Housing Lottery FAQ's
Interview with Barbara King, director of Residence Life.
Q. What happens to the $200 housing deposit my student paid in December or early January?
A. The $200 is applied to your housing fees once you contract for the following year. There are a few students who decide to go through the lottery and do not contract for housing. For these students and for students who are released from housing or otherwise do not fulfill their contract, the $200 is non-refundable.
Q. Why does it matter if a student pays the deposit on time?
A. Paying the $200 deposit by January 11, 2013 enables student to be placed in Pool A. Pool A receives the most favorable lottery times. Paying after January 14, 2013 places student in Pool B, which receives the next most favorable lottery times.
Q. Will students be able to live with roommates from different pools?
A. Not at the time of the Pool A lottery. Students in Pool B can pull students from Pool A down, but Pool A can not pull Pool B students up. Students will be able to select rooms together even if they are in different pools; however, that group will have to use the lottery time from the student in the lowest pool so that all the students will be eligible for housing at that time.
Q. Why does Residence Life require the deposit 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 the 2012-2013 academic year to the 2013-2014 Academic Year. There will be no “squatting”. If the Lottery permits and the student(s) are eligible for that type of housing, the student will be able to choose the same residence as the 2012-13 academic year.
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 4 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. Freshmen 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 to those students. 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 fall 2013, spring 2014 or all year, should I enter the lottery?
A. If you are going abroad for fall 2013 and returning to campus in the intersession or spring 2014 you should enter the lottery just in case your abroad plans fall through. 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 spring 2014 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 2013-2014 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 the other 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 lottery. Because of high demand for housing in recent years it may be necessary for a number of lottery participants to be placed on a housing wait list to receive housing after the lottery. However, there will be enough housing for all lottery participants who are guaranteed housing. The University requires that all freshmen and sophomore students reside in University-owned housing.
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 intended 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 split up your roommate arrangement. A few things occur: first, depending on how you split, other housing may be available. Please note that the person with the best lottery time will always go ahead of the others in the group and that student will only be able to pull in the number of students the room accommodates. Therefore when group splits, a second or even a third lottery time may be needed. Second, the first decision is up to you as to how to split, but we may consolidate or assign rooms based on availability. Finally, the room change process at the end of the lottery may offer the opportunity to try and regroup into the preferred housing arrangement.
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 contracts 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 allowed to live in these accommodations.
Q. Is there assistance available to help me find roommate or group of people who need another person for their group?
A. You can contact the Residence Life office and request that they share your information with other students seeking roommates.
For questions or additional information, contact Residence Life at email@example.com or visit the Office of Resident Life.