One of the most common questions we hear is, "What should I bring with me to college?" While this is really a matter of personal preference, the following is a list of items that may be helpful in determining your personal needs. This list is not comprehensive, rather it's intended as a guide to get you started. 

As you plan what to bring please keep in mind that storage space is limited, and that you likely will be living with someone else. We recommend that you talk to your roommate when you are planning what to bring to campus. It is strongly recommended to have only one television and one stereo per room. College policy limits residents to one refrigerator per room. Keep in mind that college-owned furniture may not be removed from your room. Mattresses, desks and dressers must be incorporated into your room layout.

Provided items

Rooms are issued standard furniture which can vary depending on which hall you live in.  Every room has two desks with chairs and two beds with twin-extra long mattresses. Every room also has dresser (either as a built-in dressers, a free-standing dresser or as a free-standing dresser/wardrobe combo unit) and closet space (either as a built-in closet, a free-standing wardrobe unit or as a free-standing dresser/wardrobe combo unit) for each student. Multiple occupancy rooms have desk toppers that have a shelf and a small light built in. Single rooms have desk top bookshelves instead of the desk topper.

The dimensions of the furniture are as follows (again, note that not every type of furniture listed below is provided in each room):

  • Desk: 36"W, 24"D, 29"H
  • Desk Topper: 34"W, 12"D, 29"H
  • Dresser: 36"W, 24"D, 29"H
  • Book Shelf: 34"W, 12"D, 29"H
  • Desk Chair: 19"W, 22"D, 33"H
  • Bed Frame: 84"L, 41"W, 29"H
  • Mattress: 81"L, 37"W, 8"H
  • Wardrobe: 24"L, 36"W, 72"H
  • Dresser/Wardrobe Comb: 24"L, 34"W, 72"H

Our furniture is stackable in a variety of configurations. Also, beds are able to be lofted (note that if you choose to loft, then you will be responsible for providing your own ladder if you will need one). You can refer to our furniture manufacturer's website for pictures of the furniture. Again, please remember that not all furniture pictured appears in each room. Also note that the color of the furniture is not representative of the color of the furniture in the room.

Necessary items

  • Face coverings (masks, shields, etc.)- if a mask, preferably one for each day of the week
  • Hand- sanitizer
  • Cleaning products (Clorox wipes or other cleaning products)-  to clean high touch areas and face shield if needed
  • Thermometer with a plastic protective sleeve covering if possible- especially if sharing thermometer with a roommate
  • Alarm clock
  • Extra-long twin sheet set(s), mattress pad, blankets, bedspread and pillow(s); refer to our information on residence hall linens for more details
  • Towels
  • Laundry detergent for coin free high efficiency (HE) machines (cost included as part of room and board)
  • Laundry hamper and/or basket
  • Toiletries (a bath caddy is useful)
  • Wire clothes hangers
  • Your health/medical insurance card
  • Prescription medication if you take it; for convenience, many students choose to have their physician transfer their prescriptions to CarePro Pharmacy - Mount Vernon at 319-895-6248
  • List of important telephone numbers such as your family physician and your insurance company
  • A trash can for your room (and trash bags to fit in that can)
  • Cleaning supplies for your room and cookware, including a broom and dustpan, or small vacuum cleaner
  • Fall and winter clothes, jackets and shoes
  • Photo ID, driver's license, state ID card, or passport for identification purposes or to complete employment paperwork for on- or off-campus jobs (if you have your original Social Security Card, birth certificate or US passport, you can complete that paperwork; other documents can work but are less often used)

Useful items

  • Headphones/earbuds with a microphone in case you need to be online for classes or meetings while around others.
  • Bag chair (sling bag) or folding chair for outdoor class opportunities.
  • An overnight bag for packing a few changes of clothes and some personal items should the need arise to self-isolate or quarantine.
  • Study lamp
  • Telephone (there is one telephone jack per room)
  • Refrigerator no larger than 4.5 cubic feet (policy allows one refrigerator per single or double occupancy room, or two refrigerators for any triple or quad occupancy room; full size refrigerators are available in the building's community kitchen)
  • Plants, posters, photos of family and friends and other decorative items to make your room feel like home
  • Stereo (small and compact)
  • Television and DVD player
  • Tower or box fan
  • Computer and printer (check out Information Technology's website for First Time Users for more information)
  • Throw rugs or small carpet
  • UL approved surge protector power strips (with circuit breaker)
  • Flashlight
  • Cookware for use in residence hall kitchens
  • Plates, cups and silverware
  • A sleeping bag for retreats
  • A way to carry your ID and keys
  • A backpack to carry your books, notebooks and any other provisions for class each day (if you bring a laptop computer, make sure your backpack is equipped to carry the computer)
  • Headphones for your stereo, computer and TV
  • A simple first aid kit for minor scrapes and cuts
  • Tissues
  • Slippers and/or shower shoes
  • A pair of shoes that can be used for outdoor service work
  • Hard plastic or metal containers for storing snacks
  • Video games, board games, cards, a Frisbee, football, basketball, etc.

Prohibited items

  • Microwaves (they have the potential to overload circuits); all kitchens have microwaves
  • Personal room air conditioners, including both window units or portable units with a vent hose
  • Halogen lamps (they are a fire hazard)
  • Open coil appliances with exposed heating elements, such as space heaters, open face coffee pots or toasters
  • Extension cords (without circuit breakers)
  • Pets other than fish
  • Candles or incense
  • Permanent adhesives and nails
  • Street or highway signs (it's illegal to possess them in Iowa)
  • Weapons, firearms, fireworks, or explosives