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2017 Housing Lottery

Each returning student wishing to live on campus the following year must participate in the Whitworth Housing Lottery, which takes place each April. This process is designed to give priority to students who have a higher class standing (and therefore fewer opportunities left to live on campus). To ensure a more diverse community, spaces for incoming students are reserved following the same-room process.

New for 2017: Students' housing points and random lottery numbers can be viewed by clicking here or by going to Housing points and random lottery numbers will no longer be emailed.

Conditions for Participation

  1. Each student must electronically sign the current housing contract prior to participating in any housing lottery process. The contract is found at
  2. You may choose only one room during the housing lottery. Simply put, once you sign up for a room, you are finished with the lottery. If you sign up for more than one room, you and your roommates in all rooms will lose your room assignments.
  3. In order to secure a room, you must be able to fill the room. In other words, you must have the same number of known roommates as the room's occupancy. Known roommates are people who you actually know; you cannot sign up for a room "with any random incoming student." (The only exception to this is during the remaining-rooms process.)
  4. All roommates must be living at Whitworth for the upcoming fall term. If they're leaving for the spring, that's okay, just make sure you tell us when you're signing up.
  5. The last day to cancel a room reservation without monetary penalty is May 31. To cancel a room reservation, the student must contact the Whitworth Housing Office before June 1. To prevent intentional cancellations that help one person/group acquire a room over another person/group, any cancellation made before the deadline may result in all roommates losing their room assignment and being reassigned at the discretion of the housing office. A student who cancels a room reservation any time after the deadline will be charged $250, but his or her roommates will not lose their room assignment. (This policy does not apply to incoming freshmen.)
  6. Students who will be gone during the fall semester but who wish to return for Jan Term/spring semester should contact the housing office in mid-December to make arrangements. See the Frequently Asked Questions section below for more details.
  7. Residents of Baldwin-Jenkins, Stewart, and The Village may not participate in the same-room process, as those building are freshmen-only buildings.

Housing Points

  • One housing point is given for each academic level you have completed, as determined by the university registrar (e.g., freshman = 1 pt., sophomore = 2 pts., junior = 3 pts., senior = 4 pts.).
  • Your housing points can be combined with other students' housing points as long as you all sign up for the same room (e.g. a "group" consisting of a freshman and a sophomore who are signing up for a double room has three housing points). Housing points can only be combined as long as all of the roommates stay in that group while signing up. Once a member of the group leaves, so do his or her housing point(s).
  • Questions about your housing points should be directed to the Whitworth Housing Office well before the process in which you plan to participate.
  • New for 2017: Students' housing points and random lottery numbers can be viewed by clicking here or by going to Housing points and random lottery numbers will no longer be emailed.

Lottery Numbers

  • A computer-generated random lottery number is used to determine who wins a tie in the event that two people or groups have the same total of housing points.
  • The lottery numbers range from 1 to approximately 2,500, with 1 being first in line and 2,500 being last in line.
  • A group of students will use the lowest lottery number in the entire group when signing up for a room; however, should that group break into small groups, each newly formed group uses that particular group's lowest number (e.g., a four-person group with the lottery numbers 1, 10, 100, and 1,000 would use 1 as its lowest lottery number while signing up. But if the group breaks into two groups -- say 1 and 100 are in one group and 10 and 1,000 are in the second group -- the first group has a lottery number of 1 and the second group has a lottery number of 10.)
  • Residents of Baldwin-Jenkins, Stewart and The Village, as well as student leaders do not receive any extra points.
  • New for 2017: Students' housing points and random lottery numbers can be viewed by clicking here or by going to Housing points and random lottery numbers will no longer be emailed.
Steps & Ways to Secure a RoomDateTimeLocation
Sign the housing contract.
This is MANDATORY for participation in the housing lottery!
Now thru the lottery 24/7  
Housing Q & A at Primetimes April 4 8-10:10 p.m. Duvall (8 p.m.), Arend (8:45 p.m.), and Oliver (9:30 p.m.)
Housing Q & A at Primetimes April 5 8 - 9:30 p.m. Stewart (8 p.m.) and Baldwin-Jenkins (8:45 p.m.)
Housing Q & A + Find-A-Roommate Night April 5 9:45 - 10:15 p.m.  HUB Multipurpose Room
Housing Q & A at Primetimes April 6 8-9:30 p.m. Warren (8 p.m.) and McMillan (8:45 p.m.)
Same Room Process April 10 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Student Life Front Desk
Residence Hall Tours (see description below) April 11 8 p.m. Starts in Baldwin-Jenkins
Boppell Open House (see description below) April 12 7 p.m. Boppell Hall
In-House Process April 18 9:45 p.m. HUB Dining Hall
Quads, Triples, & Singles Process April 18 10 p.m. HUB Dining Hall
Double-Room Process April 20 9:45 p.m. HUB Dining Hall
Remaining-Rooms Process April 21 2-4 p.m. Student Life Office

