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December Housing Selection for Spring 2020


The December Housing Lottery Process is for all students who will be new to campus housing for Spring 2020.  This includes students who are participating in Fall Off-Campus Study, and students who are on leave from the college who have been approved to return for Spring 2020.  Additionally, by permission of the director of residential comminutes, additional juniors and seniors may be invited to participate in the process.  Please review the information below to learn more about the process.


Timeline & Important Dates

More detailed information about the process is listed in the below sections - please ensure to read all aspects of this website.

  • Friday, November 29:
    Deadline to complete Housing Accommodations Instructions
  • Sunday, December 1:
    Deadline to submit Intent to Live Off-Campus Form via the Housing Portal
  • Wednesday, December 4:
    Lottery Numbers and Selection Times are visible on the Housing Portal by 4:30pm EST
  • Friday, December 6:
    • Last day for students to be permitted to participate in December Housing Lottery (students approved to return from leave by this date and students returning from Fall Study Abroad are automatically permitted to participate)
    • Deadline for returning students to be "Pulled-In" to a room for Spring
  • Monday, December 9:
    Tentative list of available rooms will be made available to all housing lottery participants.
  • Tuesday, December 10: 
    December Housing Lottery (2:00pm EST - 8:00pm EST)

Seeking Campus Housing from a Leave

If you are currently taking a leave from the college or intending to take a leave, and you want to seek housing for Spring, the first step you MUST do is read the Taking Time Off site and contact Dean Liz Derickson with the information described on the website.  This site contains important information regarding leaving and returning to the college.  Liz Derickson, Associate Dean of Academic Success, is responsible for the process for students leaving and returning to the college, and can assist you in the process.  Once the Office of Student Engagement receives official notice from Dean Derickson that you are approved to return, then you will be permitted to participate in the December Housing Lottery.  If you have received approval, please continue to review the information on this site regarding the process.  Please note that if you are approved to return AFTER the December Housing Lottery, you should email Isaiah Thomas, director of residential communities, to explore what housing options exist.

Seeking Campus Housing from Abroad

If you are in a formal Swarthmore Off-Campus Study program for Fall semester and are scheduled to return to Swarthmore for Spring, you are eligible to participate in the December Housing Lottery.  There is no need for you to register, as Off-Campus Study provides a list of all returning students to the Office of Student Engagement.  Please continue to review the information on this site regarding the process. 

Housing Option 1: Being "Pulled-In" to an Available Room

Deadline to be "Pulled-In": Friday, December 6, 4:30pm EST.

For any rooms that are partially-vacant (e.g. a double with one vacancy, or a quad with two vacancies), you can be "pulled-in" to live in these rooms.  This is a popular option if you know of a friend you want to live with when you return.  If you are interested in being "pulled-in" an available room for the upcoming semester, the first step you should do is identify the room that you want to be "pulled-in" to.  Either you, or a proxy of your choice, should communicate with the individual in the room that you want to be "pulled-in" to.  Then, both the student with the vacancy, and you will email Isaiah Thomas, director of residential communities, stating the desired rooming option.  The Director will communicate with all pairings to confirm that the abroad students has successfully been "pulled-in". 

Please note: With the exception of PPR Apartment Singles and Singles that are directly connected to each other (Worth Hall), Stand-alone single rooms are NOT available for this option.  This means that if there is an available single within an existing block, a current student CANNOT "pull-in" an abroad student to that space.  This also means that if you have a friend who is currently in a single, they cannot reserve or hold that room for another student.  There are no exceptions to this.  If you want a single room, you will have to participate in the December Housing Lottery, as all single rooms are available in those processes.

Housing Option 2: December Housing Lottery

December Housing Lottery: Tuesday, December 10, 2:00pm - 8:00pm EST.

The December Housing Lottery will be held online on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 from 2:00pm EST - 8:00pm EST.  All online room selection is completed via the Housing Portal.  The director of residential communities will be available for consultation via email or in-person during the housing lottery.

