group of students in classroom listening to presentation

Special Living Options Process

Incoming First-Year Students

Incoming first-year students interested in living in a Special Living Option (SLO) can indicate the SLO as a preference on the Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract in eLiving before the preference modification deadline, after accepting the Offer of Admission and HFS Contract through MyPennState. The student should indicate the SLO as the preferred preference (instead of roommate or housing type). Space available in SLOs is limited, and not all students who preference an SLO may be assigned. Some SLOs require an additional application to the college/department.

Current Students

Special Living Options have a designated housing space on campus for participating and active members of the SLO. Several SLOs offer students the ability to return to the living environment beyond the first-year, provided the student retains active status with the SLO.

Eligible students who are interested in returning to the SLO will need to Request Housing in eLiving during the request timeframe (October 20 - noon October 31). The SLO Housing Chair will provide the active status list to the Assignment Office; students who are in active status and Requested Housing will receive an Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract offer for the SLO on Monday November 2. The HFS Contract offer must be accepted by the expiration date of noon Thursday November 5. 

If a student is no longer interested in living in the SLO, the student should not accept the SLO HFS Contract offer. The student will then be eligible to receive an invitation during the housing process, and can select another housing option. 

If a student does not accept the SLO HFS Contract by the expiration date, and the offer expires, the student will be eligible to receive an invitation during the housing process, and can select another housing option. The student can add his or her name to the SLO Waitlist to be considered for reassignment should a vacancy become available. 


Current members of the SLO must meet all eligibility requirements to be considered for a future SLO HFS Contract offer and must be active in the SLO during both fall and spring semesters. Each SLO will have a designated Housing Chair to track eligibility of members. The Housing Chair will also keep students informed of their status. Students who are participating in the SLO and programs will be made eligible to request an SLO HFS Contract the following academic year. If the student requests the SLO, the student will receive a SLO HFS Contract during the timeline, which must be accepted before the offer expiration date.

By accepting the SLO HFS Contract, students are implying their understanding that their room assignment will be made to a room in the SLOs reserved space, unless participation requirements for spring semester are not met.

Students who do not participate in the SLO during the spring semester will be reassigned to supplemental housing in another housing area.

Roommate Preferences

When a student accepts an SLO HFS Contract, the student will be provided a date for self-selection for room assignment. The student will not be able to indicate a roommate preference on the contract, but students can self-select a room together. Students who are not a part of the SLO will not be able to self-select a room in the SLO housing area.


Participating Special Living Options for Upper-Class Students

The following SLOs participate in the Housing Process to allow upper-class students to reside in the SLO designated housing space:

  • ALLY House
  • Arts & Architecture (A&A)
  • Biology Home (BIOME)
  • Business and Society House (BASH)
  • Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS)
  • EARTH House
  • Engineering and Applied Sciences Interest House (EASI)
  • Engineering House (E-House)
  • Forensic Science Interest House
  • Global Engagement Community
  • Health and Human Development House
  • Information Sciences and Technology (IST)
  • Living in a Free Environment (LIFE House)
  • Lion LaunchPad
  • Schreyer Honors College Living & Learning Community
  • Sophomore Year Experience
  • Women in Sciences and Engineering (WISE)

The following SLOs are designated for first-year students only; upper-class students will not be assigned to this space:

  • Discover House
  • First-year in Education
  • First-year in Liberal Arts
  • First-year in Science and Engineering (FISE)
  • Joint-Service ROTC
  • Paterno Fellows
  • Wellness House