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2024 Housing Lottery – Where You Belong

Each returning student wishing to live on campus the next year must participate in the housing lottery. This process is designed to give priority to students who have a higher class standing and, therefore, fewer opportunities left to live on campus. (Note: If you are an incoming student, you will secure campus housing for the fall via the Housing Preference Form, not here.)

New for 2024: Students will participate in an in-person housing lottery instead of the previous online lottery. While the online lottery had a number of good features, we noticed enough significant issues with it that we're returning to an in-person lottery. An in-person lottery gives students more control of where they live and increases their connectedness to their building.

The housing lottery consists of five distinct and separate processes: the same-room process; the in-house process; the single, triple and quad process; the double room process; and the remaining rooms process. Each process has its own unique features and rules. Please take time to read and understand them in advance of the lottery.

Apart from the same-room and remaining-room processes, assignments are based on housing points (as determined by the registrar on April 1) and random lottery numbers. See below for a full description of both of these features.

Don't forget:

  • The Get Me a Roommate option is only available from April 1 through the remaining rooms process. Requests received after the remaining rooms process will not be processed.
  • Tips for finding a roommate can be found here.
  • A housing lottery information night will happen at Baldwin-Jenkins' PrimeTime – details below.
  • Visit the housing lottery informational table in the HUB to get your questions answered – details below.
  • Tours of all the residence halls start in Baldwin-Jenkins – details below.
  • Boppell rooms are considered quads for Same Room, In-House and Quad processes. But if any quads are still remaining after these processes, the rooms are given away as two separate double rooms during the Double Rooms process.
  • Boppell first floor will have both male and female apartments on the same floor, while the second floor will be female and the third floor will be male.
  • Residents of Boppell, Stewart and The Village are allowed to participate in the in-house processes for any three of those buildings.
  • Residents of Baldwin-Jenkins, Akili, Tiki, the basement of Oliver, the third floor of McMillan, the Arend Honors Floor, as well as student leaders, cannot reserve their same rooms for next year as their current assignment is restricted to either first-year students or is a leadership room. Please plan accordingly.

Conditions for Participation:

  1. Sign the contract. Each student must sign the upcoming year's housing contract before participating in any housing lottery process. Find the contract here.
  2. One and done. You may choose only one room during the housing lottery. Once you receive a room, you are finished with the lottery. Signing up for more than one room will result in the loss of all room assignments for all roommates.
  3. Fill the room to secure the room. To secure a room, you must be able to fill the room with the same number of known roommates as the room's official occupancy. For example, if a student is currently living alone in a two-person room, the student cannot secure the room without a second roommate.
  4. Know your roommate. All roommates must be known to each other. In other words, you are only allowed to sign up with another person you know (even if that means you just know their name). No students may sign up for a room with a random, unknown roommate. The only exceptions to this are via the Get Me A Roommate form (where the housing office will match you with a roommate – some restrictions apply) or if applying to live with an incoming international student (details below).
  5. Fall for all. All roommates must be living at Whitworth for the upcoming Fall Term. If a person will not be living on campus for the upcoming fall, they may not participate in the lottery.
  6. The last day to cancel a room reservation without a monetary penalty is May 31. Cancellations on or before May 31 may result in the other roommates losing their room assignment and being reassigned by the housing office. Cancellations after May 31 result in a $250 cancellation of contract charge for the student cancelling; however, their roommates will keep their room assignment.

Housing Points and Lottery Numbers

Housing Points:

  • One housing point is given for each academic level a student has completed as determined by the registrar.
  • Roommates combine housing points. For instance, if a first-year student (one housing point) is going to room with a sophomore (two housing points), they have a total of three housing points.
  • Housing points will be sent to students' Whitworth email in early April.

Lottery Numbers:

  • Computer-generated lottery numbers range from one to 2,500.
  • A lottery number is used to break ties in (combined) housing points.
  • The lowest lottery number in a roommate grouping is used for the grouping. For instance, if two roommates have lottery numbers 100 and 200, the 100 is the group's lowest lottery number.
  • Lottery numbers will be sent to students' Whitworth email in early April.

