As the spring semester draws to an end, the housing selection process for the 2022-2023 school year is underway. Housing selection is important for returning students in order to pick their desired roommates and housing residence.
The first step for housing selection is filling out the housing contract found in the Housing and Meal Plan Portal.
“Housing selection is an online process that is made up of several steps. Step one is the housing agreement or contract,” said Associate Director of Residence Life Ashley McCartney.
“The agreement is broken up into two sections. The first section is the terms and conditions. This outlines some overall rules, where you can find our policies and procedures spelled out, as well as some important dates. The second section of the agreement is a set of questions. The questions are mirrored by the agreements that incoming students complete as well. They are used when we are matching students with roommates or if later in that academic year Residence Life needs to assign a student to a spot. It allows our office to have a brief glimpse into each student in a room’s living preferences for us to see where would be the best match. This contract can be found under ‘Housing Forms’ within the Housing Portal.”
Along with filling out the housing contract, students may also form their roommate groups through the Housing Portal.
“The next step in the process is roommate group building,” said McCartney.
“This process can only be started once a student has completed a housing contract. This time you will select Roommate Group Selection in the menu. You will need to change the term on the screen to Fall 2022. Once you have done so, you will see Roommate Search become an option. If you know the roommate you are looking for, my suggestion would be to search using their last name, making sure you have the correct spelling. You will need to select “Begin Search” and then they should pop up below. Each member of the group will need to request each member. This is what Residence Life calls mutually confirming your roommate. This way we can be sure that everyone in the group knows or at least agrees to live with each of the other members.”
To decide who gets first priority in choosing their living situation, Residence Life uses a point-based system. How quickly your roommate group was formed, along with some other factors such as year and number or credits, dictates how many points you have and how quickly you get to choose your housing.
“While students are forming their groups, Residence Life is determining each student’s housing points. Housing points are determined by looking at each student’s credit total and their conduct history. We only look at credits from completed courses and any credits for currently enrolled for the Spring semester. We cannot consider summer or Fall credit hours for classes that haven’t started,” said McCartney.
“Housing points are then added up and each group will be assigned a housing point total based on the group members who have all been mutually assigned. These group totals are done based on mutually confirmed groups as of April 13. Residence Life will then sort the groups in highest to lowest housing point totals. Each group will be assigned a timeslot of about five minutes based on their housing group number. For example, groups who are interested in a townhouse (as denoted in the housing contract) with a mutually matched group of four-six people will receive a time slot based on their group housing points. These times are then communicated to the student via Mercyhurst email.”
Important dates for housing selection start with April 20, when townhouse selection times are sent to each townhouse group. The groups will be able to select their preferred living space at their designated time on April 21.
Groups that were unable to get a townhouse will need to reform to fit a three or four-person apartment by April 25.
On April 26, selection times for three or four-person apartments will be sent out. Selection for these apartments will take place on April 27. Selection times for groups of three who want a four-person apartment will be emailed on May 3, or May 4.
During the week of May 16, Residence Life will reach out to any groups of two or less in order to help them form a complete group and find housing.
“On the date and time of your selection, you will log into the housing portal. There will be a section on the main menu allowing them to see your time slot. Once it is your time, you can log in using a button that will become available on their main portal page. Only one member of the group needs to be available at this time,” said McCartney.
“Students will have the opportunity to log in and see all available housing options based on their group size. A group of five will only see five person townhouses. Since we only have five such townhouses, they will only be able to see those townhouses. If there are six groups trying for those five, five-person townhouses, and all prior groups pick, that sixth group will not see any options. They will then have to either reform into two separate groups or join other groups to take part in a later selection time. We build in this ability to allow for regrouping after Townhouse selection.”
After signing up for their preferred living space, students will receive confirmation of their housing assignment over the summer through an email from Residence Life.
“Students who choose housing as part of the housing selection process will be picking their own housing assignment. As such they should note where they picked. There will also be an option within the Housing Portal until June 1 to view the fall 2022 assignment. Once June 1 hits, this option will be hidden until mid-July,” said McCartney.
“Housing assignments and roommate information, similar to how it is communicated to freshman students, will be communicated in addition to move-in information in mid-July. This should only be a confirmation of what the student is already aware assuming they participated in the housing selection process or were communicative via email with Residence Life over the summer as they worked to assign them.”
The administration at Residence Life recognizes that the process of housing selection can be a very stressful time for students. However, they are here to help with any questions or concerns and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I know that housing selection is a very anxiety driven time. Students are very interested in specific housing types that are limited. We strive to ensure that this process is as equal as it can be. We do not give priority outside of the housing points process,” said McCartney.
Be sure to pay attention to deadlines, create plans and backup plans with your potential roommates, and sign in during your time slot for the best chances at your preferred living space next year.