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Eastern Illinois University

EIU Department of Housing


Your student has moved to EIU, now what? We know that as parents/guardians you might have many questions of your own. Our goal is to keep you informed and provide you with all the information needed to make your student’s academic career a successful one.

Family Weekend 2023

Housing Options

With 11 residence halls, 2 apartment complexes (University Court and University Apartments), and Greek Court, you’ll be sure to find a housing option that fits your student's needs. Read about the reasons why your student will benefit from living on campus and compare costs to living off campus. 

Residence Hall Living

Help your student make their room a home away from home! Check out our Flickr page to see room decoration ideas and other photographs of what it is like at EIU.

View Room Decoration Ideas


Our annual Homecoming Week in October typically has time-honored traditions such as the parade, tailgate and football game, pep rally, and pancake breakfast. The spirit-filled week features a variety of opportunities for EIU students, faculty, staff and alumni to showcase their Panther Pride! 

View the events

Alert EIU

To ensure student safety, you should have them sign up for the Alert EIU text-messaging system which will notify them of emergencies requiring immediate action around campus. 

Alert EIU

Get Involved!

This is a great way for your students to have fun and establish life long friendships while carrying a number of responsibilities in the residence halls. Panther L.E.A.D.S., Residence Hall AssociationNational Residence Hall Honorary, and Student Affairs Prep Program are all great opportunities available to on-campus students.

Learn More

Resources on Campus

Rest assured that we'll take care of your students while they're on campus.  Our housing communities are staffed 24/7 and we have friends all over campus to help your students as well.

View Resources on Campus

Other Parent Resources

Helpful Advice


Many things have changed since the beginning of the academic year. Students have become more self-reliant; parents have developed their own interests or are focusing more of their attention on younger siblings; and in some homes, the student’s room may have become an office or a sibling’s bedroom. As a result, weekend and holiday visits back home often provide challenges for both students and parents. Fortunately, you can take a number of steps to make sure this time at home is enjoyable for all.

Take a look at the list, keep an open mind, and use the tips for the upcoming break to ensure that it’s a successful one.

  • Let your student know you understand things are different than when they were in high school and that you are willing to consider some new house rules. Share your thoughts regarding the rules that need to remain the same and those that are up for negotiation.
  • It’s not unusual for students to want to spend considerable time seeing old friends from high school and new friends from college who may live nearby. Parents, having eagerly awaited their student’s return, maybe disappointed and hurt by such behavior. Be flexible and work with your student to schedule family times when you can all be together.
  • Express interest in your student’s life at school but avoid an interrogation. Pressuring students for information is like trying to swim out of quicksand. It seems like a good idea, but the outcome may be contrary to the intended goal - which is to sustain a healthy relationship with your student.
  • Learn from the past. Review the successes and mistakes of previous visits, and try to do more of the former. Additionally, it may be beneficial to search the recesses of your memory and recall what it was like when you, as a young adult, were establishing your own independence and identity. What did your parents do or say that was helpful or hurtful?
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Concentrate on the bigger picture of acquainting yourself with your student’s new experiences and enjoying your time together.
  • Students who have struggled with the adjustment to college life may have a rough time returning to school. Be prepared for some tears, listen patiently to concerns, and help them to develop strategies to use when they are feeling homesick.
  • Don’t point out the things your student is doing wrong, or blame your student for any problems that occur. Focus on what you can do to make it the best visit possible.

Incoming students and their parents often look upon college as a new beginning and hope that past issues and problems will disappear with the move to campus.

Experience suggests that the opposite is more likely to be true. Luckily, there are a number of steps that students with past or existing personal problems can take to improve their adjustment to college life and increase their chances for success.

Helpful Steps for Improvement

• Any student who has been previously diagnosed with a serious psychological issue (e.g., depression, substance abuse, etc.) should continue to follow their prescribed therapeutic regimens. Students taking medication should make arrangements to maintain the necessary supply when away at school and continue monitoring by a primary health care provider at home.

• It is a good idea for the student to obtain (from established providers) a summary of his or her previous treatments. Such information will be helpful to have on hand for the Counseling Center to better determine therapeutic arrangements.

• While important to all students, avoiding excesses in alcohol and other drug use is especially critical for those students with a prior or existing mental health concern.

• Look into the New Student Support Program. Through this offering, the student has the opportunity to meet with a counselor to review his/her specific situation and to determine how best to meet their needs while in college.

To find out more about the Counseling Center, call 217-581-3413 or go to


One of the latest college phenomenons actually relates to life after college. More and more students are making the choice to move back in with their parents after college. Some do so to save money while paying back student loans, while others just didn’t plan ahead. Whatever the reason, the resulting experience can be uncomfortable. We offer the following tips to parents and students alike to better the odds of enjoying this time together.

Set Boundaries:

We recommend talking prior to the graduate returning home. A frank conversation about the expectations from both sides is absolutely necessary. Mutually agreed-upon expectations are the ones that usually get met. A graduate student has lived by their own rules for the most part for some time, thus it will be an adjustment for them to think about how their decisions affect others. For instance, they might not think staying up to the wee hours of the morning impacts anyone else, but it can. They might not think about actually throwing out the carton of milk of which they just finished off, which could make a parent very irritable. So remember, talk about all of the rules and expectations together to find something all parties can live with.


Discuss paying for rent, utilities, etc. Negotiate something reasonable to assist in savings, or encourage the savings of at least 25% of the student’s salary for the eventual move-out.


Although having a live-in maid, personal chef, and car repairman is appealing to most, it will not encourage independent living. The graduate should do their own laundry, pay for their own gas, and contribute to taking care of themselves any way possible if they truly want to be an adult.

Help out:

Parents and siblings tend to feel more gracious towards the returned family member if they contribute to better home life. Taking out the trash without being told or making dinner for everyone without being asked can go a long way towards positive feelings. Coming home and fighting with siblings and/or creating more work for other family members can create a cranky family situation.

Set a time limit:

Some parents don't ever want to see their student leave the house, some really didn't intend to see much of them again when they dropped them off at school, and some are looking for the in-between. In the in-between, discuss what are some reasonable goals for the independent move out and how everyone can work together to attain the goals. If you just don't see how moving back in can work, parents could attempt to assist in financial support for a set time for an apartment on their own.

Enjoy the time together:

As life goes on, it becomes much harder for families to spend time together. Now is the time to watch the game together, sit out on the deck and discuss how everyone's days were, and show interest in siblings' activities. There will always be time for friends and work, but it will not be often when you have complete access to your family, take the time to enjoy it.

Feeling Homesick and Transitioning to Life in College

Going to college is a wonderful experience filled with new opportunities and challenges. Some students may feel a little homesick at the start of the academic year, and may need extra help transitioning to their new surroundings.

While some homesickness can be expected, if you feel your student is showing signs of simply not adjusting to the transition, or if schoolwork is suffering because of it, please encourage them to seek assistance from various on or off campus resources such as the counseling center, academic support services and their Resident Assistant (RA).

Our department recommends that students find ways to get involved to help them adjust and acclimate to campus life. With over 200 student organizations on campus, some of which are in the residence halls, there are tons of great opportunities for our students.

Gift Baskets and Care Packages

Let your student know you're thinking about them by sending a specialty gift basket from Panther Dining or support our very own Residence Hall Association with a gift through Dormify.  These are delivered straight to their halls!

Order Gift Baskets


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