Residence Hall Assignments
Students who have finished at least one semester in a residence hall who are returning to residence hall living in the fall have the opportunity to reserve a residence hall room before they check out of their hall in the spring. The space that is created as students move into off-campus housing or transfer to other colleges and universities is used to provide housing for incoming students. Every effort is made to accommodate the roommate, residence hall, and personal preferences that new students state on their application. Assignments, of course, are restricted by the available space. Priority is placed on roommate preference (note that both students need to complete the application process and request each other as a roommate), hall preference, and personal preferences when making assignments. You may apply for a residence hall room by completing a residence hall room application and paying your $50 Room Reservation Fee.
Continuing students are assigned to their reserved rooms first and then new students are assigned to available space. While they are on campus new students who attend Summer Orientation have a chance to change any of the information they supplied on their residence hall room application. Following the last Summer Orientation Session — usually in early-to-mid July, all of the new student application information is updated and assignments are finalized for both continuing and new residence hall students. Once this is done — usually late in July or very early in August, a letter is sent to all residence hall students informing them how to contact their assigned roommates.
Residence hall students who are continuing from the fall semester to the winter semester have the opportunity to stay in their room or move to another room on campus before the end of the semester. As a result of these moves and the fact that some students do not return for the winter semester, students new to residence halls are assigned the spaces that become available. As with students who have applied for a residence hall room for the fall semester, every effort is made to accommodate the preferences the new students stated on his or her application, however, assignments alternatives are more restricted by the fact that space is more limited.
On-Campus Apartment Assignments
Eligible single students, students with families, and faculty and staff members can apply for on-campus apartment housing at any time. Assignments are made on an on-going basis as apartments become available. Assignment priorities are: 1) Students with families, 2) Two single students applying for an apartment together, 3) A single student applying for a two-person apartment without a specific roommate request, 4) A single student applying for a one-person apartment (Single students may request a one-bedroom, one-person apartment, but one will not be guaranteed until it is determined that space is available for students requesting on-campus housing, which could be as late as the third week of the semester.), and 5) Faculty or staff members. New assignments will be based on the priority indicated, the date the application is received in the Office of Housing and Residence Life (first-come, first-served) and the move-in date indicated on the application (earlier move-in dates will be assigned first). An applicant's position on the pre-assignment list may change as assignments are made, applications are received, and applicants remove themselves from the list.
Current Penn State students who are eligible to #LiveTheTradition next year will need to participate in the housing lottery process during the established timeline. The housing lottery process is managed through the eLiving system, which requires a student to authenticate using their Penn State Access Account User ID (e.g., abc1234) and password. Housing is not guaranteed for any student who participates in the process.
Attend an Information Session, held during Parents and Family Weekend, to learn more about the process. The Assignment Office will also be present that the Off-Campus Housing Fairs to answer questions. Students are encouraged and welcome to stop by the Assignment Office to learn more about the process.
Not able to attend? Sorry to hear that! You can review the review the Housing Information Session Presentation Notes (PDF file) to learn about what is discussed during the presentations.
Upper-class students have many more options to consider!!
- Double Room, Traditional Residence Halls - the majority of students live in regular doubles, with limited quads and triples. Space is located in Pollock, West, and South Housing Areas.
NOTE: Students who participate in the double room traditional residence hall process may receive a HFS Contract offer for supplemental housing.
- Double Room, Renovated Residence Halls - includes regular doubles in Chace, Hibbs, Stephens, and other limited space in South Housing Area.
- North Hall suites
- Nittany Hall suites
- Single Room, Traditional Residence Halls. Space is located in Pollock, West, and South Housing Areas.
- Eastview Terrace
- Nittany Apartments
- White Course Apartments
- Supplemental housing by request (students accepting this type of HFS Contract will automatically be assigned to supplemental housing and will not be moved to other housing options)
To learn more about roommate requests, please visit Roommate Request Process.
HOUSING LOTTERY PROCESS
HFS Contract Requests
The student should review the different housing options available on campus - there are two timelines for the lottery process, based on the housing option. The student should also review the applicable room rate associated with the each housing option to determine which processes to participate in. Room rates are not approved until March by the Board of Trustees; the student should assume that there will be a rate increase (a good estimate would be 3-5%).
