Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find information for Housing Selection?

Students can access Housing Selection information via the ORLL website, or by stopping by our office located in Harleston Hall, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., to ask questions. Students may also call the office at 617-627-3248.

When does the housing lottery happen?

During the spring semester of each academic year, February – April.

How are lottery numbers assigned?

Your lottery number is assigned by a random number generator program within ranges for each class year.

Can I change my lottery number?

All lottery numbers are generated by a software program by class year. Unless there is a valid discrepancy with a number, they cannot be changed. You cannot buy, sell, or trade your lottery number; your lottery numbers are associated with you specifically, like your ID number.

I’m a transfer student and have not received a lottery number. When can I expect to receive it?

Any transfer student who did not receive a lottery number should contact the ORLL before the housing lottery begins or as soon as possible.

What do I do if I want to live in a Special Interest House?

Applications and selection for small group houses are done before lottery begins. If you have an interest in a Special Interest House, please contact the advisor to see if there are any more spaces in the house before you make a lottery selection. Spaces in Special Interest Houses will not be available after the completion of lottery. You cannot participate in any lottery if you sign up for a Special Interest House.

When/How will I receive my time to select a room assignment?

You will be notified via your Tufts email when you may go online and select your assignment.

I’m currently abroad this semester and plan on living on campus in Fall 2017, but I have not received a lottery number. When can I expect to receive it?

Students who are abroad should be able to view their lottery number via WebCenter. If you cannot access your number, please contact ORLL at

Can rising Juniors and Seniors who are planning not to live on-campus for the 2017-2018 academic year give their lottery numbers away?

Students may not give their lottery numbers away. You cannot buy, sell, or trade your lottery number; your lottery numbers are associated with you specifically, like your ID number.

I’m abroad for the Spring Semester 2017 and would like to select housing for the 2017-2018 academic year. What should I do?

You can select housing online during your allotted time for yourself, or you can join a group that is trying for an on-campus apartment. If you choose to join a group, plan accordingly (who will be the group leader, how best to contact people quickly, etc.). Be sure to keep an eye on your Tufts email account because that is where all announcements will be sent.

Some of our apartment/suite members will be abroad for the fall, others for the spring. What should we do?

Only the students that will be on-campus during the fall semester should apply for housing. Students that will be returning during the spring semester need to fill out the spring return form that will be available online on the ORLL website starting in November. The students that are leaving for the spring term must be sure to cancel their housing and bring a copy of their Study Abroad program acceptance letter to the ORLL in order to release the room.

Please do not have students who are planning not to live on campus in the fall as part of your group during lottery selection.

I am not going to be on campus for fall 2017, but I want housing for spring 2018. What should I do?

Do not sign up for housing if you are not here for the fall. If you sign up for housing in the fall, you will have to cancel your housing, and you will not be guaranteed that space back in the spring. You cannot “hold” a space until the spring.

If you plan to return in the spring, you will need to fill out a spring return form. The form is available on the ORLL website starting in November 2017. You can list preferences for buildings or even specific apartments and rooms. We cannot guarantee your requests, but our office tries to match your preferences as long as we have the vacancy.

What if I cannot be online at my specific housing selection time?

You should plan to make time for housing selection. If you are the Group Leader of an apartment group/suite, you must be available during the selection time.

If you cannot be online during your selection time, or you miss your selection time, you will still be able to select as long as that particular lottery is open. If you miss lottery entirely, you need to contact our office.

What if there are no more housing spaces available when I select online?

First year continuing/rising Sophomores

  • Sophomores are guaranteed a space on campus. If you do not select a space during any of the housing lotteries, you will be assigned a space and a roommate.

Upper-class students (Juniors and Seniors)

  • Students who wish to live on campus may contact our office to place their name on a waitlist. As spaces allotted for juniors and seniors become available, the ORLL will contact students in order of lottery number throughout the summer.
I’m a First year continuing/rising Sophomore. Can I select a single?

There are a limited number of singles allotted for sophomores based on class size each year. These rooms are on a first come, first serve basis determined by your lottery number. Singles are not guaranteed.

What if I don’t have a roommate by the time I have to select an assignment?

We encourage all students to select a roommate prior to making a room selection. As a continuing First year/rising Sophomore, you will be able to sign up for auto-allocation online, and you will be assigned a roommate and room.

What if the roommate that I select an assignment with cancels their housing?

Students remaining in the room will have 72 business hours to pull in a student. If this cannot occur, the ORLL will assign another student to the vacancy. You should expect another student to be assigned to the room.

I am a continuing First year/rising Sophomore, but I do not wish to live on-campus for the 2017-2018 academic year. What should I do?

Tufts University has a 2-year residency requirement for its students on the Medford/Somerville campus. Exceptions are made for students who are commuting. Please connect with the Director of Residential Life for more details.

I am a continuing First year/Sophomore and will be living in a fraternity or sorority house for the 2017-2018 academic year. What do I do?

You must fill out the “Intent to Reside in Fraternity/Sorority Housing” form and submit it to the ORLL. Forms can be found in the ORLL. If you sign up for housing and then cancel to live in a Fraternity or Sorority, you will be charged the $750.00 housing fee.

I am a rising Junior or Senior, and I do not want to live on-campus next year. What do I do?

Do not sign up for housing. You are not automatically signed up for housing and there is nothing more you need to do.

What do I do if I plan transfer?

Students planning on transferring should first read the Campus Housing – Billing and Cancellation Policies in the Tufts University Undergraduate Housing Agreement. Students have until May 30th to cancel their housing. Cancellation after this point will incur the $750.00 housing fee.

Can rising Juniors and rising Sophomores live in an apartment together?

Yes, but only if your group average qualifies for a selection time. If you have mixed class years within your apartment, all members must have full intentions to live there. If anyone cancels for reasons other than studying abroad the remaining members will lose the apartment.

If one of the students that applied to an apartment with us studies abroad/transfers/moves off campus, does that mean we will lose the apartment?

Please only select students that are interested in remaining at Tufts for the fall semester to live in an on-campus housing apartment with you.

What is the “average” lottery number to get into a certain building?

The lottery numbers and averages for specific buildings vary from year to year. We advise students to try for the specific location that they prefer, but have other back up options in mind.

What if I am not in a group but want to live in an apartment?

There are rooms available through general lottery in Sophia Gordon, Latin Way, and Hillside Apartments referred to as suites. This includes both doubles and singles in Latin Way and Hillsides. These selections can be mixed gender within the apartment.