completed on Wright Hall. It is part of West Campus (or Tri-Towers) along with Haynie and Wilkins Halls.

Campus-Owned ApartmentsWhat's This?

Cardinal Court
Floors: 2
Number of Units: 100-249
Bathrooms: Private
Coed: Yes (single-sex by unit)
Residents: Upperclassmen and graduate students
Room Types: One- and two-bedroom apartments (unfurnished)
Special Features: Monthly rent includes water, basic cable TV, and broadband Internet.
As of January 2011, this building is under construction, with a new housing project moving forward. Questions about the future of Cardinal Court can be directed to University Housing Services at (309) 438-8611.
Shelbourne Drive
Floors: 2
Number of Units: 100-249
Bathrooms: Private
Coed: Yes (single-sex by unit)
Residents: Upperclassmen and graduate students
Room Types: One- and two-bedroom two-story town homes (unfurnished)
Special Features: There are two modified apartments for people who use wheelchairs. Monthly rent includes water, basic cable TV, and broadband Internet.

Student Polls

Rate campus housing on the following subjects    Based on 120 responses

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  • Age of buildings
  • Amenities/perks
  • Cleanliness
  • Ease of housing process/lottery system
  • Proximity to classes
  • Resident community
  • Social atmosphere
  • Spaciousness
  • Strictness
  • Value

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