Housing Lottery Questions and Answers
At IWU, students make choices in the spring regarding where they will live for the following fall. This page will help to explain some of the unique features of IWU's Housing Lottery process and its consequences. Some common questions:
As a part of IWU’s residential liberal arts mission, students are expected to live in Illinois Wesleyan residence halls or fraternity and sorority houses for at least four semesters, and many remain on campus throughout their time as a student. As February concludes and March commences, many students, especially sophomores, will be talking about “the housing lottery” and choosing a room for Fall 2013.
The Housing Lottery is a shorthand way of describing IWU’s three-part Residence Hall Housing and Registration Process. The “lottery” itself refers to the final phase of the process and provides students with a room selection order. There are three distinct processes: Housing Registration, Early Applications, and the Housing Lottery.
Housing Registration. Beginning March 1st, students have access their desired Fall 2013 application in the "ApplyOnline" portal on MyHousing. Students log on and indicate their Fall 2013 housing plans—even students not planning on living in the residence halls in the fall. The collection of this information will allow IWU offices, faculty and staff to make contact with students as they move to new housing units or even off-campus. In addition, students are able to select a fall meal plan on this application. For detailed information, use the link here: http://www.iwu.edu/orl/registration/current/
Early Applications. The early application process was created to reduce stress during the housing lottery nights. By applying early, students are informed of their ability to secure a special room in advance of the housing lottery nights. Fall 2013 early applications are only available for suites and theme communities. As we expand our selection process, we hope to include additional early applications in the future, such as: single/super-single rooms, triples and quads, or squatter's rooms.
Housing Lottery. Students attending the housing lottery nights choose rooms in an order determined by the number of class units earned, assuring that senior students have the opportunity for the best campus placements. This is because some of our facilities are more highly desirable than others. Using an ordered process gives all students at a similar class and credit-hour level the same chance at each type of housing available on campus.
Students sign up for rooms at individually-specified times over the span of up to four evenings. The first day is Monday, March 26th and selection will continue until all registered students have had an opportunity to participate. In 10 minute time intervals, from 3pm - 8pm daily, students will be allotted time to select from available, gender appropriate spaces. For a detailed description of the housing lottery, use the link here: http://www.iwu.edu/orl/registration/current/LotteryFAQ.shtml
A few additional links:
For a complete listing of IWU’s housing expectations and requirements use the link here: http://www.iwu.edu/orl/info/HousingRequirements.shtml
For a listing of room and meal plan charges, use the link here: http://www.iwu.edu/bus/studentacct/Tuition13-14.shtml
For information about housing accommodations for students’ medical or mental health needs use the link here: http://www.iwu.edu/orl/info/MedicalSingle.shtml
Some schools house their incoming first-year students in spaces left over after all the returning students have been assigned. At IWU, we set aside housing for incoming first-year students and we do not allow upperclass students to lottery into those spaces. We do this because we believe that first-year students are a specialized population with specific needs that can be addressed most intentionally by allowing first-year students to live together and share their common transition experiences.
A handful of rising sophomores are unassigned after the housing lottery because a number of upperclass students who have or are in the process of making other plans (to live off-campus, to study off-campus, to transfer, etc.) have chosen a residence hall space as a back-up plan. Over the course of the final weeks of Spring semester and the May and Summer terms, these students will withdraw from their housing assignments. When two students in one building are left without roommates, they are consolidated into one room, and the open room is filled from the wait list.
Through this process, more than enough spaces will open up on campus to house all of the returning students who are required or request to live in residence halls.
At IWU, it's true that rising sophomores are housed in some of our least desireable residence halls (typically considered so because of proximity to other campus buildings). But this is balanced by the fact that these students generally already have campus support and friend networks, and connections to campus resources. Additionally, they have already, as first-year students, been housed in some of our more desireable residence halls. It is a fair system in that every rising sophomore student is in the same boat with the same chance of getting a better or worse lottery number.
The halls are NOT overcrowded. In fact, by fall, we will have plenty of spaces to house all of our students who are required or who request to live in a residence hall.
It may not be immediately. Sometimes, those with the lowest numbers may wait until late in the summer to actually receive a room assignment. While this creates some anxiety, it is not an indicator that space will not open up. Years of experience and data collection can attest to the same trends of student "melt" from the residence halls to other options each summer.
Absolutely. Guaranteed. Period.
Any student who would like a different room than the one to which they are currently assigned may fill out a Wait List card for any other space on campus (Unassigned students are encouraged to sign up for as many Wait Lists as possible). Students may have their names on multiple lists at one time. Wait Lists are ordered by lottery number so that students with lower (better) lottery numbers will have the best chance of getting into highly desirable spaces. As they move from one room to another, the next set of students will move and so on and so forth until a room is filled by unassigned students from a final list. As an example of this domino effect, if a room opens in Harriett House, a pair of students already assigned to Magill may move to Harriett. A pair of students assigned to Pfeiffer may move to Magill. A pair from Martin may move to Pfeiffer, and a pair of unassigned students are assigned to Martin.
Don't hesitate to call (309/556-3113) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We'll let you know as best we can what's going as well as any possibilities.
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