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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. The new process will hopefully go live by mid-April. We appreciate your patience while we create this new system. Once avaialble, every undergraduate student will receive an email with instructions for next steps.

Don't forget:

  • The Get Me a Roommate option will remain available throughout the entire housing lottery process, starting April 1. More details below.
  • Residents of Stewart and Boppell are allowed to participate in the in-house process for rooms in the Village. Other students secure a Village room via the singles and doubles process.

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 or when using the Get Me a Roommate option.)
  4. 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.
  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 and Stewart may not participate in the same-room process, as those buildings are freshman-only buildings.
  8. Residents of the Warren Honors Floor may not particpate in the same-room process, as that floor(s) is for first-year students only. 
  9. Residents of Stewart and Boppell are allowed to participate in the in-house process for rooms in the Village. See details below.

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 cannot 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. The only solid bet is that it's best for you to have a couple of different room and building options in mind, just in case.

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 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

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 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 steps before the day of your preferred process.

  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 since I'm graduating?

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

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