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Early Arrival Information

Whitworth University allows a defined set of students to return to campus housing before the halls open in the fall. 

Early arrival students

An "early arrival" is any student who is arriving to campus housing before the official fall opening of the residence halls. Students must receive prior approval to move into campus housing early. Failure to do so will result in a charge of $100/night. See for a complete residence hall calendar.

Early arrival students do not have access to their meal plans. Instead, they either pay for their own entry into the dining hall or their sponsoring team/group will pay for their entry.

An early arrival student is a person who is:

  • Enrolled at Whitworth for the upcoming fall semester. No one is allowed to live in the halls or participate in any university function – including athletic practices or leadership training – without enrollment.
  • Participating in team/group activities happening on campus, regardless of whether or not the person is living in campus housing or living off campus (e.g., a student-athlete who lives off campus but has practices happening on campus).

Requesting an early arrival

Students who meet the above criteria may request an early arrival, but the student’s coach, director of their leadership position or on-campus work supervisor must also request the student’s early return. The coach, director or supervisor must email with:

  1. The reason the student is returning early
  2. The student’s date of arrival
  3. Whether or not their department will pay for the student’s meals in the dining hall

Students are never allowed to return early to campus housing simply because they want to come back early. For example, students are not allowed to return early if they’ve improperly scheduled their flights or travel plans, if they’re returning to Spokane for an off-campus job or if their apartment lease is ending before the halls open. The university is not responsible for housing or accommodating student’s requests if the student does not meet the criteria of an early arrival.


Housing: Early arrival students are billed for housing per night (based on when they receive their room key, their first night staying on campus, or the first night they move belongings onto campus; whichever is earliest). Early arrival students who live in campus housing are billed at the “undergraduate – 1-29 nights” rate. (See for the current rate.)

Dining: Meals are billed directly to the student unless the student’s group/team is covering dining costs.

University-sponsored early arrivals

These students are not billed for the housing costs listed above. These students’ housing costs are paid for by the university, due to their involvement in an official leadership team, their need to return to campus for a credit-bearing class/internship, or their status as an international student. University-sponsored early arrivals include: 

  • ASWU leaders
  • Athletic trainers
  • Awake and chapel worship team
  • Biblical Justice coordinators
  • BUCS Bridge peer guides and protégés
  • Campus Ministry Coordinators (CMC)
  • Career Peer Coaches (CPC)
  • Community Engagement Advocates (CEA)
  • Cultural Diversity Advocates (CDA)
  • Emmaus residents
  • The Health Education Action Team (HEAT)
  • International students
  • In-season athletes
  • Resident assistants (RA)
  • ROTC students
  • Student-teachers
  • WhitWilderness participants (WhitWilderness leaders are considered non-university-sponsored early arrivals, see below)

Non-university-sponsored early arrivals

These students are typically returning to campus for a campus job, schedule conflicts, etc. The following student types are charged the “undergraduate – 1-29 nights” rate per night (found here), and meals in the dining hall are not covered by a Whitworth department:

  • Wai‘anae-to-Whitworth students
  • Whitworth Neighborhood residents
  • NEW FOR FALL 2024: Students who are returning to campus early for an on-campus job not listed above will be charged the “undergraduate – 1-29 nights” rate per night. This includes most on-campus jobs; including, but not limited to:
    • Outdoor recreation staff (including WhitWilderness trip leaders)
    • Any student employee of student financial services, the library, Sodexo, the HUB Info Desk, event techs, etc.

Note: While these departments may choose to pay for the student’s housing and/or meal costs, all billing is added to the student's account and ultimately the responsibility of the student.

These requirements, policies and procedures have existed for quite a while but are only now being formalized and detailed online. As such, expect subtle yet significant changes to be made to this page as we work to clarify the early arrival information.