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Lottery FAQ for Returning Students

General FAQ

Will I receive housing?

Last year, every student who applied for housing on time received a time slot to pick a room on campus. For 2024-2025, we anticipate accommodating the demand for on campus housing, so long as students apply for housing during the application period (Friday, December 1, 2023 through Sunday, February 4, 2024).

What is the housing lottery?

The housing lottery is a random computer-generated system that will give you your time slot to participate in room selection.

What is My Housing?

My Housing is the online portal where all aspects of room selection and lottery take place. Students will need to access My Housing to submit the housing application, sign the housing contract, select a room and roommates and pick a meal plan.

How do I know my housing classification?

Your housing classification is listed on My Housing under the Classification Confirmation page of your housing application.

  • Rising sophomores are defined as first time, first year students who entered the College in fall 2023 or spring 2024, or transfer students who have fewer than 16 units by the close of the Spring 2023 semester.
  • Rising juniors are defined as first time, first year students who entered the College in fall 2022 or spring 2023, or transfer students who have between 16-23 units.
  • Rising seniors are defined as first time, first year students who entered the College in fall 2021 or spring 2022, or transfer students who have 24 or more units.

What happens if my classification is listed incorrectly?

If you believe the housing classification listed is incorrect, please contact Housing immediately ( We will be unable to make any changes to the classification once time slots are posted. Please note that 5th year seniors will have their classification listed as rising or continuing senior and will be treated as a rising senior.

How come My Housing won’t allow me to apply?

If you are unable to apply but feel you meet the eligibility requirements listed above, please contact our office. Students who forgot to apply on time are eligible to apply for the wait list.

I have a medical condition with requires special accommodations, what must I do?

To request specific housing accommodations, you must be registered with the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) in Roscoe West. The deadline for the Housing Accommodations form for 2024-2025 was February 4, 2024. If you have not completed the form or need additional information on eligibility and what steps are necessary to secure housing accommodations, please visit the ARC website. Requests will be reviewed by ARC and Housing; all accommodations are subject to availability.

Time Slot and Lottery Cutoff

What is a time slot and how does it work?

A timeslot is a randomly generated date and time that allows a student to select a room, somewhere between Monday, February 26, 2024 through Sunday, March 3, 2024, depending on the class year of the student. Only students who apply by the deadline (Sunday, February 4, 2024) will be eligible for a time slot. If your timeslot is Monday, February 26, 2024 at 10am, you will be able to log onto My Housing and select a bed space any time after that point.

Will everyone receive a timeslot?

All rising sophomores who applied on-time and signed their housing contract will be issued a timeslot for room selection.
Rising juniors and seniors who applied on-time and signed their housing contract will be randomly sorted and timeslots will be issued based on the number of available beds.

Why are timeslots randomly assigned?

Timeslots dictate the order in which students are able to select a room. Those with earlier timeslots generally have more options from which to choose. This process is random so that all students are given the same odds of getting a ‘good’ time slot.

What if I need on-campus housing but didn’t receive a timeslot?

If you did not receive a timeslot prior to room selection, you will automatically be placed on the Housing Waitlist. Housing will work to house as many students from the waitlist as possible.

Which timeslot should my roommate and I use?

If you are going into a location that can accommodate a group of 2 or more, most students will elect the person with the earliest timeslot to be responsible for selecting a room and assigning each roommate to a bed space.

Can I transfer my timeslot to another student?

You can only transfer your timeslot to another student if you are both accepted roommates and you have an academic conflict. Timeslot transfers are not allowed for any other reason. Timeslot transfers must be between students in the same class year and gender unless both students have our Gender Inclusive Housing profile tag. Students cannot trade timeslots or give away room spaces if they choose to cancel their housing contract and withdraw from the room selection process. In order for this process to work fairly for everyone, Housing will offer any available timeslots or open room spaces to the next eligible student on the Housing Waitlist.

What if I have class during my timeslot?

If you are the group leader (defined by having the earliest timeslot in the group) but you have an academic conflict during your timeslot, you can fill out a form and have your time slot transferred to another member of your group. A timeslot will only be transferred for an academic conflict. Students who feel they qualify to transfer their timeslot can get the form by emailing our office at Transfer request forms must be submitted by 12:00 PM on Friday, February 23, 2024.