Housing Lottery Timeline and Events

Tours, Info, and Processes Date Time Location
Sign the housing contract. This is MANDATORY for participation in the housing lottery! Opens early April 24/7
Housing Lottery Q & A at Baldwin-Jenkins PrimeTime April 11 8-9 p.m. Baldwin Jenkins
Housing Lottery Q & A Informational Table April 16 & 17 noon- 1 p.m. Lied Square – HUB
Same-Room Process April 19 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Student Life Office
Residence Hall Tours and Boppell Open House April 20 (date changed) 8-10 p.m. Start at any residence hall but be sure to visit Arend, Ballard, Duvall, McMillan, Oliver and Stewart!
In-House Process April 22 10 p.m. HUB Dining Hall
Quads, Triples & Singles Process April 22 10:15 p.m. HUB Dining Hall
Double Room Process April 24 10 p.m. HUB Dining Hall
Remaining Rooms Process April 26 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Student Life Office

Get Me a Roommate

Finding it difficult to line up a roommate for next year? Don't want to be bothered with the housing lottery? Willing to put your future in the hands of the housing office? Sounds like you're just the candidate for Get Me a Roommate. The Get Me A Roommate form ( allows a student to skip the nitty gritty of the housing lottery by having the housing office select a roommate for them. Simply answer a couple of quick questions about preferred buildings and personal habits and – POW! – you're done with the lottery. The housing office will match you with a roommate as well as select a building and room for you. Requests are only processed if received between April 1 through the remaining rooms process (date above). Important: Once you submit a request, you are finished with the housing lottery; you cannot participate in any other part of the housing lottery once you submit your request. Room and roommate assignments will be emailed after the remaining rooms process. 

Housing Lottery Q & A at PrimeTime
April 11, 8-9 p.m. | Baldwin-Jenkins

Got questions about the housing lottery? Of course you do! All students are welcome to the Baldwin-Jenkins PrimeTime to hear an overview of the housing lottery and ask questions about the housing lottery.

Housing Lottery Q & A Info Table
April 16 & 17, noon-1 p.m. | Lied Square (HUB)

Missed the Housing Lottery Q & A PrimeTime (see above)? No worries! Come get housing lottery info and ask your questions at the Housing Lottery Q & A info table. We're here to help!

Residence Hall Tours & Boppell Open House
April 20 (date changed), 8-10 p.m. | Various residence halls

Enjoy self-guided tours of all the buildings as well as fun games and prizes! You'll get to see various buildings' layouts, the insides of a couple rooms in each hall, and get a feel for the general vibe of the buildings. This is a great tour for folks who aren't very familiar with Whitworth's residence halls. Bonus: You'll get a chance to win some fun prizes by playing Res Hall Bingo! 

Also, be sure to stop by Boppell for their own special open house! Residents of Boppell Hall have graciously agreed to open their suites to allow visitors to see their rooms. The Boppell residence life leadership staff will be in the main lounge, ready to answer any and all questions about Boppell and why it is a wonderful community!

How to Select a Room

Same-Room Process
April 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Student Life Office

This process is for students who wish to keep their current room for the next year. 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 they have submitted their confirmation deposit with the university by the date of this process). Students who are rooming together in a triple or quad room (including Boppell quads) need to have at least 50 percent of the room's capacity returning to the same room in order to sign up during the same-room process (i.e., two people for a quad and two people for a triple), no exceptions. All room types – singles, doubles, triples and quads – are eligible for this process. 

FYI: To plan for the processes below, it is advisable that students review and make plans based on the available rooms posted after the same-room process. Available rooms will be posted in HUB Lied Square on the Monday following the same-room signups. To ensure a diverse building community, spaces for incoming students are reserved after the same room process but before the in-house process. The result could mean that a room not taken during the same-room process may be removed from the lottery before the in-house process begins.

In-House Process
April 22 at 10 p.m. | HUB Dining Room

You and your roommates for next year must all be currently living in the building community for which you're signing up. Even if one person is coming from another building community, coming from off-campus, or is an incoming student, you may not participate in the in-house process. (The only exception to this is if you're living with an incoming international student - see details below.) All room types – singles, doubles, triples and quads – are eligible for this process. 

  • Residents of Baldwin-Jenkins, the basement of Oliver, the Arend Honors Floor, Akili, Tiki, as well as student leaders, cannot reserve their same rooms for next year. Your current assignment is restricted to either first-year students or is a leadership room. Please plan accordingly.
  • Residents of Boppell, Stewart and The Village (Akili, Tiki and Shalom) are considered a building community and may participate in this process for any of those three buildings.

Quads, Triples & Singles Process
April 22 at 10:15 p.m. | HUB Dining Room

All quads (including Boppell quads), triples or single-occupancy rooms will be open at this time. If any Boppell four-person apartments are not reserved during this process, they will be available again during the double-room process but listed as two double rooms instead of a quad.

Double Room Process
April 24 at 9:45 p.m. | HUB Dining Room

All double rooms will be open at this time. Additionally, any remaining Boppell quads will be available as two two-person rooms.

