After its first run-through last year, Penn’s online housing portal will gear up again for a new round of students.
Last year, Penn completely overhauled the housing application system, changing the way students apply to live on-campus by moving everything online to a site called My Home at Penn.
Through the new housing system, students apply in groups ranging from one to four people. They are then assigned a time slot during the priority selection period in which they can select their house. Groups with a higher number of points are more likely to be assigned an earlier time slot.
While the assignment of points varies from college house to college house, students generally receive points for factors such as involvement in house programs and the number of semesters they’ve lived in the house.
One of the main critiques of the process last year concerned the points-based system. The system was not designed to accommodate decimals, and some students got later selection times because their average number of points was weighted the same as someone who may have had fewer points.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, once you realize that a problem exists, to figure out a workaround,” Associate Director for Housing Assignments Lenny Zeiger said. The solution was to “just add two zeros” to the end of each number.
According to Zeiger, more than 2,500 students went through the college house selection process last year, excluding those who were accepted into residential programs.
Outside of the application itself, Residential Services will offer more chances for students to learn about the housing application process this year.
“We’re doing a lot more information sessions,” said Associate Director of Housing Administration Ellie Rupsis. “We’re going to do about another half a dozen.”
According to Rupsis, there was a reduction in the number of people on the waitlist who applied immediately after the selection process last year. “The number was lower than normal,” she said.
Overall, there have been no major changes to the system since its implementation. “It’s more cosmetic, aesthetically different,” Zeiger said.Comments powered by Disqus
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