Once the completed “Timeslot Transfer” form has been submitted and approved, the room selection timeslot will be “transferred” to the student listed on the form so that he/she can select housing for the group. After this switch is made, the student who initially had the earliest timeslot will no longer be responsible for selecting a room on behalf of the group as this responsibility has now been shifted to the student indicated on the form. Only students with confirmed roommates are eligible for timeslot transfers. A time slot cannot be given to someone else if you are not going to use it!

If you are selecting a room for yourself and have a schedule conflict with class during your timeslot – do not worry, your timeslot indicates the earliest time you can access the room selection process. You can access MyHousing at your earliest convenience and choose from the available beds at that time.


What do I have to do with my timeslot if I someone else is selecting my bed space?

In order to be pulled into a room assignment by a roommate, you must have a timeslot and be a confirmed roommate. After the group leader selects your room, you must log into MyHousing to choose your meal plan. We request that this be done within 24 hours of the room being assigned to you. It is also valuable to login to confirm your housing assignment.


How do I choose a roommate?

On the My Housing application, you have the ability to request up to 5 students to be your roommate (for a group total of 6 people). Your roommate must accept your request in order to be verified. During room selection, the student with the earliest timeslot will have the ability to log on and select a bed space for each verified roommate, so long as there are available spaces in the room, apartment, suite, or townhouse. Please visit the web demonstrations on the right hand side of this page to watch how roommate selection works.

Also, please note that students without a timeslot cannot be selected as roommates.

When should my roommate and I request each other?

This should be done before room selection. Waiting until room selection to request and accept each other as roommates takes up time that could be spent choosing a room, reducing the likelihood of you getting the room you want. It also slows down the portal by increasing traffic during a very busy time.

How many roommates can I request and pull in?

You can request as many as five roommates but in order to pull them in and assign a bed space, they must accept the request. However, the exact number you can pull in depends on the residential facility you selected. So in Eickhoff, New Residence and Norsworthy the maximum is two (you, plus one other person). In Decker, Cromwell and the apartments you can fill the entire suite or apartment, even though there are separate bedrooms. And then for the Townhouses the maximum is six (you, plus five others).

How can I pull in my roommates?

We recommend that you take a look at the web demo for all residence halls that you are interested in living in. The demos can be found on the top right hand side of this page under the “Room Selection Quick Links” menu.

Can I live with someone of the opposite sex?

All rooms, suites, and apartments are single sex but the floors are co-ed, except the Townhouses where each floor is single sex. However, the Townhouse as a whole may be co-ed.

We do offer a minimal amount of Gender Inclusive Housing (GIH) where members of each sex can live together and share the same bathroom or bedroom.  However, this is only available to students who apply, receive a time slot, and complete the GIH application to be formally accepted into occupying one of these spaces on campus.

Why is someone no longer in my roommate group?

If you are in a roommate group, please check your group membership as soon as possible, as everyone in your group may not have received a timeslot. If a member of your roommate group did not receive a timeslot, they will automatically be removed from your roommate group and placed on the Housing Waitlist.
Students on the Housing Waitlist will be offered timeslots or beds, based on the number of available timeslots before room selection or available beds after room selection.

What if I have a much later time slot and my proposed roommates(s) has an earlier time slot?

If you are going into a location in a group of 2 or more, the roommate with the earliest available time assigned becomes the group leader and may select a room(s) on behalf of the group. However, all group members must first select and confirm each other as roommates.

Can I always live with the person I want (choosing a roommate)?

For the most part, yes. However, if you and/or your prospective roommate do not receive a timeslot, it will not be possible for the person without a timeslot to participate in room selection. You must have a timeslot to participate in room selection, otherwise you will be on the waitlist for housing. If you and your prospective roommate have later time slots during the room selection process, there may be a chance that the only rooms remaining will be individual spaces within double rooms. If no double spaces are available, you would both need to select rooms individually. We recommend that when groups are hoping to live together that all members gather together when selecting the space. This will allow the group to make critical room location decisions together.

If you are not initially placed with your desired roommate there is the potential that a room change can be completed after room selection is over. Thus allowing you and your preferred roommate to live together.

Room Selection

How long do I have to select a room?