How the Process Works:

  1. All participating students have a lottery number.  This number was assigned to all students last Spring, and will be used for the December Housing Lottery.  Your lottery number will be visible on the Housing Portal beginning on Wednesday, December 4.  A list of tentative available rooms will be provided via email on Monday, December 9.  Unfortunately, due to the dynamic nature of room assignment changes, we cannot provide an active list before this date.  Typically a variety of double and single rooms will be available across a number of different residence halls.
  2. Participating students will receive an assigned time between 2pm - 8pm EST.  The assigned time will be based on the lottery numbers of all students participating.  At this given time, you will be able to log into the Housing Portal, and select the room you wish to reside in for Spring.  The time that you are assigned is the time your access is turned on.  Your access will remain on until 11:59pm EST, so if you are late, you will continue to have access.  Once you select a room, however, you cannot change.
  3. When you log into the Housing Portal you do not have any assigned roommates - this means that when it is your turn to select a room, you will only see single occupancy rooms.  If you are interested in a double/connected-singles/loft, you will need to assign yourself a roommate.  Information on how to do that is listed below.
  4. Once you select a room, you will receive an email confirmation.  More information on using the Housing Portal is listed below.

    Accessing the Housing Portal

    1. Log into MySwarthmore, and within the Student Information section, select "Housing Portal" from the menu.  You will then be taken to the Housing Portal Website. 
    2. On the Main Screen you will see your name, photo, current housing and dining information and several content tabs at the top of the page.  The content tabs are labeled.
    3. The Home tab will always take you back to the main page.  The Application & Forms tab will show you any applications or forms that you are eligible to complete.  These would include the Intent to Live Off-Campus Application.  The Roommate & Room Selection tab contains two sub-tabs: Roommates/Suitemates will lead you to the location where you indicate your intended roommates for the housing lottery (if you desire a single room not in a block, you would not use this tab).  Select a Room or Suite will take you to where students can select the room they wish to reside in for Spring.  Students will only receive access to this information at a specific designated time.

    Video Resources:

    Please watch the following videos that will show a step-by-step process of how to utilize the Housing Portal, Selecting a Room, or Selecting a Roommate:

    Housing Option #3: Living Off-Campus

    Deadline to submit Intent to Live Off-Campus Application: Sunday, December 1, 11:59pm EST.

    All upperclass students have the option to live in non-College owned housing for the 2019-2020 academic year. If you are an enrolled, on-campus student, who is planning to live in non-College owned housing for the Spring semester, you must give formal notice by completing the the Intent to Live Off-Campus Application in Housing Portal under the Applications & Forms tab.   The application will require students to list their off-campus address.  The deadline to complete the Intent to Live Off-Campus Application is Sunday, December 1, 11:59pm EST.  According to college policy, if you select a room in the housing lottery and then decide to live off-campus, a $500 fine will apply. 


    Housing Option #4: Disability Housing Accommodations

    Deadline: Friday, November 29, 4:30pm EST. 

    If you have received previously approved for housing accommodations and are requesting housing accommodations for Spring 2020, please complete the following two steps no later than Friday, November 29, 4:30pm EST:

    1. Complete the Disability Accommodations Form, which can be found in MySwarthmore (Personal Information -> Accommodations)
    2. Send an email of intent to Isaiah Thomas, director of residential communities.  Once your email has been received, the Director will confer with the Office of Student Disability Services regarding your accommodation, and be in touch with you by Friday, December 6 with additional information.

    Students with approved accommodations for Spring 2020 will be provided specific information regarding if they will be pre-assigned a room, or are permitted to participate in the housing lottery.  If students with accommodations wish to be "pulled into" a room with a friend, this is allowed as long as the room meets the student's accommodation.

    Gendered & Gender Inclusive Bathrooms List

    Please review the Gendered & Gender Inclusive Bathrooms List, which highlights all bathroom designations in residence halls for the 2019-2020 year.  Please use this information when planning for housing.


    It is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to thoroughly review all information on this website, and to also watch all of the videos created to aid students in understanding how to utilize the Housing Portal.  If you have any questions that cannot be answered by the website, please contact Isaiah Thomas, director of residential communities.