student using a laptop while sitting on bed in residence hall

Current Students

Students who want to #LiveTheTradition for the 2019-2020 academic year will participate in a new, updated housing lottery process starting in fall 2018! WE ARE excited to provide a more streamlined process that invites students to view available housing options and then create a Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract.

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.

Every student who participates in the process will receive an invitation to view available housing options, however the University is not able to guarantee that every student will be able to select a specific preferred housing option. This ensures that every student has the opportunity to live on campus next year. The housing lottery process also supports Gender Neutral Housing assignments.

Housing Lottery Process Steps

 

Step One: Attend an Information Session

Attend an Information Session, held during Parents and Family Weekend, to learn more about the process. The Assignment Office will also be present at the Off-Campus Housing Fair to answer questions. Students are also encouraged and welcome to stop by the Assignment Office to learn more about the process.

Not able to attend? Sorry to hear that! Later in October, you can review the Housing Information Session Presentation Notes (PDF file) [file will be uploaded once it is available] to learn about what is discussed during the presentations.

Step Two: Review Housing Options

Upper-class students have many housing options to consider! Review the available housing options and associated room rates to determine which housing option meets your need and fits your budget. Posted room rates are for the current academic year. The room rates for the 2019-2020 academic year will be approved in February by the Board of Trustees; you should assume that there will be a rate increase (a good estimate would be 3-5%).

Upper-class student housing options (roommate requests that can be entered):

  • Double Room, Traditional Residence Halls (1 roommate) The majority of students live in regular doubles, with limited quads and triples. Space is located in Pollock, West, and South Housing Areas.
  • Double Room, Renovated Residence Halls (1 roommate) The majority of students live in regular doubles in Chace, Hibbs, and Stephens Halls, as well as other limited renovated spaces within South Housing Area.
  • North Hall suites (1-3 roommates) 2-bedroom/4-person suite with shared bathroom. Limited 2-bedroom/2-person suites are available.
  • Nittany Hall suites (1-3 roommates) 2-bedroom/4-person suite with shared bathroom.
  • Single Room, Traditional Residence Halls (no roommates) single rooms located in Pollock, West, and South Housing Areas.
  • Eastview Terrace (no roommates) Single room with private bathroom
  • Nittany Apartments (1-3 roommates)  2-bedroom/4-person apartments and 4-bedroom/4-person apartments
  • White Course Apartments (1-3 roommates) 4-bedroom/4-person apartments
  • Supplemental housing (1-3 requested roommates, rooms accommodate between 4-8 students). Students who accept this type of HFS Contract will be assigned to supplemental housing and will be moved to another housing option as vacancies become available.
  • Supplemental housing by request (1-3 requested roommates, rooms accommodate between 4-8 students). Students who accept this type of HFS Contract will automatically be assigned to permanent supplemental housing and will not be moved.

Step 3: Submit a Request to Live On Campus

Eligible students interested in living on campus for the 2019-2020 academic year will need to submit a request in October, December, or January. Students who submit a request will be entered into the lottery, which is NOT a first-come, first-served process, but rather a random lottery system. The date that a student submits a request is not considered when housing invitations are made.

Ineligible students interested in living on campus for the 2019-2020 academic year will be able to add their name to the Housing Waitlist when it opens at noon December 1. When the lottery process is completed in February, it is expected that invitations will be sent every Monday from March – August, provided that there are students on the Waitlist and housing space is available.

Step 4: Review the Housing Invitation

Invitations are sent between noon and 5:00pm on Mondays and Thursdays throughout November and February. Once a student has received an invitation, the student will need to complete the entire process before the invitation expiration date (Monday invitations expire Thursday at noon, Thursday invitations expire Monday at noon). The invitation is not a Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract offer, but an opportunity for the student to view available housing options and make the decision to live on campus and create a Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract.

1: Select a Housing Option

The invitation will display the available housing options and how many spaces are remaining for each option. If the student has a roommate request, each housing option will indicate the maximum number of roommates that can be added.

2: Add a Roommate Request

After selecting a housing option, the student can add an eligible roommate request. To be eligible, the roommate requested must have submitted a request to live on campus and not have already accepted a HFS Contract. The roommate is not required to have received an invitation.
 

3: Accept HFS Contract Offer

Once the student enters eligible roommate requests, the student will be able to “generate HFS Contract offer.” The system will create a HFS Contract offer for the student and roommate(s), which will be added to each student’s Shopping Cart. Once the HFS Contract offer is available, each student is responsible for individually accepting the HFS Contract offer before the invitation process expiration date. If the HFS Contract offer is not accepted by the expiration date and the offer expires, the offer cannot be remade.

 

Waitlists

After a student has accepted a HFS Contract, the student may utilize the Waitlist feature to indicate interest in another housing option. Waitlists for the different housing options and Special Living Options will be available at noon March 1, and a student may select one Waitlist to be considered for reassignment. As vacancies occur, students on the Waitlist will be reassigned into that specific housing option.

Students who are not eligible to participate in the lottery process will also be able to add their name to a Housing Waitlist, which will open at Noon December 1, 2018. This Waitlist is not for a specific housing option, but a Waitlist to be considered for an invitation if space is available. When the lottery process is completed in February, it is expected that invitations will be sent every Monday from March – August.

Eligibility Guidelines for University Park

Students who are eligible to participate in the housing process:

  • Students who are currently living on campus at University Park
  • Students attending another Penn State Campus and who anticipate a Change of Campus to University Park for the following academic year

Students who are not eligible to participate in the housing process:

  • Incoming first-year students
  • Students who currently live off campus at University Park
  • Students who did not submit a housing request during the request time
  • Students transferring from another university

Students who are not eligible to participate in the housing lottery will be able to add their name to the Housing Waitlist that opens at noon on December 1. In late February, if the University is able to determine that space is available, the students will receive an invitation to view housing options available. Invitations will be sent every Monday from March – August.

Roommate Requests

A roommate request is not required. If the housing option selected permits a roommate request to be added, and the student wants to indicate a roommate request, the system will verify the student’s eligibility:

  • The roommate request must have submitted a housing request
  • The roommate request must not have already accepted a HFS Contract

If the system indicates that a roommate request is “ineligible”, the roommate request will not be added. The student can indicate a different, eligible roommate request. The housing lottery also supports Gender Neutral Housing, and allows students to indicate a roommate request of a different gender.

Special Living Option members and Sorority Chapters

  • 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.