You may sign into My Housing as soon as your time slot begins, or any time afterwards, up until the end of the day on Sunday, March 3, 2024. MyHousing will automatically log you off after several minutes of inactivity, but you may take as long as you wish to select a room. Keep in mind that the available number of rooms will constantly be changing.

Residential Education and Housing recommends that you select a room as quickly as possible to improve your chances of meeting your living preferences.

What if the building or suite I want is full during my time slot?

It is recommended to have at least two backup plans. This way, if your first choice is unavailable, you will be prepared to select an alternate assignment. If you are going to sign up with a group of friends and there are no suite vacancies, you will need to break down into pairs or singles and select rooms at the next earliest selection times. We recommend that the group gather together during room selection so the group can make critical room decisions together.

Who can select a double or triple room?

You may select a double room individually or as a pair. For a triple, you can select individually, as a group of two, or as a group of three. If you are selecting a room as a pair or a threesome, the group leader (student with the earliest time slot) selects the room for the pair.

If no double rooms are available at the time of selection, the pair will have to separate and select rooms as individuals based on each person’s lottery time slot. Similarly, if no triple rooms are available, the group will have to separate and select rooms as individuals or one pair for a double.

What housing options contain singles for sophomores?

Townhouse East consists strictly of single bedrooms. Decker has singles available for sophomores. If you desire a single room but none are available by the time you select, you have the option of placing yourself into a single through the Room Change process. Directions on how to request a Room Change will be shared with students after Room Selection has taken place. Residential Education and Housing will monitor requests and place students into singles as they become available. Please note: there is a proposed Room Rate differential for 2024-2025. We anticipate singles costing up to $500 more per semester. Rates will be set by the Board of Trustees in July. 

Can we drop a room once we picked it if we change our mind?

You can ask to do that but we strongly recommend against it. By the time we take you out of your space and you select a room again, the space you want could be taken. And then if it is taken, your original space could also be taken.

How can I find out the gender composition for the Townhouses?

We will email the information to students who will participate in room selection.

What if I don’t get to live where I want?

We’re sorry, but sometimes this happens. We encourage our students to keep an open mind about living in a space different than the one you imagined, but we will allow students to engage in room changes after room selection, so long as vacancies allow. The Room Change Process will be available after Room Selection, allowing students to monitor for vacancies.


What number am I on the waitlist?

If you are in a roommate group, please check your group membership as soon as possible, as everyone in your group may not have received a timeslot. If a member of your roommate group did not receive a timeslot, they will automatically be removed from your roommate group and placed on the Housing Waitlist.
Students on the Housing Waitlist will be ordered by the date a student applied and their distance from campus. Students who applied earliest and/or live furthest from campus will be prioritized.

When will I hear if I am offered a space and moved off the waitlist?

For the 2022-2023 Academic Year, it is important to note the following phases of the Housing Selection Process: 

  1. Pre-Room Selection – February 21 – February 28, 2022: If a student cancels their application between now and room selection, a timeslot will be offered to the next person in line on the Housing Waitlist. The order of the waitlist is determined by the date a student applied and their distance from campus. Students who applied earliest and/or live furthest from campus will be prioritized.  
  2. Room Selection – March 1 – March 6, 2022: Only students with a timeslot will be participating in room selection during this phase.
  3. Post-Room Selection – after March 7, 2022: Any beds that were not selected during Room Selection will be offered to the next person in line on the housing waitlist. 
  4. Throughout the summer: If spaces become available due to cancellation, Housing will continue to communicate opportunities to people on the waitlist. We are committed to housing as many students who express interest in living on campus as possible. 

Can I still live with someone specific if I am offered a space?

If you are offered a space after being on the Housing Waitlist, you may look forward to the Room Change process that would allow you to explore open bed spaces or swap bed spaces with another student, after move-in. Housing will not remove a student from an existing assignment to accommodate your request to live with someone specific during the Housing Selection Process.

Housing Contract and Meal Plan

What is the housing contract (electronic signature)?

The housing contract, called the “Annual Residence and Dining Services Contract,” is a one year binding agreement that all residents sign when they apply for housing. Once this document is signed, you are committed to campus housing for a full academic year (fall and spring) and it designates your financial responsibility for room and board costs. Students are released only if they meet extenuating circumstances as defined by the Department of Residential Education and Housing. Signing an off campus lease or commuting will not warrant a release from your housing contract.