Residence Hall Tours

April 11, 8 p.m.
Starts in Baldwin Jenkins

The leadership staff of Baldwin-Jenkins will be leading guided tours of the residence halls. They'll take you on a tour of the various buildings' layouts and get you inside a couple rooms in each hall. This is a great tour for folks who aren't familiar with Whitworth's residence halls.

Boppell Open House

April 12, 7 p.m.
Boppell Hall

Residents of Boppell Hall have graciously agreed to open their suites to allow visitors to see what the rooms look like and to check out the versatility of setup. Additionally, the Boppell leadership will be in the main lounge ready to answer any and all questions about Boppell and why it is a wonderful community to live in. Milk and cookies will be provided.

How to Select a Room

We understand that you may have a schedule conflict that doesn't allow you to attend the process of your choice, be it same-room, in-house, or any of the other processes. Therefore, any one person may represent multiple people if the next year's roommates can't attend the sign-ups. For example, if only one person from a quad can make it during the quad process, so be it. However, we still strongly encourage each person to make his or her own selection; leaving the room selection up to your future roommate might not be the best idea unless you're very willing to live wherever s/he chooses.

Same-Room Signups

April 10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. | HUB, Student Life Front Desk

This process is for students who wish to keep their current room for the next year. You must have the same number of known roommates as beds available in order to sign up for a room. (The only exception to this is during the remaining-rooms process.) If you cannot fill the room, you cannot secure the room. You may sign up for a room with a roommate who is currently living in another building, off campus, or even with a known incoming student (provided he or she has confirmed with the university by the date of this process). Students same-rooming in a triple or quad (including Boppell apartments) need to have at least 50% of the room's maximum capacity returning to the room in order to sign up during the same room process, e.g. 2 people for a quad and 2 people for a triple.

In-House Signups

April 18 at 9:45 p.m. | HUB Dining Room
You and your roommates for next year must all be currently living in the building for which you're signing up. Even if one person is coming from another building, from off campus, or is an incoming student, you may not participate in the in-house process. All room types -- singles, doubles, triples and quads -- are eligible for this process. You must be able to fill the room to secure the room. Residents of Baldwin-Jenkins, Stewart and The Village may not participate in the in-house process.

Quads, Triples & Singles Signups

April 18 at 10 p.m. | HUB Dining Room
All six-person, quad, triple or single rooms available throughout campus will be open at this time. You must be able to fill the room to secure the room. If there are any Boppell four-person apartments remaining after this process, they will be assigned as triple rooms and then double rooms during the following processes.

Double-Room Signups

April 20 at 9:45 p.m. | HUB Dining Room
All double rooms available throughout campus will be open at this time. You must be able to fill the room to secure the room. At this point, any remaining Boppell four-person apartments will be assigned as if they were two, separate double rooms.

Remaining-Rooms Signups

April 21, 2-4 p.m. | Housing Office
If you do not sign up for a room during the earlier lottery processes, come to the housing office on the second floor of the HUB to pick from the remaining available rooms. There are no "minimum restrictions" for this option; a single person can choose a double room by himself or herself. However, it is almost certain that the housing office will place a roommate in that available space sometime during the summer. Room availability will be severely limited by this point in the lottery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are my chances of...? What are the odds of...?

Since there are so many different situations regarding who's doing what in what process with various housing points and lottery numbers, there's no way to give even a somewhat accurate prediction as to what your chances are of getting a particular room or building. Your odds come down to this: The more points you have, the  more likely it is you'll get what you're looking for. But if you've got low housing points and a bad lottery number, it's best for you to have a couple different options in mind. 

What's the deal with the housing contract? Do I have to sign one?

All students who want to live on campus next year must electronically sign a housing contract before participating in the housing lottery. If a student does not sign the housing contract by this time, s/he may not be allowed to participate in the housing lottery. You can sign your contract at

What do I do if I can't find a roommate?

If you're having trouble finding a roommate, ask your RA or RD if s/he's heard of other students in the same position. Often, residence halls post signs in their entrances that help people find roommates. Start asking your floormates, hallmates, and classmates what their plans are; they too are often looking for a roommate.

