Frequently Asked Questions



Can I keep my room assignment if I go abroad in the fall?

You may not keep your room assignment.

This is most problematic with a single room. The Housing Office says, "We do not allow students to hand off spaces to friends, so when she cancels, she is giving up that room."

There is more flexibility with a shared room. Housing continues, "What we do allow is for students in multiple occupancy rooms to work with other students going abroad so that a student returning from a Fall abroad can fill a bed space from a student who goes to Spring abroad." Please contact the Housing Office directly if you would like to attempt to arrange this scenario. 



FAQs on Study Abroad and Housing

Please see this page for information on housing and study abroad. (


  • If you are studying abroad in the fall, you can’t keep your room or hand it over to a friend.
  • You may apply for spring semester housing starting October 1st.
  • If you know of someone who is moving out at the end of fall semester, you may request that person's room. List the names of any roommates. Be sure to list other possible rooms as well.
  • The person moving out must file early termination paperwork so the room is available.

Note: If you have a legitimate reason to request a particular room assignment upon your return, explain your situation to the Housing Office.

What is the in-house eligibility for study abroad students?

Residents who are studying abroad in Penn-approved programs and who lived in Harrison during Fall 2016 are eligible for the In-House Assignments process.

Am I still eligible for the In-House process if I lived in Harrison last year but this year I am in a year-long study abroad program?

Yes, as long as you lived in Harrison the previous year. 

Can I retain my room?

In the interest of fairness, we have a system that does not guarantee retention of exactly the same room. In both the Residential Programs and the In-House Assignments process, you may request your present room. With room types that are plentiful, such as a three bedroom quad, you are much more likely to receive your request.

What are my chances of getting my perfect room?

We cannot give exact odds of receiving a particular room or room type. Please do not ask Harrison staff for this information. Read on, please…

When the Penn dorms were built, roommates and dining halls were part of college life. If you want your own room or an apartment with kitchen, join the crowd. Your odds are good if you prefer to share a room and don’t want a kitchen. All rooms or apartments do have a private bath.

The chances vary with the number of applicants and their specific requests. Demand is high for single, double, or triple apartments, with kitchen, living room and a room of one’s own. Somewhat more available are one or two bedroom rooms, no kitchen or living room, or single, double, or triple apartments with shared bedrooms. If a kitchen is a high priority, there are many three bedroom Quads (shared by four people).

Can we sign up for co-ed housing via the In-House Process?

Yes you can. You can find more information about gender neutral housing here.

When will applicants to Harrison residential programs be notified of acceptance or rejection?

Students who apply to Residential Programs will be notified in late January early February.

Can I apply to more than one program?

You must choose only one program and complete that application only. However, there is an application question asking if you are interested in any other program. Tell us all about it.

I already live on a Residential Program. Do I have to apply again?

Yes, you do.

If you are applying with roommates, everyone must apply and be accepted.

Last year I selected the wrong room type. How can I avoid this?

It’s easy to get confused. Take a careful look at the room codes and descriptions. You can find the list on the Housing website:

The term "apartment" means there is a kitchen and living room. The term "room" means there is a bedroom/s and bathroom only (although a "double" does have a living room).

Also, compare the number of bedrooms with the name of the room type: A Quad Apartment (code 41) has 3 bedrooms; two people will have their own bedroom and two will share a room. A Quad Apartment (code 45) has 4 bedrooms; everyone has their own space, all year.


Can I see my room before and/or after selecting it?

No, but there are floor and room layouts on our website here. (


What are next year's rent rates?

We do not know the rent rates for next year. You can assume that rents will be similar to last year's rates and will rise a little. 


Who is eligible to participate in the housing selection process?

Currently registered students are eligible, including students currently studying abroad. Any student on leave is not eligible to apply for housing.


Where can I find floor and room layouts?

You can find Harrison floor and room layouts on our website here. (

Residential Services also has a page with floor plans here