It’s that time of year, guys! If you plan to live on campus next year, you will have to fill out a form with your room request. Those forms usually come out around now or in the next few weeks. Whether you are an incoming freshman or a returning student, room requests are something you have to do.
It may seem annoying to have to fill out a room request form, especially with all of the other forms related to college. If you want to live in a dorm (or have to), then you need to fill out a room request. Here are my tips for increasing your chances of getting what you want.
1. Apply Early.
This tip can be applied to almost anything, from college itself to your dorm room assignment. As soon as you decide to live on campus, get online and see if the room request form for your school is up. If it is, apply ASAP. If it is not up, check to see if you can find out when it will be up.
Applying early helps increase the likelihood of getting the room assignment of your choice. Most colleges have different housing options, from single rooms to suite style rooms to themed floors. If you want a specific room type, the earlier you apply, the better.
2. Read the Directions.
This may seem obvious, but reading the directions when filling out any important form is necessary. You don’t want to fill out an entire housing application only to have missed an important detail.
The directions will also have information on how and when you can make changes to your room request. If you decide that you want a different room or to live off campus, you need to know those important dates.
3. Mark any and all Preferences.
Each college will have a different housing application, so your school won’t be the same as mine, but there are some general things you can mark. Obviously, you will have to rank your housing preferences. You might have to rank your choice by building, room type or some other factors.
There might also be a section on roommates. Even if you request a single room, you still have to give information about your roommate preferences in case you don’t get your own room.
For my housing application, I had to answer yes or no to statements such as:
- I plan on having class before 10 am
- I go to bed before 11 pm
- My roommate can smoke (outside the dorms)
Your housing application might have those sorts of questions or different ones, or you can even request a specific person as your roommates.
4. Be Ready to Pay.
In most cases, your housing application won’t be accepted unless you pay the housing deposit as soon as you submit your application. Yeah, it sucks to have to pay a fee for housing when you won’t even move in for another six months, but that deposit will reserve your spot.
The earlier you submit your application and payment, the higher a priority you will be to the people or system in charge of housing assignments. If you decide to live off campus, you can usually request a refund of at least part of that deposit, so the risk isn’t super high.
5. Pay Attention to Housing Costs.
Not all rooms are created equal. Single rooms, new dorms and some specialty rooms will cost more. When looking at housing options, take note of the prices and see if there are any options that are totally out of your price range.
As yourself if a single room is worth the extra money. Are you even eligible for a single room? Some colleges reserve them for upperclassmen.
Do you want to live on a quiet floor so you can study in your dorm? If you are 21 or over, do you want a “clean” dorm or are you okay living with people who have alcohol?
Those are some questions to ask when putting in your request. If something, such as a quiet floor, is important to you, make that known in your application.
6. Stay up to Date.
After you submit your application, check your school email regularly. You never know if you might get an update on the status of your application or if you need to submit more information. You will also probably receive some sort of confirmation email with your housing request and payment information, so keep that for your records.
Most housing assignments won’t come out until summer, but it’s still a good idea to stay up to date with your email and contact your school if you have any questions.
Have you lived in a dorm? What are some things you wish you knew when filling out a room request form? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele).
Thanks for reading!