Applying for housing
Finding the place you want to live doesn’t need to be difficult! You can read more into the costs of housing, apply for housing for our residence halls or college houses.
Now that you’ve found the perfect school, let us help you answer your most important question: “Where am I going to live?” By following the steps below, you can complete your housing application to live on campus, which includes ranking your living preferences, completing a roommate questionnaire and even requesting specific roommates. Be sure to complete each step.
When you are confirmed as a new student to Earlham College, you receive a username and password to access the Earlham College student portal website, known as “TheHeart.” You should receive this information to your personal email account that you provided to the Office of Admissions. Login to TheHeart using your username and password. This email account will be used by the Office of Residence Life to communicate with you about your housing application.
To open your email account, click on “Zimbra” underneath the “Information Services” heading. You can use your username and password again to log in.
The next step for your housing application is to complete the alcohol assessment survey–a twenty-minute educational survey that helps prepare you for on-campus, college living. New students are required to complete this survey before receiving a housing assignment and roommate information for the fall, so make sure to complete this online assessment. To learn more about Earlham College’s alcohol awareness program, visit our Alcohol Awareness page.
Once you have set up your Earlham College email account and completed your alcohol assessment survey, it’s time to complete your housing application. Click on the application link below to go through the housing application. It will take you approximately ten minutes to complete.
Housing Application – Now available for new confirmed students
The housing selection process occurs during the spring semester, but now is the time to start thinking and preparing for it. Below you will find much of the information you need to start planning including information about the housing selection process for the upcoming academic year and information for students returning from leave or an off-campus program. Additionally, you will find specialized information about the housing exemption, meal plan exemption and special housing placement processes.
Application and selection process
- March 7, 2023 – 2023-2024 Housing Applications, House Applications, and Quad Single Applications open
- April 3, 2023 – House Applications and Quad Single Applications due by 5 p.m.
- April 4 -13, 2023 – Students with Approved Accommodations and Completed Housing Applications Notified of Housing Placement for Fall 2023
- April 14, 2023 – Priority Housing Application Deadline to participate in Progressive Room Selection
- April 17 – May 5, 2023 – Progressive Room Selection
- July 1, 2023 – Housing & Meal Plan Exemption Requests due for 2023-2024
The residence hall room selection process is an online, progressive process that occurs during the spring semester. This process allows you to match up with your preferred roommates (if you have any) and select a space to live for the next year. Here are some important features to know about our residence hall room selection process:
Housing Portal (Housing Application, House Application, Quad Single Application)
2023-24 Academic Year Housing Agreement
Students are organized for the room selection by the tier and lottery system. Better tiers and lottery numbers get to pick first. You are assigned a tier according to how many credits you have earned through the end of the fall semester. Within each tier, students are randomly assigned a lottery number. Together, these two numbers combine to create your tier and lottery number. For example, a student in Tier 1 and a randomized lottery number of 108 will have a tier and lottery number of 1108. During the selection process, the lower your tier, the sooner you get to pick your on-campus room.
To determine your tier/lottery number, the Office of Residence Life receives your credit total as of the conclusion of the fall semester from the Office of the Registrar. Students with 75 credits or more (rising seniors) are placed in tier 1; students with 45-74 credits (rising juniors) are placed in tier 2; students with 15-44 credits (rising sophomores) are placed in tier 3; students with 14 or fewer credits are placed in tier 4. If you feel you have been placed in the wrong room selection tier, we highly encourage you to verify your credits online and, if necessary, with the Office of the Registrar.
Online Housing Portal
The Office of Residence Life utilizes an online Housing Portal to manage housing contract signing and room selection for current students. This system allows you to request roommates, submit housing preferences, opt-in (or out of) the gender-inclusive housing pilot program, select your meal plan, electronically sign your housing contract and select your room for the upcoming academic year. The online room selection process is a two-step process:
- Complete the Contract Agreement and Preferences form. This form collects your preferences about living on-campus and allows you to sign your housing contract. Once this is completed, you’ll receive an email with your tier/lottery number as well as your room selection start date. Also, once you’ve completed this step, you’ll be able to review all the information you submitted through the Housing Portal and, for specific sections, update information. For example, you will be able to update roommate requests through a specific link that will appear under the completed form and check on the status of your request.
