two students sitting at a table in the quad
First-Year Students:

Housing Process

Welcome to the Penn State family! We are excited that you have chosen to be part of the Penn State on-campus community. Preparing for your transition to college life can seem overwhelming, so we have made the process of signing up to LiveOn an easy one.

First-year students accepted to University Park are guaranteed an on-campus housing space and required to live on campus as a condition of the offer of admission.

When accepting the offer of admission through the MyPennState system, you will accept the Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract and pay the admission and housing deposit fees. A confirmation will be sent to the email address on file, and will include instructions for how to view your HFS Contract and modify housing preferences.

Students who are admitted for summer session will have two separate HFS Contracts, one for summer and one for the fall-spring academic year. Students who are admitted for spring semester will only have the spring semester HFS Contract. 


***The information on this page is for incoming first-year students. If you are currently a first-year student and interested in living on campus next year, please follow the Current Students housing process. 

Housing Process

Step 1: Accept the Offer of Admission and HFS Contract

Information For: incoming first-year students who have accepted the Offer of Admission to Penn State University Park.

The Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract is included in the offer of admission to Penn State. The student will accept both the Offer of Admission and HFS Contract by accessing MyPennState, following the prompts, and paying the non-refundable admission fees and housing deposit. The student will agree to the HFS Contract signing statements and the Terms, Conditions, and Regulations (TCRs).

Step 2: Explore & Indicate Housing Preferences

After the offer of admission and HFS Contract(s) are accepted, the HFS Contract(s) will then be available in the eLiving system, where the student can indicate preferences such as housing area, roommate, Living Learning Communities (LLCs), and Campus Meal Plan level by the contract modification deadline:

  • 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET May 15: summer and academic year. The housing preference deadline for incoming first-year students has been extended from May 15 to 12:00 p.m. (noon) Monday May 20
  • 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET December 5: spring semester admits only

Room assignments are processed in a random order, and is NOT based on when the student accepts the offer of admission.

All students who accept the offer of admission will be able to indicate housing preferences on the HFS Contract; however the University cannot guarantee that these preferences will be honored. It should be expected that some housing preferences are more popular and may have a higher request rate, therefore filling faster than other options. Some students may not be assigned to a room that is based on indicated housing preferences. Regardless of the date the student accepts the offer of admission, all first-year students will have an on-campus housing space.

The majority of space for first-year students is located in traditional residence halls. Due to the limited space in renovated residence halls, not all students who indicate "double, renovated residence hall" as a housing room type preference will be accommodated in this housing option.  

Penn State is currently in the midst of a renovation project to update residence halls in East and Pollock Halls; two-three buildings will be offline every academic year for refurbishment. Work will be completed by fall 2030. 


Break Access/Holiday Housing

The University has three official academic year break periods: fall break, the break between the fall and spring semesters, and spring break. During these break periods, University Housing closes and all residents are required to leave for the entire period. Personal belongings may be left in the room during the break periods. View Important Dates for when housing closes and reopens.

To accommodate students who are unable to travel home during these time periods or who need to stay on campus during the break periods, Housing offers a Break Access/Holiday HFS Contract. Students assigned to Break Access/Holiday Housing will be charged an additional room fee per semester for this service. No refunds are processed if a student does not stay for all or any part of the closedown periods. The Break Access/Holiday Housing HFS Contract cannot be canceled.

Break Access/Holiday Housing can be requested either by selecting the option as a LLC preference on the HFS Contract or by contacting the Housing Assignment Office.

Gender-Inclusive Housing

Penn State strives to provide a safe, inclusive, comfortable, and supportive living environment for all students residing on campus.

The University is proud to offer students who identify as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and ally students community. In addition to the Ally House Living Learning Community which is available to any student, the University offers several Gender Inclusive Housing options across campus to meet the individual needs of a student and where a staff member will work with a student one-on-one to identify the most appropriate room assignment. Upper-class students may also utilize the Open Housing option, where students of any gender may live together in a space. 

Learn more about these options, including the Frequently Asked Questions section near the bottom of the page, or feel free to reach out to our staff listed below for assistance.

Housing Accommodations

Penn State is committed to providing equal opportunity to all of its programs, activities, and services. Housing and Food Services provides reasonable accommodations for on-campus University housing to students with a documented medical/disability-related concerns, including documented mental health concerns.  


Step 3: View Your Room Assignment

Room assignments will be posted in eLiving on the My Info > My Room page.

  • 2024 fall semester: 12:00 p.m. (noon) Tuesday July 16

The Room Exchange eBoard provides students the opportunity to request a room change with another student, and will be available during the following time periods:

  • 2024 fall semester: 12:00 p.m. (noon) Tuesday July 16 - 12:00 p.m. (noon) Tuesday August 6; and then will be available again 12:00 p.m. (noon) Tuesday September 3 - 12:00 p.m. (noon) Thursday October 31

Step 4: Move In & LiveOn

Visit the Arrival website to learn more about housing move-in for summer, fall, and spring:

  • Arrival Schedule
  • Check-in locations
  • Directions
  • What to pack/what to leave behind
  • And other great information to make your arrival smooth! 

Residency Requirements

First-year students are required to live on campus at University Park as part of the offer of admission, based on what semester the student is offered admission:

Semester Admitted Residency Requirement

Summer Session

summer session, fall semester, and spring semester

Fall Semester

fall semester and spring semester

Spring Semester

spring semester 

There are a few valid reasons for a student to request an housing residency exemption to this policy.