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Credit: Kylie Cooper

Following Penn's announcement inviting undergraduate students back to campus this spring, here’s what you need to know about housing and dining.


Move-in will take place from Jan. 10 to 17 ahead of the first day of classes on Jan. 20. Students must request a two-hour move-in time slot in December and are allowed only one guest to help with the moving process. Students can bring a maximum of two suitcases with them during move-in. Residential Services recommends that students ship large items to their dorms before their move-in date. 


While housing priority is given to first years, sophomores, and seniors, the University also expects to be able to accommodate juniors who wish to live in on-campus housing.

Students will be housed in private bedrooms with no more than six students sharing the same bathroom. All rooms, regardless of building or location, will be charged the same rate of $5,507 for the semester.

Students must confirm or request to cancel their housing assignments by noon on Nov. 20, according to a Penn Residential Services email sent to undergraduate students on Oct. 30. Those who request to cancel their assignments from Nov. 21 to Jan. 19 will incur a $500 cancellation fee, except for international students who are forced to cancel their assignments because of travel limitations or government policies. Students will not be able to cancel their assignments after Jan. 19.

First years and first-year transfer students must live on campus but can opt out under certain circumstances such as an underlying health condition, international travel, or visa restrictions. First years who already signed an off-campus lease may request a cancellation on Campus Express. Students who submit exemption requests may be asked to provide additional details and documentation before the request is approved. 

Students may or may not have the same housing assignment as last semester, though students previously assigned to live in Gregory College House, Sansom Place East, or off campus for fall 2020 have been reassigned to other locations. Gregory will remain unoccupied to complete the installation of air conditioning, which was delayed due to the pandemic, according to Penn Business Services Director of Communications and External Relations Barbara Lea-Kruger. 

Those who wish to change their room assignment may request a room change, and they will be limited and based on availability. Students must confirm their housing assignment before requesting a room change, and will not be able to review their new assignment before the change is approved. 

Students who canceled their room assignment last fall can apply for spring semester housing starting Nov. 4. Assignments will not be made until late November and will be based on available space.


First-year students and transfers will be required to be on a dining plan, which will cost $2,885 for the semester, unless approved for a housing exemption. Students exempted from living on campus must cancel their dining plan by Jan. 8 or will be charged for the semester dining plan.

Dining halls will no longer be “all-you-care-to-eat” and instead operate using a Pick 5 "grab and go" program where students can choose one entrée, three sides, and one beverage. 

Examples of entrées include fish, chicken, seared tofu, chicken caesar salad, pizza, and pasta. Sides include fruit cups, side salads, yogurt cups, hummus and pita, soups, and cereal and milk.

Through the PennEats mobile ordering app, Penn Dining will designate locations and times for pick-up. 

Limited indoor seating will open on Jan. 20 using a reservation system.

Students will be able to use their dining dollars in retail dining locations like Houston Market, where they can order food for pick-up using the PennEats app. 

Despite having fewer food options, standardized portion sizes, and no guest swipes for the semester, first-year students will have to pay nearly $100 more for their meal plan than what was required last academic year, and nearly $300 more than what was originally planned for fall 2020. 

Students with dietary restrictions previously criticized Penn Dining this semester for the lack of variety and fresh meal options.