Remaining Rooms Sign-ups

April 26, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Student Life Office

If you have not signed up for a room yet, come to student life to pick from the remaining rooms. There are no "minimum restrictions" nor "known roommate restrictions" for this option. For example, any individual student may choose a two-person room without having a roommate to fill the room first. However, it is almost certain that the housing office will place a roommate in the available space(s) sometime during the summer. Room availability will be very limited by this point in the lottery yet there is typically a handful of options in most buildings.

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 during what process with various housing points and random lottery numbers, there's no way to give a basic prediction as to what your chances are of getting a particular room or even which building you'll receive during the lottery. Nevertheless, 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 always make a backup plan and embrace the fact that if you have low housing points and a high lottery number, it's best to be open-minded about next year's housing.

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, the student 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, here are a few tips. Don't get discouraged if you strike out once or twice; there are lots of folks just like you, all hoping to find a roommate next year. It's going to take some time and work on your part, but finding your own roommate can be very rewarding. And if all else fails, there's always the Get Me a Roommate option (see above).

What if I have an ESS (Educational Support Services) accommodation? Room accommodations must be applied for and approved before the start of the housing lottery. An accommodation from this year is not automatically granted for next year. Please contact ESS ( well in advance of the lottery to make sure your accommodation is renewed. Do not expect the housing office to know about your accommodation. It is your responsibility to communicate your needs in advance of the lottery.

What if I'm moving off campus? All students are required to live on campus if it's been less than two years since high school graduation, regardless of how many credits they've earned. Students not meeting this requirement but hoping to live off campus must have an approved housing waiver before the start of the housing lottery. Housing 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. If submitting a housing waiver after April 1, it is best to participate in the lottery until you receive confirmation that you've been approved to move off campus. The housing waiver is available at

Students who graduated from high school more than two years ago are not required to turn in a waiver.

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 but only if they have submitted their enrollment deposit before the process in which you're securing a room. If they haven't submitted their deposit by then, you cannot use that person as a roommate. Note: Incoming students do not have any housing points nor a lottery number. In other words, while you may list them as your roommate, you'll be going through the lottery with just your housing point(s) and 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 complete the following steps before you participate.

  1. Set up a brief meeting with Brett MacKenzie of the office of international student programs (509.777.4509 or to discuss your preference of living with an incoming international student.
  2. After the meeting, request Brett to email Alan Jacob (, noting the results of your meeting.
  3. If approved, you may then participate in the housing lottery, using the incoming international student as if they are your current roommate.

Note: An incoming international student receives one housing point but does not receive a lottery number. Additionally, 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, the housing office may fill your room with an incoming freshman, a transfer student or a current student.

What if I can't make it to the process because I'm unavailable? Understandably, you may not be able to make it the housing lottery (e.g., you're out of the country, your job requires you to work the night of the lottery, etc.). You should contact a trusted friend who will act as a proxy for you, representing you at the lottery in every way. Your proxy assumes all decision-making responsibilities during the lottery, including who will be your roommate and selecting your room. Their room and roommate selection is final. Because your proxy is controlling your future, we recommend a proxy to be a trusted friend who knows where you're trying to live and with whom.

What if I'm gone in the fall and only want Jan Term or spring housing next year? While there's no slick, fancy way to go about securing a room for Jan Term or spring-semester-only housing during the lottery, there are actually two very good ways to secure housing for 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 work with you, finding an on-campus option for you.
  2. Talk to current students who are signing up for next year's housing and determine where spaces will be opening up for Jan/Spring terms. For example, find out which students are graduating or transferring after the fall or are one-semester international students not returning in the spring. When you find a spot that suits you, simply email the housing office with that info and they'll assign you the room.

While the first option is certainly uncertain – the housing office never knows where Jan/spring openings will be until mid-December – this option places the headaches of finding a room in the hands of the folks who know the most about campus housing. Conversely, while the second option puts more of the work on your shoulders, it gives you more control as to where you'll be living. Of course, there's nothing wrong with trying both options simultaneously.

Does any of this mumbo-jumbo apply to me since I'm graduating? No. The housing points and lottery numbers are always issued to seniors, knowing that some inevitably return to campus as a fifth-year senior or are requesting on-campus housing as a graduate student.

Still have questions? The housing lottery is a bit confusing, but overall can be a lot of fun. If you have additional questions about the housing lottery, please contact your RA, your AC or me, Alan Jacob.

Enjoy the pursuit of the perfect room!

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