Top 7 Housing Selection Mistakes

Tips for a better chance of getting a housing assignment you love

It’s time to think about where you want to live next year, and we want to help you get the best assignment you possibly can. Unfortunately, some students get caught off guard with their housing by not understanding how it all works. Avoid these classic missteps some students make in the Housing Selection Process:
1) Not realizing the process involves two steps.

Here’s how it works: you apply first, then you come back and pick your housing later in February. Both steps take place within As long as you submit an application, you will get an email in February notifying you of your selection date and time.

This trips people up, because within the housing application, you will indicate location/building preferences for housing. But these are just preferences, they are not your actual housing selection. You have to come back later at your assigned selection time to actually secure the space you want.

2) Missing the chance to keep what you have.

You always have first rights to keep your current room. You can take care of this at the same time you apply for housing, and you can pull in a roommate at that time, as well. Therefore, the application deadlines (see #3 below) are also the deadline to keep what you have.

3) Submitting an application late (or not at all)

It’s pretty simple: If you don’t get an application in on time, your name is not in the system and you won’t be able to pick a room when selection time comes around. If you’re late getting your application in, other students will have started picking their rooms already and you won’t have as good a chance of getting what you want.

Application deadlines:

  • Apartments (and claim same apartment) – February 13 at 12 noon
  • Residence Halls (and claim same room) – February 18 at 12 noon
  • Living-Learning Communities – March 1
  • Special Interest Housing – February 7

4) Not trying for an apartment first.

Students sometimes don’t realize that the calendar of dates for Housing Selection are staggered, with apartment processes happening first and residence hall rooms second. We design it this way so you can try for an apartment first, then try for a residence hall room if you don’t get the apartment. Go ahead and try for the apartment!

5) Limiting the options.

Housing offers really unique programs such as Living-Learning Communities and Special Interest Housing. Sometimes students don’t take the time to get a feel for these programs or talk to people who lived in them to find out if they would enjoy living there too. Maybe they think the commitment is much more than it actually is, or that they will miss out on a “regular” housing experience if they join an LLC (not the case!)

Before you pass judgment on a program, do some research – you might just find a gem of a program that is exactly what you’re looking for in your college experience, at no extra cost!

6) Assuming assignments can’t be changed.

We offer a Fine Tune period in early March where you can make changes to your housing assignment after the selection process shakes out. With over 8,500 students living on campus, lots of things change – students get study abroad offers, they decide to live with a different group of friends, they transfer to other schools.

Whatever the case, this movement means rooms open up in March and April, even into the summer. Our goal is to get you in an assignment you’re happy with, so participate in Fine Tune period and don’t hesitate to add your name to a waiting list to see what opens up.

7) Missing a chance to go to the front of the line.

In the weeks leading up to Housing Selection, we give away 14 Top Lottery Picks. Why people don’t enter these contests? Who knows! The odds of winning are quite favorable, some as low as 1:57.

Winners of a Top Lottery Pick will select their housing before the process opens up to the rest of campus, even seniors. Winners can pick any room on campus (that wasn’t reclaimed by the current resident), and they can pull in roommates and suite/apartment-mates along with them.

Here are the remaining chances to enter. Enter them all if you like!

Still have questions?

If you still need more clarification on any of this, it’s all on our website at: Or you can shoot us an email at There are two full-time staff members responding to your emails. We’re here to help.

Good luck!


NOTE: This information does not pertain to incoming students. First-year and transfer students who have not yet arrived on campus should consult the information on our website for FAQs related to new students.

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