- Select your room for next year. Once you’ve completed the Contract Agreement and Preferences form, it will unlock the Room Selection section of the Housing Portal. You will be able to open the Room Selection tool beginning at 9 a.m. on your room selection start date.
Once you have selected a room, you are all set for the coming year. You do have the ability to change your assignment, if desired, by going back into the Housing Portal. However, you should be aware that by changing your assignment you are removing yourself from your previous room you selected, which will be immediately available to anyone else online attempting to select a room.
Progressive Selection (April 17 – May 5)
Beginning Monday, April 17, you can go to the Housing Portal and select your on-campus residence hall room for next fall according to your Room Selection Start Date, as long as you completed your housing application by Friday, April 14. You are given your selection start date based on your tier/lottery number. You are not required to select your room on your selection start date–this is simply when you can start your selection process. You can share your selection start date with other students listed in your tier, however, each of you will be given a different start date depending on the lottery number. The lower the number, the sooner you are able to choose. Students who complete an application after April 14 will be able to take part in Room Selection starting May 1 and will be able to select until May 5. After May 5, any students who haven’t made a selection will be assigned a room based on their preferences indicated on the housing application.
Quad Room Applications
Because there are only six quad rooms (24 beds total, all located in Mills Hall), it does not take long to fill these rooms. With this in mind, you must apply to live in these quad rooms in Mills Hall. Applications for groups of four will be prioritized. Placement will be completed based on the group’s best tier/lottery number. Please note that each student in your group must submit the Quad Single Room Request Form in order for the request to be considered for review. Once the top six applications are received, the Office of Residence Life will notify all applicants to let them know of their status and coordinate exact placement with the six successful applicants. Applications are available starting Tuesday, March 7, 2023 are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 3, 2023.
To apply, please complete and submit the Quad Single Room Request form located on your housing portal.
Within the Housing Portal, you can set up confirmed roommates for the purposes of room selection. If each of you designated each other as confirmed roommates, each of you has the ability to place the other into a room during the room selection process. Roommate requests must be mutually made to be confirmed. The Housing Portal does not have the ability to message you when you have been requested by another student, so it is important for both of you to communicate with each other about your intentions to be confirmed roommates.
You can designate another student as your “proxy representative,” which gives another student (or the Office of Residence Life, depending on who is designated) the ability to act in your place during the room selection process. That proxy will need to visit the Office of Residence Life in person to secure housing arrangements. If you would like to identify a proxy, please email our office with the name of your proxy at [email protected].
The college house application and review process happens annually during the spring semester. Here are some important features to know about our college house process:
Housing Portal (House Community Application linked in Portal)
Current House Groups
Currently active house groups that would like to return for the upcoming academic year are required to complete the House Community Application. This evaluation allows groups to share information about their anticipated facility needs and respond to a series of questions about what the house has accomplished this year, what their goals are for the coming year, and how they have and will continue to contribute to the campus community.
Proposed House Group
Each year, you can propose a house group for the following academic year around any theme or topic by completing the House Community Application. This application allows groups to identify and explain the goals and plans you have for your community as well as the ways you would manage the day-to-day tasks and conflicts that may arise.
Themes or topic-based groups that previously had houses, but were not selected for a house for the current academic year, should also complete the House Community Application.
House Review Committee
An Earlham Student Government-nominated committee, comprised entirely of students, blindly evaluates submissions from current houses and proposed houses. This committee engages in a consensus-seeking discussion of each submission and ultimately ranks each group in the order that they believe house groups should be prioritized for the upcoming academic year.
