Regular Housing Lottery & Assignment Processes

There are several general housing lottery & assignment processes that occur throughout the year. They are shown below, in chronological order starting in the summer.

Students who change rooms without receiving approval from OSL will be fined $250 and may be referred to the Dean’s Office for possible disciplinary action.

First-year Housing Assignments

Incoming first-year students complete an online housing questionnaire during the late-spring, early-summer period. Student Life utilizes a computer-based matching system to create each Entry and to assign rooms. First-year students will find their housing assignments in the Williams Housing Portal by late July or early August; an email notice to check the Housing Portal will go out to all first-year students at that time.

August Mini-Lottery & Draw

Who’s Eligible:  any upperclass student enrolled on-campus for the fall who does not already have a housing assignment, will participate in this lottery & draw. This lottery & draw are optional for any upperclass student enrolled on-campus to give up their current housing assignment to try for something else. The entire process takes place in the Williams Housing Portal.

New housing assignments take effect:  as of the start of Fall Semester.

September Mini-Lottery & Draw

Who’s Eligible:  any upperclass student enrolled on-campus in the Fall Semester may enter this optional lottery to give up their current housing assignment to try for something else. The entire process takes place in the Williams Housing Portal.

New housing assignments take effect:  immediately after the draw.

Off-Campus Lottery

Who’s Eligible:  Current juniors may enter this optional lottery to be released to live off-campus for their senior year. The entire process takes place in the Williams Housing Portal.

When Is the Lottery:  in September/October of the student’s junior year.

Important Notes:

  • There is a cap of 125 releases in place.
  • No preference is given to students who sign an off-campus lease in advance of the lottery.
  • Students who accept an off-campus release from the College whose off-campus situation changes may request to return to campus housing, but they may not enter another on-campus housing lottery until the August Lottery (and are thus ineligible  for the Co-op Housing Lottery & Draw and the General Housing Lottery & Draw).

October Mini-Lottery & Draw

Who’s Eligible:  any upperclass student enrolled on-campus in the Fall Semester may enter this optional lottery to give up their current housing assignment to try for something else. The entire process takes place in the Williams Housing Portal.

New housing assignments take effect:  immediately after the draw.

November Mini-Lottery & Draw

Who’s Eligible:  any upperclass student enrolled on-campus in the Fall Semester may enter this optional lottery to give up their current housing assignment to try for something else. The entire process takes place in the Williams Housing Portal.

New housing assignments take effect:  immediately after the draw.

Returning Students Lottery & Draw for WSP

Who’s Eligible:  students returning to campus for Winter Study after being away for the Fall Semester, will participate in this lottery & draw if they have not arranged a Study-Away Room Share agreement.  The entire process takes place in the Williams Housing Portal.

New housing assignments take effect:  at the start of Winter Study.

Co-op Housing Lottery & Draw

Who’s Eligible:  current juniors who have not accepted off-campus release for their senior year may enter this optional lottery. The entire process takes place in the Williams Housing Portal.

When is the Lottery & Draw:  in January of the student’s junior year.

New housing assignments take effect:  the following academic year.

Important Note:  students who accept a Co-op assignment may not enter another on-campus housing lottery until the August Mini-Lottery.

Returning Students Lottery & Draw for Spring

Who’s Eligible:  students returning to campus for Spring Semester after being away for the Fall Semester + Winter Study, will participate in this lottery & draw if they have not arranged a Study-Away Room Share agreement. The entire process takes place in the Williams Housing Portal.

New housing assignments take effect:  at the start of Spring Semester.

February Mini-Lottery & Draw

Who’s Eligible:  any upperclass student enrolled on-campus in the Spring Semester may enter this optional lottery to give up their current housing assignment to try for something else. The entire process takes place in the Williams Housing Portal.

New housing assignments take effect:  immediately after the draw.

March Mini-Lottery & Draw

Who’s Eligible:  any upperclass student enrolled on-campus in the Spring Semester may enter this optional lottery to give up their current housing assignment to try for something else. The entire process takes place in the Williams Housing Portal.

New housing assignments take effect:  immediately after the draw.

Summer Housing Assignments

Who’s Eligible:  eligibility priority is given to students in pre-approved Division I, II, & III programs and the CES program.  As space allows, individual current Williams students who are employed directly by the College for a minimum of 20 hours a week and a minimum of 5 weeks will also be eligible. The entire process takes place in the Williams Housing Portal.

When are Applications Accepted:  typically starting late March.

When are Assignments Made:  typically mid-May.

General Housing Lottery & Draw for Next Academic Year

Who’s Eligible:  rising seniors, rising juniors, & rising sophomores who are confirmed by the Dean’s Office by the annual deadline (typically sometime in April) to be enrolled on-campus for the upcoming Fall Semester, who:

  • are not studying away for the fall semester, verified by the Dean’s Office by the annual April deadline date
  • have not already accepted off-campus release for their senior year
  • have not already accepted a Co-op assignment for their senior year
  • have not already accepted a residential leadership position (JA, HC, ND) for the Fall Semester
  • have not already accepted a Housing Appeals pre-assignment
  • have not already accepted a pull-in assignment with a residential leadership position or a Housing Appeals student

When is the Lottery & Draw:  typically late April into early May. The entire process takes place in the Williams Housing Portal.