The student must submit a contract request during the established timeline for the appropriate housing option to indicate interest in living on campus. A student may submit contract requests for any housing options that are of interest to him or her. The timeline for housing requests and offers varies for each housing option, so it is important to view the timeline for each housing option. The system is not first-come, first-served, but a random lottery system. The date that a student submits a Contract Request is not referenced when offers are made. Submitting a Contract Request in the beginning of the process doesn't increase the student's chance of receiving an offer. Not all students who submit a request will receive an offer.
HFS Contract Offers
Offers for a Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract for the different housing options will be made during the established timeline. If the student receives a HFS Contract offer, the student must accept it by the deadline date and time indicated on the offer. Once a HFS Contract offer has expired, the offer cannot be reissued to a student.
Each housing option process is run independently of other housing option processes. If a student participates in multiple processes, but decides not to accept an offer, this will not impact his or her ability to receive an offer for another housing options process. However, once a student has accepted any HFS Contract, he or she will not be considered for a contract offer during the process for other housing options.
Once all offers have been made, any student who has not received an offer will be notified and his or her name added to a supplemental housing Waitlist. The supplemental housing Waitlist will be referred to should any housing become available, but there is no guarantee that a contract offer will be made.
HFS Contract Offer Types
HFS Contract offers for a renovated residence hall, Eastview Terrace, single room, North suite, Nittany suite, Nittany Apartments or a White Course Apartment will include two types of offers: room assignment self-select option or housing preference option:
- Self-Select: the student will return to eLiving at the designated date/time indicated on the student's HFS Contract to pick a room assignment.
- For self-select contract types, the student will log into eLiving at the specified time indicated on his or her HFS Contract and click on the "My Room" link from the left-hand navigation.
- This function will display a list of rooms available for the contract type. The student can see the details of available rooms including the type, room rate, and the name of a student who may already be assigned to that room.
- If a student has a mutual roommate request who also has the same type of HFS Contract, the student with the earliest self-select date can assign both students to the room (provided the request is mutual).
- A student is able to change rooms during the specified timeframe as often as desired. However, once an initial room has been selected, the person making the room change can move only him or herself. If the roommate also wants to move, he or she must use eLiving to select the other room.
- Housing Preference: the student can indicate a housing area, building, room type, and roommate preference when accepting the HFS Contract. The Assignment Office staff will process the actual room assignment, based on space available. The student will be notified when room assignments are posted in eLiving.
- For some HFS Contracts, a student will be able to indicate housing preferences when the HFS Contract is accepted. The student can indicate preferences for housing area, building, room type, Special Living Options, and roommate preference roommate(s). After indicating preferences, the student can prioritize the preferences. The student can modify preferences after the HFS contract is submitted until the modification deadline date indicated on the timeline.
- The student is encouraged to review the preference summary page after accepting the HFS Contract to ensure that preferences are displaying correctly.
- Mutual roommate requests will be honored, provided that the request is mutual - both students must request each other - and both students have the same type of HFS Contract.
- Contract preferences are used as a guideline for processing housing assignments and are not guaranteed.
Housing lottery process Waitlist
If a student participates in the housing lottery process but does not receive any type of HFS contract offer, the Assignment Office will automatically add the student's name to the supplemental housing Waitlist. These students will be added prior to the Waitlist being available for other students who were not eligible to participate in the housing lottery process, and these students will receive priority of receiving HFS Contract offers as space becomes available.
Supplemental Housing Waitlist
A supplemental housing Waitlist opens in February as a part of the housing contract process. The Waitlist is available for students who allowed an HFS Contract offer to expire, those that did not participate in the process, and those who were not eligible to enter the housing process. The Assignment Office will refer to the Waitlist when a vacancy occurs throughout spring semester and summer. Any contract offer made from the Waitlist will be for supplemental housing. A student is not guaranteed housing by adding his or her name to the Waitlist. Students on the Waitlist will be notified if the Waitlist closes and there will be no further offers made from the Waitlist. If a student is no longer interested in on-campus housing, he or she should remove his or her name from the Waitlist.
Eligibility Guidelines for University Park
- Students who are currently living on campus at University Park or have requested a Change of Campus to University Park from another Penn State campus are eligible to request a HFS Contract for University Park.
- Off-campus students at University Park or students who did not participate in the housing contract process may add their names to the supplemental housing Waitlist when it opens, according to the timeline. Off-campus students at University Park are NOT eligible to submit a request.
- Students who are members of a sorority chapter or certain Special Living Option should review the appropriate housing process for those groups. Please note that some Special Living Options are available to first-year students only, and upper-class students may not return to that living space.