June 26, 2020

A Message About Off-Campus Housing

Dear Students,

Earlier this week you received a letter from President Bergeron directing you to the Path Forward website with information about our plans for fall 2020. The site provides some introductory details about our housing strategy. In the next two weeks, you will receive much more detail on our housing process. Given the questions I have received about off-campus living, I wanted to clarify a number of important details ahead of this communication.

Because we are a residential college, we expect all of you to live on campus during your four years. We typically do not approve students to live off campus as we have sufficient housing on campus for our student community. Given that we are repurposing the River Ridge Apartments, Winchester Houses, 191 Mohegan Ave. and Abbey House as isolation housing for students with COVID-19, we may be in a position to approve students to live off campus this academic year. This decision is dependent on projected enrollment, which is why the questionnaire that Dean Arcelus asked you to complete this week is so important. Your responses will give us a sense of the projected enrollment and your interest in a variety of options, including living off campus.  

If we can house every student on campus, that is our preference, but if we have a higher enrollment than our housing capacity during this COVID-19 period allows, then we will approve student requests to live off campus. 

The off-campus housing approval process will be similar to how we manage on campus housing process in the way that we use lottery numbers for individuals and groups. Students will apply to live off campus and be approved based on lottery numbers. Seniors have the lowest lottery numbers, so therefore they are most likely to be the first to be approved. If you are applying to live off campus with a group (including the possibility of a group made up of people from different class years) then the group members’ averaged lottery number will be used. 

Submitting a form to live off campus does not guarantee approval. As a result, you should not proceed with signing a rental agreement before you have received official written approval from the College that you may live off campus. If you plan to apply to live off campus, you will also need to fill out the on-campus housing form. If you are not approved to live off campus, you will be assigned housing on campus. 

Given that in a typical year we do not have an off-campus living option, this is a new process for everyone. Importantly, I want to be sure that you and your family do not make a financial commitment to housing off campus before the application and approval process is completed.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate new processes and expectations this coming year.


Sara Rothenberger
Assistant Dean for Residential Education and Living