Information for New Undergraduate Students
Please consider the following suggestions for how to prepare to move in to your residence.
- Contact your roommate(s) before arriving on campus
We suggest comparing notes about what you’re bringing so you don’t duplicate items. Once you have received your housing assignment, you can contact your roommate(s) through the Housing Portal. Learn more at Your Housing Assignment FAQs.
- Plan what to pack
Visit What to Bring for excellent tips about what to pack … and important rules about what you should leave behind. Information about what will be provided in your room/apartment can be found at Housing Amenities.
- Buy bedding to fit an extra-long twin bed
Remember that ordinary-length sheets will not fit Cornell's beds. Extra-long sheets can be found at many online retailers and home-goods stores.
- Consider renting a microfridge
Many students find it convenient to rent a microfridge – or a microwave/mini-fridge combination – for their room. You can rent one guaranteed to meet Cornell’s electricity standards through our preferred vendor, and it will be in waiting for you in your room when you move in. If you'd like to buy one, please make sure it draws no more than 7.3 amps [840 watts] to start and 1.4 amps [160 watts] while running. (Note: Microfridges are not recommended for the Townhouse Apartments. Townhouse Apartments have a refrigerator, and are the only undergraduate residence that allows free-standing microwaves.)
- Ship your items
If you want to ship any items to campus before you arrive, we recommend using Cornell's preferred vendor, Big Red Shipping & Storage, a student-run agency that will have your items waiting in your room when you arrive.
If you decide to mail any packages yourself, please make sure items are clearly marked with your name and mailing address; you can pick up mailed packages at your Service Center or House Office.
- Consider Personal Property Insurance
All students should think about insurance coverage for their personal property. You will want to make certain that you cell phone, laptop, clothing, and other personal property items are covered for incidents that result in damage or loss of your belongings. If you are not currently covered under a policy with your family, consider Cornell University's preferred personal property insurance provider, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Participation in this plan is optional, but strongly encouraged. Find out more here.
- Sign up for a Cornell Dining meal plan
We recommend signing up for a meal plan before arriving on campus, so you can start taking advantage of its benefits and saving money from day one. Learn more about your meal plan options here.
- Add money to your laundry account
Payment for use of most residential washers and dryers is through a Campus Life debit account accessed with your Cornell ID card (exceptions: 112 Edgemoor, 109 McGraw Place, and 625 University Avenue). A card-accessed laundry account is automatically set up for all housing contract holders. You may add money to your account here. The recommended starting amount is $25; subsequent deposits can be made any time.
- Plan for Move-In Day
Remember to plan to arrive on campus during your assigned move-in day and timeslot. You'll receive that notification in mid-June with your housing assignment.
- Pack your belongings for ease and convenience
It’s a good idea to mark all belongings with your name, room number, and residence hall. Be sure to have all small items boxed for easy transfer. There is no storage available in the residence halls and Houses, so items should be packed in cardboard boxes that can be recycled, or in soft, foldable luggage that can be easily stored in a closet or under a bed. Stackable crates and organizers that fit under the bed can also work well. Visit What to Bring for suggestions about what to pack.
- Get directions to campus
Later this summer, driving directions will be posted to direct you to the residential areas for move-in or to alternate campus parking options for those families arriving on their non-move-in-date.
Tip: Follow recommended approach routes and directions to your residence halls carefully. With the heavy traffic, these directions are designed to allow you to move in efficiently. Do not rely on GPS.