Does Kirkwood own it's own housing?
What is available within walking distance to campus?
When do I apply for housing?
How many applications should I turn in?
Do I need a parent co-signer or guarantor to sign my lease?
Do they run credit/background checks at the time of application?
Is there an application fee?
How many bedrooms are available?
Are the apartments furnished?
Do I need to find my own roommate?
What if I want to find my own roommate?
Can I live with someone of the opposite sex?
What if I don't get along with my roommate?
Who do I pay rent to?
How much is rent?
Can I use financial aid money to pay rent?
What's the difference between a 10 month and 12 month lease?
Can I rent by the semester?
Can I sublease for the summer?
What is the difference between an individual and joint lease?
Is there security at the apartments?
Can I find legal help?
Q: Does Kirkwood own it's own housing?
A: No, Kirkwood students live in privately-owned housing. You won't find any dorms or college-run apartments. On the Cedar Rapids main campus, Kirkwood works closely with complexes located within a 1 1/2 miles of campus. These complexes have room for about 3,500 students to live comfortably in their own room and have the luxury of a living room and kitchen area. Kirkwood has deticated a Housing Coordinator on campus in 230 Iowa Hall to help prospective students and parents with the process.
Q: What is available within walking distance to campus?
A: Check out the Apartment Complex Map that shows which complexes are within walking distance. You can also see the Cedar Rapids Transit bus route that can get you from your apartment to classes. Route numbers 7 and 11 are FREE with your Eagle Card and bus sticker.
Q: When do I apply for housing?
A: Apply for an apartment/house when you are 100% sure that you will be attending Kirkwood. At the time that you apply you will be paying an application fee and a security deposit to reserve your spot. This application fee is non-refundable and the deposit is most likely not going to be a full refund if you decide not to attend. But, when you know you're going to be attending... make sure to get it in and reserve your spot before that complex fills!
Q: How many applications should I turn in?
A: Only turn in one application for your first choice complex. At the time of applicaton you will pay a deposit and application fee.
Q: Do I need a parent co-signer or guarantor to sign my lease?
A: Yes, at most complexes around campus all students under the age of 25 need a co-signer/guarantor to sign a lease. Most students have a family member as their guarantor on the apartment. If you're unable to have a cosigner there may be a possibly to work with the management on other payment options like an extra deposit or paying in full.
Q: Do they run credit/background checks at the time of application?
A: Yes, complexes around Kirkwood run a credit check on the guarantor and a background check on the applicant.
Q: Is there an application fee?
A: Yes, complexes around Kirkwood do charge an application fee as the managment runs a credit check on the guarantor and a background check on the student applicant. The managment staff has to pay for these services to be done. This is a non-refundable charge.
Q: How many bedrooms are available?
A: The complexes that Kirkwood currently works with to house Kirkwood students have availability in one, two, three, four, and five bedrooms. There is a mix from houses, duplexes, condos, and many apartment living styles.
Q: Are the apartments furnished?
A: The apartment complexes near campus come unfurnished with the exception of the main appliances including a refrigerator, storve/oven, and sometimes a dishwasher and microwave. Students are responsible for bringing items for their bedrooms and sharing furnishing responsibilities with roommates in the living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
Q: Do I need to find my own roommate?
A: Students can live with a friend from home and have the opportunity to choose their own roommate(s) on the application for the complex. All complexes do leasing by the bedroom so that means they will be able to match you up with a roommate.
Check out our group on Facebook "Kirkwood Roommate Finder" to chat with other students coming to Kirkwood and looking for roommates. We also host a Roommate Matching Day in early April every year. Plan to attend this event to meet other students in person and find roommate(s).
Each complex has their own unique way of matching students up but most of them follow the same type of questionnaire. They want to know your living styles and habits to match you with someone that will be most compatible with you.
Q:What if I want to find my own roommate?
A: If you want to be proactive and choose your own roommate you can go to our Facebook group named "Kirkwood Roommate Finder" and check out who else is coming to Kirkwood and looking for a roommate.
Q: Can I live with someone of the opposite sex?
A: Yes, most complexes, but not all, do allow students to live with someone of the opposite sex. There are many situations where this can be a benefit for the students but most of the time it's more of a distraction. Your landlord will never assume you want to live with someone of the opposite sex and will not match you with a roommate of the opposite sex unless you've specifically requested that roommate. Keep in mind that your cosigner/guarantor does have to approve this living situation as well as the other student.
