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2020 Housing Lottery

Each returning student wishing to live on campus the following year must participate in the Whitworth 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). To ensure a more diverse community, spaces for incoming students are reserved following the same-room process.

Updates to 2020 Housing Lottery

With the campus closing for Spring 2020, having an in-person housing lottery is not possible. Instead, students will participate in an online version. We have appreciated your patience while we created this entirely new system. We’re keeping the basics – your Housing Points are based off of your class standing, the only way to secure a room is to fill the room, etc. – but instead of picking a specific room in person, you'll only select a preferred building, leaving it to the Whitworth Residence Life staff to pick your actual room assignment. Your participation is required by May 15. The housing office will email your roommate and building/room assignment on or around June 15.

Don't forget: The Get Me a Roommate option will remain available throughout the entire housing lottery process, starting April 1. More details below.

In order to participate in the housing lottery, you (and each of your roommates) must complete the online housing lottery form.

Adjusted Housing Lottery

This is especially important for students who are not required to live on campus (e.g. it's been more than two years since their high school graduation) as this is the only way we will know you want to live on campus.

Here's a brief summary of the form:

Step 1: You'll pick whether or not you're going to have the same roommate and room for next year.

  • If you select "Yes," the housing office will place you and your spring 2020 roommate in the same room for fall 2020.
    • Some exceptions may occur, e.g. if you're living in a first-year-only building (Stewart, BJ), in which case, we'll move you to another building of our choice.
  • If you select "No," you'll need to pick new roommate(s) and select your preferred buildings for fall 2020. The housing office will be compiling all students' requests, giving priority to students who have a higher class standing.

Step 2: You'll initial the housing contract in a couple of places, specifically: "Section 2. Reservation of Rooms" and "Contract Termination."

Step 3: You'll select a meal plan for fall 2020. Note that the meal plans – both in name and style – have changed. For more information about the new meal plans, visit

Step 4: If there are any special circumstances that we need to know about (for example, if you're requesting a single room or are also submitting a request for a random roommate), list them in the last text box.

Step 5: Acknowledge that you understood the contract.

Step 6: Click "Save and Submit" to submit your form. You are allowed to resubmit your form multiple times (if roommates change or if you reorder your preferred buildings); however, no changes may be made after May 15.

More details about how we're adjusting the Housing Lottery:

Assignments will be emailed to students' Whitworth email accounts on or around June 15, 2020.

  • By default (if you're required to live on campus), your roommate for next year will be your spring 2020 roommate but there are opportunities via to change both roommate(s) and/or buildings for next year.
  • If you're not required to live on campus, you will not be assigned a room unless you make the request for one.
  • By default, your building for next year will be your spring 2020 building unless you were in a first-year only building.

Room assignments will be based on the following:

  • Students' class standing (as determined by the registrar)
    • Current seniors will have more priority over juniors; juniors are ahead of sophomores; sophomores are in front of first-year students; and first-year students are ahead of any type of incoming student (e.g. incoming international, transfers, etc.)
  • The date a student submits his/her request at
    • Editing the form will not change your original submission date
    • Whichever roommate who submitted his/her preferred buildings the earliest will be counted

The housing office will do all it can to give you your preferred building assignment, but please understand that residence halls have a finite number of spaces available and not all requests can be granted.

Your roommate and/or building assignment may change. 

  • If you're opting for a different roommate or if you'd prefer to move to another building on main campus, you can update your form before May 15. The Whitworth Housing Office simply cannot place you in your preferred room due to other external factors (e.g. you've requested to return to first-year only building, the building is beyond capacity, you're requesting to live on the Honors Floor and you're not in the Honors program, etc.)
  • Room assignments may change based on the needs of Whitworth Residence Life, such as: to adjust RA placement, to ensure a floor isn't all upper-division students (or all first-year), to meet the needs of the Whitworth Honors program, etc. While the university knows most of these needs already, some building/room changes still may be necessary after assignments have been communicated. If an assignment changes, the housing office will contact all those affected.

Housing Waivers

All students who are less than two years from their high school graduation must live on campus.

  • Requests for a waiver to this policy is found at
  • A new waiver must be renewed each year for as long as a student is required to live on campus. In other words, waivers received for fall 2019 and/or spring 2020 do not automatically cover fall 2020 nor spring 2021.
  • Housing waivers should be submitted before May 15, allowing adequate time for processing. Students who submit a request after this date must still participate in the Housing Lottery, assuming that the waiver will be denied until it's officially granted.

Student leaders (and their roommates)

Fall 2020 student leaders do not need to complete any of the above steps. Instead, residence life and your RD will manage your assignment. Please respond promptly to the communications from your supervisor and RD.

Whitworth Neighborhoods

Requests for participation in the Whitworth Neighborhoods program have been processed and applications are no longer being accepted. If you've been accepted, you do not need to participate in the adjusted Housing Lottery.

Conditions for Participation

All students who are required to live on campus – those who are less than two years from their high school graduation – must participate in the Housing Lottery.

Any student who is required to live on campus but wishes to live off campus must have an approved waiver if they plan to live off campus next year. Submitting a waiver is not the same as having an approved waiver. The Residency Requirement Waiver Request form is available at

  • 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.

  • Students who are required to participate in the Housing Lottery and do will still be given a room by the housing office.

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." Requests for a random roommate can be made through the Get Me A Roommate option (details below).

  • All roommates must be living at Whitworth for the upcoming Fall Term. If they're leaving for the spring, that's OK; just make sure you tell us when you're signing up.

  • The last day to cancel a room reservation without monetary penalty is June 15. To cancel a room reservation, the student must contact the Whitworth Housing Office before June 16. 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.)

  • 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.

  • Residents of Baldwin-Jenkins and Stewart may not participate in the same-room process, as those buildings are freshman-only buildings. When submitting your housing request, do not choose "Yes..." in the first step but instead choose "No..."

  • Residents of the Warren Honors Floor may not participate in the same-room process, as that floor(s) is for first-year students only. When submitting your housing request, do not choose "Yes..." in the first step but instead choose "No..."

Get Me a Roommate

Finding it difficult to line up a roommate for next year? Don't want to be bothered with any of the Housing Lottery? Willing to put your future in the hands of the housing office? Sounds like you're just the candidate to submit a request for a roommate at Answer a couple of quick questions and – pow! – you're done with the lottery. The housing office will not only match you with a roommate, but will also select a building and room for you, too. Matches and assignments will be emailed at the end of the lottery. Requests are only honored and processed if received after April 1. Important: Once you submit a request for us to find you a roommate, you are finished with the Housing Lottery; you do not need to participate in any other part of the Housing Lottery if you use this option.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Since there are so many different situations regarding every student's situation that there's no way to give even a somewhat accurate prediction as to what your chances are of getting a particular room or building.

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 if they plan to live off campus. Submitting a waiver is not the same as having an approved waiver.

The Residency Requirement Waiver Request form is available at .

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. If s/he hasn't confirmed yet, you cannot use that person to fill a room. 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 before you submit your request:

  1. Set up a brief phone meeting with Nick McKinney of the international education center (509.777.4596 or to discuss your desire to live with an international student. This must take place before whatever process in which you're choosing to participate takes place.
  2. Ask Nick to email, noting the results of your meeting.
  3. You may then participate in the lottery as if you had a current student as your roommate, assuming you meet all of the requirements for that process.

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 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 if it's been longer than two years since my high school graduation?

No. However, if you still want to live on campus, you'll need to submit a request via

Still have questions?

If you have additional questions about the housing lottery, please contact me, Alan Jacob.

Thank you!

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