supplemental room showing three beds in a large room

Supplemental Housing

What is Supplemental Housing?

The University uses supplemental housing space to offer more students the opportunity to enjoy the on-campus living experience. Supplemental housing space is similar to overflow housing, where a large space has been fully converted to permanent living space. Supplemental housing rooms are located within University housing and offer students all the amenities of a regular room - bed, desk, drawers, hanging space for clothes, Wi-Fi, Microfridge, etc. - but since the room is larger, the room can accommodate between four to eight students. Some students may also be assigned to share a double-occupancy room with a resident assistant (RA). Students living in supplemental housing have access to all the programming and activities in the building.

Students who are assigned to supplemental housing, including those located in a regular double room, will automatically be considered for reassignment to a regular room as space becomes available before the beginning of and during the semester.

Both first-year and upper-class students are assigned to supplemental housing rooms (in separate rooms).

Many students may be anxious about the prospect of living in supplemental housing. However, over 95% of students who are assigned to supplemental housing opt to stay in the room when offered the opportunity for reassignment. Why? They enjoy the flexibility of the room (you can arrange the room however you and your roommates want to!), more square footage, a discounted room rate, and the friendships that they have developed with their roommates. Students who opt to remain in supplemental housing are not forced to move out unless the room occupancy falls below 50% capacity.

First-year students

The offer of admission to University Park includes the residency requirement. All first-year students are guaranteed a space on campus. When the Housing Assignment Office begins the room assignment process, student accounts are put in random order to be processed. As students are assigned to rooms, at some point the regular space reserved for first-year students is filled. Once that happens, the remaining students are assigned to supplemental housing. As students decide not to attend Penn State before or after the semester has started, the cancellation will create a vacancy in regular housing. Students who are assigned to supplemental housing may then be reassigned, based on the amount of space available, before the fall semester begins.

Upper-class students

Students interested in the #LiveOn experience for the following academic year will Request Housing during the LiveOn Housing Process Timeline. The housing invitation allows students view available housing options, select a space, and accept the HFS Contract. Supplemental Housing is offered as a housing option for those students who are interested, whether it be for financial reasons or the ability to live with multiple roommates.

Students who are not eligible to Request Housing or those who did not participate in the LiveOn Housing Process will be able to add their name to the On-Campus Housing Waitlist in eLiving. HFS Contract offers for supplemental housing will be released as space becomes available. Any student with an HFS Contract is eligible to add their name to a housing option Waitlist to be considered for reassignment if space becomes available.

Real Student Experiences

Watch Supplemental Housing: Female - University Park on YouTube.
Watch Supplemental Housing: Male - University Park on YouTube.

Supplemental Housing Room Information

Supplemental housing rooms are available in almost every residence hall and there are many room layouts. Each room offers similar amenities as regular rooms, and each student will have their own "space" within the room. 

If you are assigned to supplemental housing, you can learn more about room furnishings, dimensions, room diagrams, and photos by visiting the Undergraduate Housing page to locate building information.

Moving to Regular Housing

Prior to the beginning of the semester, students who are assigned to supplemental housing will automatically be considered for reassignment. If a student is reassigned, an email notification of the new assignment will be sent in plenty of time to prepare for Arrival.

After the semester has started, students who are assigned to supplemental housing will be contacted by the Housing Assignment Office to complete a reassignment survey. This survey is for students who are interested in being reassigned to another room. Typically, only around 3-6% of students assigned to supplemental housing request to be moved! Many students opt to remain in supplemental housing, as they have bonded with their roommates and have settled into the space. 

For students interested in being reassigned out of supplemental housing, the amount of time that a student remains in this room assignment will vary. The number of students who can be reassigned depends upon the overall occupancy and when/where a vacancy exists. As regular housing space becomes available, staff will determine which student living in supplemental housing will be reassigned. This determination depends upon many factors, including where the vacancy exists, the type of student currently living in the vacancy, how many students are currently living in the supplemental housing room, and the preferences indicated by the student on the reassignment survey. The Housing  Assignment Office makes every effort to keep a student in their current assigned building or housing area. Students will be notified that their room assignment has changed and can prepare to move. Students should plan on being moved within 4 days of the notice, and complete the actual move within a 24-hour period.

Room Rate

The room rate for  supplemental housing is a reduced room rate, relative to the housing area where it is located. If a student assigned to supplemental housing is reassigned to another room type, the room rate will be prorated and the additional cost will be charged to the student's LionPATH account