How it Works: The Housing Lottery

(Above) Condron Hall, one of three sophomore residence halls and home to the Office of Residence Life.
Barbara King is the Director of Residence Life at the University of Scranton
A conversation with Barbara King, Director of Residence Life about the University’s process for placing students in on-campus residences.

What is the housing lottery?

BK: The lottery is an online housing assignment process for current on-campus students that are returning to housing the following year.  Each student is assigned a date and time in which they can log into an online system and tell the University where and with whom they want to live for the upcoming year.

There are two upcoming lotteries. The first is the rising sophomore lottery for current freshmen, which will take place on March 28. The lottery for juniors and seniors will take place on March 21st and 22nd.  

What is unique about the housing lottery at The University of Scranton?

BK: Many schools do not guarantee housing nor allow students to choose their own housing.  At Scranton, all students maintain a guaranteed on-campus housing status until they move off campus. This is a valuable perk to all students, including those staying at the University to complete a fifth year program. Because the lottery is completed online, it is a very independent process for students.  It empowers individuals to determine what housing is available and where they would like to reside.


What impact do new facilities have on the lottery?

BK: Housing opportunities for upper-class students are better than ever.  We are excited about the addition of 396 beds for junior and seniors with the opening of Pilarz and Montrone Hall this past fall. With the addition of this community, the on-campus apartment options for upperclass students have increased.

How does the Office of Residence Life assist students during this process?

BK: Our office’s goal is to empower students with as much information as possible. We consistently communicate through e-mail with students and offer up to 50 information sessions. These sessions take place right in the buildings in which students live which puts information right at their fingertips. The Residence Assistants are the closest contact students have with our office; each is extensively trained about the lottery process and able to answer any questions a resident may have.

What advice would you give parents of student’s with questions about this process?

BK: First, parents should encourage their students to attend an information session offered by our staff so their student is fully informed about how this process works.

Parents and students should also know that the lottery is the first step in the process of placing students. In the months following the lottery our staff will work with individual students to ensure they are placed, and will do our best to accommodate their preferences. Students are welcome to contact Residence Life with questions at anytime.

If students have questions about the lottery, who should they contact?

BK: Questions can be directed to Michelle Boughton, Assistant Director of Housing Operations. Her e-mail is

Please share the following resources with your student:

  • The Office of Residence Life
    Visit the Office of Residence Life website for general information on living on campus. Check back here on March 1st as we unveil a new Residence Life website!
  • The Housing Lottery
    Includes dates and important information about this year’s lottery, including a list of frequently asked questions.
  • The On Campus Advantage
    The Office of Residence Life shares some advantages to living on campus.