2020-2021 Fall Opening Information
As you prepare for the start of the 2020–2021 academic year, you will find the following information useful. Please note that this page will be updated to provide additional information as it becomes available.
Housing assignment information (for incoming new and transfer students only)
New and transfer students should refer to the Admitted Students information to complete your housing preference form. This form is intended to help our staff determine your housing assignment and roommate. You can update your preferences as often as you would like through the end of the day on Sunday, June 21. To update your form, simply log back in and make your desired changes.
Most new student housing assignments (with residence hall room number and roommate contact information) will be sent the afternoon of Friday, July 17 to students' Cornell College email account. Any student who deposits after the initial round of letters are sent should expect their housing information within a week after depositing.
Move-in dates and times
For fall athletes and students in specialized orientation programs
Some students arrive on campus early to participate in preseason training for fall sports. Please follow the instructions sent directly to you or refer to the following:
For students in specialized orientation programs
Some new and transfer students arrive on campus early for specialized orientation sessions. Please follow the instructions sent directly to you or refer to the following:
- Each One Teach One (for students of color and first-generation students)
- International Student Orientation
For new students and transfer students with less than 7 credits
The residence halls open at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 19. When you arrive in Mount Vernon, you will see signs directing your to either your check-in location or to park for check-in at the Thomas Commons.
Students with last names A–M will go through check-in at the Thomas Commons first and then move into the residence halls.
Students with last names N–Z will move into the residence halls first and then go through check-in at the Thomas Commons.
Residence hall move-in will run from 8:30 a.m.–noon. You will pick up your keys at your designated residence hall check-in location when it's your turn to move in. Once you receive your keys you will be directed to an unloading location where volunteers will unload your belongings and help take them to the room.
Please mark your boxes and other items with your room number (any unmarked boxes will be marked that morning and so it helps our process run more smoothly if you already have them marked). Pack light in reasonably-sized boxes as carrying really heavy things up the stairs can be difficult.
Students who are running late and not able to arrive by Noon are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions for instruction on picking up keys and completing check-in.
For transfer students with 7 or more credits
The residence halls open at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, August 21. When you arrive in Mount Vernon, you will see signs directing you to check-in at the Thomas Commons.
Check-in and validation will run from 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. You will pick up your keys at the Residence Life table in the Thomas Commons. Once you receive your keys you can drive to your residence hall to unload your belongings and take them to your room. Pack light in reasonably-sized boxes, as carrying really heavy things up the stairs can be difficult.
Students who are running late and not able to arrive by 11:00 a.m. are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions for instruction on picking up keys and completing check-in.
For returning students
The residence halls open at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 22. Check-in for returning students will run from 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. on both Saturday, August 22 and Sunday, August 23. Students should report directly to their assigned residence hall to obtain their room key from the Resident Assistant office. Students living in Armstrong House, The Cottage and Wilch Apartments will pick their keys up from the RA office at Russell Hall.
Early arrival requests
The Office of Residence Life occasionally gets requests for students wanting to move in earlier than the dates listed above. Students deemed essential for opening of the residence halls and/or for hosting New Student Orientation are permitted to check in on a date and time jointly established by the supervising department and Residence Life. Examples include resident assistant staff, peer advocate staff and Thomas Commons staff (including some individuals who work at the Information Desk). Students in these groups should confirm their arrival dates and times with their supervisors. In addition, fall athletes have a different move-in process; student athletes should consult with their coach if they have questions. In each of these cases, the supervising department will cover all housing and meal plan expenses for the student(s). All sponsored early arrivals should expect that the confirmed arrival dates and times reflect the earliest that they can check into the residence halls.
Students not with a sponsoring department, including those participating in New Student Orientation, should expect that the above dates reflect the earliest that they can check into the residence halls. With very rare exception, staff members from housekeeping, facilities and residence life are preparing for the official opening days and are unable to accommodate early arrival requests from individuals not with a sponsoring department.
If extenuating circumstances exist that the student believes would warrant an earlier move-in day, then the student should contact their appropriate assistant director. Requests must be made at least three business days prior to the requested arrival date. All requests must be made by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 14. Requests not made three business days in advance or by the deadline will not be considered for approval. If a request is approved and an exception is made, the student would be charged a daily early arrival fee for housing expenses (all charges would be applied directly to the student's account); the student would not have an active meal plan and so would need to pay out of pocket to eat in the Hilltop Café.
Meal plan information
All students need to indicate their meal plan preference. Please refer to the meal plan selection information for more details.
The first meal served for all new student orientation participants will be lunch on Wednesday, August 19. Transfer student orientation meals begin with lunch on Friday, August 21. Returning students meal plans will begin with dinner on Saturday, August 22. Returning students who arrive earlier in the day on the 22th may purchase breakfast or lunch with cash or credit card at the door.
ID card photos (for incoming new and transfer students only)
You will receive a Cornell identification (ID) card when you get to campus and you will be required to carry that at all times. You can choose to submit your ID card photo in advance. Refer to ID Photo Submission information for details.
AlcoholEdu (for incoming new and transfer students only)
In August, all incoming students are required to complete an online program called AlcoholEdu. Learn more about AlcoholEdu.
Living with a roommate
Students new to sharing a living space may find our information on living with a roommate helpful in learning how to navigate that relationship.
Mailing your belongings to Cornell
Please refer to the information on mailing your belongings to campus.
Cornell College occasionally receives requests from students who want to use commercial storage pods as a means of moving their things in or out. The College can permit a limited number of storage pods to be stationed on campus. Requests will be honored in the order in which they are received. Refer to our information on storage pods for complete details.
Suggested packing list
Please refer to our list of what's provided and what to bring. This also includes a list of items that are not permitted in the residence halls.
Residence Hall Linens
Please refer to our information on beds and linens so that you can ensure that you purchase appropriate linens
Student parking on campus
Students interested in bringing a car to campus should refer to Campus Safety's information on student vehicle and parking regulations and then complete Campus Safety's student parking registration form.
Getting to and from the airport
If you will be traveling and don't have a car, you can refer to a list of transportation suggestions compiled by the Thomas Commons Information Desk. There you will find the College's electronic need a ride board as well as information on commercial transportation opportunities.