In their senior year at Hamilton, a limited number of students seek a waiver of the on-campus housing requirement and receive permission to live off-campus through a lottery process that takes place in the spring of their junior year. Typically about 40 students are granted this permission; often, many more participate in the lottery. This means that some students who seek permission to live off-campus may not receive it. This is a serious problem for students who sign a lease in their sophomore year or prior to the housing lottery in their junior year for an apartment they intend to occupy in their senior year. Students who do this and don’t receive permission to live off-campus through the off-campus lottery find themselves in the unenviable position of being contractually obligated for rent and on-campus housing.
We try to make sure that students understand the risk associated with signing a lease before they have permission to live off campus and the information below was sent to students in August and again today. We want you to also understand the system so that your family can make the best decision possible should your student consider the option of living off campus as a senior.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Director of Residential Life
If you are considering living off-campus for your senior year, please remember that you must first obtain permission to do so through the off-campus housing lottery. Signing a lease for an off-campus apartment prior to receiving permission to live off-campus can be a very risky decision and may result in an obligation for you to pay rent in two places for your senior year. DO NOT SIGN A LEASE UNTIL YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO LIVE OFF-CAMPUS.
Permission to live off-campus is granted through a lottery process because there are often more students who wish to live off-campus than there are spaces allotted. In the month of February rising seniors may sign-up for the lottery and, if they choose, designate a “pull,” that is, a person they would like to live with. Each lottery participant is assigned a random number. The students with the best numbers and their “pulls” are given permission to live off-campus. Remaining students are placed on a waiting list in lottery number order and, if a student who was successful in the lottery declines the opportunity to live off-campus, the first student on the waiting list is offered that spot. Approximately 40 students are granted permission to live off-campus, although that number varies slightly from year to year.
If you have questions about living off-campus or would like to know more about the Off-Campus Housing Lottery, please feel free to call the Residential Life Office at (315) 859-4023.
East Side Area Director and Housing Lottery Coordinator