image of a persons hand holding a pen, signing name on a paper contract

Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contracts

Thursday, July 9, 2020

As students are waiting for some of their classes to finalize the course delivery method, Housing and Food Services is clarifying students' options with respect to deciding on whether to live on campus or stay home for the fall semester. Normally, the Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract is a legally-binding contract and cannot be cancelled unless the student is not attending the University. However, given the current situation, Penn State is offering students the opportunity to submit a HFS Contract Cancellation Request within the parameters indicated below.

Upper-Class Students

Living off campus for Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Upper-class students may have a different housing preference due to recent personal circumstances or academic instruction delivery options. Students who want to move off campus for fall and spring semesters have until noon on Wednesday, July 15, to submit a HFS Contract Cancellation Request. Cancellations that are processed before that deadline will have no penalty fee applied. After the July 15 deadline, students who are interested in living off campus will be required to submit the HFS Contract Release request paperwork, along with any supporting information. The request will be reviewed by the HFS Contract Release Committee. A penalty fee may be incurred for cancellations that are approved after July 15.

How to submit an HFS Contract Cancellation Request to live off campus for Fall 2020-Spring 2021:

  • Submit a Contract Cancellation Request in eLiving
  • Select the "Other" reason and type "COVID" in the comment field
  • The Housing Assignment Office staff will review your request and send an email confirmation within 24-48 hours. Your eLiving account will be updated indicating Fall 2020 – Spring 2021 HFS Contract has been cancelled.

Living at home for Fall 2020 only

Upper-class students who are scheduled for all remote-instruction classes and wish to live at home for the fall semester may request to have the Fall 2020 HFS contract cancelled and keep the Spring 2021 HFS contract active. To avoid fall room and board charges being applied to the August billing statement, the recommended deadline to request an HFS Contract Cancellation is noon on Monday, August 3**. Cancellation requests may be submitted after this date, but please be advised that room and board charges may initially appear on the billing statement, until the room and board refund can be processed and applied to your account. There may be a delay during the billing process, but cancellations may still be processed.

How to submit an HFS Contract Cancellation Request to live at home for Fall 2020 only (Spring 2021 will automatically be put in accepted status):

  • Submit a Contract Cancellation Request in eLiving
  • Select the "Other" reason and type "Remote Fall/Keep Spring" in the comment field
  • The Housing Assignment Office staff will review your request and send an email confirmation within 24-48 hours. Your eLiving account will be updated indicating Fall 2020 HFS Contract has been cancelled and Spring 2021 HFS contract is active.

The Housing Assignment Office will not be able to guarantee preferences for spring semester, as students will be assigned to any available vacancy.  Information about spring semester housing will be provided in December.

First-Year Students

First-year students are required to live on campus per the University’s first-year residency requirement. However, first-year students who are scheduled for all remote-instruction classes and wish to live at home for the fall semester may request to have the Fall 2020 HFS Contract cancelled and keep the Spring 2021 HFS Contract active. To avoid room and board charges being applied to the August billing statement, the recommended deadline to request an HFS Contract Cancellation is noon on Monday August 3**. Cancellation requests may be submitted after this date, but please be advised that room and board charges may initially appear on the billing statement, until the room and board refund can be processed and applied to your account. There may be a delay during the billing process, but cancellations may still be processed.

Living at home for Fall 2020 only

How to submit an HFS Contract Cancellation Request to live at home for Fall 2020 only:

  • Submit a Contract Cancellation Request in eLiving
  • Select the "Other" reason and type "Remote Fall/Keep Spring" in the comment field
  • The Housing Assignment Office staff will review your request and send an email confirmation within 24-48 hours. Your eLiving account will be updated indicating Fall 2020 HFS Contract has been cancelled and Spring 2021 HFS Contract is active.
  • There is no penalty fee for cancelling.

First-year students are expected to live on campus for the spring semester, due to the residency requirement. The Housing Assignment Office will not be able to guarantee preferences for spring semester, as students will be assigned to any available vacancy.  Information about spring semester housing will be provided in December.

No longer attending Penn State

How to Submit an HFS Contract Cancellation Request if you are no longer attending Penn State:

  • Submit a Contract Cancellation Request in eLiving
  • Select the "First-Year Student Declining Admission Offer” reason
  • The Housing Assignment Office staff will review your request and send an email confirmation within 24-48 hours, and will forward your information to the Undergraduate Admissions Office so your account can be updated and any classes that you have scheduled will be cancelled.
  • There is no penalty fee for cancelling, but your housing deposit will be forfeited.

If you are interested in deferring your office of admission for up to one year, please submit the request to [email protected] with the Subject Line: Deferral Request. The Admissions Office will process the request, and the Housing Assignment Office will be notified to update your HFS contract to the appropriate semester.

**Recommended deadline for submitting an HFS Contract Cancellation has been updated to Monday August 3, due to the Bursar delaying fall semester billing by one-week. HFS Contract Cancellations may be processed after this date, but room and board charges may appear on the initial billing statement, and the credit will appear on the account later due to a delay in processing transactions.

Questions?  Please contact the Housing Assignment Office at 814-865-7501

Updated: July 22, 2020