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A view of the NCHW courtyard from the second floor. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Rising juniors and seniors can now receive prioritized time slots for campus housing next year with the new Preferred Room Selection Application. 

The Preferred Room Selection period runs from Oct. 26 to Jan. 14 and provides an opportunity for students to earn extra points towards their time slot determination before the Room Selection Application opens for underclassmen, according to the Penn Residential Services website. Students who submit their applications by Nov. 15 will earn the maximum number of points in the housing selection process.

Those who fill out the application by Nov. 15 will receive time slots that allow them to log in earlier and select housing on the MyHomeAtPenn site. The new process is designed to advantage upperclassmen who signal their interest in remaining in campus housing early, according to the website.

Filling out the Preferred Room Selection Application is a “no commitment process,” so students who cancel their application before Feb. 15, 2022 will not be charged a cancellation fee, according to the website.

“If any current sophomores or juniors or anyone who is not required to live on campus wants to come back and be in our College Houses they should do this application,” Associate Director of Residential Services Katie Musar said. “It’s really their chance to let us know they want to be in housing with us.”

Preferred Room Selection is split into three tiers, with students who submit applications during earlier tiers gaining more points, putting them ahead of other students in the housing selection process. Students gain 10 points for submitting by Nov. 15, five points for submitting by Dec. 15, and three points for submitting by Jan. 14. 

These points will factor into time slot determination calculations, which are also based on graduation date and the number of semesters a student has resided in campus housing. Musar said that while the points will provide an advantage, they will not automatically ensure a student receives their preferred selection slot.

“If a [current] sophomore completes the preferred application during this first tier, which goes through Nov. 15, they’re going to get an extra 10 points in the time slot determination, but that’s not going to bump them up above a junior,” Musar explained.

Students graduating between December 2022 and August 2023 gain 300 points, students graduating between December 2023 and August 2024 gain 200 points, and students graduating in or after December 2024 gain 100 points in the time slot calculations.

Each semester a student has lived on campus also counts for an additional 10 points. Because of special circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, all students apart from current first years can consider the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters as “on-campus semesters.” 

Musar said that students should pay attention to the two housing rates when they make their selections, although she does not yet know what they will be for the coming year, because they must be approved by the Board of Trustees. She said, however, that she anticipates an increase of about three to four percent from the current academic year.

Students who do not complete the Preferred Room Selection application are still eligible to take part in the Standard Room Selection period, which begins on Jan. 26.