There's also the "Find-a-Roommate" online search that allows you to submit the information that you're looking for a roommate or to review other students' roommate requests.

Additionally, student life hosts a "Find-a-Roommate Night" before each lottery. Check the date above.

What if I'm moving off campus?

All students are required to live on campus for the first two years after high school graduation. Students who graduated from high school more than two years ago are not required to turn in a waiver.

All students not meeting this requirement but wishing to live off campus must have an approved waiver before the start of the housing lottery if they plan to live off campus next year. Waivers submitted after the start of the housing lottery will not be considered until after May 1. Submitting a waiver is not the same as having an approved waiver.

The Residency Requirement Waiver Request form is available at waiver.

Students who turn in their waiver after the housing lottery begins (or those who have not yet had their waivers processed) should still go through the housing lottery, knowing that if the waiver is granted, the roommates of the student requesting the waiver may lose their housing assignment and be reassigned at the discretion of the housing office.

Can I sign up for a room with an incoming student?

Yes, you can sign up for a room with a student who hasn't yet begun at Whitworth only if s/he has confirmed with Whitworth before the process in which you're securing a room. If s/he hasn't confirmed by then, you can not use him or her to fill a room. Note: The incoming student will not be issued any housing points or a lottery number. No exceptions are made to this rule.

What if I want to live with an incoming international student?

If you would like to room with an incoming international student next year, you must first take the following steps:

  1. Set up a brief meeting with Lulu Gonzalez of the international and multicultural student services office (509.777.4509 or to discuss your desire to live with an international student. This meeting must take place before whatever process in which you're choosing to participate takes place.
  2. Ask Lulu to email, noting the results of your meeting.
  3. You may then participate in all of the above processes as if you had a current student as your roommate, assuming you meet all of the requirements for that process. An incoming international student receives one housing point but does not receive a lottery number.

Because we are never sure exactly how many international students will be arriving in the fall, we cannot guarantee an international student as a roommate. Instead, we may fill the space in your room with an incoming freshman, a transfer student, or a current off-campus student looking for on-campus housing.

What exactly is meant by "You can participate in only one process"?

If you do not receive a room in the first process you attempt, you may continue and participate in another following process; however, once you secure a room, you are not allowed to participate in any of proceeding processes. Attempting to sign up for more than one room will result in the loss of room assignments for both you and your next year's roommates. Bad idea.

How do I sign up for a room when I'm in another country? What's a proxy?

Some students are unable to be at the housing lottery (e.g., they're out of the country on study-abroad programs, their jobs require them to work the night of the lottery, etc.). These students should contact a trusted friend who will act as proxy. Once the friend has agreed to act as proxy, both the unavailable student and the proxy need to email from their Whitworth email accounts stating the nature of the agreement.

The student acting as proxy then assumes all decision-making responsibilities during the housing lottery (e.g., which roommates to sign up with, which room to live in, etc.) for the person who can't make it to the housing lottery. The proxy must come to the housing lottery and participate in it as if he or she really were the absent friend. That's why we recommend that a proxy be a trusted friend.

What if I'm studying abroad in the fall but want to come back for Jan Term or spring semester?

While there’s no slick, fancy way to go about securing a room for Jan Term or spring semester when you study abroad in the fall, there are actually two very good ways to secure housing when you return:

  1. Email the housing office ( in early December, letting the university know of your desire to live on campus when you return. The housing office will then try to find an opening for you.
  2. Talk to current students who are signing up for next year's housing at the housing lottery, and determine where spaces will be opening up after the fall (e.g., which students are graduating, transferring, or are one-semester international students). When you find a spot that suits you, simply email the housing office with that info and they'll assign you to that room.

While the first option is certainly uncertain (The housing office never knows where Jan/spring openings will be until mid December), it does place the task of finding an on-campus space in the hands of the folks who know the most about campus housing. The second option puts more of the work on your shoulders but it would give you more of a say as to where you'd be placed. There's nothing wrong with trying both options, though, simultaneously.

Does any of this mumbo-jumbo apply to me since I'm graduating?

No. The housing points and lottery numbers are always given to seniors knowing that some will  return to campus next year as fifth-year seniors or will want to request on-campus housing as graduate students.

Still have questions?

The housing lottery is a bit confusing, but all in all, it's a lot of fun. If you have additional questions about the housing lottery, please contact your RA, your RD, or me, Alan Jacob.

Enjoy the pursuit of the perfect room!

Alan B. Jacob
Associate Director, Housing
Office of Residence Life & Housing
Whitworth University