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Housing Lotteries - How Does it Work?

The Housing Lotteries - Steps for Success

Step 1: Attend the Class Appropriate Housing Lottery

For rising seniors and juniors who do not receive a room via blocking or other housing options (e.g. Substance Free, Housing Accommodations), those seeking a room will need to attend their class appropriate Spring Lottery.  Rising sophomores do not attend a live lottery and instead have a different process that can be explained on the Rising Sophomore Housing Process page.

  • The Rising Senior Lottery will be held on Tuesday, April 17, 7:00pm in the Matchbox, 3rd Floor (Tarble Commons).  
  • The Rising Junior Lottery will be held on Thursday, April 19, 7:00pm, in the Matchbox, 3rd Floor (Tarble Commons).

If you are seeking housing but are currently abroad, on a leave, or cannot attend due to academic/other commitments, you will need to find an available student to serve as a PROXY for you.  The Proxy will attend the lottery on your behalf and select a room for you.  All Proxies need to be registered before the lottery occurs, and can be registered at the following site: Housing Proxy Registration Form.

At the lotteries, you will be able to review a list of rooms that can be selected.  This list of available rooms will be made available electronically during the lottery, so students can view room availability in live-time.  The list will become available approximately one hour BEFORE the lottery begins, and will not be available before that, and students will receive access to view the list before arriving at the housing lottery.  

2018-2019 Housing Lottery Number Ranges:

  • 1-500: Rising Seniors
  • 501-950: Rising Juniors
  • 951-1400: Rising Sophomores

Step 2: Check-in at the lottery/Receive Lottery Card

You may arrive as early as 30 minutes prior to the lottery.  Everyone present at the lottery will have access to the lottery lists, as well as floor plans, OSE professional staff, and student staff members (current and future Resident Assistants) who will be able to answer questions for you.  All students that have checked in will receive a "Housing Lottery Card" that will be used in the Housing Lottery Process.  The Housing Lottery Card is used internally by OSE Professional Staff and when you select a room, staff members will write various information on the card.  Please do not write on this card.

Step 3: The Lottery Begins!

OSE Professional Staff will welcome everyone to the lottery, and give a brief overview of how the lottery works.  We will then announce a subset of lottery numbers that can stand and join a line.  Once in line, you will arrange yourself in order.  In the room there will be SEVERAL tables representing various dorms/residential communities that are staffed by student staff members.  When it is your turn to choose a room, you will go to the appropriate table representing the dorm you want to live in, and select the room you want.  Once the student staff member CONFIRMS that your room is available, they will write this information on the Housing Lottery Card, and sign-off on it.  They will then return the card back to you, and ask you to CHECK-OUT of the Housing Lottery.

Step 4: Check-Out of Lottery

After you select your room and the student staff members have written down this information on your Housing Lottery Card, an announcement will be made in the room that the room you selected has been taken.  Additionally, the room you selected will be removed from the available room list.  At that time, you will exit the lottery.  When you check-out of the lottery, you will bring your Housing Lottery Card to OSE Professional Staff at the room exit.  These staff members are responsible for double-checking that the room you selected is accurate and available, as well as record in our OFFICIAL DATABASE the room you selected.  Going through Check-Out is the ONLY WAY we can confirm that you've actually received your room, as time to time errors may exist at the tables with student staff members.  Most of the time there are no errors, your Housing Lottery Card is collected by OSE Professional Staff and you have successfully completed the lottery!  If there are any issues, OSE Professional Staff will work with you individually to remedy the issue.  IMPORTANT: If you do NOT check-out properly, you will NOT receive your selected room.

The December Housing Lottery:

For students who are returning back from abroad or a leave during Fall Semester and wish to seek housing for Spring Semester, and were not pulled into a room with friends, they will need to participate in the December Lottery.  The December Lottery is a simplified version of the Spring Lottery, but essentially works the same way.  More information about this process, including the date, time, and location of the December Lottery will be sent to student registered to participate in that process in the beginning of December.  More information is available for students seeking campus housing from a leave from the college, or students who are currently abroad.

A page containing Frequently Asked Questions regarding housing and lotteries is available if you have any additional questions.