December Lottery

Rooms available in the December Lottery and Lottery #s will not be available until AFTER the December 1, 2013 College deadline for students to declare their status for the Spring. Information will be posted ASAP, not likely before 12/03/2013.

Who participates?

  1. Students who do not have rooms during Fall semester, or their proxies. Most students who are abroad or on-leave name a proxy through the Leave of Absence form. All students going abroad or on-leave are required to complete and submit the Leave of Absence form before they depart.
  2. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors who want room changes. Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors may change rooms through the December Lottery only if they are in a single-room or if everyone is vacating the room.

    All unassigned spaces in college housing (for Spring semester) are available for selection in the December Housing Lottery. Consequently, students who will have an unassigned space in their double, triple, quad, etc for Spring semester are strongly encouraged to attend the December Lottery. In general, the Housing Coordinator will contact those students in early December, with information on other students looking for roommates. See below, for more info about Replacement Roommates.

    First-year students may not participate in the December Housing Lottery. First-year students may request room changes (through the Assistant Dean of Residential Life), if they wish to change rooms.


December 1

  1. All accounts must show a -$0- balance to participate in the housing lottery.
  2. Notice to the Dean's Office that you are planning to return to Swarthmore for the spring semester and naming proxy. (This is usually done in your Leave of Absence form before leaving Swarthmore for a semester or year.) If you need to change your proxy, then contact Diane Watson (Dean's Office) by December 1.
  3. Notice to the Dean's Office that you are planning to be away from college housing (usually done on your Leave of Absence Form) for the spring semester to avoid fines.
  4. For students living in non-college housing for the Spring, your Statement of Intent to Reside Off-campus [PDF] is due in Parrish E116, to avoid fines.
  5. For sophomores, juniors and seniors wishing to change rooms for Spring semester or wishing to choose into college housing living in non-college housing for the Fall semester, your Statement of Intent to Participate in the Lottery due in Parrish E116. Blank forms available on the Housing Bulletin Board (outside of Parrish E116). Please note that if you wish to change rooms through the December Lottery, you must be vacating a single-occupancy room or *all* of your roommates must be vacating the room. Also, by changing rooms through the lottery, you must agree to give up your room entirely -- understanding that you may or may not have the opportunity to choose back into your own room through the Lottery process.

Blank Leave of Absence forms are available in Parrish E108.

On or before December 3

  1. List of available residence hall rooms posted online (linked at the top of this webpage) and on the Housing Bulletin Board in Parrish. Updates appear on bulletin board outside Parrish E116.
  2. List of returning students and their proxy names posted on Housing bulletin board (outside Parrish E116).
  3. Lottery numbers distributed to proxies, through campus mail.


December Lottery (Location TBD). Usually the lottery lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Important Financial Information

Zero balance requirement

To participate in any phase of room choosing, you must have -$0- balance in their Student Accounts with the College. No money will be accepted at room choosing. The Student Accounts Manager (Linda Weindel) makes decisions about financial matters, not the Dean's Office.

Meal Plan

Each student who resides in college housing is required to subscribe to the meal plan. For more details about meal-plan options, please see the Dining Services website.

Housing Fines

For Spring Semester: If you already have a room and

  1. choose to live off-campus, are still enrolled, and tell the Dean's Office
    1. by Dec 1, no penalty if everyone leaves the space
    2. by Dec 1, be assessed a $250 if roommate(s) are left behind
    3. after January 5 , be assessed $500
    4. after mid-semester, there will be no room refund.
  2. take a Leave of Absence and/or Foreign Study and notify the Dean's Office
    1. by December 1, no penalty
    2. between December 1 and January 5, $100 penalty
    3. after January 5 and before week 8 of classes, $500
    4. leave after mid-semester, there will be no room refund.

Special Needs Housing

Special needs housing requires advanced planning and documentation. Students with documented disabilities or medical conditions must meet with Leslie Hempling, Coordinator of Student Disability Services and submit updated medical documentation before April 1 of the preceding spring semester, for special housing needs. Even if you have had special needs housing accommodations in the past, you must submit updated documentation and meet with the Coordinator of Student Disability Services again each Spring.

The documentation should contain the diagnosis, your treatment plan and the suggested accommodations from a relevant health professional. These documented requests are also reviewed by the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Director of Worth Health Center, and/or the Housing Coordinator before the request is acted upon. The sooner your request is made the more likely it can be considered; if the request is not completed well before the lottery, then accommodation is less likely.

Lottery Numbers and Replacement Roommates

Your lottery number for the December Lottery directly correlates to your lottery number from the preceding spring -- e.g. if you were at the top of your class, you'll still be at the top of your class. If you were at the bottom of your class, then you'll be at the bottom of your class. Lottery numbers are non-transferable and are not for barter.

If one (or more) of your roommates is leaving for Spring semester, then you have the option of filling the space before the lottery with any student of your choosing. When possible, the Housing Coordinator will contact you in early December to offer more information about who is also looking for new roommates for Spring semester. If you do not arrange for a replacement roommate, then the empty space in your room will be available for any student to choose in the December Lottery. You are encouraged to attend the December Lottery to talk with prospective roommates, but you do not get "veto power" over prospective roommates. You should expect that all empty spaces in college housing will be filled. You can arrange for Replacement Roommates by completing and submitting the Joint Tenancy form -- available on the Housing Bulletin Board in Parrish.

For more details about lottery numbers and roommate info, please see the Spring Lottery information. Most aspects of the December Lottery (e.g. Selection of double rooms, Junior waitlist) function the same way as they do during the Spring Lottery.