Housing Lottery Process - Frequently Asked Questions

Housing Lottery Process FAQ


Q. When is the deadline for the housing lottery deposit?
A. February 3, 2017 – Upper-class students must pay $250 (Non-refundable) housing deposit to Bursar’s Office. All payments must go to the Bursar’s Office. It is important to identify that this payment is for the housing deposit.

Q. Where does the $250 go for entering the lottery?
A. The $250 is applied to your housing fees once you sign your housing agreement for the following year.

Q. Why does it matter if a student pays the deposit on time?
A. Paying the $250 deposit by February 3, 2017 enables a student to be placed in the Junior/Senior or Graduate student lottery process. Students that do not pay the deposit by this time and wish to participate in housing selection will not be able to choose housing until all students that met the deadline have selected spaces.

Q. Will students be able to live with roommates who pay the housing deposit late?
A. Students who pay the deposit late, but have not moved off campus are still guarenteed housing.  Whenever possible, we try to accomidate housing groups.

Q. What if a student is unable to pay this deposit by the deadline for personal financial reasons?
If there are valid financial conditions why this deposit can’t be met in time please contact the Office of Residence Life by emailing res-life@scranton.edu. Department staff will work with students on an indivdual basis.

Q. Why does Residence Life require the deposit to be paid so far in advance of the Lottery?
A. This emphasis on timely deposits is necessary in order for Residence Life to have an accurate number of students who will require housing. This will allow Residence Life to manage the lottery and housing process effectively.

Q. Will students be allowed to “squat” or maintain their current residence for the next academic year?
A. No. All rooms will be available in the Lottery and no rooms can be carried over from one year to the next.  The expection will be students currently living in graduate student housing in the Quincy Avenue Apartments.

Q. What is the process for the "super seniors" who aren't in a program requiring a 5th year but haven't finished the coursework for a four year Degree and will require housing for a fifth year?
A. Fifth year undergraduate students will not be differentiated from the traditional 4 year students. They will be treated as seniors in relation to the lottery and all senior housing will be available to them. Housing will be guaranteed to them if they have remained in campus housing throughout their previous four years.

Q. What does the wording guarantee housing for "consecutive years" mean?
It is University policy that housing will be guaranteed for four consecutive years. First-year and sophomores are required to remain on campus. If student select to move off campus their junior year, housing will not be guaranteed to them for their senior year. However, if students who have moved off campus want to move back on and there is availability housing will be offered.

Note: Students, who have moved off campus, will be allowed back on campus if there are enough vacancies in campus housing but housing will not be guaranteed to them.

Q. If I am studying abroad for the Fall semester, Spring semester, or all year, should I participate in the housing selection process?
A. If you are going abroad for Fall and returning to campus for Intersession or Spring 2018 you should enter the lottery just in case your study abroad plans fall through. If you study abroad, you are still guaranteed housing when you return to campus, but you are not guaranteed specific building, roommate or type of housing. We are sensitive to your situation and will partner with you to provide the available housing that best meets your needs. If you are going abroad during Spring 2018 you should enter the housing lottery. When you go abroad you will naturally be released from your contract without penalty. You would then be able to enter the housing lottery from your abroad location via the online lottery process.

Q. How are lottery times assigned?
A. Lottery times are assigned randomly through a computer program. The only ranking factor is social class standing. For instance, within a particular pool, a senior will typically be assigned a lottery number ahead of a junior.

Q. Why do some students who have lottery times after other students sometimes select their rooms ahead of those same students?
A. Students can 'pull in' their roommates, meaning that the roommate with the best lottery times can select roommates who may have later lottery times than other students. This may happen even if a junior student is selected ahead of senior student who has an earlier lottery time.

Q. Are there enough rooms for students going through the lottery?
A. Yes, there are enough rooms for all students going through the housing selection process.

Q. What if my first choice of housing is not available?
A. Often times students will receive their first choice of building. We ask students to plan for at least three other contingencies, besides their first choice. There are times when students may have to select another building and in some cases split up from their preferred roommate arrangement.

Q. What happens when I have to split up my roommate arrangement?
A. If your contingency plans do not work, you may decide to or have to split up your roommate arrangement to fit in available housing assignments. Please note that newly formed groups will continue to use the new group's best lottery time.

Q. Are sophomores allowed to live off campus?
A. No, sophomores are not allowed to live off campus. As per the Student Handbook, eligible resident sophomore students who do not sign housing agreements will be assigned to available housing, placed on the 10 meal plan, and will be billed accordingly.

Q. Are sophomores allowed to live in Madison, Mulberry, Montrone, Pilarz, or Linden apartments?
A. No, sophomore students are not generally allowed to live in these accommodations.

Q. Is assistance available to help me find a roommate or group of people who need another person for their group?
A. Yes, you can contact the Office of Residence Life and request that we share your information with other students seeking roommates.