Q: What if I don't get along with my roommate?
A: If you don't get along with your roommate, try to work it out. The best advise is to communicate with each other on the issues at hand and talk about how to resolve them. There are many resources for you and your roommate like your Resident Manager/Assistant (if you have one), the management staff in the office, counselors on campus in Student Development, and of course in the Housing/Student Life office.
If you still don't get along with your roommate, it's not easy to switch. Most complexes are going to tell you to stick it out for at least 60 days. This way you will have the time and opportunity to work out your issues and may become at least livable with each other.
Q: Who do I pay rent to?
A: Rent is paid at the first of the month to your landlord. Some complexes have offices right on the property and you're able to walk over and hand in your rent or if it's outside office hours you can put it in a drop box. You may have to mail your rent to the office if it's not located on the property. If the first of the month falls on a weekend, students are expected to pay rent the Friday before the first of the month.
Q: How much is rent?
A: Each complex sets their own prices for rent each month. These prices can be compared on the Kirkwood Housing website on the Price Comparison page. Keep in mind these prices are subject to change without notice so make sure to check the price before you turn in an application.
Q: Can I use Financial Aid money to pay rent?
A: Kirkwood Students are able to use their Financial Aid refund checks for living and all other student related expenses, including rent. Refund checks are mailed approximately two weeks after classes begin. (For new first semester college students your loan check is held for 30 days after classes start.) The checks are issued by Kirkwood Community College and mailed to the address on file. Be sure to keep it current! To check on a disbursement, log in to EagleNet and select My Bill by Term. Remember, if you have a hold on your account, your refund will not be issued until it is resolved.
Q: What is the difference between a 10 month and a 12 month lease?
A: Well, the obvious reason is the lease term itself. Most 10 month leases start in August and end at the end of May. Not all complexes offer the 10 month lease option, most only offer a 12 month lease starting in August and ending in July. When applying pay close attention to the move in and move out dates as some leases are not a true 12 months.
The second difference may be price, generally the 10 month leases are more per month and the 12 month leases are less to pay each month but for a longer term. Some complexes may not have any price difference between the two lease terms and others may be close to one month's rent.
If you're trying to decide between a 10 and 12 month lease option, consider a few things: will you be taking summer classes? Are you planning on attending Kirkwood for two years, it may be beneficial for you to continue your lease out of the same apartment and not move between years. And finally, how much rent can you afford each month? Most 12 month rent prices are more affordable when paying month to month.
Q: Can I rent by semester?
A: Unfortunately, no. All of the complexes offer a 10, or 12 month lease option. Students are able to sublease their apartment to another student that may be moving in and attending Kirkwood. Students wishing to find a place to live could always check with the sublease listings on the Kirkwood Housing webpage and help another student out and possibly find a good deal on an apartment.
Q: Can I sublease for the summer?
A: Yes, students that are not going to be living in their apartment for the remainder of their lease are able to sublease. Students can fill out a subleasing form online to have your listing added to the Kirkwood Housing website. You should also notify your landlord that you're subleasing as they may be able to help you find a subleaser. A couple of tips if you're planning on subleasing: tell all of your friends and classmates as word travels well, and submit a sublease posting early.
Q: What is the difference between an individual and a joint lease?
A: Liability and risk are the main differences between the individual and joint leases. Joint leases are more risky and individual leases are less risky. Most complexes only offer individual leases for the protection of the students, some have the option, and a few have joint leases only.
Joint Lease is the classic lease most people are familiar with. In a joint lease, everybody is fully responsible for lease charges. This means that even if you paid rent on time, you still would owe if a roommate failed to pay. This is the best option if you are positive that your roommates are able and willing to fulfill their rent obligations.
Individual leases separate the bedroom and rent charges so that the only joint liability is for common area charges. The common areas are defined in the individual lease document. This is the best option if you do not know your roommates or do not want to run the risk of having to pay somebody else's rent.
Q: Is there security at the apartments?
A: All apartment complexes hire security to be on the premesis on nights and weekends. Check with your landlord/manager to see how to contact the property's security and make sure to program this number in your cell phone or write it down and have it handy at your apartment in case of emergencies.
Q: Can I find legal help?
A: Yes, there are a few options for you. Feel free to check out the website for Iowa Legal Aid organization. (http://www.iowalegalaid.org/ia/homepage.html) If you can not find what you're looking for, contact us at the Student Life office. Kirkwood has free legal advise through a local attorney's office. (319-398-5578)