Generally speaking, House Review Committee considers several factors in determining successful applicants for the next academic year:
- How thoughtful and specific is the group’s vision for the community?
- Do the applicants describe specific educational and community development goals that are attainable and reasonable?
- Do the applicants have a clear, well-thought-out and realistic plan for making community decisions and resolving community disagreements?
- If a current group, how successful was the group in meeting its goals this year?
Successful house groups will be assigned to a facility by the Office of Residence Life, who will make every effort to match groups with facilities that will fit their proposed rosters. Conveners will be asked to submit an updated roster with names and room placements for each member of their community. Conveners are responsible for ensuring their roster is accurate and up-to-date.
All students who are part of rosters for current and proposed houses should complete a housing application and plan to participate in room selection to secure a “back-up plan” in the event that their house is not selected for the coming year.
Housing accommodations are granted by the Academic Enrichment Center. Common housing accommodations are:
- Single rooms
- Service or emotional support animals
Students with approved accommodations are still required to submit an application for housing each year. The Office of Residence Life will contact those who have a housing accommodation on file with more information related to their specific housing selection process.
If you do not have a housing accommodation on file. and believe that you are eligible, please contact staff in the Academic Enrichment Center for more information on the application and review process for housing accommodations.
All undergraduate students are required to live on campus all four years at Earlham. Those who fall into one of the following categories might be eligible for an exemption from this on-campus residency requirement:
- Living with parents and commuting from home (within 30 miles of campus)
- 23 years of age or older by the start of fall classes
- Part-time student status (less than 12 credit hours in the final semester before graduation)
- Married/civil union/domestic partnership
- Raising dependent children
- U.S. military veteran
If you believe you fall into any of these categories, you must apply annually for a housing exemption. Housing exemption requests are due by July 1 each year.
Housing exemptions are not granted solely on a student’s desire to live off-campus or for financial reasons.
Learn more about housing exemptions, how to apply for them, and what documentation you need to submit with your application.
Meal Plan Exemptions
All students living in campus residence halls are required to have a meal plan. You can apply for an exemption from the college meal plan for one of two reasons:
- Medical – you are following a special diet because of a medical condition, and the College is unable to meet your prescribed dietary needs.
- Religious – you practice a recognized religion that requires a specialized diet that the College is unable to accommodate.
If you believe you fall into any of the above categories, you must apply annually for a meal plan exemption. Meal plan exemption requests are due by July 1 each year.
Meal plan exemptions are not granted solely on the basis of vegetarianism/veganism, positions on personal food preferences or financial reasons.
Learn more about meal plan exemptions, how to apply for them, and what documentation you need to submit with your application.
Information and frequently asked questions
Below you’ll find answers to our most commonly asked questions about the room selection process for returning students. Have a question that isn’t answered here? Email [email protected], call us at (765) 983-1317 or stop by our office during business hours.
Each year, you must reapply for on-campus housing for the upcoming academic year in order to update your preferences and choose where you want to live for the upcoming year. This yearly application process is a multi-stage process, culminating in room and roommate selections. Of course, there are only so many spaces available on campus, so it is important that you review the scheduled application timeline. This gives you the best opportunity to sign up for the housing option that meets your preferences.
The typical yearly application process is outlined below. Keep in mind that each year will have its own specifics, requirements and deadlines. The outline below is meant to give an idea of what to expect:
|Fall semester: November-December||Students leaving for off-campus programs during the spring semester begin completing paperwork for the housing application and room selection process that will occur while they are off-campus in the spring.|
|Fall semester: December||General information about the upcoming housing application and room selection process goes out to all students before winter break begins.|
|Spring semester: Pre-spring break||Students apply for space within Friendship and Theme Houses. The Friendship House Selection Committee meets and announces the successful applicants. The Theme Houses on campus announce the successful applicants for their house spaces.|
|Spring semester: Post-spring break||Students select rooms within the residence halls and campus apartments for next year.|
For more detailed information about the current academic year, current students should watch their email for communication from the Office of Residence Life.
