female roommates in a double


Roommate Request Process

Penn State does not utilize a roommate matching survey or ask questions regarding a student's personal preferences, and will randomly match students to reside together. Penn State values diversity in all respects in its student population and feels strongly that living with others from different backgrounds, cultures, and ethnic groups serves to enhance the college experience. The University is committed to equal access to facilities for all persons and maintains an environment free of harassment and free of discrimination against any person. Discriminatory conduct and harassment violates the dignity of individuals, impedes the realization of the University's educational mission, and will not be tolerated.

Incoming First Year Students

Housing and Food Services recognizes that students may have an interest in rooming with a friend. Roommate requests must be mutual - both students must indicate the other student's Penn State Access Account as a preference on the Housing and Food Service Contract. Students are responsible for verifying that the correct student's information is used and the record is displaying before the modification deadline.

Returning Students

Students may choose to indicate one or more roommates when they receive an invitation to view available housing options or when they accept an HFS Contract. 

For self-select contracts, mutual roommates indicated in the Contract Preferences will be assigned with the student who selects a room first.

  • Students must have an HFS Contract for the same housing option.
  • Students must indicate the other student(s) on their preferences - only mutual listings will be honored by the system.
    • Mutual listing: Amari lists Brady, Brady lists Amari, they are assigned together when the first student chooses a room. Any assignment changes after the first will include only the person making the change; the roommate will not be included.
    • Non-mutual listing: Chen lists Derek, but Derek does not list Chen. They are not assigned together when either chooses a room.

For contracts that do not include online room selection, students who indicate a mutual roommate preference will be assigned together, so long as the other preferences do not contradict.

  • Example of preference conflict: Amari and Brady are mutual roommates; Amari lists Building A as first preference and ranks location as most important. Brady lists Building B as first preference and ranks location as most important. In this instance, both Amari and Brady will be assigned to the buildings they requested and not as roommates.
    • However, if Amari ranks roommate as the most important preference, Amari would be assigned with Brady in Building B, disregarding Amari's own preference for Building A.

Direct Room Exchange is offered both before and during each semester for students who decide they prefer another roommate or location.