As housing selection approaches, Otterbein’s Office of Residence Life has one piece of advice for students: think ahead. Residence Life encourages students to tell the office what their plans are for next year and to file the paperwork sooner rather than later. 

Housing selection can cause anxiety for students, especially if it's their first time completing the process. For seniors looking forward to their last housing selection, feelings of uncertainty can still exist.  

“I always dread housing selection,” said Adrianna Schaad, a junior nursing major. “It’s such a nerve-racking time with such high stakes. Every year, I stress over who I'll live with and where we'll live. By the time housing selection comes, I'm exhausted.” 

Here are the top three things students need to know in preparation for housing selection this year: 

          

1. Know the process and prepare. 

Otterbein offers several types of living options for students. However, the process for each is slightly different. Students should first decide on their living preferences and review the requirements for each housing option. While some housing exceptions exist, the following are on-campus options for students considering where to live for the 2019-20 school year: 

Traditional residence halls
Traditional-style halls make up most campus housing options for students. The double bedrooms and shared bathrooms on the floor or wing become home for all new, first-year students. The university has designated specific residence halls for first-year students, including: Davis, Dunlap-King, Engle, Garst, Mayne and Scott Halls. Traditional halls, like Hanby and Clements Hall, are also open to upperclassmen during room selection with a limited number of single and triple rooms available in select residence halls.  
 
Suite-style residence halls
Suite-style halls feature two double bedrooms connected through a bathroom. There are two suite-style options for students: DeVore Hall and 25 W. Home St. A limited number of singles with their own bathroom and doubles with their own private bathroom are available in the two suite-style halls.  
 
The Commons apartments
Students in good standing academically and judicially, entering their third year of college (or having at least 60 credit hours at the beginning of fall semester) are eligible to live in the Commons apartments. Apartments are fully furnished with 1 1/2 bathrooms and two to four bedrooms. Most apartments have four single bedrooms and are available for the academic year and preceding summer term.
 
Theme Houses
Returning students may apply to live in residential houses for students who wish to promote their specific theme to the campus community. Each of the five theme houses holds four to five students in double and single bedrooms.  

          

Other
The university can accommodate a wide variety of needs in campus housing. Students wishing to request an accommodation for a diagnosed disability should submit the Housing Accommodation Request Form available on the Residence Life OZone page. Students planning to submit a new accommodation request should meet with Tracy Benner, director of residence life, as soon as possible.  

According to Benner, there will not be a junior housing lottery. Students are expected to live on-campus if they do not meet any of the exemption requirements. Only students who will be seniors by the first day of fall semester classes, 22 years of age, have lived in campus housing for three years, have served 18 months of active military duty, have dependent children or are married are eligible to live off-campus. The deadline for students wishing to live off-campus and meeting at least one of the criteria to apply for off-campus status was 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22.  

In preparation for room selection on March 26, students should meet with their roommates to identify their desired housing selection outcome before the day of housing selection.

Prior to housing selection, students must verify that their university account is in paid status and that they are eligible to register for fall 2019 classes.

Students should also determine if they have a housing grant. Terms of housing grants can have an impact on the type of housing a student is eligible for. 

2. Mark your calendar and don’t miss deadlines. 

Students should make note of several key dates and deadlines: 

March 1: Commons apartment and Theme House renewals and agreements due. New Commons apartment and current student housing and meal plan request forms with agreements due. 

March 12: New Commons apartment selection. 

March 26: Residence hall room selection. 

Benner stresses that no matter what a student's living situation looks like, there is a form to complete.

Once a student has decided which housing option is best for them, they should return completed forms to the Student Affairs Office before March 1. Forms are available on OZone and in the Student Affairs Office.  

3. Show up, and don’t let the ball drop. 

All students wishing to live on campus in the 2019-20 academic school year will select rooms on Tuesday, March 26. According to campus policy, all roommates must be present to select a room or have completed the proxy form and have signed a room and board agreement in the Student Affairs Office before room selection.  

Students should plan to attend housing selection if possible. However, students who are unable to attend can designate a proxy to make the decision in their place. The student must fill out the student proxy form and return it to student affairs prior to housing selection. 

Concluding housing selection, students need to stay vigilant to complete necessary forms. Without successful completion of housing agreements, students are not guaranteed their housing selection.