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Future First-Year Students

Information For: new first-year students who have accepted the Offer of Admission to Penn State University Park. 

Welcome to the Penn State family! All first-year students accepted to University Park are guaranteed an on-campus housing space. 

The Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract is offered when the student accepts the Offer of Admission to Penn State. The student will accept both the Offer of Admission and HFS Contract by accessing MyPennState, following the prompts, and paying the non-refundable admission fees and housing deposit. The student will agree to the HFS Contract signing statements and the Terms, Conditions, and Regulations

Residency Requirement

First-year students are required to live on campus at University Park based on what semester the student is offered admission: 

Residency Information
Semester Admitted Residency Requirement
Summer Session Summer session, Fall semester, Spring semester
Fall Semester Fall semester, Spring semester
Spring Semester Spring semester (optional HFS Contract offer for following academic year available)

HFS Contract Preferences

After the offer of admission and HFS Contract are accepted, the HFS Contract will then be available in the eLiving system, where the student can indicate preferences such as housing area, roommate, Special Living Option, and Campus Meal Plan level by noon May 15.

Room assignments are processed in date order of when the student accepts the offer of admission. Therefore, the earlier the offer of admission is accepted, the better chance the student has of being assigned to a room assignment based on indicated housing preferences. The University cannot guarantee that HFS Contract preferences will be honored. All first-year students will have an on-campus housing space.

Penn State is pleased to announce that a new residence hall and three renovated residence halls designed for first-year students will open for fall 2018! Two new residence halls opened fall 2017. Learn more about the construction and renovation projects on campus. The majority of space for first-year students is located in traditional residence halls. With the limited space in renovated residence halls, not all students will be able to be accommodated in this space. Students will be assigned in date-order of when offer of admission was accepted and if student has indicated "double, renovated" as a preference. It is anticipated that there will be a high demand for this limited space, so unfortunately not many students will have the opportunity to experience the renovated space. 

Note: if a student is attending both summer and fall-spring semesters, the student will have two separate HFS Contracts and can indicate preferences on each HFS Contract. For a limited time at the beginning of summer session, summer session students can submit fall roommate preferences. Summer students will also be notified about two-weeks before the end of summer session about summer-to-fall storage options.

Roommate Request Process

Learn more about the Roommate Request Process

Supplemental Housing

A first-year student has until May 1 to accept the offer of admission to Penn State, and will be guaranteed an on-campus housing space. If a first-year student accepts the offer of admission after April 1, the student may not be assigned to a space that reflects the preferences indicated on the HFS Contract. A first-year student may also be assigned to a supplemental housing room – a reduced rate residence hall room that houses four or more people – rather than to a regular double room. 

Requesting an Exemption from First Year Housing

All first-year students are required to live on campus during the first year. However, there are a few valid reasons for a student to request an housing exemption to this policy. 

Housing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Penn State provides a climate of equal opportunity to all programs, activities, and services, and is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Penn State is committed to providing accessible housing to students with disabilities as defined by these laws. Review the medical accommodations process and the associated deadlines for submitting paperwork.

Room Assignments

Room assignments are posted on eLiving, and notification is sent to students when assignments are available to view.

  • Summer Session: posted two weeks prior to arrival
  • Fall Semester: posted mid-to-late late July
  • Spring Semester: posted late December, before the University closes for the winter break.

Once room assignments are posted, students will have the opportunity to use the Room Exchange eBoard in eLiving to "swap" a room assignment with another eligible student. 

Room and Board Charges

Room and Board charges for each semester that a student has an accepted HFS Contract will be posted to the student's LionPATH account. If there is a change to a student's room assignment that has a different room rate, the charge/credit will be applied to the student's account based on a prorated amount. The housing deposit submitted during the acceptance process will be applied to the student's room rate as a credit. If the student decides to not attend Penn State, the housing deposit will not be refunded.