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2020-2021 Guide to the Housing Assignment Process

Due to the suspension of the Upperclass Housing Assignment Process – the remaining processes will be rescheduled. We will provide more information soon!


The housing assignment process for the 2020-2021 academic year will begin on January 6, 2020. To help students with this process, Vanderbilt Student Government and the Office of Housing and Residential Experience have produced the Guide to the Housing Assignment Process. This year’s housing assignment process differs from previous years, so please read the Guide in its entirety.

Vanderbilt offers a variety of housing options and emphasizes personal choice in a competitive assignment process. We encourage you to explore the options available for on-campus living by visiting different residential communities and talking with friends and other students about their experiences.

In May 2020, Vanderbilt will close Carmichael Towers East to continue construction of upperclass residential colleges. Nicholas S. Zeppos College, Vanderbilt’s fourth upperclass residential college, will open in August 2020. In addition, Vanderbilt will offer apartments and townhouses at the Village at Vanderbilt during the apartment assignment processes. Our current residential colleges, Warren, Moore, and E. Bronson Ingram, are unique among Vanderbilt’s housing in that each class is allocated one-third of the spaces in each of the colleges. Nowhere else on main campus is that the case. Because of those fixed allocations, the assignment process for the residential colleges is different than the processes for all other campus housing. Please be sure to read the section on residential colleges carefully.

This guide provides you with the following:
• A calendar of important assignment deadlines and events
• Information about housing assignment policies and procedures
• Instructions about how to properly complete and submit housing registration and applications
• Information on forming roommate/hallmate groups

Registering for the housing assignment process and applying for the various types of housing will take place online. All undergraduate students who plan to enroll at Vanderbilt for the 2020-2021 academic year must complete the Housing Registration in the Student Housing Portal between January 6, 2020 and January 10, 2020. Students entering their third year of study or greater in the fall 2020 semester will be permitted to apply for authorization to reside off-campus. Students entering their second year of study in the fall 2020 semester will not be permitted to apply for authorization to reside off-campus.
We want to help you make the best decisions possible in this selection process. VSG works continuously with OHARE to improve the housing assignment process. We are interested in your feedback. If you have any concerns about the room assignment process or suggestions for improving the room assignment process, please do not hesitate to contact VSG. If you have a housing concern or any question about current policies or procedures, please contact OHARE at 615-322-2591 or visit the OHARE office suite located in Branscomb 4100.

Alison Matarese
Director of Housing Assignments

Ashley Ladyman
Assistant Director of Housing Assignments

Josh Miller
Coordinator of Housing Assignments

Frances Burton
Vanderbilt Student Government President

The Undergraduate Residential Requirement

The residential experience is understood to be an integral part of a Vanderbilt education. This commitment to residential education is clearly expressed in the university’s residential requirement put in place by the Board of Trust in 1952:

“All unmarried undergraduate students must live in residence halls on campus during the academic year, May session, and summer sessions. Authorization to live elsewhere is granted at the discretion of the Director of Housing Assignments in special situations or when space is unavailable on campus.”
—Student Handbook

The requirement is binding on all undergraduate students regardless of age or academic class. By accepting a room assignment, a student is contractually obligated to occupy that room for the entire academic year, unless the student withdraws from the university, graduates, or participates in a Vanderbilt Study Abroad program. Vacant spaces are subject to assignment by the Office of Housing and Residential Experience at any time.

All returning undergraduate students currently enrolled at Vanderbilt are required to participate in the housing assignment process. Students who are participating in a spring 2020 study abroad program, out of town internship program, or on a leave of absence but plan to return to Vanderbilt for the fall 2020 semester are required to participate in the housing assignment process. Students who currently have off-campus authorization or reside at home with their family are also required to participate. Fall 2020 transfer students and students who have been readmitted to Vanderbilt and are returning for fall 2020 are not permitted to participate in the housing assignment process.

Registering for the 2020-2021 Housing Assignment Process

All returning students, except those graduating prior to the fall 2020 semester, must register for the housing assignment process between January 6, 2020 and January 10, 2020 in the Student Housing Portal. The deadline to register is January 10, 2020 at 6 p.m. CST. Students register by logging into the Student Housing Portal and completing the 2020-2021 Housing Registration.

All students who plan to enroll in courses at Vanderbilt for the fall 2020 semester must complete the housing registration. Students do not select any housing during the housing registration process. Completion of the Housing Registration permits students to participate in future housing assignment processes.

Students who register after the deadline will not be permitted to reserve their current spaces (if applicable) and will lose a year of priority (1 point) in the housing assignment process.


Rising fourth-year students or greater have 4 points, rising third-year students have 3 points, and rising second-year students have 2 points. Ties in points are broken utilizing random selection. Students who participated in a fall 2019 Global Education Office (GEO) study abroad program will receive an extra half point in the off-campus authorization and traditional single room processes.

Procedural Fairness

No student is favored over any other. All processes treat all students equally so that every student has an equal opportunity to pursue the housing of their choice. Procedural fairness is ensured through a random selection process, referred to by students as the lottery.

There are distinct random selections for every type of accommodation offered. The only exceptions are the Living Learning Communities for which students submit specific applications. Those applications are considered by committees.

NOTE: Procedural fairness guarantees equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. For example, the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are procedurally fair—all tickets have an equal chance of winning; however, the outcomes are not equal—only some ticket buyers win millions.

Likewise, in the housing assignment process each student has equal chances in the random selection processes, but some students are successful while others are not.

Our housing facilities vary widely in age, construction, location, type, room sizes, finishes, and many other attributes. As a consequence, Vanderbilt cannot guarantee students that they will be assigned to the housing that they most prefer or that is “equal” to another. However, all campus housing is suitable for academic, social, and personal growth and success at Vanderbilt. All students who engage in the housing assignment process will be assigned a room on campus unless authorized by the Director of Housing Assignments (or designee) to live off-campus.

Room Types

Vanderbilt University offers a wide variety of housing. Therefore, it is important that students study this guide carefully in order to make intelligent and well-informed decisions. Room types include:

  • Traditional single and double rooms (one room for sleeping/living)
  • Suites with convenience kitchens for six students (all single bedrooms)
  • Suites with convenience kitchens for five students (all single bedrooms)
  • Suites with convenience kitchens for four students (all single bedrooms)
  • Lodges with full kitchens for 10 students (all single bedrooms)
  • Studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom apartments with full kitchens (all double bedrooms)

Student Accountability

Students are solely responsible for understanding the policies and procedures of the housing assignment process and meeting all deadlines.