Students returning from a leave of absence or from participating in an off-campus program in the fall semester will apply for housing via the spring semester housing application. This process typically opens in October with room assignments occurring in mid-December. As always, your Earlham College email account will be an important communication resource as you begin your transition back to campus.
Start the process by going online to the Housing Portal and sign your housing contract for next year. As part of the contract signing process, you’ll be able to select your confirmed roommates, submit housing preferences, select a meal plan and opt into (or out of) gender-inclusive housing. Once this is done, you will receive your tier/lottery number and room selection date via email.
In order to participate in Room Selection, you will need to have your application submitted by the deadline.
Absolutely! If you intend to stay in campus housing, you should sign a housing contract, even if you have been pre-assigned to a specific community. Furthermore, you will not be able to receive keys for a space that you anticipate residing in until a contract has been completed.
The online application process is separate from the room selection process. By signing the application, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions for the upcoming academic year, as well as securing your eligibility to self-select into a room during the room selection process. Room selection is when you will choose the room, which will occur starting April 26, 2021. Please refer to the room selection timeline for more information.
Yes, still apply for housing if you are unsure of whether you will be returning to on-campus housing. It is imperative, however, that you submit your housing exemption prior to July 1, as any exemptions submitted after will result in a $250 cancellation charge. This charge also applies for any cancellations that occur after July 1.
You will still be able to apply online. However, you will not be able to take part in room selection until May 9, 2022.
Summer housing applications will be available starting mid-April. Specific application information will be shared once the calendar is finalized.
Students are organized for room selection by the tier and lottery system. A student is assigned their tier according to how many credits they have earned through the end of the fall semester. Within each tier, students are randomly assigned a lottery number. Together, these two numbers combine to create the student’s tier and lottery number. For example, a student in Tier 1 and a randomized lottery number of 108 will have a tier and lottery number of 1108. During the selection process, the lower your tier, the sooner you are able to choose a room. The lottery portion of this number will only apply to Mills Quad Single Requests and waitlists for single rooms and single apartments.
The Office of Residence Life receives your credit total as of the conclusion of the fall 2020 semester and uses this total to determine what tier you are placed in. Students with 75 credits or more (rising seniors) are placed in tier 1; students with 45-74 credits (rising juniors) are placed in tier 2; students with 15-44 credits (rising sophomores) are placed in tier 3; students with 14 or fewer credits are placed in tier 4.
If you feel you have been placed in the wrong room selection tier, you are highly encouraged to verify your credits online and, if necessary, with the Office of the Registrar. Please note that any changes to credits will not be taken into consideration during the room selection process, so it is highly encouraged that you work to correct your designated number of credits prior to the deadline.
The day in which a student will be able to access the Housing Portal to select a room depends on their lottery number within their tier. For example, a student with a low lottery number in Tier 1 (ex. 1008) will be able to access the portal to select a room earlier, whereas a student with a high lottery number in Tier 1 (ex. 1746) will be able to select their room later. Your select-room-access day will be provided via email upon completion of the housing application and is also viewable on the Housing Portal.
This issue could be due to a couple of reasons including incorrect entry of your username and password on the device or internet source that you are using to access the system. Please try using another device before logging in again. Be sure to completely close out of the page before attempting to log in again.
If you continue to experience issues, please email [email protected].
Please send a detailed message to [email protected] which should include the error message you are receiving.
We recommend you use a computer (laptop or desktop) or tablet to complete your application and selection process. At this time, the application is not compatible with most smartphones.
More Information and Resources
The Office of Residence Life works behind the scenes to keep you safe, healthy and fulfilled throughout your journey at Earlham College. Whether you are looking for academic advice, a shoulder to lean on, or opportunities for personal and professional growth, our team is here to support you through it all.