a family posing with their student's stuff they're moving into the dorms during Welcome Week

Finding Your UIUC Housing Fit: University Housing vs. Private Certified Housing

To help ease the transition from home to college, first-time attending students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are required to live in university-approved housing—University Housing or Private Certified Housing.

We know what you’re thinking: “With 39 housing options, where do I start?”

Finding the place that’s best for you is all about your personal preferences. So, let’s talk about finding your housing fit.  

What is Private Certified Housing?

Never heard of Private Certified Housing (PCH)? You’re not alone. This housing option is completely unique to UIUC.

University Housing residence halls are owned by the university, while PCH facilities are privately owned but certified by the university for all UIUC students, including first-year students. Similar to University Housing, PCH facilities offer all the essentials you expect from student housing.

University Housing vs. Private Certified Housing

Approximately 75% of first-year students live in University Housing, and the other 25% live in PCH.

visualization of %'s of students opting for University Housing vs. Private-Certified Housing, 75% and 25% respectively

University Housing offers up 24 undergraduate residence halls, 2 upper-division residence halls, 11 living-learning communities, and 8 special living options. If you’re looking for the “classic” college experience—traditional double-room floor plans, a diverse social scene, active student organizations, and multiple dining venues—check out University Housing.

PCH offers up 13 unique housing options, from small cooperative houses, where residents take turns cooking and cleaning, to large high-rise residence halls, featuring amenities such as suite-style floor plans, semi-private bathrooms, in-room kitchens, and housekeeping services. In addition to special-interest communities, 5 PCH facilities are also affiliated with religious organizations.

Regardless of where you choose to live, both University Housing and PCH facilities are located on or within blocks of campus and include access to the same campus programs and services, registered student organizations, and special events and activities.

To compare housing options, check out our University Housing compare options tool and PCH feature comparison tool.

Cost Comparison  

Rates for University Housing and PCH facilities are determined by your selected facility, room, and meal plan. Depending on your selection, some PCH rates are lower than University Housing, others are higher, and others are in line with University Housing.

To compare costs, view University Housing rates and PCH rates.   

"Welcome Home, Illini" banner adorns the entrance to Bousfield Hall on move-in day

Ready to Contract?

University Housing Process

You’ve done your research and have determined University Housing is the place for you. Submit your housing contract by our May 15 priority deadline.

If you submit your housing contract by the priority deadline, you’ll get to select your room, roommate, and meal plan during the room selection process. Access to choose your room will be sent to your UIUC email address in late May. If you miss this deadline, University Housing will pick a space for you.

Private Certified Housing Process

You’ve determine PCH is more your style. To contract, contact the facility you’re interested in.

Each PCH facility has its own contract process. Because each process is different and because PCH facilities fill on a first-come, first-served basis, deadlines to guarantee space vary. Remember, when you sign a contract, you lock in your assignment with that facility, so be sure not to sign legally binding contracts with more than one PCH facility.

group of students and residence hall neighbors pose together in Ikenberry Commons

Still Can’t Decide?

Visit University Housing or PCH for even more photos, videos, floor plans, and rates!

Questions? Contact our Housing Information Office at (217) 333-7111 or housing@illinois.edu.

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