Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of questions that are frequently asked during the housing process. This is not an exhaustive list. If you don't see your question here, please search the College Houses and Academic Services housing page before directing your questions to the office.

How does Harrison assign points?
There are 6 ways to earn points for the housing process in Harrison

1. Living in the house (4 point per semester)

Students receive points for every semester lived in the house, including the current semester. 

Students who studied abroad and lived in Harrison prior to and after study abroad will receive points for the abroad semester. Students currently studying abroad who lived in Harrison last semester, are considered in-house applicants and receive points this semester.

2. Working in the house (2 points per semester)

Students who have worked in the Harrison Office, Café Prima, the Computer Lab or at the info center  will receive 2 points for each semester worked (if terminated or let go, however, they will not receive any points.)

Students who have been promoted to managers will receive extra points for each semester as a Manager. (students terminated or let go will not receive any points)

3. Playing intramural sports through the house (2 points per semester)
Students who have played for Harrison intramural sports teams, will receive a point for each semester that they participated in a sport. Please make sure that you are registered through the IMLeagues website to ensure proper tracking.
4. Participating in Residential Programs or other programming such as House Council (1-5 points per academic year)
Students who have shown extraordinary participation in their residential programs will be awarded points by the program's coordinator. The coordinator has the liberty to award exceptional students between 1 and 5 points for their participation over the academic year. 
These points for participation will only count towards a residents point total for the year immediately following residence in the program. After which, you will retain 2 points for having been in a residential program.
5. Creating and running house programs in Harrison (2 points per event/activity)
Students who have created and carried out sponsored or co-sponsored by Harrison will receive two points per activity. Examples include students who have hosted Academic Works in Progress, planned Art-Ins, and things of that nature. If you have a question about whether you are eligible for points in this category, please make an appointment with Dean Pellicone. 
7. Completing the Harrison House Survey last semester (2 points for completion)
Students who completed the Harrison House Survey last semester and provided an email address will be awarded one point in the housing process as a thank you for their feedback. The office has a record of who will receive these points. If you want to know whether you will be receiving these points, contact the Harrison House Office. 
Any discrepancies in a resident's points should be inquired about in the House Office during our regular office hours (M-F 9AM-7PM). There we can work through exactly where and for what residents were awarded points. 


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?

The website says 1 point is awarded to previous Harrison residents who went abroad for a semester. Would I also receive 1 point?

Yes, as long as you lived in Harrison the previous year. Point/s for that year are the same.

Returning students who lived in Harrison during the Spring of 2016, now participating in a study abroad program both spring and fall semesters, will receive two points.

Can I count points for this semester?

Yes, you earn points for this year’s housing lottery for the Spring semester. That means every resident receives at least 4 extra point just for living here. All Harrison workers who were hired before the In-House process started will also get a point for their work in the Spring semester.

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.

Does the In-House Process favor freshmen over upperclassmen?

We use the same point system for freshmen as we do for upperclassmen. Many of our most active freshmen currently find many ways to contribute to the house through House Council, intramurals, or through working in the house. In this way, it is possible for freshmen to have more points than upperclassmen. 

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, their specific requests, and their points. 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.

If somebody lived in Harrison freshmen year and then moved off campus, do they get to apply as a Harrison resident or as a non-Harrison resident?

They would be non-Harrison residents. The only exception is residents who lived in Harrison and then went abroad. They are still considered Harrison residents and can apply. 

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.

Does room assignment for residential programs work on the same point system as the normal selection process?

Residential program applications are based solely on the quality of the application. The point system is not taken into consideration. We try to accept either everyone who you request as a roommate or no one at all.
If one of your preferred roommates does not submit an adequate application, it will hinder your chances at getting a room on the program floor. Of course all residential program applications are handled on a case by case basis so you can write any concerns you may have in your application.


Do points transfer between College Houses?

Points do not transfer between houses because we value and want to reward the people who stay in Harrison and are active in Harrison.


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

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


For the in-house process, how do groups and points for groups work?

Your points are averaged among the members of your housing group, which can be between one and four people. Anyone coming into the house for the first year has 0 points. Groups must be at least 50% Harrison residents to participate in the in-house process. 


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