When do I sign my housing contract?

When applying for housing you will have the opportunity to review the terms and conditions and electronically sign your housing contract by entering your PAWS ID (6 digit number). In order for the application to be active, the contract will need to be signed by the application deadline of Sunday, February 4, 2024.

Can I cancel my application?

If you apply for housing but decide you no longer want to live on campus, you may retract your application through My Housing before selecting or being assigned a room without penalty. The absolute last day to cancel the housing contract for any reason is Wednesday, July 31, 2024. Contract release requests received after July 31 will be reviewed in accordance with the contract release process.  Please note that submission of a contract release request for financial and medical reasons before or after moving in does not ensure that a release will be granted..

What if I change my mind after I sign the housing contract?

Please do not sign your housing contract if you are not certain you can live on campus next year. It is important to discuss all available options with your parent(s) or guardian(s) BEFORE signing the Annual Residence Hall and Dining Services Agreement.  However, you may cancel your contract in MyHousing for any reason until midnight on Wednesday, July 31, 2024.

What if I submitted a Housing Application but don’t select a room?

Students who have applied and signed a contract, but have not selected a room by Sunday, March 3, 2024 will have their application cancelled and not be assigned a space.

What scenarios allow a student to cancel their room assignment and contract?

There are a few circumstances where a student may be released from the housing contact. For more information, please visit our “Termination of Housing” page. Also students who have signed a housing contract but want to be released will be subject to the proposed 2024-2025 contract release fee schedule.

Please be aware that checking out of your room, commuting, or moving to an off-campus residence does not qualify as being released from the housing contract, and does not make you eligible for a housing or board refund. All students must be approved to be released from their contract by the housing office.

When will I select my meal plan?

You will be able to choose a meal plan after selecting a room. If another student assigned you to a space you will need to log in to My Housing during your time slot to choose your meal plan. Students will have until Sunday, June 30, 2024 to select a meal plan. Please refer to the dining service page for more detailed meal plan information.

Students who fail to select a meal plan, or select a meal plan for which they are ineligible, will be assigned to the 15 Meals per Week plan by Residential Education and Housing. Please note that all published meal plan rates are for the current academic year. Rates for the next academic year will be approved by the Board of Trustees in July 2024.

Study Abroad/ Student Teachers/Graduating

What if I am abroad during room selection?

All students, even those who are studying abroad, are able to participate in room selection as long as they have access to the internet.

What if I plan to study abroad?

When students are studying abroad, Residential Education and Housing encourages them to still go through the lottery process if they wish to live on campus for the one semester they are at TCNJ. Once a student is approved to go abroad, Residential Education and Housing will receive the approval from the Center for Global Engagement and will release the student from his/her housing contract for only that semester. If a student signs into a room at lottery and goes abroad in the fall, the student is bound to that room for the spring semester only. If a student signs into a room at lottery and goes abroad in the spring, the student is bound to that room for the fall semester only.

What should I do if my roommate will be abroad for the fall?

You will still need to go through the room selection process as normal to reserve the room for next year. Afterwards your roommate will be taken out of his/her space for the fall. When your roommate returns in the spring you will all live together. However, in the fall that space will be a vacancy which may be used to house another student for the fall only.

What if I have an internship or am student teaching one semester?

Students who receive an internship for academic credit or student teaching placement greater than 30 miles from campus may be released from the housing contract for the semester interning or student teaching. Any internships for academic credit or student teaching placements within 30 miles of TCNJ will not be granted a release. Residential Education and Housing will contact the student teachers but students with internships will need to contact our office and submit the copy of official letter with the company’s letterhead including internship period and location to initiate the process.

What if I am graduating in December?

You still need to go through the room selection process as normal to reserve the room for next year. While you reserve the room for the whole academic year and sign the contract for the full year, students who apply to graduate early will be contacted by our office in October to confirm this. We will then take you out of your space for the spring. Just know that we can only contact you to confirm that you are graduating if you apply to graduate early through the Office of Records and Registration.


Residential Education and Housing
Eickhoff Hall, Room 114
The College of New Jersey
PO Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628

609.771.2301 Phone
609.637.5165 Fax
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