Housing in students' hands
New on-campus housing process offers more choice, emphasizes hands-on role
9:17 a.m., Feb. 19, 2014--There are big changes in the way students participate in on-campus housing selection at the University of Delaware.
Beginning this spring, students applying for housing will use the new “My Housing” portal to create their custom application and manage their housing business throughout the year.
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Housing application changes
Residence Life and Housing selected the StarRez housing management system as a comprehensive, user-friendly tool for students and administrators to manage the variety of housing processes with ease.
According to Karen DeMonte, associate director, Residence Life and Housing, students previously submitted a housing application with preferences in February and would then wait until late April to find out where they would be living.
“The new system puts housing selection into the hands of the students and streamlines the process,” DeMonte said. “With the new My Housing portal, students complete the application in February and log on again in March to select their rooms. Students know immediately where they will be living next year, much like selecting a seat on an airline.”
Housing is guaranteed for all returning students who apply by May 31. For priority in housing selection, apply by Feb. 28.
Features of My Housing
Room selection priority is based on several factors. Students living in upper-division areas have priority to return to their room or building, followed by students joining living-learning experiences and theme housing options.
During open room selection for all areas of campus, students will select spaces after their time slot opens. In a manner similar to course registration, students will see available spaces when their turn arrives.
Students are narrowed into priority groups by class year, then by priority points, then cumulative credits. Students who took part in the “Early Bird” sign up this past fall gained additional priority points.
Finally, a random lottery number determines a student’s time slot. The time slot for a group is averaged based on each member’s random lottery number.
UD’s popular “Friends Together” option is still available with some changes. Students can form “Friends Together” groups of up to 12 students and continue their community of friends year to year.
Students who join roommate or “Friends Together” groups will be assigned to spaces by the group leader.
“Students should know what’s most important in their housing choice as they create a plan for room selection,” said DeMonte. “If students have multiple buildings and space in mind, it will make room selection go much more smoothly.”
Another feature of the new housing system is roommate matching.
“Finding roommates can be a challenge for students,” said Vanessa McClafferty, assignments coordinator, Residence Life and Housing. “Some students may be looking for a fourth person to fill a suite or apartment and others just want help in finding someone to live with rather than being randomly assigned with someone they don't know.”
Students answer a series of questions that span a variety of preferences and attitudes on the roommate relationship and the living environment. From this information, the system can present students with a list of potential roommates ranked by compatibility of their responses. Students can then send a message to potential roommates to further explore possibilities.
Additionally, a room swap period beginning in April will allow students to find alternate spaces on campus if their first choice in March was not available or if their plans changed.
More about StarRez
StarRez is the leading provider of college and university housing software. According to the company’s website, over 300 customers worldwide have invested in the higher education focused solutions provided by StarRez - including schools as diverse as New York University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley.
“StarRez is a powerful application that integrates well with other University systems,” said DeMonte, who led the search for and implementation of the new software. “It also allows our staff to be more efficient in our work while providing students the opportunity to select their housing with a friendly interface.”