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 20 Professors Row, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., to ask questions. Students may also call the office at 617-627-3248 or email us at

When does the housing lottery happen?

Applications for 2019-2020 on-campus housing are available beginning on November 30, 2018. Applications are due by December 14, 2018 at 5 p.m. EST to be eligible to participate in housing selection.

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.

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

Applications and selection for special interest houses are done before lottery begins. If you have an interest in a Special Interest House, please review that website for details on how to apply. 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.

What do I do if I study at the SMFA and want to live on Beacon Street?

Students interested in living at 1025 Beacon Street should still apply for housing from November 30 - December 14. You will go through the lottery process just as the Medford students do - however you'll only have access to choose from spaces in 1025 Beacon Street during the selection process. Housing at SMFA for continuing students is generally limited. 

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. Initial timeslots will be generated at the end of February for each selection day.

Can rising Juniors and Seniors who are planning not to live on-campus for the 2019-2020 academic year give their lottery numbers away?

Any rising junior or senior that receives a lottery number 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.

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 Housing Portal starting in October 2019. 

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 2019, but I want housing for spring 2020. 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 Housing Portal starting in October 2019. 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 selection process is open. 

If you need to change your group leader, please contact at least one day prior to your selection day.

Will there be space for me in the housing lottery?

First year continuing/rising Sophomores

  • Sophomores are guaranteed a space on campus. If you do not select a space during any of the housing selection processes, we will ask you to complete a placement form so we can understand what your preferences are.

Upper-class students (Juniors and Seniors)

  • All Juniors and Seniors with a lottery number will have a space to select during the selection processes. However, we cannot guarantee your building/room type preference will be available. If a junior/senior student does not select a space during housing selection, we will cancel their housing application automatically.
How can I find information on singles?

There are a limited number of singles allotted for students 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. However, you will also have the opportunity to choose a room and partially fill a multiple-occupancy room. Another student will be assigned with you.

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 2019-2020 academic year. What should I do?

Tufts University has a 2-year residency requirement for its students on the Medford/Somerville campus. Please connect with the Associate Director of Housing Operations for more details.

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

Do not apply 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 commitment fee.

If my group applies for an apartment or suite, and we are not successful, what are my options?

Upper-class students can re-form their group for the general apartment selection process. Rising sophomores can participate in singles or general (doubles, triples, quads) selection.

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

No - rising juniors and rising seniors can live together. Rising sophomores are required to live on-campus, and thus, have an entirely different set of rooms to choose from. 

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. Study abroad is the only valid reason for cancellation and keeping a group together in an apartment. 

What should I do if I'm applying to be an FYA/CDA?

Students should apply for housing if they intend to live on-campus, regardless of their plans to apply for an FYA/CDA position. FYA/CDA placement will occur prior to the housing selection process beginning. FYA/CDA offers will be made prior to the group formation deadline.